can a cat and dog breed

Dogs and cats are simply too genetically different for them to succeed in making offspring.

Horses and donkeys interbreed. A mule is a hybrid of a male donkey (called a jack) and a female horse (called a mare). When a female donkey (a jenny) and a male horse (a stallion) mate, the offspring is a hinny.

Falconers breed diverse falcon species together to create birds with the hybrid vigor that enhances their hunting abilities.

Bird breeders cross finches with other species, such as canaries. The hybrid offspring are called mules.

Q: I always travel with my ferret, Zippy, in my backpack, even to my college classes. I live in New Jersey, where heartworms are a problem, so should he take a heartworm preventive like our dog?

Heartworm infection symptoms include fatigue following light exercise, lethargy, coughing, breathing problems, vomiting, and weakness in the hind legs. Death is all too common.

In 1977, the story of a “cabbit” captivated the nation. An article in the Farmington Daily Times stated that Val Chapman, a rancher in New Mexico, claimed to have a cat-rabbit mix that ate both cat food and carrots, meowed like a cat, had hind legs like a rabbit, and excreted rabbit-like poop. After giving the animal the name Ricky Raccit, Chapman brought it to California, where it made appearances on Johnny Carson and The Dinah Shore Show. Amid the media frenzy, a number of specialists attempted to contextualize the genetic impossibility. “Let’s put it this way, can you mate a butterfly and a fish?” a Los Angeles Zoo curator asked United Press International. There have been reports of jackalopes, pig-sheep hybrids, and moose-horse matings (a “hoose”). For a brief period in the 1700s, a woman who claimed to have given birth to rabbits captured the attention of people all over the world.

Tutt wasn’t even the first to publicize that specific type of interspecies coexistence. In 1937, readers across the country were enthralled with the tale of a Miami alley cat that gave birth to dogs. Laura Bedford, a barbecue stand operator known by the nickname “Mom,” claimed that her Maltese cat had given birth to three cats and two dogs. A veterinarian stated that “if” the incident was a hoax, “someone certainly went to a lot of trouble to match them up,” according to a United Press article. The same news agency said three witnesses had come forward the following day to cast doubt on Bedford, but Bedford stuck to her story.

And indeed, the stories still surface. Cats giving birth to dogs in Brazil and China have been reported in recent years. Tales of mistaken identities are also popular. In 2013, a popular story claimed a would-be poodle owner bought a puppy from an Argentine market, only to find that the animal was a ferret doped up on steroids and fluffed to look like a poodle. The story sounds improbable and most likely is; the photograph that circulated with the story is of an actual animal called an Angora ferret. In 2018, a family in China reported that the pet it had believed for two years to be a Tibetan mastiff was actually an endangered Asiatic black bear.

Stories of scientifically impossible couplings and births are likely as old as the history of naming animals, according to Sarah Hartwell, an engineer with a keen interest in genetics, history and, cats. On her website, Messybeast, she has exhaustively chronicled a zoo of supposed hybrids, from the possible to the impossible, with an emphasis on fantastic cats. She has researched stories of cabbits, squittens, catacoons, guinea cats, and more.

Animal scams and hoaxes are all too common and frequently border on the fantastic, but we fall for them. Examples include tales of impossible hybrids or births, or of naive would-be pet owners being tricked into keeping an unfriendly or dangerous species. It’s as though the natural world weren’t already fascinating enough.


Can a dog and cat reproduce together?

Q: Can cats and dogs breed with each other? A: No. Their anatomy, physiology and breeding behaviors are too different. However, interspecies breeding does occur in some other animals.

Can a dog and a cat have a baby?

But creating hybrids of animals that are very genetically distinct from each other—such as a dog and a cat—is scientifically impossible, as is one species giving birth to an entirely different one.

Can a dog and a cat cross breed?

No. Dogs and cats are different species, and animals must be of the same species to reproduce together. Two breeds of the same species can mate, but two species cannot.

What happens when a dog breeds a cat?

If you try to breed them with each other, nothing happens. They have their happy fun times (or at least one of them does, the other may be less happy about the attention), and no one gets pregnant as a result. Cats and dogs are different species. They can’t inter-breed.