DOG AND CAT . The signals and behaviors that cats and dogs use to communicate are different and can lead to signals of aggression, fear, dominance, friendship or territoriality being misinterpreted by the other species. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase small prey that flee, an instinct which applies towards cats. Most cats will flee from a dog, while others will take actions such as hissing, arching their backs and swiping at the dog. After being scratched by a cat, some dogs can become fearful of cats.
If appropriately socialized, cats and dogs may have relationships that are not antagonistic, and dogs raised with cats may prefer the presence of cats to other dogs. Even cats and dogs that have gotten along together in the same household may revert to aggressive reactions due to external stimuli, illness or play that escalates.
The phrase "fight like cats and dogs" reflects a natural tendency for the relationship between the two species to be antagonistic. The phrase "to rain cats and dogs" comes from ancient beliefs that cats could make it rain and dogs controlled the wind. Other phrases and proverbs include "The cat is mighty dignified until the dog comes by" and "The cat and dog may kiss, but are none the better friends".
A Russian legend explains the antipathy between dogs and cats by stating that the devil has tricked the dog and cat into thinking the other has its rightful fur.
Eugene Field's children's poem, "The Duel" , projects and amplifies the real life antipathy between cats and dogs on to a stuffed gingham dog and calico cat about whom the narrator has been told had an all-night fight during which they "ate each other up." In Fam Ekman's children's book Katten's Shrekk (The Cat's Terror), a cat visits a museum to find that all of the artworks, like Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, have been replaced by parodies featuring dogs. The only piece not converted is The Scream which "symbolizes the cat's terror in the face of so many dogs." The American animated television series CatDog featured the adventures of the protagonist, CatDog, a genetically altered creature that had the head of a dog on one side of its body and the head of a cat on the other. The episodes frequently played on "cats and dogs being what they are" to incorporate "a lot of running and chasing".