Animal Jingoism

"Squids squirt ink to create a substitute to escape their predators. It's an oily substance, difficult to dissolve in water, that becomes a sort of mass. On the other hand, octopi use ink as a smoke screen. It is water soluble in order to spread. Like oil and water, even the inks of the two species doesn't mix."
Nintendo EAD on Splatoon

Sometimes, different species, such as cats and dogs, are written so that they have a built-in and unquestioned animosity for no other reason than that they are stereotypically considered to be adversaries. A dog that doesn't chase cats will be considered 'weird', even if they were raised together from birth. On the other hand, those same dogs will almost never chase after mice unless provoked.

Real Life is more diverse. In general cats will flee from larger predators and dogs will chase whatever flees from them. But there are also cats who bully dogs. There are also plenty of cats and dogs who get along very easily and even like each other. Both will usually eat mice.

See also Cats Are Mean and Mailman Vs Dog. Related to Elves Versus Dwarves, Fur Against Fang, Tiger Versus Dragon, Fantastic Racism.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon; the mutual hatred between Zangoose and Seviper (see below in Video Games) became a plot point in a Diamond and Pearl episode, when a far too single-minded pack of Zangoose attacked Jessie's Seviper repeatedly throughout the episode, ultimately threatening to push it (along with Jessie herself, the rest of Team Rocket, and half the heroes' Pokémon) off a cliff.
    • Also, in "Showdown at Dark City", Electabuzz and Scyther are stated to be mortal enemy species.
  • Tiger vs Dragon and Dog vs Monkey appear to be Japanese versions of the dog/cat thing, since they're alluded to often in anime and manga.
    • Tiger Versus Dragon is an old animal rivalry motif in Eastern countries as they are seen as the most Badass of all beasts.
    • Also be on the lookout for frog and snake pairs in Japanese media, another set famed for its animosity.
  • In a one panel gag, Sangatsu no Lion once uses the snake and mongoose rivalry as a visual metaphor for a heated argument between Rei and Nikaidou.
  • In Ginga Nagareboshi Gin: Dogs and bears are mortal enemies. The whole plot revolves around the dogs gathering enough "soldiers" to battle the bears, and the actual battle itself. Though the protagonist is able to overcome this, as shown when he got upset after seeing another dog kill two innocent bear cubs.
  • InuYasha: Played for Laughs with the animosity between Inuyasha (Half-dog-youkai) and Shippou (kitsune). In Japanese folklore, dogs and foxes hate each other and more than one secret kitsune wife has been outed by the clueless husband's loyal dog. Inuyasha is Shippou's favourite target for pranks and practising his magic on, so Inuyasha tends to bite back.

  • The dogs of Garfield (minus Odie) enjoy this, and he's asked them why on more than one occasion. They never come up with an answer.
    • Garfield also subverts this trope by befriending a mouse named Floyd (and letting him bring other mice over for house parties), much to Jon's annoyance.
      • But he does play it straight with spiders.
  • Gear is about a war between four nations of small cats, larger cats, dogs, and insects, doing battle by means of Humongous Mecha!
  • The basis for the animal metaphor in Art Spiegelman's graphic-novel-style biography about his parents' experiences in the Holocaust, Maus. The Nazis are portrayed as cats, the Jews as mice; other nationalities are also portrayed as animals, depending on certain stereotypes of those nationalities and those animals.
    • Same deal in the Manga Apocalypse Meow, except it's a Japanese writer examining the Vietnam conflict. Americans are rabbits, Vietnamese are cats, Russians are bears, Chinese are pandas, French are pigs, and Japanese are monkeys (including an unflattering Author Avatar).
  • Subverted in George Herriman's comic strip, Krazy Kat, as noted under Cats Are Mean.
  • According to Stephen Notley's comic strip, Bob the Angry Flower, robots and bears are natural enemies. This makes as much sense as anything else in Bob the Angry Flower.
  • In a parody of Marvel Comics' House of M and DC Comics' Identity Crisis, which both ended with the revelation that a female character had undergone a Face-Heel Turn for flimsy reasons, an issue of Teen Titans shows the Funny Animal Superheroes of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! learning that feline former teammate Alley-Kat-Abra is responsible for various crimes, including the murder of Little Cheese, the micro-mouse. The reason given is "I'm a cat! Cats hate mice!"
    • The trope is subverted in Captain Carrot and the Final Arc; the real murderer is revealed to be Alley's magically created Evil Twin, and the true Alley vows to resurrect Little Cheese.
      • Interestingly, the story of Little Cheese' murder by Alley Kat Abra was apparently written under editorial fiat- Scott Shaw! (yes, the exclamation point is part of his name), the creator of the characters, when encountered at a Con, said that he was strongly opposed to the story idea, but told he had to do it anyway. The 'evil twin' retcon was his just revenge upon those editors after they'd gotten the boot.
    • Considering on Earth-C, cats and mice * don't* hate each other (and any cat or mouse that did would be considered a bigot/speciesist), it makes the above-cited "reason" as all the more out-of-character for Alley (and thus should've given reason for the Crew to be suspicious). Supporting this is one story where the Zoo Crew, while visiting other dimensions briefly, encounter one resembling Tom and Jerry; Alley found the sight of seeing "a planet terrorized by...primitive felines" to be disturbing.
  • Partially subverted in the comic strip Pearls Before Swine, using sensitive, intelligent character Zebra, whose never-ending efforts to reach detente with various predators (lions, more recently crocs) inevitably fail miserably. In one strip, he writes a moving letter asking why; the lions' response is 'Yu taste gud!'
  • In Peanuts, Snoopy has always hated cats. On many occasions, he has taunted the "stupid cat next door".
    • Only for the cat - whose name is eventually revealed as "World War Three" - to promptly scare him in return (usually shown as the unseen cat SWIPE!-ing a huge chunk out of the doghouse). The only time Snoopy ever beat that cat is when he thought Woodstock was in danger.
  • In one of the many, many (in canon) Supergirl series for DC Comics, it is revealed that the rivalry between cats and dogs is based on ancient cat-gods and dog-gods, a fight that still goes on in another realm today.
  • French noir-style Funny Animal (well, not really funny, it's mostly dead-serious)) comic Blacksad has a rather dark twist on this in its second tome, Arctic Nation- the eponymous organisation is that world's equivalent to the KKK and paramilitary neo-nazi groups, only made up of white-furred or feathered anthropomorphic animals who hate dark brown- and black-colored animals, even if the same species. There's also a less-seen Black Panthers equivalent for good measure.
  • Cubitus: Cubitus the dog and Sénéchal the cat are sworn enemies and rivals who take delight in beating each other up.
  • Tom Poes: No jingoism seems to exist between the animals based on their species. Tom, a white cat, gets along fine with Joost, the dog butler and Bullebas, the dog police chief.

  • The film Cats & Dogs had unwaveringly heroic dogs constantly defending humanity from unchangingly evil cats throughout recorded history.
    • Subverted in the sequel, which features a cat agency dedicated to protecting humanity.
  • Averted in The Adventures of Milo and Otis, a story about a cat and a pug dog who are friends. Though it is kind of seen as an Odd Friendship by other animals.
  • In Nico The Unicorn, mountain lions and unicorns are said to be natural enemies. This proves true when one kills Nico's horse mother.

  • Reynard The Fox: Reynard is considered to be the rival of Isegrim the wolf.
  • Averted in the A Cricket In Times Square series by George Selden, which features a mouse (Tucker) and a cat (Harry) who are best friends. A flashback book even averts Cats Are Mean by having Harry be the one to initiate the friendship in the first place. A later book even has the pair adopting an orphan puppy.
  • Subverted in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Except for the rodent that Maurice ate to become "amazing" in the first place, but that was before he became intelligent, obviously).
    • The ancient enmity between rats and humans is also subverted. Between rats and terriers, not so.
  • Explained in an African folk tale. According to the story, Cat and Dog were once great friends and did many friendly things together. But then came hard times and Cat and Dog had to go their separate ways. Dog wandered off and Cat found a human family to shack up with. Dog eventually went to Cat and begged to be allowed in so he could get a decent meal. Cat took pity and directed Dog to his owner's brother, but not before extracting a promise that Dog not come back. Dog kept his promise for a while, but eventually either forgot or judged that circumstances rendered the promise moot, and shambled on back to see Cat. Cat was pissed, to say the least. So dogs aren't chasing cats because they hate cats-they want to be friends again, and cats still refuse to forgive.
    • You could almost say he's the original Dogged Nice Guy. (Kill me. I can't stop myself.)
  • Many other animals don't come off looking too good in the mythology of Watership Down. Dogs in particular are portrayed as incredibly stupid compared to the Guile Hero El-ahrairah. In this case it's because the story is actually told from the point of view of rabbits, who being prey animals see most other animals and horrifying and monstrous killing machines.
  • Redwall has many varieties of this (though the animal characters are essentially humans with fur). Rats and mice have disliked each other from book one. Raptors are hostile toward prey species until they've been properly introduced. Four-legged predators (except for badgers and otters) are usually antagonistic throughout the story.
  • Often appears in books by Dick King-Smith. Sheep and dogs in The Sheep-Pig (filmed as Babe) are both convinced the other is irredeemably stupid, and sheep also refer to dogs as 'wolves', refusing to believe they have truly changed their nature. Martin's Mice is about a cat who hates the idea of killing and eating mice and eventually tries to keep them as pets. The more conventional cats vs. dogs one shows up in Ace, with the Deadpan Snarker cat a more sympathetic character than the snobbish dog (who believes that being a corgi grants her some kind of royal status).
  • In Rudyard Kipling's The Cat That Walks By Itself, after the cat can't resist giving a snarky answer, the dog declares that it will chase cats, and the story ends with the statement that this is why dogs to this day usually chase cats.
  • Played with in The Incredible Journey with Bodger the bull terrier and Tao the Siamese. The two of them both hate (other) cats, and because of this are best friends, having bonded by terrorizing the local cat population together.
  • Played dead straight in Tailchaser's Song, in which the cats even have a legend that serves as an Origin Story for the rivalry between their kind and dogs.

    Live Action TV 
  • Several Wesen species in Grimm are enemies; the wolf-like Blutbaden vs the pig-like Bauerschweins, the snake-like Lausenschlange vs the mouse-like Mauzhertz, etc.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, this was completely averted with the guardinals. Thanks to the nature of these celestials as warriors devoted to the highest good (and only good), none of the various species ever (or rarely ever) come into conflict, not even such "traditional" enemies as cats and dogs. One of the clearest representations of this is described in the Book of Exalted Deeds with Talisid and the Five Companions: not only does Talisid consider all of the companions his closest friends, acting more like an epic adventuring company "bound by fierce devotion that puts mere family loyalty to shame", but Duke Kharash, the lupinal guardinal, is given the moniker of "Talisid's Shadow" because he is "the closest companion to Talisid, sharing the Celestial Lion's passion for the hunt as well as his love for the untamed wilderness. The two are nigh inseparable..." Let the Ho Yay commence.
  • Cat: A Little Game About Little Heroes explains that 1000 years ago, cats won a three-way competition between cats, dogs, and humans, thus earning the right and responsibility to protect the last-place entry (humans) from evil. Dogs also love humans and protect them, but resent the cats for beating them.

  • You will often see foxes and wolves paired as rivals; this goes back to the "beast epics" of Reynard The Fox, which featured Reynard and his rivalry between the wolf Isengrin. For a more modern example, well, how about, "Can't let you do that, Star Fox!"
    • In one educational Sierra textgame (Apple II era), wolves eat foxes.
  • Pokémon
    • Zangoose (a mongoose) and Seviper (a snake), are natural enemies who attack each other on sight, to the point where their rivalry seems to be the only trivia ever mentioned in their Pokédex entries. Despite this, they can breed with each other.
    • Heatmor (anteater) and Durant (ant). One attacks the other for food, the other retaliates in self-defence.
    • In both cases, you can actually witness the jingoism in horde battles in Pokémon X and Y, where you'll fight four of one and one of the other, with the four ganging up on the one and ignoring you.
  • Averted in Touhou with the three Cat Girls, who are in friendly terms with other characters of species usually enemy to cats. The first, Chen the Nekomata, is the servant of Ran Yakumo, a Kitsune, which is related to dogs. The second, Orin the Kasha, is best buds with Utsuho, a Hell Raven AKA a bird. The third one is Shou Toramaru (actually a tiger), who is the master of the mouse youkai Nazrin.
  • Splatoon features a rivalry between the surface-dwelling Inklings (squids) and the subterranean Octarians (octopi). They both were enemies of the Great Turf War 100 years ago, and the single player campaign kicks off after the Octarians steal the Inklings's energy source. Relations used to be amicable before the Great Turf War, which started because of increasingly limited territory due to the rising seas.
  • Senran Kagura features the Hanzo shinobi school, with a frog logo. Their most direct rival is the Hebijo school, symbolized by a snake.

  • Half the jokes in Kevin & Kell rely on this, or subvert it.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court features Reynardine and Ysengrin, the fox and wolf of legend. While neither of them can really claim to be those animals anymore, Ysengrin was very upset to see Reynardine take the form of a wolf.
  • Percival and Pooch in Sinfestat least professed on Percy's part
  • Girly has made that chickens and ducks are sworn enemies.
  • In Poharex, the dinosaurs have a mortal emnity with the Rakair, a species of evolved rauisuchians. They also hate humans, though to a lesser extent.
  • In Homestuck, Jade can't help but growl and bark at Jaspersprite when he starts meowing, because the latter is a cat, and the former, through a very complex series of events, has the instincts of a dog.
  • Bob and George: Rush, Tango and Treble have this going on, even though they're all robots.
  • In Coyote Ville, Sean, a coyote, often hunts rabbits via Looney Tunes-style trickery.
  • The Glass Scientists: Jasper's reaction to a cat falling on his head suggests that werewolves and cats aren't exactly best friends.

    Web Originals 
  • The cat/dog rivalry is inverted in Reynard Noir, where Cassandra Cat and the technically canid Slylock Fox have an on again/off again romance. However, speciesm is fairly rampant amongst the population as a whole, especially in the case of predator vs. prey species or humans vs. nonhuman. Sayings such as 'blind as a bat' are even regarded as speciest slurs.
  • Alluded to in RWBY, where Cat Girl Blake reacts with inexplicable hostility to a puppy one of her roommates just got.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in Rocko's Modern Life:
    • Heffer's grandpa (a wolf, see below) hates wallabies. The good news is, his eyesight isn't so good and he mistakes Rocko for a beaver. The bad news is, he's not too keen on beavers either. Cats and turtles are said to be mutual enemies, without much explanation, in the episode "The Big Question"/"The Big Answer." This rivalry exists solely for the purpose of creating tension leading up to the marriage of recurring characters Filburt (a turtle) and Dr. Hutchinson (a cat).
    • One episode shows Heffer — a steer who was literally Raised by Wolves — being sent out to "bring an elk home for dinner". He ends up dating one.
  • The Greasers (a trio of dogs) from CatDog hate cats with passion, making it their hobby to beat up CatDog whenever they meet. Cat himself is shown to carry a strong hatred for Winslow (a mouse) too, though that might not be completely due to his natural instincts considering Winslow's personality.
  • The Lion King features a lion/hyena rivalry, which actually reflects the reality of the African savannahs, to a certain extent. Though The Lion King inverts it, based on the old misunderstanding of their interactions. Newer research suggests that its the Hyenas who do the hunting and it's the Lions who muscle them away from their kills. Even newer research suggest that both sides play both roles when it suits their purposes, though lions still do most of the stealing.
  • My Gym Partner's A Monkey. Here, the animals are sentient and speak and are anthropomorphic (some more than others) but the snake kid still fights with the mongoose kid only after learning from a documentary that they're natural enemies.
  • Subverted in the "Rita and Runt" segments of Animaniacs in which Runt habitually goes into an aggressive posture/attitude at the mere mention of a cat, yet is too stupid to recognize that his best friend Rita is a cat.
  • Most of the Tom and Jerry cartoons fall into this. Jerry is chased by Tom who is in turn chased by Spike solely because they are a mouse, cat, and dog. Yet at the same time they are shown to get along with each other fine. In one cartoon where Tom throws Jerry out he starts to miss him and is glad when he is actually back.
    • Hanna and Barbera later went on to create Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks (for The Huckleberry Hound Show), and Motormouse and Autocat (for the Cattanooga Cats show) which naturally have similar themes; the latter involving vehicles.
  • An American Tail uses the old Cats vs Mice rivalry as a metaphor for the rich vs the oppressed immigrants in the late 1800's.
  • In Adventure Time, Dogs and the fictional Rainicorns are enemies, though unlike most examples, there's a reason: they fought over territories in the Crystal Dimension.
  • Looney Tunes: Tweety and Sylvester. "I tawt I taw a puddy tat!"
  • In ThunderCats (2011), this is very much Played for Drama. Third Earth is presented as a "world of warring animals" where Thundera's Proud Warrior Race the Cats rule their empire as the self-styled Superior Species that brought order to their world. They've fought a generations-long war with the Lizards, and see little problem with enslaving those hungry Lizards they catch raiding their crops due to the Cats' systematic monopolization of arable land, even lynching them, if they feel like it. The "Alley Cats" of Thundera's slums think nothing of beating and mugging hapless Specific minorities like Dogs. All tailed Cats are themselves confined to the slums while tailless nobles live lives of wealth and privilege, and right-to-rule is granted only to Lions.
  • Felix the Cat's relationships with mice range from friendly to Vitriolic Best Buds-ish. Notably, he has a mouse friend, Skidoo, living in his house.
  • In Bolt, Mittens tells Bolt that cats hate dogs - because secretly they want to be dogs. Throughout the film, she and Bolt echo cat/dog rivalry sentiments, addressing each other as "Dog" and "Cat" until their friendship grows. The Show Within a Show plays this up as well, giving its villain the name Dr. Calico and a fondness for cats — which, it's implied, he employs as spies.

  • Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops are a famous case of this trope. Go into any dinosaur related media and you'll see this trope in action, the T. rex trying to eat the Triceratops while the Triceratops fights back with its massive horns.
    • On the subject of prehistory, you can expect Allosaurus to constantly hunt either Stegosaurus or Camptosaurus note , Deinonychus to Zerg Rush against Tenontosaurus note , the flying reptile Pteranodon to be snatched out of the sky by predatory sea reptilesnote , Velociraptor to do battle with Protoceratopsnote , Giganotosaurus to harass Argentinosaurus in a packnote , Sarcosuchus to attack and drag Suchomimus to its doom, Troodon to raid Maiasaura nests and flee from angry mothers, saber-toothed cats to attack mammoths or mastodons or giant ground sloths, and Gastornis to pursue and devour small horse-like ungulates like Hyracotherium note .
    • A particularly bizarre example; Ornitholestes was once commonly depicted as being a specialized bird eater (its name even translates to "bird thief"), and was often shown leaping into the air to grab Archaeopteryx out of the sky. After science marched on, this was revealed to be wrong for several reasons: 1. There's no evidence that Ornitholestes could jump like that 2. Ornitholestes and Archaeopteryx were separated by thousands of miles and 3. Research done later in the field of paleontology suggests that Archaeopteryx couldn't fly at all, meaning that even if Ornitholestes did hunt it, it would not do so in the manner commonly depicted.
    • Another example similar to the above would be Megalosaurus against Iguanodon. This has dropped out of practice in recent works, as the two animals were separated by millions of years.