Why Did My Dog Kill My Cat?

Updated on September 8, 2017
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Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinary hospital assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

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Why Did My Dog Kill My Cat or My Neighbor's Cat?

Let's face it: it's sometimes quite inevitable for a dog owner to perceive their dog quite differently after their dog ends up killing their cat or the neighbor's cat. Many thoughts may go through the dog owner's mind such as "Why did my dog do this? What happened exactly? Is this a sign my dog is aggressive? Does this mean my dog may decide to now also kill other dogs, other animals and are my children at risk now?

Often dog owners are shocked that their dog managed to kill an animal especially when such animal was a cherished pet. Sometimes dog owners are so distraught by the whole experience, they feel like they own a monster and even consider giving up their dog or in some severe cases even putting him down.

Before taking drastic measures and considering the dog evil, it's important to better understand the behavior and get a better grasp on what likely happened. There may be many different causes for this behavior. If you were able to witness the behavior, you may get some clues by considering what happened before. Did your dog chase the cat? Did the cat come too close to a resource? Did the cat come in your dog's property? Were the cat and dog playing?

We will take a closer look at some potential causes and tips on how to deal with the situation to prevent this from happening again. Understanding what may have happened requires distancing yourself from the horrific event and seeing beyond the emotions.

Dogs Who Chase and Kill Fleeing Cats

If your dog started chasing after a fleeing cat and ended up fatally wounding the cat, consider that it may be difficult to grasp, but this may be totally normal behavior. One may say: "how can it be normal behavior? I never thought my dog would do something so horrible!" I actually felt the same way when my friend told me that a kitten I gave her was killed by a neighbor's pack of Cirneco dell' Etna hunting dogs. Every time I saw those dogs I thought of them as evil beings with fangs ready to kill any cat that walked by. Today, I see things differently. The problem is that as humans, we often tend to attribute human traits to dogs something known as "anthropomorphism." Unlike us, dogs do not have moral values and act out of instinct, which is simply part of being a dog, just as killing mice may be part of being a cat.

Chasing a fleeing cat (or a squirrel, rabbit or mouse) is as normal as it was for our ancestors to go hunting and for our food industry to keep stocking up the meat departments in our grocery stores to allow us to eat steak and ribs. The instinct to chase and kill fleeing animals stems from the dog's past. To fully understand predatory behavior in dogs all we need to do is to go back in ancient times when the dog's ancestors didn't depend on humans for food as dogs do today. Let's take a brief look at how predatory behavior works.

Before dogs were domesticated and fed kibble from a shiny bowl, dog's ancestors were hunters at heart. What is predatory behavior? It's an animal's ability to track down, chase and kill animals for food. All dogs have a certain level of predatory drive. The fact your dog is eager to chase a ball or shake a toy is because of this drive. Hunting and killing was a way of life in a dog's evolutionary past.

Predatory drive follows a precise sequence that scientists call a "fixed action pattern." The sequence is eye, stalk, chase, grab-bite, kill-bite, dissect and consume. Not all dogs will follow the whole sequence though. This varies based on genetics, history, motivation and other factors. If your dog saw a fleeing cat, predatory drive could have triggered him to chase. What triggers a dog's predatory drive is movement. Movement triggers an automatic, reflexive response in dogs. When the dog spots prey at a distance, the dog may fixate on the source with his gaze, ears kept upright, ready to capture the faintest sounds, body quivering and ready to spring into action. If the dog sees a sudden movement nearby in a bushy area, he may decide to pounce upon the prey or he may decide to chase. If the chase is successful, the dog may grab the prey by the neck bite down and shake. Shaking is typical predatory behavior meant to quickly finish up their prey. Usually, in such a case, you don't see any blood and the affected animal looks intact.

Behaviorists call predatory killing "the quiet bite" because it's not done out of rage. Brain research has shown that during a kill, the circuits responsible for rage are not activated and killing bites are far from the loud, screaming fights seen among two animals fighting. When an animal is on the kill, he'll just bite down hard and shake, explains Temple Grandin in the book "Animals in Translation."

All this predatory behavior may seem to make sense if a dog is hungry, but why would dogs kill cats if they aren't starving and are well fed? Aren't they just acting out for a morbid pleasure of killing? Again, we must consider instinct. Indeed, in a laboratory setting, it was found that an animal's killing bite instinct could be easily turned on by simply implanting electrodes into the predatory circuits of the brain and stimulating them with electricity. The animal didn't have to be hungry nor did it have to see prey, adds Temple Grandin. Dogs remain instinctive beings who don't abide to our moral values as we humans may do sometimes. Their brains aren't that complex as ours and don't kill out of rage ( as discussed, their circuits responsible for rage are not activated) as humans often do. It's unjust to consider a dog killing a cat as a type of murder. A murder is something done with the intent to harm. A dog who is acting out of instinct doesn't have an intentional intent to harm.

However, other than rage, there may be other feelings going on. According to dog trainer David D. Cardona, when hunting, dogs reach an emotional natural high as the neurochemical ‘dopamine’ ends up sending endorphins throughout the dog's body. The hunting action itself therefore, becomes addicting and self-reinforcing." Temple Grandin claims that animals like having their predatory circuits turned on because predatory killing means dinner. When a dog is engaging in predatory behavior, the behavior stems from the same areas of the brain where the "seeking circuits" come from. These are circuits that elicit curiosity, intense interest and anticipation as animals seek what they want. It's a pleasurable feeling a cat that kills a mouse must feel or a primate peeling a ripe banana must feel. As humans we may feel the same way when we catch many fish or go on a grocery shopping spree.

So when we feel like our dogs are being cruel for killing an animal, we are engaging in anthropomorphism, attributing them moral values dogs don't have. "Predatory aggression by a dog does not reflect a psychological problem and neither is the perpetrator vicious, malicious or vindictive." explains veterinary behaviorist Nicholas H. Dodman. As Temple Grandin concludes "Inside the brain, predatory killing and angry aggression are not the same thing. Not even close."

"Predatory aggression by a dog does not reflect a psychological problem and neither is the perpetrator vicious, malicious or vindictive."

— Nicholas H. Dodman.

Other Reasons Dogs May Kill a Cat

When a dog kills a cat, predatory drive isn't always necessarily the main culprit, even though it may be a contributing factor. Witnessing what occurred before the incident may reveal some insights as to the dynamics of the behavior. It could happen that the dog was resource guarding an item (food, toy, sleeping place) and the cat came too close and the dog fatally injured the cat. In households where a dog and cat got along for a while, it could be the dog and cat were playing and the cat got accidentally injured.

At times, dogs and cats may interact and then predatory instinct may take over. Sometimes, cats and dogs may be playing, when predatory drift, a phenomenon where a dog's predatory instinct is suddenly turned on, may take effect. A dog may also be chasing a cat out of his perceived territory and then predatory instinct may take over.

In households with multiple dogs, it could happen that one dog is playing and other dogs join in and then predatory instinct may kick in in one dog. It could be a fight erupted among the dogs and the cat fell victim to a re-directed bite for high arousal levels in the dogs. It could be an animal may have entered a fenced yard and frustrated from not being able to catch it, the dogs may have reverted their predatory instincts towards the cat. It could be the cat got panicky for some reason or got some seizure and a dog was stressed by the behavior. It could be a dog wasn't feeling well and the cat failed to read his signals to be left alone.

In a household with dogs who have gotten well along with cats before, one must consider if there were any recent changes that could have caused stress. Stressed dogs may act out of character. It could be one dog may havemedical problems that has lowered his threshold for aggression. If dogs aren't exercised enough, their pent-up energy may lead to pestering the cat which could lead to predatory drift. It could be the dogs have started killing other animals and decided to generalize the behavior to the cat if the cat started fleeing. There are several dynamics that may take place, and sometimes a real answer is never known as only assumptions can be made.

Moving on Forward

A dog killing a beloved cat is a cat owner's worse nightmare come true. As much as one was attached to the cat, blaming a dog for acting out of instinct is not helpful. Instinct is hardwired behavior that can be managed and some times, changed but never totally removed. Following are some tips to recover from the loss and prevent future mishaps.

  • Manage the environment. If your dog killed a neighbor's cat, after sending condolences and perhaps offering to pay for the burial or cremation services, it's important to take care that nothing similar happens again in the future. Since we are the ones that are responsible for managing our dog's environment, it's our responsibility to protect the animals of others. Sometimes though, cats are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cat owners must also ensure their cats don't get into the property where dogs reside.
  • Prevent rehearsal. If a dog is provided with ample of environmental opportunities to act on their predatory drive, through conditioning and rehearsal, the predatory behavior will be fine-tuned and get stronger and will therefore repeat in the future. So when a dog chases or kills a cat, it's important to realize the dog is likely to do it again.
  • Protect your other cats. If you have other cats, it's imperative to prevent access to them from now on. Keep them completely separated from your dog or consider re-homing your dog or the cat.
  • Seek help. Just because a behavior may be “natural” does not mean that it cannot be changed. In some cases, the implementation of force--free training and behavior modification can help.
  • Will my dog now hurt my children? Killing a small animal doesn't necessarily mean the dog would hurt a person, an infant or another dog even though this behavior may indicate the dog is at risk for such problems. Nicholas Dodman warns that some dogs may get overstimulated by fast-running children. It never hurts to always practice caution and always supervise the interactions of dogs and children, whether your dog has a history of killing small animals or not. If you are ever uncomfortable by any situation, consult with a professional to assess your dog.

Disclaimer; this article is not a substitute for hands-on professional behavior advice. If your dog is chasing and killing animals and you are concerned about potential future harm, please seek the aid of a behavior professional for proper assessment and management options.

Questions & Answers

  • My puppy is almost two months old. I don't know if she killed this kitten, or if it died another way, but she was eating it! Why would she eat it? I know she's not starving.

    Dogs are some of the most indiscriminate eaters. Ask many dog owners, and most likely all will have a story of their dogs finding a dead squirrel or some other animal carcass and eating it. Puppies are often curious and will mouth just about anything they find. Please do not be upset by it. It would have likely happened anyway whether it was a kitten or a dead bird or lizard.

  • My cat was on my fence and fell and my dog killed it in front of my eyes, will he kill my other cats?

    This is difficult to say, has your dog been raised with your cats from an early age? Does he have a long history of getting along with them? If so, I am thinking this was just a very freak accident.

    Your cat may have fallen off the fence and your dog may have tried to catch it our of instinct.

    Reminds me of my dog who has never attacked our chickens or baby chicks, but one day a bird had entered our home and in a panic flew right down the chandelier and my dog lunged up to catch it with his mouth instantenously killing the bird. The look on his face right after the fact was "oops.'

    It could be your dog acted up on instinct, trying to catch the cat from the fall and not knowing it was your cat. It could be he also thought this was an animal that was invading his property and failed to recognize it was your cat.

    A cat doesn't fall from a height like that often so in this context your dog may have acted too impulsively. It would have been interesting to know if your dog shook the cat with his head side-to-side which is more in compliance with instinctual prey drive.

    Of course, this is just an assumption as we can never really know what was going on in a dog's mind. There is really no 100 percent way to know if your dog may ever harm your other cats.

    So sorry for your loss.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Let's Take a Poll 

      10 days ago

      How many of the murderous dogs reported in the comments are pit bulls? I'll wait.

    • profile image

      Candypantsx 

      3 weeks ago

      I can’t believe how many people say they have put down a dog for killing a cat, I’m so shocked and disturbed by this and I’m a pretty open minded person.

      Would you put your cats down for killing birds or mice too?

      Dogs are natural predators no matter how domesticated they may be. You try expelling your whole survival instincts from your brains and then tell me a dog should just because you have decided to keep it as a pet.

      If you don’t want your dogs to kill your cats, perhaps you should own one or the other or be responsible pet owners and separate your animals that could potentially be dangerous to your other ones, don’t play god and decide they should die because they have acted on a natural instinct! If you can’t handle the fact dogs are predators don’t own them and if it does happen find someone not suitable who will be able to take care of your pet, there is no need to put it down.

      Like I said, you wouldn’t put down your cat for bringing in a bird would you? Why? Because you don’t love the bird? It’s not yours? Does that make it less important than a cat? But cats will be cats right.....

    • profile image

      Aby 

      3 weeks ago

      No. This does not cover all scenarios. I just witnessed two stray dogs enter my neighbours property. I then heard a kitten's frantic voice (like they do when they are shaken). Since I live on the 4rth floor, i ran like mad down. I really ran. When i reached the gate and opened it, all i saw was one of the dog carrying the dead kitten out of the gate. I literally sat down on the ground in pain. Suddenly, i chased the dog away and it dropped the kitten. I saw the intestine or what looked like that coming out of the belly. The kitten wasnt moving. Its dead. Later, two minutes i think, it slightly moved its leg. But that was it. It never moved again. WHY do dogs go INTO the houses and search and kill a kitten!? Please respond or I am personally going to give these two bstrds a more horrible death in the coming days after careful planning. I feel sick since i used to feed and pet these two strays every other day! I loved them. But this is too much. You have no idea how torn i feel now between the love and anger for these two.

    • profile image

      Mehoff Jerk 

      8 weeks ago

      I read this because my dog chases my brothers cat all the time but never manages to catch it. My dog has killed countless racoons, possums and groundhogs. I wanted him to be able to catch the cat, but I got no tips from this article. I am thinking about injecting her with steroids to make my dog more agile so she can finally kill that useless cat. She has killed two in the past, and I really see her eyes sparkle after the kill. I want to help her get that dopamine rush.

    • profile image

      Sue 

      2 months ago

      Adrienne, thank you for your kind reply. Sharon, I am so sorry for your lost. You are not alone. Hugs.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 months ago from USA

      Panganj, so sorry for your loss. When we grieve, we go through an anger stage and this may be contributing to your feelings. Of course, the anger is much, much stronger when a death happens so tragically and you know a dog caused it. Only time will heal and help you recover. Again, so sorry.

    • profile image

      sharon.dodge@gmail.com 

      2 months ago

      I am so glad I found this article. My loyal and bravehearted cat was killed by neighbors dog. I know it was not the dogs fault. The owner has been letting him be offleash everytime he is outside. This would not have happened. What was also the horrible part is that they were scared id find out and report it so they disposed of cat themselves without letting me take him to the vet for cremation. Very shallow people! This was only three days ago. I am heartsick. What helped is hearing other people went through the same grief and I dont feel so alone. The owners are the immature ones. They are at fault.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 months ago from USA

      Sue, I wished there was a way to heal faster, but grieving is a process and it takes time to process. Of course, it gets harder when losses happen in such traumatic ways as dogs killing a cat. Replaying the scene in our minds is not uncommon when it's very fresh. Only time can heal. So sorry for you loss.

    • profile image

      Sue Joiner 

      2 months ago

      I am so sad I had to search for answers, but you have given me insight on my situation. Hopefully, I can start to heal but I don't know if this is possible.

      We have two dogs and did have a beautiful cat.

      Rocky, a male Boston Terrier age 10 and Maggie a rescue I found age 3.5 Our cat, Leroy was 12 years old. Our daughter went on vacation and we watched her dog ( Gatsby) for 4 days. We had done so in the past with no issues. We have left our 3 fur babies in the past without any issues, vacations - all day ... they slept together and respected their place in the household.

      I left for an hour and came back and it was a horrible scene. I walked in and the two dogs were panting and running at first I thought someone was in my home, then I saw Rocky shivering on the sofa.

      I ran to the bedroom and saw my cat lying lifeless on the ground. No blood and covered in salvia.

      My brother came over and we rushed Leroy to the vet he was laterally recumbent with superficial scrapes on the head with superficial pain.

      I wanted to save him, I loved him so much. He didn't pull through. The vet said internal trauma could show up after 24 hours. We made him as comfortable at home with us when he passed.

      I still can get this scene out of my head, our daughters dog is no longer allowed in our home. I know Rocky was not involved because of his behavior. The vet asked if the dog was 60 ish pounds that was in the house, which is my daughters. I'm shocked my dog Maggy would join in on this ...especially since she's been in the home with us-never bothered our cat.She's also very timid when her dog comes over, should this of been a sign? Gastby- my daughters dog would go near Leroy and we would scold him, now I feel like it was my fault never in my heart would I think this would happen. I'm having a difficult time dealing with this and showing love to Maggy, she's getting depressed along with Rocky, this just happened 3 days ago. My husband said I need to makeup with her. I have to also heal with my daughter.

      I don't know how to heal. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      Panganj 

      2 months ago

      I lost my beloved cat Winnie yesterday, when I returned home to find she was killed by my dogs, I don’t know which dog actually did it or was it both. I was so angry I wanted to kill both dogs. My wife stopped me but I can’t look at these dogs and not want to hurt them for the suffering my cat went through what can I do so I don’t kill or injure these dogs ?

    • profile image

      Edna 

      3 months ago

      I have a 10 year old male pit and I had a sick female cat that he killed, she was in her room all she did was meow for her breakfast as she does every morning when I went in to feed her the pit had her in his mouth shaking her. She didn't even have claws and could barely walk!!! Why would the dog kill her not understandable for me!!! I'm feeling really distraught!!!

    • profile image

      Ann Armstrong 

      3 months ago

      I read this article before my new, five year old chow rescue, attacked my cat and then severely bit the dog walker who heroically intervened. The cat is ok, a little freaked out, and now sequestered in the study while we arrange to send the dog back to the rescue. The rescue, for the record, noted he was good with cats 3 x in the dog's bio.

      Because of this article, I did not punish or ignore the dog when I got home. I accepted it as part of his instinct, and while it makes me very sad to send him back, I spoke with a very reputable trainer and she agreed it was the best thing for the dog, cat and everyone concerned.

      I will probably not be able to get my money back from the rescue and I'm out the money I'm paying the dog walker for lost wages from her other jobs (she had to go to the hospital and get stitches). It could have been a lot worse. I am sad someone got injured and I will miss my new friend.

    • Apple Allen profile image

      Apple Allen 

      4 months ago from Alabama

      I read this because last week my dog, who was born in my house and grew up with my cats, grabbed one of the cats. I kept them separate for a few days thinking it was play that got out of hand. I allowed them to share space again and everything was ok for 2 days then yesterday it happened again. This time I was right there. Cat was on a chair (not one used by the dog, ever) & dog casually walked over & snatched the cat. I had to dig my thumb into the corner of the dogs eye to get him to drop the cat. Thank God the cat was ok but now I can't get near the dog. He freaks me out. I don't have a lot last enough home to keep them away from each other permanently. I don't know what to do.

    • profile image

      Urgh 

      4 months ago

      Ppl really are stupid when wanting to put down a dog after something happends like they kill a cat then let me ask how many mice bird etc have that cat killed becase its the same reaction and if you are afraid that something is gonna happend then both parties(if its you and a neighbor if not then one owning the animals) i mean if you got a cat and a bird its the same thing the cat is tho less tamed than a dog and if a dog does attack some cat or something dont blame the dog blame the owner for having control but as an example if a cat runs in to a dog then something might happend becase predatory instint and what do you know of a dog walking on a leash always ask if ypu kid want to pet it or anything we have had a kid literlly hurt a dog(kid was a little russian girl so whe couldent conversate) and the dog didint do anthing this dog later killed a chicken that escaped and predatory drive kicked in this dog would have killed an chihuaua if it got the chance she was very predatory but only thing ever to happend was 2 chickens that escaped we have a fence around or property and a closed of chicked part that it escaped from but its mostly up to the owner if your dog show sign of being very predatory then keep an eye out and if you got a small dog(that everyone think is okay only becase they are small they cant hurt anyone still most agresive dogs ive seen have been small dogs they are just not capaple of harmung that isint an excuse for not training it properly) so back to the subject dont leet dogs greet they normaly dont and you dont know how the other dog will react

    • MacCentris profile image

      MacCentris 

      4 months ago

      Dog attacks toward people were almost unheard of when dogs were kept in their place decades ago, in a dog house, outside. Nowadays people have dogs inside their house with their two year old babies. It is truly insane. While I do agree that small dogs and cats can be indoor animals, big dogs (the kind that kill) shouldn't be around anything they can kill. A dog in a yard or in the street, needs to be on a leash; so many attacks can be prevented if people listened to that. While I understand that dogs may not be evil, even when they tear something so beautiful as a small child, or a small pet; I do believe prevention is always necessary. Animals are unpredictable, all of them. A dog might just get annoyed for whatever reason. As mentioned, sometimes dogs attack seemingly without any provocation. We have bad days, we all do, dogs have bad days too. A dog might be upset for whatever reason, their chew toy being lost, a rainy day, too much noise, etc. Sometimes dog attack because they're grumpy too, like we sometimes can (we wont kill anyone or anything though because we know that life is precious) dog's couldn't care less about life values... as far as they're concerned, they've torn apart a whole bunch of chew toys and somehow they "keep coming back", that cat "can come back to life too" and we know that's not the case....

      I personally wouldn't own a large dog. People who own one for protection purposes, should get themselves a gun instead (I am against guns, but the day I decide to get an animal for protection I'd rather get a gun instead). If you want to have a dog for fun, get a small one that wont kill anything other than flies.

    • profile image

      Diana 

      5 months ago

      My neighbor’s dogs killed my beautiful cat on our yard. I don’t believe hat they should even be allowed to live with the way that they hurt him. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure the owners AND the dogs have some consequences. We recently found out that they killed more today. The only ones i remember was a mom and her kittens. The mom tried to stop them and save her kittens but they’ve murdered her and killed the kittens who were only around 3 weeks old. These dogs are too dangerous to have around the neighborhood and I want them to be done forever. This might sound bad but I want them to feel the same terror that they put on these poor cats. Legal actions is to happen so. We also texted the owners about it as they didn’t answer the calls to talk about how they killed our cat and the owner just said ‘it’s in their nature to kill cats’ and I don’t agree with that at all fin it was an ancident then the dogs would feel remorse but the fact is that they did it again and again so now animal control is being called on them and I can only hope that the dogs are put down completely and not just given up for adoption. Too many dogs are able to keep their ‘nature’ under control and it’s not fair that they live while all of these cats die.

    • profile image

      Guest 

      6 months ago

      Too many dogs are capable of controlling their “predatory instincts” for you not take the act seriously. If your dog can’t control it, then put them down, keep them away from cats or give them to someone that will use those instincts in a productive manner.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      9 months ago from USA

      Breezy, your concerns are not unfounded especially since these dogs have already killed a cat, and on top of that, your grandaughter got injured.

    • Breezy Robin profile image

      Breezy Robin 

      9 months ago

      My daughter acquired three rescued LARGE dogs (separately & at different times). She already had several house cats & a small breed Chihuahua mix. Out of the blue about a year ago, after the small dog began chasing the house cats, the large dogs began a relentless pursue of the cats. Yesterday, after someone in the house left the kitchen door open (to the living room & the large dogs), her beloved Isis cat was killed by the "pack" of dogs. // Just last week, one of the dogs attacked my granddaughter who just happened to be sitting on the couch spot where one of (most outwardly aggressive) the dogs liked to sleep. Unprovoked, she was bitten on the face (requiring an ER visit & stitches). I believe she now has some facial nerve damage but I'm being ignored. My daughter loves her big dogs but I'm totally freaked out by this behavior. They've turned into a "pack" and now, with this indoor kill, I'm afraid for the remaining kitty, the small dog, and of course my 11 y/old granddaughter... All four dogs wrestle, but in any one instance, if the small dog makes a certain sound, isn't it possible for the large dogs to experience this predatory drift, attack & kill the small dog? There are many warnings in this and other articles about how the dogs may have come to this place in time. I'm really afraid. My daughter can do nothing today, except to cry. I don't know if she's going to make any changes. I hope so. Those dogs need separated now.

    • Dragon Ed profile image

      Dragon Ed 

      9 months ago

      Dogs attack,, chase down and kill cats for pretty much the same reason that Great White sharks attack and kill human bathers (swimmers,, snorkelers,, scuba-divers,, etc..) in the ocean! Even though the action is outrageously horrible,,, it is really NOT the dog's fault,, or the shark's fault!! These aggressive,, potentially dangerous animals are predators by nature! It's hardwired into their blood and their genes to physically attack,, maul,,, chew up,, and kill, ANY living organism that appears to be WEAKER than they are,, (which is also,,, moving at the time). These animals do NOT have to be hungry to attack these smaller,, weaker beings. In a way,, they do these aggressive attacks for "Sport". A lot of times the dogs (AND the sharks) are very territorial. They question as to why these weaker beings so happen to be on the same turf (or same sea waters) where they feel is their own home. The dogs and the sharks are not (flagrantly) criminal minded or deliberately sadistic. They are doing what they are naturally bredded to do. Best thing we can do to avoid such unnecessary attacks (and deaths) is to (number one) do NOT let your cat wander astray,, outdoors,, and (number two) do NOT you yourself (or allow your loved ones to) swim ALONE in the ocean,, especially if it's early in the morning or right around dusk (and especially if you have an open cut on your skin). Also,, don't wear yellow or orange in the ocean.

    • profile image

      Not needed. 

      9 months ago

      my friend’s kitten got mauled by her dogs, it’s ribs were broken and then they peed all over her. my friend and her family are devastated as they’ve only had the kitten for 2/3 weeks. their dogs never acted violently to the previous cat (however that cat was outdoor, this kitten was indoor). they’ve considered getting rid of the dogs and they can’t even look at them, let alone spend any time around them. I personally would put the dog responsible down (they believe it was their jug dog as it’s part jack russell whom are aggressive in nature). it’s heartbreaking.

      once a dog attacks another animal (whether that’s a human, cat, or another dog etc) it should be put down - that kitten was so loveable and it will be missed so much.

    • profile image

      James 

      10 months ago

      Great article defending dogs. How about just put the mutt down. If my dog ever killed my cat 100% gonzo.

    • profile image

      mel 

      10 months ago

      I have a begal dog that grew up with my cat all of his life. Always lived peacefully. Never any signs of aggression. We left the house one day, came back two hours later and found my cat had passed because our dog attacked it. Its been several days now and I just cant seem to look at my dog the same way. It breaks my heart that he had done this and im still mourning my cat who was 12 yrs old. Im glad I read this as it gave me some insight and hopefully I can one day be close to my dog again. I love him but when i look in his eyes, it hurts. Thank you for the article.

    • profile image

      Unicorn 

      10 months ago

      How do you stop it

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      10 months ago from USA

      Person here 2day, yes there are many things dog owners can do to protect their kitties. As an owner of Rotties who have lived with cats peacefully, I can share some tips. Always be around when cats and dogs are together. When you must leave the house, keep cats in one room, dogs in the other. Cats should have access to "leave me alone" areas if dogs are in play mode and cats are not. Baby gates with a cat door opening at the bottom work great. Also, it helps a great deal growing kittens and puppies together from a young age, but if this is not an option, it helps to get a puppy with an adult cat and teach to respect kitty from a young age. And of course, choice of breed can help too, but again, there are no black and white rules.

    • profile image

      person here 2day 

      11 months ago

      I just got finished reading all the horror stories in the comments and it's making me reconsider getting a dog. I mean, I expect it with dogs with a higher prey drive, like terriers, but a lab? That's terrifying. Do you have any advice on how to have a dog and cat coexist peacefully in a household? I know dogs are not demonic and it is ridiculous to think so, but I really don't want any cats or other small animals in danger of being killed.

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      Bernie 

      11 months ago

      Great article...two weeks ago our gentle golden retriever attacked one of cats and hurt him so badly he had to be put down. I have been searching for answers ever since. I think your article has provided some explanation why this occurred after 2 years of living together in peaceful bliss. Wee mourn the loss of our Simba who we had for 2 decades and are attempting to forgive our Golden for his instinctive behavior. I believe food aggression was also involved. Thank you for this piece. It helped a great deal...

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      Doesn’t matter 

      11 months ago

      It’s not “the cat was taunting it” or “it’s past” my old dog was raised with cats (pit) and never attack our cat. This new pit we got had it when it was a baby and also had a cat when it was a baby. Recently the dog killed my cat. My cat never harmed or instigated. The dog was taken away from us. It always killed multiple cats but this cat was the one it was raised with. They would just be sitting there and the dog would try attacking. This cat I raised and was a very good and well trained cat. He knew more than the dumb dog. The cat knew to sit and roll over and my dog didn’t know it’s head from it’s butt. Now the cat is buried in the back yard and the dog is at the pound waiting to get adopted. It’s not fair and I will always wish that dog would get lethal injection.

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      Aly 

      12 months ago

      My son found our cat out in a field near our home being eaten by vultures. Earlier in the day my german shepherd and some neighbor dogs were chasing and teasing the cat. I assume that they killed my cat. The german shepherd is an older dog and can be aggressive when challenged. I have toddlers in my home and now don't know if I will keep my dog because of this incident. My fear is that the dog could attack or kill a child if the child touched his food or bothered him in any way.. is this a legitimate fear?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      13 months ago from USA

      Raquel, I wouldn't call him a disturbed dog just as we don't call a cat a disturbed cat for killing mice. Labeling behaviors doesn't help find the solution to the problem and it's not productive. Instead, it's important to prevent rehearsal of these behaviors (keep dog in fenced area, prevent access to animals) and train alternate behaviors (eg. heeling on leash, versus chasing).

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      Courtney 

      13 months ago

      My dog just killed my kitten that was only a few months old. It all happened so fast and I couldn't save her in time. I can't quite look at my dog the same now. I don't know what to do.

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      Raquel 

      13 months ago

      The article mentioned dissecting the animal. My dog skinned a cat, broke another's back, and even drowns birds when they are getting a drink from the water bucket. Is this considered dissecting or is this a disturbed dog?

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      Theresa 

      14 months ago

      My 1.5 year old female golden retriever/Yellow lab mix killed our beloved male indoor cat "Oscar" who was 4 years old. It has been 5 months since the horrible event and I miss having a cat around as I love them so much. Should I never own a cat while the dog is in our home? Will she do it again?

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      Kendra 

      14 months ago

      Hi so my 8 almost 9 month old Pharaoh Hound/ Staffordshire Terrier mix got a bit jealous as we took in a 10 week old kitten. It took a week for her to get used to him and finally she turned for the better and started playing with him slept with him cuddled him and groomed him. She has been doing super well. Well tonight my kitten instigated playtime and my dog got down in the floor and played with him gently. I was so proud and right when I was about to reward her she suddenly pinned my kitten down and ripped out a huge tuft of fur basically attempting to destroy him. I freaked and smacked her which made her let go then immediately separated them by putting her in her crate and the kitten in my arms. I didn't mean to smack her i just panicked. The kitten is okay aside from a bald spot and hurt feelings but I'm terrified to keep my kitten now. I don't want my sweet boy to die. She is a good dog but a problem dog at the same time as her breed is one of the more stubborn with training but she tries to be good. She is super sweet with my guinea pig and have played together happily for two months no problem. So why is she trying to kill my kitten? What do I do? I don't want to get rid of either of them nor do I want to sentence Grace to a life in her crate other than dog park time. She is so gentle with all animals and kids but for some reason wants to kill this kitten. What's the deal?

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      dave 

      14 months ago

      after having my dog for 3 years it now is attacking my cat who is 16 years old. The two use to lay next to each other. Does the dog sence that there is something wrong with the cat?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      14 months ago from USA

      Leah, as a past cat owner, I can feel your anger and upset over the incident. If a dog injured my cat to the point of killing her, I would be upset as well. All I can say is that time makes things more acceptable and that mourning goes through stages of anger, and then eventually acceptance. I am not sure what words I can offer really to relieve the pain and resent towards the dog, it's a tough situation. All I can think of is putting oneself in the shoes of a mouse owner who has their pet mouse killed by a cat. It's not like the cat is being cruel or anything, it's just the nature of things. The dog actually likely did not have a real intent to kill (unlike humans who commit murders intently every single day). When dogs play with toys, you will notice they will often shake them. It could be the dog was playing with the cat but things got too rough at some point. This shaking is an instinctual behavior just like a cat instinctively chases a string or ambushes a ball. It's all predatory drive that sometimes starts as play and then doesn't go as we would like. I am so sorry this has affected you. There are several supportive mourning groups that can help you move past the stage of resentment.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      14 months ago from USA

      If this is the only issue, it's always possible to re-home in a home with no cats and responsible dog owners.

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      Val 

      14 months ago

      My sons dog just ate his cat he wants to put him down I want to find someone who will take him he's a good dog for most part except this one cat other cat he never did this to only small fluffy one

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      Leah 

      14 months ago

      Hi, We have recently suffered a dog attack towards our cat, I notice most of the comments are towards owners with multiple pet house holds, however we just own cats, this particular cat was a healthy 15 year- very slow and non wandering... I was cat sitting for family till they were in a better position to take their

      3 cats back (two died a month earlier to natural causes) I do take notice were the animals are and was home at attack but didn't see anything, our vet informed us it was a dog after much debate and showed us the teeth marks from the shaking kill and we were forced to accept this is what happend, we learnt days later that there was no hope and the injuries were too bad...now my perception has changed deeply for dogs with even developing fear towards them.... I notice that the article is heavy directed towards dog owners, but do you have any tips for cat owners that have been traumatised by such an event as there is little support over the web that isn't a cats vs dog attitude? and its very clear that some people are still affected by past accidents and they are raging and trying to place blame on all dogs and owners...I don't want to have that attitude but its hard to accept that there is no responsibility over the attack.... no changes if a fence damage and the way the family handles the dog, with no-one coming forward I would appreciate any advice you could give so I can move forward and over come this violent death that i had no control over? Thanks

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      15 months ago from USA

      Jasmine, so sorry for your loss. It must feel devastating. Sending my condolences.

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      Jasmine 

      15 months ago

      My poor cat dusti got attacked by a labradoodle that escaped from there front door. The dog crushed her leg so badly we had to do the best decision and put her down.. it was a devestating day.miss her terribly

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      Bagmax 

      16 months ago

      I agree with Carolyn. Why defend dogs? Like you all say, it's literally in their nature and they were bred to hunt.

      I had 4 rabbits, as well as 2 outside cats. One day, a dog came into the yard and bit through the rabbit cage. He got Camo, the mother rabbit.

      The dog basically bit her in half and chewed her to pieces while she was still alive. I thought this was because Camo was pregnant, but the next day, the dog came back.

      He got our kitten, Lilly and did the same thing to her.

      A few months later, the same dog bit through our new cage and got 2 more rabbits.

      We found one body under a bush missing her head with her intestines and hind legs lying a few feet away.

      My favorite rabbit,Lupin, was still missing. We found pieces of him and bits of fur all over. My brother shot at the dog with an air soft gun and it hasn't come back since, but if it does, I don't care.

      I'm going to be the one to end that monster's rampage. Dogs are demons and their predatory instincts will never go away.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      17 months ago from USA

      Elizabeth, it's hard to say. Dogs and cats as animals can be unpredictable at times. My Rotties have been splitting our cat fights but always when we are around. This never escalated. The cats stop fighting or move away and it all ends there. I don't know what they would do though if the fighting persists or if they would get hurt. Our cats don't have serious fights, just little squabbles. There are always risks for things to go wrong. Like the cats may be so aroused that they startle when the dog intervenes and scratch the dog or jump on him. What will the dog do? Fight back? or leave? To play it safe, when we are out, kitties are closed in our large room and dogs in another.

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      ElizabethMT 

      18 months ago

      We have three cats and a dog. All the animals are indoor / outdoor, and since we live in a rural area, they have a lot of room to roam. The cats are all working animals, and we rely on them for rodent control. Our dog is a two year old, un-spayed female, and is a mix of three herding breeds (Corgie, Border Collie, and Blue Heeler).

      The dog seems to have adopted the cats as her "herd". For the most part the cats have learned not to run when the dog comes near them, and the dog has learned to respect their claws. Problems have been minimal so far. However, the dog sometimes evidences the behavior I've seen you describe as "Hall Monitor Syndrome" with them, particularly when they're fighting with each other. Should we permit this or discourage it? Is it a normal part of her instinct to take care of her herd, or could it potentially lead to more aggressive behavior towards the cats? Please advise.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      18 months ago from USA

      Andrea, sounds like you have a busy household! any way you can keep them separated when you are away?

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      Andrea horton 

      18 months ago

      My puppy is 11 weeks old. But got up this morning and my cats ear as been bit and bleeding then while I was cleaning him up the pup wouldn't leave my other cat alone even tho she was hissing at him. I now don't know what to do cause I also have 4 kids which 2 are under 5. I can't be in 24 hours of the day to keep a eye on them due to school runs and shopping. Do I get rid of him now while he's still pup?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      18 months ago from USA

      Theresa, it is very difficult to predict how animals may behave at times, and I really cannot tell you whether the Shepherd's relationship with your terrier will ever deteriorate to such a point as to becoming concerning. There are several things you can do though to reduce the chances of problems, monitoring closely, having an emergency plan such as keeping a bottle of Spray Shield handy should ever a fight ensue, training both dogs to respond to a positive interrupter when play gets too rough etc. You can always have a trainer watch their interactions to determine whether it can be problematic, even though really no predictions can be made. It's ultimately also a matter of personal comfort, some owners let small dogs play with large dogs, others prefer keeping them separated for fear of injury. I can understand your concern with the disconcerting scene you witnessed today. Most likely the shepherd can tell a dog apart from a cat, but there's always that bit of risk or predatory drift. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-Behavior-Understan...

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      Theresa Zimmerman 

      18 months ago

      I have a fox terrier chihuahua mix and he is the sweetest dog ever. I also dog-sit a lovely registered German Shepard. My dog and the shepard are best buddies. My dog is quick and nimble, thus when playing the Shepard is no match. It's quite comical. They play all day, nap together, and I feed them separately. There has never been a fuss. We have a very large fenced yard. This morning I witnessed the most horrible site ever. A momma cat (a stray) had made her nest under the corner of my neighbors house. It was my off day from sitting the Shepard and I was sitting having my coffee, and noticed the shepard was outside of her house, with another dog Trying to get under the house. I knew that's where the cat and her kittens we, so I did my best to get out there as quickly as possible (I am partially disabled), but in the short a time, the dogs had killed the cat AND her kittens. I am horrified. Now I'm afraid for the Shepard to play the chase game with my terrier. After reading this article, I can see that this behavior fits this dog to a tee! The Shepard has always rough housed with my dog, but never aggressively. And my dog loves it. But after seeing what happened this morning. I'm very worried. The "chase" is the major aspect of my dogs playing. Should I be this worried, or is it because of what I witnessed today?

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      Horrific day I will never forget 

      18 months ago

      My male dog killed my cat this morning while I tried to pull him off of her. This is the second time I two months he has attacked her. They have lived together harmoniously for 10 years so I'm baffled and so upset. We rushed the cat to the E.R. but her injuries and advanced age (15 years old) she had to be put down. We did put our dog down as well which is double the pain. I do think we made the right decision and somehow finding some solace that I am not the only one that has witnessed such a horrific event! I now have a lonesome female dog that I cherish and she no longer has her brother to keep her company as they were best of buds.

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      Edwardekirk@btinternet.com 

      19 months ago

      My jack russell is wanting to harm my new puppy. It is a different breed a labradoodle. How can I stop this please. Ed

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      No name Jo 

      21 months ago

      I had this happen, my 2 year old dog killed our kitten, and up till that moment there were no problems. They slept together, our dog let him eat and drink from his bowls. It made no sense at the time and my step-daughter blamed the dog wanting him put down or re homed. I love my dog and I was upset, I really did love the kitten a lot. But I had to keep reminding myself that they are not people. My dog loves chasing squirrels in the back yard. And when the kitten got running around the house, he probably resembled one. My dog is at boarding school right now learning manners. It will give the rest of the family some time to decompress. I miss my dog and I pray nothing like this happens again. We do have another cat but he generally doesn't run very frequently. And he can handle the dog. But I will take care to separate them when nobody is around.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      21 months ago from USA

      JBeaudoin, I am so sorry for your loss. As a cat owner who lost an older cat recently as well (this was from old/age disease) I can feel how terrible it must feel to have witnessed such a thing. It sounds like though your dog didn't really kill your cat directly in the sense of shaking him until the neck breaks as that's the way most dogs kill cats, but instead triggered a seizure that led to the death of cat. If your cat was healthy and not so frail, he would have probably survived this squabble. This doesn't make things better of course, but just something worth pondering.

      It sounds like your dog may have been acting protective of you, or was in conflict with having the cat climb up and share your attention and the couch, so if there are other cats in the house, this is something that may repeat. You may need to keep cats and dogs separated to prevent further occurrences along with really working hard on training the leave it cue and other cues that help you gain your dog's immediate attention, if worse comes to worse and management strategies would fail one day. But with all these recent changes, stress has likely played a role as well both for the dogs and the cats.

      Feeling resentment towards the dog won't help change things, it must be remembered that when we introduce several animals into our homes there are always risks and as hard as we try to make everybody get along, there are always chances for mishaps and accidents. All that we can do is be proactive and take these episodes as learning lessons to prevent future accidents from happening. I wished there were better options, but from what I am understanding there are chances this can repeat.

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      JBeaudoin 

      21 months ago

      Hi, great article, thank you. I recently had an incident where my dog had injured my older very frail cat to the point where I had to put the cat down. My dog, who is a rescue, has lived with my 2 cats for the entire 4 years Ive had him. My cat, who Ive had for 15 years, didn't adjust well to change of having a dog in the house and would attack the dog if it came by him. Over time my dog would shy away from interacting with the cat, even passing by in a hallway my dog would stop until the cat himself moved. As more time passed, my dog would become more aggressive toward the cat if he attacked or swatted at him. Amazingly the dog got along well with the other cat, who happens to be female. Although they've had skirmishes, they get along pretty well. Up to this point, my dog never outright attacked one of them if they were just passing by him. Enter my girlfriend, who has two cats of her own. We decided to get a place together after a year and a half of dating. This was a very stressful adaptation for all involved. There had been a few territorial skirmishes throughout with different animals vs another and my dog, bless his heart, tried to not get involved with any of it, sticking by my side all the time. However, there were some instances where the cats would swipe at my dog if he walked by, and if they lunged at him, a fight would break out. Within the past year, my dog has begun to attack just as they walk by him. He'd grab their neck and shake just enough until they run off, but each time it happened it got a little worse, and we'd punish/scold the dog. During all this, my older cat was getting weaker in declining health with a thyroid issue that really depleted his fat and muscle mass over the past year and a half and hadn't attacked my dog in the past few months as in the past - seems he became more tolerant, more trusting of the dog or lacked the energy - or a combination of the three. Yesterday, my dog was lying next to me as I sat on the couch. My older cat walked by and decided he wanted to come up on the couch too. I think he trusted that the dog wouldn't do anything, but as he jumped up to the couch my dog attacked him, sending my cat into a seizure that he wouldn't recover from.

      It's been rough trying to recover from the event, and I'm having a hard time dealing with the dog right now. I know its not his fault. I know that he needs training (which he's had none). He's been a really good boy except on maybe three occasions when he attacked first out of nowhere and that's only been since we've added the two new cats. I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and need advice on how to move forward with my dog and our relationship. I love that guy, but him injuring my cat that I'd had for 15 years really has sent me reeling and feeling different about him ;(

    • profile image

      JBeaudoin 

      21 months ago

      Hi, great article, thank you. I recently had an incident where my dog had injured my older very frail cat to the point where I had to put the cat down. My dog, who is a rescue, has lived with my 2 cats for the entire 4 years Ive had him. My cat, who Ive had for 15 years, didn't adjust well to change of having a dog in the house and would attack the dog if it came by him. Over time my dog would shy away from interacting with the cat, even passing by in a hallway my dog would stop until the cat himself moved. As more time passed, my dog would become more aggressive toward the cat if he attacked or swatted at him. Amazingly the dog got along well with the other cat, who happens to be female. Although they've had skirmishes, they get along pretty well. Up to this point, my dog never outright attacked one of them if they were just passing by him. Enter my girlfriend, who has two cats of her own. We decided to get a place together after a year and a half of dating. This was a very stressful adaptation for all involved. There had been a few territorial skirmishes throughout with different animals vs another and my dog, bless his heart, tried to not get involved with any of it, sticking by my side all the time. However, there were some instances where the cats would swipe at my dog if he walked by, and if they lunged at him, a fight would break out. Within the past year, my dog has begun to attack just as they walk by him. He'd grab their neck and shake just enough until they run off, but each time it happened it got a little worse, and we'd punish/scold the dog. During all this, my older cat was getting weaker in declining health with a thyroid issue that really depleted his fat and muscle mass over the past year and a half and hadn't attacked my dog in the past few months as in the past - seems he became more tolerant, more trusting of the dog or lacked the energy - or a combination of the three. Yesterday, my dog was lying next to me as I sat on the couch. My older cat walked by and decided he wanted to come up on the couch too. I think he trusted that the dog wouldn't do anything, but as he jumped up to the couch my dog attacked him, sending my cat into a seizure that he wouldn't recover from.

      It's been a rough time trying to recover from the event, and I'm having a hard time dealing with the dog right now. I know its not his fault. I know that he needs training (which he's had none). He's been really good except on maybe three occasions when he attacked first out of nowhere and that's only been since we've added the two new cats. I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and need advice on how to move forward with my dog and our relationship. I love that dog, but him injuring my cat that I'd had for 15 years really has sent me reeling.

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      Anyomonus 

      21 months ago

      I know that now my dog killed my cat from instincts, but can I still revive the 5 WEEK OLD kitten? (This happend about two months ago. )

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      22 months ago from USA

      Actually, many cats won't eat mice, had a couple who never even tried to eat them. It's pure instinct and what's wrong in our eyes isn't wrong for them. As humans, it's scary that many of us hunt not for food, nor for instinct, but for pleasure. And that is plain wrong if we look at moral and what is right or wrong. I am very sorry for your loss if the cats were yours.

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      Huh? 

      22 months ago

      They may not have morals, but they do know when what they do is right or wrong. What would you say for a dog that entered your yard and kills the mother cat and her child? instinct? When a cat kills a mice it's for food.. Now that dog sure didn't eat the cats it killed, and it was in the home of the cats it killed them, not the dogs territory.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      22 months ago from USA

      Disannec, so sorry for your loss, it may take some time to accept it. Please don't blame yourself. We trust our instincts and think our animals may sort things out but things can be very misleading at times. Reminds me of when as a child we had several fish that were born in our aquarium and we were very fond of. Our neighbor asked us if we could watch her fish (going by the name of Claire), and we decided to let them share the aquarium. Claire was much bigger than ours, but they got along well all day and swam side-to side. Reassured, we went to sleep and big mistake we woke up and ALL of our fish were gone! When she picked Claire up, she had almost doubled in size and we told her the story and she couldn't believe it.

    • Disannec profile image

      Disannec 

      22 months ago

      We have alot of cats and dogs and we all live together and get on as a family. My cats live upstairs and the girl dogs live in the main house. The boy dog lives with poopy the kitty downstairs and everything is great. We rescued Percy the kitten recently so he was kept with us in teh main living area and one of our dogs adopted him and it was really sweet. This morning we found percy dead. Evie our other dog killed him. She is terratorial and jelous, we watched he like a hawk for 2 weeks and when Percy even started to share he bed we were very proud of her... but last night she killed hi...and I'm absolutely devastated. She has been banned from her bed and sent to teh stairs and we are ignoring her. Its al I could do to stop my husband killing her. I don't blame her, but I'm so so sad. it's our fault for being naive I guess. We thought everyone understood each other. Fatal mistake. Living with the fallout is difficult. I cant look at my dog the same way again, even though I know it was our fault...we knew that she was unpredictable...my heart is so heavy today...

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      Caroline 

      24 months ago

      I have had 1cat attacked 1 cat killed by my staffy that we had for seven years , he's fine with them in the house but when there outside he will attack them he's well behaved he gets walked 2 a day he just hate cats , he tried to get our rag doll cat last night but the cat got away , seriously thinking of getting rid of him for this reason , very had when you love both cats and dogs the same . Just don't want to lose another cat

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      SLM-MD, please see a force-free dog trainers/behavior consultant if you feel your dog cannot be trusted around your granddaughters.

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      Grace 

      2 years ago

      So if dogs should be killed for killing cats, then cats should be killed for killing mice. Fair? Nobody is defending dogs, it's just trying to understand them, many dogs were bred to hunt, what's unfair is expecting dogs who for years were used as hunting partners, to love cats and adhere to our same moral values.

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      Carolyn 

      2 years ago

      I have a dog and three cats. What is wrong with you people defending dogs? A dog may not have human morals, but if it is killing a cat, it deserves to be killed. It is dangerous stop making excuses you trapped your poor cats with it take responsibility and dont allow it to happen again.

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      Grace 

      2 years ago

      Animallover22, just as you may forgive your cats for killing mice, you must forgive your dogs for killing your kitty. Dogs are animals, and not people in furry clothes, sometimes instincts take over. I don't know what happened exactly to your cat, but since there was a head shake and several dogs acting together, it sounded like predatory behavior. So sorry for your loss.

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      Slm-md 

      2 years ago

      I have four dogs and 2 cats. I came home from work to find one of my dogs out of her cage and one of my cats dead with his throat ripped out. I've had this dog for her entire lifetime- 6 years. I've never had a dog like her. She exhibits alpha behavior with smaller animals by standing over them in an aggressive manner. if one of the other animals shows signs of "weakness" she is all over them and has to be pulled off.

      I have two young granddaughters and she also does the alpha stance over them. I really don't feel as though she can be trusted around anything weaker than she is.

      What do you suggest doing?

    • Adelaide Porter profile image

      Michele Clarke 

      2 years ago from California

      We are in a period of transition, My husband and I as well as my oldest son who used to take care of the dog who did this and my two youngest sons moved to CA and left 3 of my other adult children still at our old home while we find a home with our dogs and cats. For a very long time we just had 2 dogs plus the cats and then over the summer in Jume my son and daughter each got a dog so now there are 4 dogss plus my cats. The one cat I adopted gave birth 3 weeks ago and she had chosed a box to keep her babies in. For ssome reason my sons girlfriend went into my room, where most of the cats are, a few are out with the dogs, and she emptied out the box not realizing that my favorite kitten was still inside, she brough the box into the hallway where the kitten fell out and Blackie killed my kitten. We have had blackie for 5 years we saved him from the pound on his last day he is a malamute/husky. He usually comes in and sees my cats supervised only when there are no kittens and he loves the cats he cuddles with them and sleeps with them and cleans them. Now I am devestated and dont know what to do. I can't get rid of Blacky or my cats and I am not there to supervise anything soo I am so afraid now that he has the taste of cat blood will he go for more?

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      Brandy 

      2 years ago

      I am so sad, yet grateful I found this site. Just a little earlier my sweet 8 year old son discovered our male cat deceased in his bedroom. It was highly traumatic for him, his brother & my husband & I. We were baffled. We had been out for a bit taking the kids for a ride in our brand new van. We surprised them with it when they got home from school. We left in a hurry just to take a little ride & didn't realize we had left our dogs out. Our terrier can open the door and she often does to come inside. This left the kitchen door to the fenced yard open, and I'm assuming our cat sauntered out onto the deck or into the yard. Our hound is a big chaser and she "bugs" the cats if she can, but has lived with them for the 4.5 years we've had her. We use gates to let the cats stay on the other side of the house, but at night they sleep on my bed just fine together. Our cat's fur was all damp as if he'd been mouthed on. We didn't see any wounds. After reading here our best guess is our cat went out and the hound chased him & the terrier must have joined, which sets off the hound more. All I can imagine is that maybe she did the grab and shake. I think the cat got away and ran back through the open door into the house, and maybe went to my boys room and passed there (maybe a heart attack)..unless the dog chased him back in, but we are pretty sure the gates were up separating that part of the house from the dogs. Regardless, we are devastated..never knew this could happen. I will certainly keep the dogs separated from now on. :(

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      animallvr22 

      2 years ago

      I found your site while looking for solice after the unthinkable happened 2 days ago. I too am mourning my cat and dogs even though the dogs are still here. My dogs and cats have lived in harmony my whole life. We have a horse ranch with 4 dogs (lab and 3 malamutes) and 5 cats. The cats and dogs have shared the back yard with no problems. My favorite cat Honey follows me around like a dog even goes on walks with them. She was in the barn under a step while I was closing the pasture gate when I heard her hiss and the ensuing commotion. I saw the 3 malamutes (all raised with the cats and under 2 years old) on her, she could not escape the triangle. I ran to her aid trying to pull the dogs off her, but was not strong enough and out numbered. After the final head shake it was over, but in my heart I feel like I have lost all 4 pets. Understanding the prey instinct and the fact that dogs do not have a moral compass have helped but I still cannot honestly go out and love on those dogs. I have never witnessed aggression from them. Prior to reading your article I suppose I did think they understood that we all live together and respect each other, and would never hurt one another. Moving forward I am looking to forgiving myself and the dogs for Honey's death. Would love advise. The dogs are very sweet however I view them as killers now. Cats and dogs will be separated from now on as I do not want a repeat encounter.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hard to say, as to some dogs small animals appear like prey and this may sometimes include small dogs. Killing a cat during play sounds more like an accident though, you will need to know more about what exactly happened. Did he bite to hard? hold the cat and shake? fall over the cat, lied over the cat?

    • profile image

      christoph32 

      2 years ago

      Hi. Need some advice. I have always wanted a Doberman and have been presented with an opportunity to adopt one that needs a home. Problem: This Doberman has had very little socializing and has killed a cat during play. I have no cats but have 3 small dogs. I would always supervise but is this endangering my pets? I am unsure if a dogs reaction to cats will differ from the reaction to small dogs.

    • profile image

      BHOLD 

      2 years ago

      Hey CKOLB, we had the exact thing happen to us. It was TERRIBLE - and traumatic. My first instinct was "I'm going to kill those dogs!!" that didn't last more than 1 minute. I was mad at my dogs too. I called the vet hysterical to try and get some sense of what on earth could've happened. He said one dog may have egged on the other one (who we hadn't had as long) and that unfortunately it happens. When two dogs are together, their instincts (hunting & killing) can be triggered so its not like they were planning and scheming to do this. I couldn't heal until I forgave the pups. Now we keep them separate when we leave the house. We will not trust them again alone with the cats. I'm so so sorry it happened, but just remember that they are animals - just operating on instincts and more than likely did not intend to hurt your cat. I hope you can forgive your dogs. They probably don't even know why you're upset (like our dogs). It is so so tough...and sad to see your sweet beloved animal dead - due to another beloved pet - doing what comes completely natural to them.

    • profile image

      CKOLB 

      2 years ago

      My husband and I came home yesterday to our dear cat dead from a bite to the head. We have two dogs that we love very much, they have all lived together for 6 years. They had some issues years ago of chasing after we had moved, and we separated them, but they started getting along again after the stress of moving went away and we stopped separating them when we left. I feel so guilty I don't now what to do. I feel like I lost all of my pets because I can't even look at or touch my dogs. We are heartbroken. Any experience or advice anyone has on forgiving my dogs and moving on is appreciated. I don't want to feel this way towards my dogs for the rest of our lives. Our pets are our children.

    • profile image

      susanlavespere 

      2 years ago

      Why does my chihuahua like the top of her paws until they are pink?

    • profile image

      fiyoung 

      2 years ago

      Hi, I also have 3 cats and after loads of research have introduced a little cross breed puppy. I can see it is going to take alot of patience and training to stop the puppy from wanting to play/chase the cats. I absolutely adore my cats and they will sit in the room with puppy as long as one of us is there. I think they know we wouldn't let anything happen to them but at the same time they know the puppy could hurt them. She chases them if she can, particularly in the garden. They have to understand the house and the garden is still their territory. The puppy has to see you loving your cats so she knows she is not the most important thing in your life. Put a stair gate up so that they have access to upstairs and the dog does not. I would be lying if I said I am not anxious about the situation, I naively thought the cats would give the puppy a bit of hissing and she would learn not to go too close but the dog will grow bigger than them and has the potential to kill. These things can be addressed at training classes. Any further advice from anyone else who has experienced this would be gratefully received

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Management is your best friend to keep your cats safe.

    • profile image

      Anne 

      2 years ago

      Hi ..I've a real problem.I have three cats..live indoors mot of the time.My partner is intending moving in to live with me and he has two terriers. I am so terribly worried that one of the terriers a feisty and adorable little dog is going to rip my cats apart,I love my three cats and he loves his two dogs ..in fact we both love our animals however I just don't know what to do.I really don't want my poor cats displaced or worse injured or killed.Any ideas anyone? I'd love to hear what you think would be best.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      Thanks all for commenting and sharing stories. My friend once had a husky who killed all their ducks and lined them up neatly by their door. Her husband was so upset he got his rifle and was ready to shoot the poor husky. Luckily my friend stopped him on time. A dog's ancient roots must be remembered. Huskies were often sent off in the winter to fend for themselves and this meant they had to kill prey.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Alexadry. We have three dogs and four cats that get along fine most of the time but if the cats move suddenly it sets the dogs instinct off and they will set chase..usually just a game and none of them get hurt, but two of the dogs chased and killed about six of our chickens once and our daughters two Siberian huskies once killed her cat. Good and informative hub.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      3 years ago from California Gold Country

      We had a large yard with a couple of Labs and a few ducks, which all got along well together for quite some time. The dogs would occasionally steal a duck egg. The male duck (which might have been part goose?) would occasionally sneak up behind a dog and give him a poke in the rear end.

      One day we came home to find the "goosing " duck dead of a broken neck and the yard looked like a feather bed explosion.

      It was perhaps inevitable, and the dog had finally had enough. We decided it was best to keep them separated.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have been around animals a lot of years and never knew a dog to kill a cat. Many times we may have a dog chase a cat and usually the cat took care of themselves but if it looked like the dog may hurt the cat we would scold or punish the dog. Then there would never be trouble after that. You have to have dogs that mind I say or of course they can be a danger to your family or maybe others.

      I knew of a lady who had a little girl and got it a pup (pit bull) right away and they were about five years old and that dog tore the little girls face off.

      I would never keep a disobedient animal; they only spell trouble and could be fatal to more than cats.

    • bigj1969 profile image

      John Marshall 

      3 years ago from glasgow

      Great hub,I am a dog and cat lover.but I know deep down they are wild animals at heart,they can all turn.you just pray that they don't.

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