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Why Did My Dog Kill My Cat?

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

Best friends or deadly enemies?

Best friends or deadly enemies?

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

Let's face it, it's inevitable for a dog owner to perceive their dog differently after their dog ends up killing someone'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 and other animals? Are my children at risk now?"

Dog owners are often 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 that they feel like they own a monster. They may 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, you have to consider that 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.

The Predatory Drive and Your Dog's Ancestry

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.

Consider getting your dog some professional support.

Consider getting your dog some professional support.

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

— Nicholas H. Dodman.

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.

The High of the Hunt

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."

Your dog still deserves to be loved and supported after any accidents.

Your dog still deserves to be loved and supported after any accidents.

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 that 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. Fleeing often induces dogs to chase and instincts may sometimes kick in.
  • 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 have medical 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.

In preying on a small animal, regardless of species, a dog will commonly run at the animal, grab it in its mouth, and give it a vigorous shake while biting hard. Death can result from the crushing of various internal organs caused by the bite or from dislocation and fracture of vertebrae caused by the shaking.This can happen rapidly, and even the presence of humans who try to quickly interfere can be inadequate.

— Sharon L. Crowell-Davis, veterinary behaviorist

How to Move on After Your Dog Kills

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 sometimes, 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.


  • Understanding Behavior: The Multispecies Household Behavior March 2008 (Vol 30, No 3) by Sharon L. Crowell-Davis , DVM , PhD , DACVB
  • Pet Place, Predatory Aggression in Dogs, Nicholas Dodman

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: My sister insisted giving her dogs free access to my house with a dog door, but she was supposed to secure her dogs away from the rest of the house so they wouldn't get to my cat. She failed. My cat was killed by one of the dogs. I want the dog euthanized. Why is that response to a dog killing my cat drastic?

Answer: The mistake was mostly your sister's poor management. The dog shouldn't pay the price. Responsible dog ownership entails keeping dogs under control and preventing other people or other animals from being harmed and private property from being damaged. Killing small animals can be highly instinctive in some dogs. In some dogs, prey drive is very strong and some dog breeds have even been selectively bred to kill small furry animals. Others, they are rough and don't realize the impact of their teeth. Regardless, we don't put cats to sleep for killing mice (even if the mice were cherished pets) and the dynamics are similar. We are talking instincts, highly related to survival and years of selective breeding, which is different from the deliberate killing humans do.

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

Answer: 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.

Question: 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.

Answer: 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.

Question: My dog grew up with three cats with no problems. We have this cat in the neighborhood that torments him and comes into our yard. Sadly the cat was in our yard again and my dog got hold of him and killed him. Will my cats be at risk now too?

Answer: This can be very difficult to predict. In general, we would assume that stranger cats are killed because the dog perceives them as invading their territory, they are not part of their social group and dogs instinctively chase and grab fleeing animals. However, we never know what may go into an animal's mind at every given moment. Chances are, he knows your cats well enough and has accepted them for a long time, that it would never come into his mind to harm them. But there are also stories of dogs and cats living together for many years and then one day, out of the blue, something goes wrong. I would feel hesitant to let your cats in the yard (if they are allowed to) for a while, just because this episode is so "fresh." Supervision is always a must when having cats and dogs. With my cats and dogs, they were always kept separated when we were not actively supervising.

Question: My dog has never hurt an animal before or got into a fight but a dog bit her. The next day she was in the back garden and a cat came in and she went for it, she was chasing it up and down the garden, but the cat climbed out and didn't seem too hurt. We have 2 cats and always have kids in our house and my mother seems to think that since the dog attacked her shes now traumatized and will attack anything or anyone if she feels uncomfortable and wants the dog put down. Could this be the case?

Answer: Dogs are animals, and as animals, we can never really predict their behaviors. Does this mean he will attack kids because of the trauma of the dog bite? Not necessarily, but can we can ascertain this 100 percent? Never, because we don't know how dogs may react when they are stressed. For safety, no cats or kids should ever be around your dog unsupervised, and they should never be allowed to do things a dog might not like, regardless of whether there was a recent attack or not, regardless of breed, regardless of how long the dog has been owned, regardless of size. I am sorry but unfortunately I cannot predict how your dog may react to cats or kids and the cat chasing behavior may or may not be related to the recent dog bite. Many dogs will chase unknown cats if they are in their yards. Every dog is an individual and therefore responds differently to stress. I would definitely have a dog behavior professional asses the dog if you there are any concerns to play it safe.

Question: The dog and cat were fine, and then out of nowhere, he mauled her, what could've caused that?

Answer: It difficult to know what may have happened exactly. Did they live together with no issues for some time? Or were they new to each other? Here are just a few possibilities: your dog had pain somewhere and redirected by lashing towards the cat, the cat went close to your dog's resource, maybe your cat had some sort of seizure you weren't aware of, your cat smelled different from being at the vet or someplace else, they were playing and your dog got too rough, your dog has been stressed lately, he wasn't trustable near cats in the first place and he learned not to attack in your presence but the moment you moved away he attacked, the cat entered the dog's territory, the dog is protective of you or a family member, the cat did something that triggered the dog's prey drive. Of course, there are many more possibilities. So sorry this has happened.

Question: We have 4 dogs and 2 cats, all adopted from a local shelter. We then rescued 4 cats from another country 9 months ago. My shepherd who joined our family at a young age and with 2 cats already in the house, has killed two of the cats we rescued from another country. Do you have any advice for me?

Answer: It's unfortunate, but things can get quite challenging when we put together dogs and cats that are not perceived as part of the "family." Dogs and cats should always be supervised and never be left alone and this applies as well to animals we know to have a history of getting along. You had quite a large amount of pets (4 dogs and 6 cats total at one time) and it's not easy to monitor them all, but this is important for the sake of safety for all.

Question: My dog killed a cat that was in my garden, it was barking at the cat and the cat was defending itself but hissing and going to scratch my dog. Will my dog do it again?

Answer: It's hard to say. Perhaps yes, if he/she would meet a cat in a similar context (being in the garden and with he cat hissing and threatening to scratch). As the saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." I would, therefore, make sure your dog is always supervised when outside and that any cat owners nearby securely confine their cats or put more secure fencing to prevent future mishaps.

© 2015 Adrienne Farricelli


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 02, 2020:

Hi Heartbroken, so sorry for your loss. It could be that she allowed the kittens to nurse when she was undergoing a false pregnancy. During this time, dogs are under the influence of potent hormones which makes them more prone to maternal behaviors. It could be that now she didn't have the hormone shift and therefore her attitude towards them changed. I would suggest always supervising al interactions between cats and dogs, and with your poodle's recent history, separated her from any kittens. Once again, so sorry.

Heart broken on September 02, 2020:

My poodle is 7 years old and has always loved kittens. She has never had puppies but would let the kittens suckle on her and she would develop milk. My granddaughter's cat had kittens and my poodle killed them. I don't understand why this happened. Any advice?

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on August 22, 2020:

I have several dogs, and it's not uncommon for my dogs to chase a passing motorcycle on the road from one end of our yard to the other within the safety of our fence. I've watched my dogs engage in pack behavior when a neighbor's cat comes into the yard. They stalk him, signal each other, and rally to chase the feline off our property. Those who don't understand should read about African wild dogs who will kill or chase a lion out of their territory to protect their young or to hunt for food. This was an interesting article, and I will warn my neighbor again about her cat crossing into a yard where a pack lives. I will encourage her to read your article. Thanks.

TSD on August 08, 2020:

You guys are doing exactly what the article said. Anthropomorphizing and placing human values on animals. Why is a dog a "murderer" for killing a cat, yet the cat isn't for killing a bird or mouse?

Dogs, and cats for that matter, don't have the same "hierarchy" of life value. Humans tend to have. i.e. a typical human may have no problem killing bugs, spiders, pest animals (mice, rats etc). However, may refrain from indiscriminately killing animals we view as "higher". Animals don't have this same value system.

I tend to concur however, I would not keep cats with dogs. Even if they have been together since birth. No matter how well they seem to "get on" they aren't the same species and don't have the same instincts in regard to interacting with each other like 2 dogs raised together would.

Jeff24518 on May 12, 2020:

Any idea why it happened. My cat who had dissabled legs that bent inwards was in her usual hiding spot. When my sisters two german shepherd pit bull mixed hunted her through the spot. I tried holding them down while the cat ran for it but they broke loose anyways. She was caught almost able to climb out of the back yard before she was snatched just before i could body shield her while she got up. I tried to get the dogs off and could only manage one off but to no use it just went back. No one heard me yelling for help and i gave up after seeing her last breath get taken. It still haunts me that in that moment i could do nothing. I want these dogs euthanized due to the fact that they are agressive towards anyone and that i have been bit and had blood drawn many times. Even if you say its wrong if they go after another cat im going to either 1. Shoot them, or 2. Choke them either to death or they let go of the cat. 3. Fight in what ever court thingy i need for them to be euthanized, 4, use a taser on them to shock them to stop with a dog friendly taser.

Nah on May 05, 2020:

What's up with all the dog hate? And the one person writing about low IQ? I could barely understand what they were trying to convey because of their very poor grammar. On top of that, the astounding lack of logic and leaps of imagination being shown by some of these dog haters is ludicrous. I have cats, dogs, hamsters, and fish. One cat ate two of my fish. Should I put the cat down? Heck no. And what happens when my dog realizes the one cat isn't playing with her and cuts her too deep? I'll come home to a dead cat. It's effin nature. It sucks, but it's a part of life. Ffs some here are a bunch of really poorly adapted adults.

Dalton on April 13, 2020:

My dogs have killed 3 of my 5 cats these past 3 years. They were raised with them outdoors. They've developed a strong pack mentality the Alpha being my German Shepherd. They follow his lead and he liked cats as a pup but something changed when he reached full maturity. I'm afraid i have no choice but to get him fixed like my other 2. I also am going to use a shock collar i will no longer deal with this i need both dogs and cats to coexist. I've tried they have given me no choice.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 29, 2020:

Poor kitty, he sounds in a bad shape! In general, bites can easily become infected especially if there is a puncture, and if large, may require stitches. Antibiotics may be needed to prevent an abscess. With cats hard to catch, you can try using a live trap to trap him. Animal control or a local humane society may lend you one. Then at the vet, he can be sedated to flush out the wound and be given antibiotics and stitches if needed.

gloria robbins on March 28, 2020:

the neighbor dog torn the cat in 2 places on his back each tear is about 4 inches you can see the eat protruding out of the tears so will my cat be ok i cant catch him to take hi to the vet i just need to know if you can survice without stictures

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 19, 2020:

John, the idea of putting a dog down for killing a cat is simply absurd.

John on February 19, 2020:

"Your dog killed your cat, but that means absolutely nothing is wrong with your dog!!" Lol stupid article. If your dog kills your cat it needs to be put down or re-homed in a place with no other pets immidiately.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 06, 2020:

Mel, I too feel that once a dog kills a cat, the chances are high that it may happen again. As the saying goes "good fences make good neighbors." I hope your neighbor can erect some barrier to prevent the cats from entering your yard. There are several fencing ideas that are cat-proof.

Mel on January 04, 2020:

I have three dogs and one just killed a neighbours cat. They have multiple cats who are always outside without any supervision, often coming to our yard and eating their food. Our dogs are usually inside of our house or in our yard, but we do let them go for a run. They come back fast and we never had a problem with them until now. Now I'm afraid that he may do it again and given that there are still many cats outside unsupervised I don't know what to do. If anyone has had a similar experience or any ideas on how to stop this behaviour from repeating please help. Thanks!

Panda bear on January 02, 2020:

My dog killed my childs cat

Nikki on December 31, 2019:

My cat was almost , was deaf and quite nearly mute due to a neurological disease from birth. I too have a neurological disease. That was our bond. She was asleep. Never saw or heard it coming. I'm crushed and can't even look at her because I know she knew it was wrong.

mish on December 18, 2019:

There's a lot of negativity in these comments, so I just wanted to add that I have had cats and dogs unsupervised my entire life, and they've all gotten along just fine. All cats were mixed, and the dogs were a golden retriever, cavalier king charles spaniel, hound/rottweiler, and now a shiba inu. We have never had any attacks on the cats. In fact, the cats usually run the househould and bully the dogs. I wish there was less dog hate on a really helpful article. Thanks for writing it!

Christos on November 30, 2019:

Another thing Adrienne. I don't think you understood Lily's comment regarding your article. She did not say anything regarding if a dog that attacked a cat, could also attack a human as well. What she meant is that your article is biased, for the murderous dog, and by this logic, the dog should be forgiven also if a child were killed by a dog. A cat is the same as having a child.

There is nothing positive about dogs; The barking, (ESPECIALLY annoying with mental retarded owners who do not raise/teach the dog well, there are many of those here in Hellas), the smell, that angry attitude facial of the dog, that facial drooling look when hunting a cat, for example, maniacally. I personally got bitten once just when passing by a dog, just over the street of the home going to the mini-market. This dog was hanging around there and was feed by my friend who runs the market. It started to bark and since i did not wanted it to touch my new pants i got away with more speed and that bastard dog followed and bit me/ripped my pants. I was mostly angry because of the pants, and that i had to run to the hospital for testing. Even though rabies is non-existent here. I did not kill it (had the right), but wanted to. That i wrote about IQ usually goes for those pathetic ones who get these ugly pit bulls etc. You spot them really. Most of all, people who defend a dog (which is aware of what it does - crossing the territories etc) that killed a cat/human, are the lowest on the human scale!

This is justice. Justice and revenge is the same thing. This guy (and others on thread) sums it up pretty well:

Christos on November 30, 2019:

I have a cat, and basically despise dogs along with humans who own a dog who are unable to raise and teach it. I also despise over-population of people and dogs (of course cats should be neutered as well by general basis). Note that a lot of dog owners have about 30 IQ sadly. I came across this article today after for the second time in my life seeing dogs (and 3 of them!) kill a cat. The first time was just outside of our homes garden in the street. I was a child and did not take any action (thought they were playing!), just observed some meters away, and then it was to late - 3 stray dog killed a stray (?) cat in front of me. The second time was today again in front of me, but i was around the corner and heard the sounds first unable to prevent it from happen. I just managed to shout the dogs away before it got bloody - it was a kitten which died by three bigger dogs biting it. This happened outside a friends other vacation house. The kitten did not have any owner except my friend along with neighbors feed the cats there. My friend (the dogs live in the next house) was surprised and also the owner who came 1-2 minutes after the yelling etc.

I know that a dog killing a cat cannot always be prevented, nevertheless, i would have killed all those 3 dogs if they where around this moment. However the owner then came 2 minutes after along with the dogs - the situation was not the right time. Would this happen to MY cat hypothetically i would revenge it the same moment.

Declan Haptism on October 24, 2019:

If the dog kills your cat, have the dog put down. That's the solution.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 28, 2019:

Lily, a dog killing a small animal doesn't necessarily mean the same dog would hurt a person, an infant or another dog. Sure, dogs should always be supervised around children, but consider that many dog breeds were selectively bred to handle dead animals and in many cases even kill them (even the golden retriever was used to handle dead birds in their mouths, beagles would hunt down rabbits and those cute Yorkies were used to kill rats) and this didn't make them necessarily dangerous to humans.

In a similar fashion, just because us humans kill animals and eat their meat, doesn't mean we would hurt our pets or other humans.

Sorry to hear you think the article is biased. As a cat lover, I would have felt devastated if my dogs ever hurt my precious kitties. I put a lot of effort though to protect them and train my dogs to accept them. Supervision was always a must.

LH on September 24, 2019:

First, let me say that I am a very experienced rescuer. I’ve had everything from a 5 LB. Mini poodle to a 77 LB. hound all living in (mostly) peace. Last Friday, I got a new dog. She’s a bully breed. Go ahead and roll your eyes and get that huffing and puffing over with.

Lily on September 22, 2019:

By the same logic as this article gives, dogs who kill small children who run should be forgiven also. They see them as prey. Article just seemed slightly biased.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 14, 2019:

Susi, so sorry you are in such a situation. Try to consult with a veterinary behaviorist. Let them know of your situation. They will take precautions to stay safe and will probably tell you to keep the dog confined safely for the evaluation.

Susi on September 06, 2019:

My dog killed a stray cat that came into our yard and has done the same to other animals. He has also attacked another dog before and is known to be very aggressive with strangers and even my family... I’m too scared to take my dog to a trainer with the fear of my dog attacking them and my parents want him to be put down... What should I do?

Crazy Pet Lady on August 27, 2019:

My family and I went on a short vacation this past weekend. The lady who took care of my pets had to call me Friday morning and tell me that we had an awful storm the night before. One of my dogs is petrified of a storm and broke the dog gate down and killed our beloved cat. I'm just sick! I hate that I wasn't here to prevent this. Normally the dogs and cats get along perfectly. What caused him to do this? Did he blame the cat for the storm? I feel so guilty and awful and so mad at the dog that I just wish I had some answers!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 23, 2019:

Robynau, so sorry for your loss. It's surely difficult living in that place with all the negative memories lingering.

RobynAU on August 23, 2019:

It will next month be 1 year since my next door neighbour's Staghound X Greyhound jumped our over 5 feet tall fence into our back yard where our cat was minding her own business and he attacked her - I got to her in probably 10-15 seconds & got the dog off her but in that very short time he'd done enough damage to her internally (even though she was intact & only had a few small injuries on the outside) that she went into shock and died 10-15 minutes later on the way to the vet. When we got home my partner went to our neighbour's home (as they had come running over when they heard our cat being attacked & me yelling at their dog when I got him off her) to tell them that our cat died & they were (especially the lady) were devastated but from next day they all went about their lives as normal like it didn't happen. We asked them as a (small) token of compensation and compassion if they would consider paying for our share of the new fence (as said the day our cat died that they'd sort out getting a new taller fence to which my partner said they can if they like but it's too late for our cat) and they wouldn't do it. We reported the attack and death of our cat to our local council who came out and interviewed me and our neighbour's got issued with a fine but only for not containing their dog to their property/tresspassing on our property and for the fence not being adequate height (& no fence toppers) for the type of dogs (the other dog they have is a greyhound but she wasn't involved in killing out cat) they have - no fine for their dog attacking/killing our cat so is like got away with it. I witnessed my cat being attacked and have been traumatised by it ever since and still have trouble moving forward as feel trapped in the horrible memories since still live in the same house (because can't afford to move), the dog still lives next door and life goes on for him and his owners as normal, I haven't seen that dog since the day it happened (he also jumped the fence again 2 days after he killed our cat but I didn't see him) because I still avoid passing by their house in case I see him in the yard or window in their house.

bachaus on July 26, 2019:

Got to love the stupid pit hate comments when the article has nothing whatsoever to do with breeds -- You people are IDIOTS

CaliD621 on June 22, 2019:

1013 McAvoy

Iheb on June 07, 2019:

I have a dog and a cat living in my house they are friends and peaceful...

3 weeks ago my cat got 5 kittens...

at first, I was keeping them far from the dog then I showed them to the dog he was happy and just sniffs them then he goes

so I decided to keep them with the dog

on the first days, I was keeping my eyes on my dog behaviours to the kittens and he was good he just goes take look then he goes

but when the kittens grow up and moving in the house my dog starts doing other behaviours like pushing them with his face or his leg but it was funny he dont hurt them...

today I back home and I found one of the kitten dead and the other one in emergency case

I know it was my mistake and I feel guilty but i want to know why my dog do this ? and he will do it again ? what should I do? I can't keep the kittens away from the dog forever.

( sorry for bad english i'm using translate)

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 06, 2019:

Jay, it could be because your dog is recovering and isn't feeling too good. Hopefully, he will feel better and all will go back to normal. Please keep your dog and cat separated for safety.

Sofia on June 02, 2019:

On Christmas Eve, my family and I went to a friends party for a few hours. When we got home, our amazing 8-year old cat was dead. I found the body. I looked into her eyes. But she was gone. My dogs killed her. We had never had a problem prior to this and it was a complete shock to all of us. She loved other dogs and was an extremely nice and friendly cat. We thought maybe she was sick and that this incident was a fluke. We thought wrong. 2-3 months later, we were preparing to go on vacation and ran out of the house to get a few things. We were gone for a couple of hours and came home to find our other cat dead. An incredibly friendly and sociable cat beloved by everyone. One of our dogs especially had cat scratches on his face so we believe that he did it. We did training and whenever we leave the house, we always keep him in the crate. Fast forward two months and a few hours ago, my family went out to get food and were gone for an hour. 1 hour. That dog broke out of the crate and we found another body. Another amazing cat who didn't deserve what this world gave her or the death she received. I don't know what to do. We rescued each one of these cats and raised them from when they were a few weeks old. I saw them grow up and I feed and loved them all too much. We can't find my two other cats and my family is torn apart. I don't want to give him up but my heart is shattered into pieces and this keeps happening.

Jay on May 28, 2019:

My dog has started attacking my cat and now am frightened it may cause serious injury,the dog has just been neutered a few days ago and everything was ok,i don't know what to do.

Rain on May 09, 2019:

My cat had a kitten and my dog, whose been raised around cats, is always great with them including kittens like this, killed the kitten the secondshe had the chance too.

I feel sick to my stomach and want to puke. Mom cqt is miserable and idk what to do with my dog or dogs. I feel like i should rehome them all.

Why would she have done this? Out of no where really. Like i said i have 6 cats. Shes been sround them for nearly two years includining newborn kittens this age.

Shelly on May 05, 2019:

My chihuahua pecked at my kitten and it died why would she do that?

Blain on March 19, 2019:

My dog killed a kitten. Or at least i think she did. Dureing the day they was getting along fine, she even licked and groomed the cat. But when i woke up the next day the cat was dead and damp. There wasnt anything loud enought to wake me, even when she was less then a foot away. The dog gets along fine with the others for months now but we just got a new kitten and didnt know if i should be worried.

Clark on January 25, 2019:

Hey Kristine, piss off. They went somewhere they didn't belong, they killed someone's pet. Either one of the two would earn them a bullet from my gun. I had two coyotes come onto my property and kill my Chihuahua. I don't care about their instincts, I don't give a fuck if they were starving, they still died for what they did, one about 2 hours before his partner. Funny thing, no coyote has come within a mile of my property since I put up my new scarecoyote

Angie227 on January 07, 2019:

Hi, I have 4 indoor cats, and 2 dogs. We recently adopted a senior dog. Since we brought home the senior did (about 3 months ago) she is fine if my other dog is around me, but if any of my cats go around me for attention she gets very aggressive. Any other time in the house she is fine with the cats and ignore them or anything even lay on couch or bed with them, but the cats can’t be around me or she gets mean. I’ve been telling her no and it has been working. And since it seems to be from jealousy only I leave them all out to Rome the house when I’m gone and it’s been fine. Today out of nowhere though she attacked my cat for no reason, I wasn’t even around the cat. Now I don’t know what to do. She’s 9 years old and was a long stay at a shelter so I don’t want to let her down, but I also don’t want to get one of my cats injured or killed. The cat she got was the social butterfly who’s always out and about. Is this something I can safely change? Especially not knowing her history and because of her age I wasn’t sure?

Tina on December 31, 2018:

Why why did my dog kill my cat she is 27 years old. Boxing Day got home 8pm she alway comes to meat you when I come homey dogs where in my car I let them out one stayed in car other 2 dogs had S run around I gave my cat a big pat feed her an was in packing the car taking bags in side my cat sat at the door watching me unpack car an as I come back to grab another bag my cat was laying there taking her last breath,, I am hurting really really bad ,one dog was running out side the greage an my wee dog was beside her smiling her, ,I don't understand ,I grab her an hold her all night an cried so cried. I trying to work out what one it was,, my wee dog off 2 years or my big dog off 7 years. ,,my wee dog 2months ago stared eating his way out of his house Evey day I would fix his house next day he would eat throw it again 2 times i have come home an he got out an was hunging off my sheep's leg an there was blood, one sheep died ,a week later he did it again ,an then one night I didn't mean to locked him out side an he eat throw my back door ,so Iam thinking it was him my other dog has never killed. Why why. What do I do

guest on December 09, 2018:

My dog recently killed my rabbit i've had for a year now i rescued her 8 months ago and love her very much she is still a puppy and i understand she is playful and rough. she constantly targeted my rabbit and i kept them separated until one day the inevitable happened and she slipped out of her collar and bolted to the rabbit who was playing in his new playpen and crushed him to death. he died shortly after in my arms. I am devastated i understand my dog is not to blame as she was following her instincts. i am struggling to forgive her and know it will take time to move past this. i will never consider giving her up or rehoming her because i understand i made a commitment and face the consequences of my poor decisions that allowed this to happen. i am frustrated that my innocent sweet rabbit was a victim of this i'm trying to cope while remaining a good dog owner i feel stuck.

Deon on November 28, 2018:

I recently rescued a 8 week old kitten and took him home. My brother has a large aggressive german Shepard and he thinks its cool when he kills a cat. He also bit my sisters baby son when he was 2-3 and I wanted to kill him over that. Anyway, I keep him completely separated from my precious kitten and always will. I can't believe some of the people in this discussion putting big dogs with baby kittens. Jesus Christ, would you leave your toddler with a known child molester? How naive can you people be? I refuse to rescue a kittens life only to have it killed by some stupid dog. None of you are the dog whisperer so why do you assume that dogs and cats (legendary enemies) can get along. This fate will never happen to my cat because he stays in a room completely separate and with no access to the dog and never will be around him unless he is in a cage. It's not your dogs fault he killed your cat, it's yours.

Kristine on November 01, 2018:

Wow Aby your planning on murdering two strays because it was natural instinct "to hunt" the kitten. its a horrible thing to witness, but they are animals, they hunt. do u think they premeditated to murder a kitten, its instinct. grow up

Rafael on October 27, 2018:

What if my dog kills a baby cat

Let's Take a Poll on October 12, 2018:

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

Candypantsx on September 28, 2018:

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.....

Aby on September 26, 2018:

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.

Mehoff Jerk on August 24, 2018:

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.

Sue on August 24, 2018:

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

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 23, 2018:

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. on August 14, 2018:

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.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 07, 2018:

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.

Sue Joiner on August 07, 2018:

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.

Panganj on August 04, 2018:

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 ?

Edna on July 25, 2018:

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!!!

Ann Armstrong on July 06, 2018:

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 from Alabama on June 25, 2018:

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.

Urgh on June 12, 2018:

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 on May 31, 2018:

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.

Diana on May 08, 2018:

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.

Guest on April 19, 2018:

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.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 23, 2018:

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 on January 23, 2018:

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 on January 10, 2018:

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.

Not needed. on January 06, 2018:

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.

James on December 22, 2017:

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

mel on December 17, 2017:

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.

Unicorn on December 17, 2017:

How do you stop it

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 27, 2017:

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.

person here 2day on November 17, 2017:

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.

Bernie on November 11, 2017:

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...

Doesn’t matter on November 02, 2017:

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.

Aly on October 23, 2017:

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?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 25, 2017:

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).

Courtney on September 11, 2017:

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.

Raquel on September 05, 2017:

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?

Theresa on August 24, 2017:

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?

Kendra on August 18, 2017:

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?

dave on August 14, 2017:

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?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 06, 2017:

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.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 06, 2017:

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

Val on August 05, 2017:

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

Leah on August 01, 2017:

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 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

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 15, 2017:

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

Jasmine on July 10, 2017:

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

Bagmax on June 03, 2017:

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.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 07, 2017:

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.

ElizabethMT on April 29, 2017:

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.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 29, 2017:

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

Andrea horton on April 24, 2017:

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?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 17, 2017:

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.

Theresa Zimmerman on April 11, 2017:

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?

Horrific day I will never forget on April 01, 2017:

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. on March 13, 2017:

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

No name Jo on January 28, 2017:

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.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 26, 2017:

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.

JBeaudoin on January 25, 2017:

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 ;(

JBeaudoin on January 25, 2017:

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.

Anyomonus on January 10, 2017:

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. )

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 29, 2016:

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.

Huh? on December 28, 2016:

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.