My Dog Kills Cats. What Can I Do?

“A couple of days ago, I came home to find a dead cat lying in my front yard. It was a neighbor’s cat and he actually lives about a block away from me. I didn’t know the cat but it really bothered me to see this dead animal in my front yard and I took the cat and buried it in my backyard (while trying to keep the dog from digging it up.)”

“The cat being killed by the dog was bad enough but what really got me upset was that there were at least 30 other cats that lived outside that could have been killed by this dog. In fact, there was another dead cat that had been killed by this dog just a few weeks earlier.”

“It’s true that animals die every day but seeing a dead animal in your neighbor’s yard or on your property is a real tragedy. This is why it’s important to take care of your pets and keep them indoors because you don’t want them to kill the neighbor’s pets or get hit by a car while they’re running loose outside.”

Is it bad if a dog kills a cat?

This is not the kind of dog story you want to hear. Dogs killing small animals is not unusual, but when it happens, it can be upsetting. There are lots of reasons why a dog would kill a cat.

If the dog is defending itself, then it is not bad. If the dog’s action was unprovoked and it killed the cat simply because it wanted to, then that would be bad. Although dogs are often portrayed as “man’s best friend”, they are still animals with their own instincts, so you should never get an animal if you are unable to deal with its actions.

Any behavior that involves your dog killing or injuring another animal can be dangerous for you or your dog. A dog that hunts and kills other animals is often referred to as a “killer,” “vicious,” or “dangerous”. Many people in the general public consider dogs like this to be in need of euthanasia; in reality, these dogs are fine with their owners and family members, but they see other animals as prey. This predatory behavior can make them dangerous to people who aren’t familiar with the dog, especially if the dog has no history of aggression towards humans.

What causes a dog to kill a cat?

There are three common reasons that dogs kill cats or other small animals; prey drive (wanting to hunt), territoriality (wanting to defend their home), and fear (if they’re afraid of cats).

Prey drive is the most common cause of cat killing. If your dog has a high prey drive, then it will chase, kill and eat any small animal that moves. Prey drive is a dog’s natural instinct to chase and capture prey. In the wild, it meant the difference between life and death for a canine.

A territorial dog will protect his territory from other animals just as he would from invaders of any kind. He will consider your home his own and anyone moving around inside of it as intruders he must defend against. This includes other pets that might enter into his territory uninvited such as cats and smaller animals.

If your cat is outside or inside marking its territory, then your dog might see this as an act of aggression towards the dog’s territory. Also, this could occur if your dog perceives your cat as a threat to his food dish or treats.

Fear can also lead to cat killing. If your dog is afraid of the cat or vice versa, then they might engage in aggressive behavior toward one another. This can happen during feeding time if neither animal feels comfortable eating when the other one is present.

How do I stop my dog from killing cats?

There is nothing more tragic for a dog lover than to watch their dog kill a cat. So, how do we stop this from happening?

I would recommend having your dog evaluated by a professional trainer or behaviorist who can observe your dog with your cat in order to identify what exactly is going on. You may be surprised what you find out!

I would also recommend that you take steps to prevent future incidents. For example, use management techniques to keep your cat safely away from your dog when possible, and when they are together, supervise them carefully so you can intervene if necessary.

Quality time with your dog on a daily basis is a must, as is obedience training if you have not already started it. The obedience training will help you control your dog and prevent him from being able to run off after a cat.

If your dog has been encouraged to chase animals by children or other members of the family, then you need to make sure that he knows this behavior is not acceptable from anyone else but you. This will take time and patience on your part, but there are products available on the market for this type of behavior modification.

If your dog has bitten someone or another animal, then you should strongly consider having him evaluated by a certified professional who can determine if he can be rehabilitated. Having a bite history on your dog will make it very difficult for him to ever get adopted by a loving family.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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