My two dogs killed my cat...I'm not sure what to do...

Last night my husband and I came home to find our 4 y/o cat dead on the kitchen floor. Our 6 month old boxer (that we got for a show dog, that hated the cat ever since she was 8 weeks old-thinking she might grow out of it) broke out of her kennel to team up with our 5 y/o APBT (that grew up with the cat, slept with the cat & played with the cat in a non-agressive manner). I didn't understand what would make my APBT do this, until my mother reminded me that when one becomes two it becomes a pack. We're devastated of the loss of our cat & scared for our children that are 3 mos & 2 years & our teacup Chihuahua (that was in his own kennel at the time, thank God). My husband wants to put down our APBT (because of the possibility of her falling into the wrong hands) & possibly sell our Boxer pup because we invested too much money into her. I'm so frustrated & I don't know what to do...

Asked by Member 12682 on Aug 30th 2008 Tagged cats in Aggression
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Lola Mae

It's called prey drive, look into it.

Lola Mae answered on 8/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


I wish I could give you an answer and possibly some assurance but I can't do that. I just wanted to say sorry, and I hope you find your answer. People have given me great advice on good luck.

♥ DEOGIE ♥ answered on 8/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Firstly, I am terribly sorry for your loss. It must have been very traumatizing for you and your family. My best wishes and prayers go out to you all. That being said, you said you have a 5 y/o pitt, and an 8 month old boxer who obviously has some behavioral issues. I can understand your considering the possibility of euthanasia in fear for your children, and if you HONESTLY feel even for a second that they might be in danger, then by all means, do what you need to do. On the other hand, there is hope... positive reinforcment and desensitizing could turn your Boxer into a new dog- he's only 8 months old! Your APBT may be acting out to show dominance over the Boxer. Don't jump to conclusions just yet, give them a chance, you have 2 of the most trainable breeds that exist. Good luck with everything....
Maia, CVT

Mandy answered on 8/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 4 Report this answer


First, you came home and found the cat already dead. You have a dog who clearly considered the cat prey, who had gotten out. What makes you think the APBT had any involvement in this at all?

Second, dogs are very aware that children, dogs, and cats are different things. If either of your dogs has shown any aggression toward your children or other dogs, you have you reason to be concerned. Otherwise, there shouldn't be any issue, provided you continue to supervise everyone properly.

If you do have reason to be concerned, a behaviorist could help.

Member 239066 answered on 8/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 4 Report this answer


Wait a minute- you and your husband need to take a step back and look at things objectively.

1) One of your dogs has clearly shown you it is not compatible with a cat.

2) Another one of your dogs has a deep rooted genetic propensity for prey drive.

3) Your mother was correct- when dogs combine and get excited pack mentality takes over, and they often do things they would never otherwise do.

I can't believe that you are considering KILLING one of your dogs and selling off another one because they did something instinctual to them. And there is absolutely no reason to believe that your dogs are going to go targeting your Chi- or especially your child- now that they have killed a cat.

I'm sorry you lost your cat in the way you did- but you unfortunately need to chalk it up as a terrible accident, because that's what it was. Your pittie definitely does not deserve to die over something like this. That concerns me more than anything.

TK, CGC answered on 8/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Reply to Deogie - Thank you.

Reply to Mandy - Thank you for the advice but thinking about it I don't think my pit was showing dominance...I think she was being a follower. She's always been a follower but thats what I didn't understand is why because she is such an older dog than my 6 month boxer. It's like my boxer was being the puppet master and my pit was being the puppet. But I guess the prey drive got the best of her.

Reply to Rascal - Thank you for the advice but I know my pit was the muscle in this situation because she had scratch marks all over her face and I know when something is going on she is the one to help push it to the next level...its the adrenaline. I'm going to call around on Tuesday and try to find a behaviorist.

Reply to TK, CGC - It's hard to reply to this but...I don't want to put my APBT down but at the same time I'm worried of the "what if's". I don't look at her the same now, I barely even want to look at do I get past this?

Member 723069 answered on 8/31/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I wish I could help too, but I never had a cat in my life. I have no clue why your puppy killed your cat. I am so sorry for your loss. If you get another cat, or already have another one, then at night, put your boxer puppy or the cat in a kennel where the boxer can't kill the cat. I really wish I could give you more ideas, but I never had a cat. So I hope you get over your sadness. Wish you guys the best.
Lots of Love,

Member 706095 answered on 9/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Prey drive does not equal human aggression. It's frustrating to me that people think that if their dog kills a prey animal that the children/wife/whatever "is next" or "only a matter of time". Dogs are predators... Some dogs have substantially low prey drive and never have a problem living with small animals. Others do. It is not the dog's fault - it is a management problem on the owner's part. I don't mean to sound harsh, but the dogs were doing something instinctual and natural, and I do not think they should pay for a mistake on an owner's part. Hoping they will grow out of it is not an answer.

I understand you loved your cat and are very emotional about what you came home to. I had a cat as well and I know I would have been devastated if my dogs had killed him. But please take a step back, and look at this from a scientific, behavioral point of view instead of an emotional point of view. Re-home if you feel you must but try not to resent your animals. Sorry for your loss. :(

Kolbe answered on 9/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


I'm struck by your saying you can barely look at the dog anymore. I would never feel the same about a dog after he killed my cat--for me, the relationship would be forever poisoned. If I were in your position, I'd post ads offering to give the dog away, making clear that the dog must under no circumstance live with cats (if he's killed a cat once, he'll kill a cat again). Or take him to a rescue organization. I wouldn't put the dog down, but I wouldn't want to continue living with him. And you have no obligation to.

Harry answered on 12/6/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Jada, I am so sorry you have to go through any of this. I have a rescue husky and a golden retriever. The retriver will bring us injured animals from the yard to "fix" Squirrlis lizards you name it. The husky when we found her she was 10 and we didn't know her history. I have always had one or two cats at a time. The husky has a prey instinct that would scare me when she would lunge at the cats movements. She would be very preditorial over the food bowl too. I was not going to put up with any of it and was very afraid for my two little girls. I'm not very big 5'2' but when this dog acted out I was up and in her face! I was activily looking for a new home for the husky. She turned around very quickly, I'm assuming I'm no Cesar but she figured out it's MY house behave or get out. I'm with you on not being able to trust after your horrible experience. My story has a happy ending, I have had my huskey for 5 years now and have never had any conflict.

Member 789007 answered on 1/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I just went through the same experience and feel the same way. I have 8 dogs ranging from Chi to Lab. To add to that 2 Daschunds that I was keeping for my son. ( yeah 10 ) I hired his girlfriend (while I was in Gulf Shores on vacation) who add 2 more dachshunds to the pack. ( Now 12 ) My Kitten didn't have a chance. Never did any of mine or my sons show any aggression to the kitten. But hers dachshunds did. She put here two in the back yard with my dogs and kitten. I am so angry at the dogs and her. I can't care for the dogs right now my husband is having to do it. I feel I let him down I was to care and provide for him. I wish when they told me they would have left the gory details out because I can't get it out of my mind. So sorry for you and your loss!
Sorry about the comment from the one who claims to be a Vet! God Forgive Him!

Dixie (REST IN PEACE I MISS AN answered on 7/23/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I love how everyone jumps up and tells what you should do so pompous!If it hasnt happened to you then you would not no how to respond.I have a husky,and have owned him since he was a baby.He has been around kittens,cats,and all kind of other small animls since I have owned him. The other night I come home,and there was furniture knocked over,hair everywhere,blood on the walls, I felt so sick.His face was all kinds of scratched up and I finally after much looking around found my Himalayan cat under my bed bloody and covered in feces and urine.Granted she was not dead, but not far from it.I was infuriated I just held her and cried.She will never be the same. And as for my husky,He is 3 and NEVER displayed any behavior like this.No I will not put him down, although honestly I wouldnt have cared the night it happened.And I cant even look at him,I am so sick about it, he has now had a taste for blood,and I am afraid that next time He will kill her.So,I am looking for a new home/rescue. :(*

Member 1018558 answered on 1/9/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i hope this gets to you before you act. i REALLY do not think your pit would ever touch your children. i run a no-kill shelter, and my pits are the sweetest most protective of their family of all my dogs...BUT with other animals....NO! NO! NO!....they are not monsters, BUT if shit hits the fan...they WILL win and it will be ugly! if i were you, depending on how much u want to keep these guys...BIG dogs spearately safely and securely (no escaoes at all)...when u are not supervising.EVERYONE who plans to get a bully breed type dog NEEDS to know this stuff beforehand. nobody likes to learn a lesson the hard way. i KNOW believe me...mistakes have been made. ****it is now a policy 100% of the bullies are always put up when i am not close by, watching, or at least paying attention... they r amazing dogs, and would be perfect in a 1 pet household...before u let hubby euthanize...if u really want tosay goodbuy to the pit...u CAN try and place her in a 1 pet household. she deserves it

Member 1020603 answered on 1/24/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Obviously your boxer is the problemed dog. I own a APBT and have never had any problems with him but they are pack dogs. If he feels the boxer was the leader he will ignore any and all previous teaching and assume an agentic state doing whatever the boxer requires. X

Member 1028949 answered on 4/1/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm so sorry about your cat, this question interested me because we believe the same thing happened to my cat about 4 months ago, we'd had that cat for 9 years and he was one of my best friends. We're not quite sure if the dogs killed him ( it was either that or a seizure) but we found him dead on the floor in our basement biting his tounge. My most likely answer is it's a prey drive which is commen for both those breeds. I have a lab, beagle and pointer mix all of which hunting breeds that we believe may have killed my cat, but I also have a chihuahua (teacup is not a breed and is a marketing term btw) and they almost never are aggressive to her, my suggestion, DON'T put the apbt down ( thanks for not just saying pit bull btw, I hate when people do that) your kids should be fine, but with the chi put him/her in a sturdy kennel possibly in another room WHENEVER you can't watch him/her and you should be good

Misty answered on 8/21/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm in a similar situation, what did you end up doing ultimately?

Member 1078335 answered on 12/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i would put down the dog that hated the cat then i would take the other dog that had helped in the mauling and bring it to a shelter where they can have it and either out it down or adopt it out to someone that dosnt have a cat or small animal i feel so bad about your cat sorry.

Member 1078733 answered on 12/20/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer