My Dog Killed My Cat What Should I Do?

As pet owners, we enjoy watching our dogs and cats relate well to one another. Unfortunately, it is not how things usually go between these two animals. Dogs are still dogs and can be violent even when we strive to give them human traits. The worst nightmare of every pet owner is their dog murdering a cat. This completely catches the owner off guard, and they are left wondering why their normally affectionate dog would kill a cat.

Understanding the circumstances surrounding your dog’s attack on the cat is crucial to solving the issue at hand and avoiding it from happening again.

What Does It Mean If A Dog Kills A Cat?

Below are some of the reasons that can trigger a dog to kill a cat;

Predatory Drive

Similar to any other non-domesticated animals, such as wolves, big cats, and African wild canines. Your domesticated dog shares the same innate instinct for predation that all of these animals exhibit. Animals can be domesticated, but they will always have an innate desire to hunt. Every dog is capable of killing a cat out of pure instinct.

Dogs have been domesticated for centuries, yet they still have instincts. Even the most spoiled dog has a predatory drive that can suddenly become active.

Your dog’s ancestors formerly had to go through tremendous efforts to maintain a nutritious diet.   


When a dog kills a cat, it frequently happens by accident, especially when it’s a cat that the dog is familiar with.

It’s possible that the cat jumped or fell off a fence, and your dog attempted to save them by capturing them in its teeth but unintentionally killed them.

It’s possible that while your dog and cat were playing, your dog bit them or struck them a little too hard.

Because of their size and powerful jaws, dogs cannot sometimes manage their power.

We can’t rule out the potential of an accident unless we know the circumstances of what happened before the cat died.

Dog Has Gotten Senile

This is definitely possible. Some dogs may experience mental problems that lead to erratic behavior, such as:

  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Staring at Walls
  • Low Threshold for Aggression
  • Receptivity behaviors
  • Elimination Disorders
  • Decreased activity levels.

Which dog breeds are friendly with cats?

Some breeds do get along with cats better than others more frequently. Keep in mind that breed is not a guarantee. But it can be beneficial. Breeds that often get along well with cats include:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Bichon Frise
  • Pug
  • Golden Retriever
  • Basset
  • Maltese
  • Shih Tzu
  • Papillon
  • Newfoundland
  • Great Dane
  • Bulldog
  • Pekingese
  • Clumber Spaniel
  • Irish Wolfhound              

Leaving your dog with your cat or kitten

In most cases, a puppy and kitten raised together will come to accept one another and even form a friendship. If a dog is already a dependable household member and you wish to add a new cat to the family, certain safety measures later must be followed.

Puppies must also be taught the right manners around cats since jumping up to them can trigger a cat to get protective and lash out. The consequences could be lifetime issues.

Your cat and dog should only be left alone once you are sure they get along. In other words, neither the cat nor the dog is hissing or growling at the kitten or cat. When in doubt, keep them apart whenever you are not at home.

Even if you feel at ease leaving the kitten or cat alone, they need to have a place they can go to hide from the dog, like high platforms the dog cannot get to. If not, keep them apart while you are away in different parts of the house.

Do Dogs Eat Cats Or Just Kill Them?

Unless they are starving, which is rare in a well-cared-for pet, dogs hardly ever eat cats. If they don’t have access to any other food sources, stray dogs may eat cats. Even if a dog kills a cat, it is typically unnecessary for him to eat it.

The Pit Bull Debate: The Importance of Responsible Ownership

The possibility of cats being killed by pit bulls is a sensitive topic that has become more heated recently. According to the American Veterinary Medical Society, 75% of all dog and animal deaths in 2017 were caused by pit bulls. These numbers are concerning, and it is obvious that pit bull ownership is irresponsible and must be stopped to lower them. In addition, dogs can feel loss and grief and are a significant source of consolation for people through trying times. Even if the right measures are not implemented, pit bulls are still capable of loving and caring in this sense. The final responsibility for making sure a pet is socialized, trained, and cared for rests with the owner.

Dog attacks provide a serious risk to cats.

Cats have a poorer survival rate than dogs despite being agile animals that can occasionally avoid a dog attack. Research has shown that while dogs have a survival rate of 91.8%, cats only have a survival rate of 46.3% after being attacked by dogs. Owners should exercise extra caution while leaving their cats close to dogs, especially if the dogs are unfamiliar with the cats.

Does My Dog Have To Be Put Down If It Kills A Cat?

There is no direct answer when deciding whether to put down a dog that has killed a cat. It is dependent on several factors, including the owner’s opinions, the regulations in the area, and the history and behavior of the dog. It could be necessary to euthanize a dog for safety reasons if it has a history of aggression or has been identified as a danger to people or other animals. 

Finally, contact with an animal behavior specialist and your local authorities to identify the best course of action.

My Dog Killed My Cat, Will it hurt my family or children?

As we have stated before, many reasons can lead to a dog killing a cat. If a dog killed a cat due to prey instincts, it can be dangerous to have the dog in a room with toddlers. Children under three years make high-pitched noises while moving very quickly, which can easily set off a dog’s prey drive.

 In this situation, if your dog has shown predatory tendencies, it should not be left alone with kids younger than three. You should also be realistic about how you intend to control the issue because it will not be easy.

If the killed was due to aggression or becoming senile, the possibility of the dog harming other family members including adults is high. So, you need to first understand the root cause of your dog killing a cat so you can decide whether he is safe to be around.

Will it kill other cats?

You can place a bet that your dog will kill another cat if he already killed one.

This is due to the fact that predatory instincts have already been manifested and, regrettably, cannot be undone. Although there are certain methods for discouraging this habit, none of them are 100% effective.

Therefore, if your dog has killed a cat before, it is very possible that he will kill another cat if given the chance and one crosses his path.

My Dog killed my cat, What Should I Do?

 Lock in the dog

If the breed of your dog has a great desire to chase, confine it in a secure area. By doing this, you can defend birds and other tiny animals, especially when you’re not home.

A dog with a history of killing is typically labeled as possibly aggressive or dangerous. This breed of dog must be kept in check and secured.  

Crate training, upgrading your fence, and adding an outside run are all good methods for keeping your dog safe and secure. Additionally, you can lock the gates to keep unauthorized or uninvited visitors out.

Give a proper send-off

You can dispose of your dead cat’s body by burying it or cremating it, but you should be aware of local rules before proceeding with either choice.

If cremation or backyard burial are not practical options, you can either leave a dead cat’s body at a pet hospital or bury it in a nearby pet cemetery.

Don’t Punish A Dog After Killing

It does not make your dog a bad dog if it kills your cat in an attack. The dog was acting naturally. Never hit or punish your dog for making a mistake, regardless of the tragedy. You will make him more hostile since he won’t realize what he did wrong.

Get Your Dog Tested

It is usually advisable to take the dog for medical checkups.

The goal is to consult with a veterinarian and have thorough tests performed on the dog’s body. This can occasionally reveal a medical condition that is driving the dog to behave aggressively. There are numerous cases where tumors in dogs cause them to misbehave or become violent.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Killing Cats In The Future

Early Prevention Works Best

The easiest way to prevent your dog from chasing and hurting a cat is to start introducing cats to him as soon as he is 3 months old. A puppy typically wants to play with the cats, but the cats may not be as enthusiastic as the puppy. Unless there is major aggressiveness or injury, it’s best to stay out of fights since the cat’s defensiveness will teach the puppy his boundaries and make him less likely to misbehave with other cats in the future.

Keep it separate from other animals.

The dog shouldn’t be kept with other animals at this time.

This is because the dog will probably act in the same way because it does not understand that murdering a cat is wrong

If there are pets in the house, you will need to put them in a different area of the house. This is the only way to guarantee the safety of the animals and the possibility of the dog’s rehabilitation.

Training and Verbal Commands

The more cats that a dog kills, the stronger his predatory instincts get. This is because the behavior becomes more familiar with time. It resembles training and practice.

Develop a command that draws attention away from the targeted prey. Most of the time, dogs act automatically and are completely unaware of the harm they are doing.

Use a straightforward order, such as “Leave It” or “No!” Additionally, you can add bodily motion to the mix by sitting or lying down.

Whatever you decide, make sure it is powerful, clear, and able to cut through everything. The command can be very useful but you should never use them as your sole method of dog control.

Teach the difference between ‘hunt’ and ‘play’

Although the phrases play and hunt differ, in a dog’s thinking, they are comparable. Take your dog outside to play with toys if you want to teach it how to play. Use verbal cues and show them how to “come” and “stay.” It should be done consistently for a month or more.

When the dog learns the play commands, it will be less likely to attack smaller animals. The dog won’t be as interested in harming smaller animals if it learns the play commands. So, even if you instruct it to come back, it will do so. Therefore, you can order it to cease chasing and harming your cat. The other choice is to work with a certified dog trainer. The dog will learn how to focus its attention on play instead of prey.

Consult a Behaviorist

If everything else fails, consult a behaviorist. Even though these predatory habits are inborn, they can be corrected with some training.

Behaviorists can identify the underlying cause of the problem and use training to direct those instincts in a more constructive direction.

Dogs aren’t good or evil

Unfortunately, it is impossible to categorize dogs as either good or evil. Owners engage in anthropomorphism when they perceive their dogs as cruel for killing an animal. This is essentially the act of assigning them to moral values.

This, however, is counterintuitive because dogs lack any. Predatory aggressiveness by a dog does not indicate a psychological disorder, nor does it indicate that the perpetrator is violent, vindictive, or malicious.

Aggression and predatory murder are two distinct behaviors in a dog’s brain. In reality, it isn’t even close.


There are hundreds of thousands of harmonious coexistences between dogs and cats in multi-pet homes. Even while it happens occasionally, dogs and cats are more likely to get along or at least learn to accept one another. It is difficult to accept what happened, but the worst thing you can do is lash out at or punish your dog.

If you have a dog who doesn’t get along with cats, it may be best not to bring a kitten into the house.

Similarly, if you do not know how an adult dog reacts to cats, do not bring it into a home where there is already a cat.

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