Why Do Dogs Kill Cats? 7 Ways to Stop Dog From Preying Cats

Dogs and Cats are sometimes friends and enemies. The relationship between both species is not the same all around the world. There are situations where both of them are friends because they live in a home that trains them to be family. While there are situations where a pet cat and dog become violent and want to hurt one another. 

As you all know, dogs have a high prey drive that’s why it’s natural for them to hunt, it’s in their blood to chase and capture prey that spark interest in them. Cats are small creatures that your dog might find interesting to chase and bully. The behavior might escalate to your dog killing the cat in the process. 

There are a lot of various reasons why a dog kills a cat. Let us dive into further details why such a situation would happen:

1. Cat is Food

It came from the predatory instinct of dogs, they came from the line of wolves that hunts down their prey to kill and eat them. It doesn’t matter if your dog is not hungry because they will still do it. In most cases, the behavior is manifested in dogs that have aggressive behavior, or their line of work is focused on hunting, tracking, and retrieving.

2. Miscommunication

Even to humans, misunderstanding could create a distance between two people who do not clearly understand each other. And that is also true for both cats and dogs living together. There are body languages only known to cats and the same goes for body language on dogs. For instance, the dog approaches the cat to initiate playtime. Unfortunately, the cat may find it to be an attack considering that the dog is bigger than them. Another thing is the dog’s bark which could annoy or scare the cat. 

Those situations will either make the catfight the dog or run away. However, if the cat fights back and starts to use its claws, your dog might get hurt and signs of aggression will start to rise. Obviously, both species will start to fight and because of heightened emotions, your dog might kill the cat in the process. 

Nevertheless, some factors make the dog able to kill the cat and we will discuss that better later on.

3. Human Family

Pet owners that properly train dogs to respect one another won’t have a problem with dogs and cats killing one another. Thus, a dog’s willingness to kill a cat comes from the environment in which they live. Dogs have certain anger on cats but when this behavior is corrected even if the cat was from the neighborhood or just a passerby. The dog will learn to understand that they will be off-limits. 

Cats and dogs living in the same home need to have proper training. Train them not to escalate the play fight between them into serious and hurtful attacks. Allow your dog to feel that the cat is part of the pack and it will hurt you as a cat owner if something bad happens to them.

4. Encouraged Behavior

Sadly, some irresponsible owners take joy in the demise of cats. It’s either because they only prefer dogs or they take pride in their dogs killing small creatures like cats. Because of the owner’s joy and interest in this type of behavior, the dog’s anger and prey instincts on cats will not be corrected. Dogs under this type of ownership have the attitude to attack whenever they see cats in the neighborhood.

It will create serious problems for dog owners because there are animal control officers that will investigate whenever your dog causes serious injury or death to a cat owner’s adorable cat.

7 Ways to Stop Dog From Preying Cats

If you are seeing a cat and dog fight almost every day, then train your pet dog to stop. It might be impossible at first but harmonious living between cats and dogs is possible. We list down all the things you could try to avoid stressful days on your cat’s end because of the dog.

1. Separate Dog and Cat

At the start of the training, you have to separate the Cat and Dog. As much as possible you don’t want your dog to be aggressive whenever the Cat is around. The best thing that you can do to avoid the dog from hurting your cat is to put them in separate rooms or put one of them in a crate. Always supervised both animals so that they won’t start killing each other.

At least, do these things when you are starting to incorporate your training. However, slowly get both cat and dog to be familiar with each other.

2. Socialized Your Puppies

If a puppy is trained to be welcoming and friendly to strangers then most likely they will have an attitude to accept and be loving to cats. In addition, by practicing this kind of behavior your dog will eliminate aggressiveness and when they meet a new cat they will be friendly and won’t start a fight. 

3. Refresh Basic Commands

Are you always refreshing the basic commands you have on your dog most especially the ones stopping them to do something that isn’t allowed? Because most likely you’ll be needing to use it when a dog is around cats.

Be sure that your dog is obedient enough to follow you. You could do a trial wherein both dog and cat are in the same room and you command the dog to “stop”, “behave” or “sit”. When they follow your command, give them treats and praises. Although, you have to be careful because the sudden change in behavior of your cat might trigger your dog.

4. Hire a Dog Behaviorist

When you have a certain dog breed that is aggressive and has the highest drive to hunt then you might want to consider consulting or hiring a dog behaviorist. They are the ones that are experts in dealing with aggression coming from dogs. In fact, you should see a dog behaviorist not just because your dog is killing a cat but also when the dog bites another dog, is not good with kids, and even shows signs of aggression towards you.

Luckily, dog behaviorists can help you in understanding why your dog has that certain behavior and even make recommendations on how to deal with the bad behaviors one by one. They were like the pet psychologist and their expertise was backed up by their extensive research and studies on dogs.

5. Redirect Behavior

There are times that a pet owner will neglect bad dog behavior because they thought it’s not permanent. For instance, one might see their dog chasing a cat or fighting one in the neighborhood yet they did not care and just forgot about it. Usually, the dog will carry on the behavior because no one stops them. Consequently, it will lead to dogs killing cats and other animals because prior predatory aggression was neglected.

Pet parents should correct the behavior because as dogs get older the actions and habits are so hard to unlearn. You should reprimand your dog right away so that they’ll have the idea that you’ll get mad when they chase or hurt cats.

6. Keep Your Dog Active

An active dog will most likely bother a cat. That is because a dog that has its energy drained every day will be sleepy and tired. Of course, it still depends on the type of dog breed because super active dogs require more than one hour of work, exercise, and playtime.  

It requires effort on the dog parent to constantly provide daily walks and active playtime so that the dog is always entertained. If this is the case, you can hire a dog walker around your neighborhood to ensure that the dog has daily walks and to ensure that your dog won’t use all its energy in chasing cats.

7. Find Common Ground

Understandably, cats and dogs are different species in all ways and it’s hard to find something that will complement both of them. You could try giving them the same toys and train each one of them how to play it in the safest way. In addition, it could also be a quiet time wherein you and your pets (cat and dog) could snuggle up on a couch and watch TV. 

Dog Breeds That Are Not Good With Cats

The following dog breeds are considered to be one of the breeds that won’t get along with cats. Therefore, if you want to raise cats in the future you should avoid these breeds unless you are patient enough to train them. The following dog breeds are not good with cats because it’s either they have high predatory instincts or they are breeds that are created to hunt small animals.

  1. Manchester Terrier
  2. Whippet
  3. Australian Cattle Dog
  4. Afghan Hound
  5. Schiperkke
  6. Smooth Fox Terrier
  7. Standard Schnauzer
  8. Irish Wolfhound
  9. Bedlington Terrier
  10. Samoyed
  11. Greyhound
  12. Italian Greyhound
  13. Weimaraner
  14. Siberian Husky
  15. Scottish Deerhound
  16. Shih Tzu
  17. Toy Manchester Terrier
  18. Yorkshire Terrier
  19. Pharaoh Hound

Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats

If you have these breeds in your home then it’s safe to get a cat because you can easily train the following dogs to accept them. 

  1. Golden Retriever
  2. Beagle
  3. Border Terrier
  4. Collie
  5. Corgi
  6. English Springer Spaniel
  7. German Shepherd
  8. Labrador
  9. Maltese
  10. Irish Setter
  11. Poodle
  12. Portuguese Water Dog
  13. Pug
  14. Shetland Sheepdog
  15. Silky Terrier

Will a Dog Get Killed if It Kills a Cat?

The law varies in each state but this case no. Although the other party, if the cat wasn’t yours and the cat was killed on their private property, can seek legal action and ask for compensation. You will be reliable for all the veterinary bills if the cat has a severe injury and if the cat was killed then you have to either replace the cat or pay the breed’s cost. 

Furthermore, if your dog kills a stray cat, you have to seek help from the animal control for the body and so that they can test the cat for rabies. If the result is positive, then your dog must be put down because it has rabies from the stray cat. 

However, if you found out that your cat was killed intentionally by a dog owner using its dog. You can press charges and file a case about animal cruelty. Although, you have to find evidence and find a lawyer for these charges to succeed.

Are Dogs Jealous of Cats?

If we are talking about love and affection that was stolen from the dog because of the cat’s presence then yes. In fact, it happens not just on cats but also to material things that strike the dog owner’s attention away from the dog.  A lot of studies and research conducted to identify if a dog will feel such a thing, one example is the study conducted by Christine Harris at the University of California, San Diego. The study concluded that a dog will react to certain objects and animals on occasions when you are interacting with your dog but you ignore them and divert your attention to a cat or a stuffed toy. It is somewhat a form of jealousy due to the lack of affection shown to them, not just the fact that there’s another pet.

As a pet owner of cats and dogs, you need to lavish equal attention and love to both pets. Dogs will get in between you and your cat and it can lead to violent fighting and loss of one if not stopped right away.

Cats and Dogs are both equally cute and they are good pets. It’s nice to have both of them in the house but sadly you can’t risk the other’s safety for your reasons. You have to be a responsible person and train your dog and cat to interact and be friendly to one another. Also, the most effective way in raising cats is by having both of them as little puppies and kittens and allow the two pets to grow together as closely as possible.