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My dogs killed my cat

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 09:18 AM
Yesterday my husband arrived home to find our cat dead in the lounge, there was signs of a scuffle in the bedroom. Our dogs had killed our cat. They had lived together for three years, mostly our Tiger would attack our dogs much to their bemusement, but they were never aggressive back to him.
Over the last few months we had noticed our dogs get excited when Tiger came in through the catflap, they'd rush over and sniff him all over....we wondered whether he had the scent of another cat on him, that was getting them excited?
Needless to say we are all shocked and extremely sad and heartbroken.
I think it was a 'chase' that went wrong, the dogs really have no clue what they have done, but my husband is punishing them by not allowing them in the house, he is keeping them in a large run out in the back garden - day and night. This is equally upsetting for me, and i just dont what to do.

~michelle~
August 22nd, 2006, 09:25 AM
I am sooo sorry to hear of your loss. I couldnt imagine, but i will take this as a warning to never leave my cat and dogs unattended together. I am so sorry and i hope you and your dogs can get through this difficult time, I know this must a trying time for your relationship with them

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 09:32 AM
Yes, please dont let your dogs alone with your cat - at the end of the day dogs are what they are....dogs and they always will be.
I grew up with dogs and cats in the household and there never was a problem, so always assummed they'd get along together, and they did for so many years.
Its painful knowing how scared Tiger must've been with his own 'brothers' attacking him

mona_b
August 22nd, 2006, 09:55 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss....:sad:

Since I was a child we had dogs and cats together.They lived in harmony.Never had a problem.I have a 10 year old GSD and 2 cats.They are great together,and yes left alone.But my cats don't have any other scents on them.They are indoor cats.

I would also strongly suggest that your hubby not punish them by locking them outside in the run day and night.They are being punished for something they didn't honestly know they did wrong.They don't understand what they did.And this just may damage your dogs.

lezzpezz
August 22nd, 2006, 10:06 AM
I am also extremely sorry to hear of your situation and the loss of your cat.

I agree that punishing the dogs continually is not at all productive. I understand that your husband is very upset, but the dogs are unaware of WHY they are being punished at this point. Now they are away from the "pack" (you guys) and are confused. Perhaps you could call a behaviourist and explain your situation and sort out the best plan of action in dealing with your dogs in an effective and compassionate manner. A behaviourist can guide you and your husband into doing what is best for all involved.

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 10:13 AM
I agree that the dogs should not be punished as they dont understand, but i am afraid my husband is very angry and upset and being out there might be the best for them right now. I think he will calm down in time but he doesnt really understand too well about dogs
We recognise that we need to do some training with them, but his way is rather harsher than my way of training. Our dogs are unruly, the dominant dog Pepe will run off when off the leash a lot of times, especially if he sees another dog and we need to work on this
We live on a tiny island and have no access to behaviourists and dog trainers - i wish we did, is there anyway these people can help remotely do you think?

jessi76
August 22nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
We live on a tiny island and have no access to behaviourists and dog trainers - i wish we did, is there anyway these people can help remotely do you think?

there are ooodles of training books & dvd's out there. You obviously have internet access, so finding some recommended ones won't be hard. What types of dogs do you have? In the meantime, you might want to search the training section of this forum.

I'm very sorry to hear about your cat, but the other's are right, continuing to punish the dogs isn't going to solve the problem, lessen the pain, or make things right. dogs live "in the moment". They no longer know why they are being punished.

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
I think as well my husband is trying to reassert us as 'pack leaders' by allowing the dogs in to the house as a priviledge not a right, keeping on the leash during walks....he thinks they have all gotten out of hand and unruly.
I

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 10:40 AM
I have 4 dog training dvds that i recently bought which i told my husband we are watching tonight.
We have a 15 month old toddler, who we never leave unsupervised with the dogs, but we didnt expect them to attack our cat/their 'brother' but its obviously made us think twice about how complacent we have got with our dogs the fact that they are dogs, and they will do what dogs do, and they have a pack mentality when they all get together etc. I guess we are a little scared about our sons safety although i understand dogs chasing small running furry things is different to dog/human aggression.
Our dogs are mixed breeds, we took them in as strays as with the cat - pepe we got first he was abandonned by some neighbours when they moved house (he looks like he has some rott in him), Cody was a stray who was being fed by a neighbour of a friend, he definately has retriever in him, and Toby we found poisoned and dumped in a field to die (he looks a bit like a medium sized dobermann).
I dont want to punish my boys, i still love them.

vfrohloff
August 22nd, 2006, 11:16 AM
I am very sorry for the loss of your cat, it must be very upsetting. Please don't take this the wrong way, but are you sure your dogs killed the cat? How old was the cat? In my opinion, it is pretty unlikely that your cat and your dogs lived together for 3 years without any kind of scuffle and then out of the blue the dogs did this. My neighbor had a cat and a dog that seemed to get along fine until one morning she woke up to find the cat dead with blood everywhere. She initially assumed the dog had done it and wanted to get rid of the dog. Her husband convinced her to have an autopsy done on the cat and they discovered that he'd died of a stroke. The vet figured the dog got to the cat after the cat had died. I'm not saying this is the case with your pets, but it may be something you want to consider. Again, I am very sorry for your loss.

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 11:30 AM
We'll never know exactly what happened, Tiger was 3 years old, so a young cat and had just had his yearly check-up.
The dogs had been getting progressively 'excited' everytime Tiger would come in the house and i dont know if it was because he smelt of another cat or why they became intrigued with him after all this time. We sometimes heard cats fighting but never found any signs on Tiger that he was involved in that - in one instance we were out in our nightclothes searching the bushes to find he was curled up fast asleep on the spare bed all the while, but its not to say he never got involved in a fight with another cat. All our pets are neutered. There is a dog in our neighbourhood who is left to just run around and he often catches feral chickens, dont know if he would've got to Tiger because Tigey never went out the front of the house, just in to the dense bush at the back of the house. Incidently that dog has just recovered from parvo, his 'brother' died under our shed of parvo two weeks ago. I wish i knew what happened.
Tiger was also completely soaked?

SarahLynn123
August 22nd, 2006, 01:33 PM
If your cat can come in and out of the cat flap, it is possible that he could have been attacked outside by another animal and got himself inside to die. This would look like your dogs did it, but since they cant prove themselves innocent to your husband, they are automatically thought of as guilty and banned to the outdoors? Could your cat be soaked because your dog layed there with him and licked him? Could be a comforting thing?

Im just throwing out ideas as to what may have happened, who knows really. Im terribly sorry for your loss but I do think its time for you to put your foot down and bring your family back in the house where they belong.Maybe your husband will consider the other possibilities and forgive them, either way your dogs need to back with the family.

rainbow
August 22nd, 2006, 02:18 PM
If your cat can come in and out of the cat flap, it is possible that he could have been attacked outside by another animal and got himself inside to die. This would look like your dogs did it, but since they cant prove themselves innocent to your husband, they are automatically thought of as guilty and banned to the outdoors? Could your cat be soaked because your dog layed there with him and licked him? Could be a comforting thing?

Im just throwing out ideas as to what may have happened, who knows really. Im terribly sorry for your loss but I do think its time for you to put your foot down and bring your family back in the house where they belong.Maybe your husband will consider the other possibilities and forgive them, either way your dogs need to back with the family.



I agree 100%.

I am really sorry for the loss of your cat but there is no way of knowing what exactly happened. :grouphug:

You are doing your dogs a lot more harm by making them stay outside. They need to be allowed back in the house where they belong as part of the family. :dog: :pawprint:

Prin
August 22nd, 2006, 02:22 PM
Wow, SarahLynn, that's so true! It could have been an outsider. Or a small outsider could have come in too. Did your dogs have any blood on them?

clarert
August 22nd, 2006, 03:07 PM
I didnt see any blood on the dogs and there was only a small amount in the bedroom where i saw a scuffle had taken place, by the time i got home my husband had mopped up the kitchen and lounge.
I think the dogs will be outside during the day when we are work and be in in the evenings and at night whilst we are there, we are watching training videos tonight, although my husband thinks Pepe is too unruly to be trained ever.
I went to see my boys at lunch and they were subdued and Toby's tail remained down - i'm worried for them and explained that i dont agree with having dogs in the yard 24hrs a day and they can go downhill fast with kennel stress and he understands. In the past we had the boys in the yard when we were out and in when we were in because we genuinly thought they'd prefer it, but when the hurricane hit and destroyed everything we had to bring them inside 24/7 because the garden is not secure and i wont have them running around the streets which seems to be the norm here.
I love my dogs they are my family and no matter how Tiger died, i know dogs are just dogs at the end of the day with their own instincts.
Interestingly the other week when i took Tiger for a check-up the vet noticed that on two of his paws he had some skin coming away, almost like how a blister is when it dries up.....i dont know how his paws could've got that way, the vet suggested perhaps he had burnt them and i guess its possible that he jumped on a hot car or something, but it shows we dont really know what he got up to.

rainbow
August 22nd, 2006, 04:13 PM
Interestingly the other week when i took Tiger for a check-up the vet noticed that on two of his paws he had some skin coming away, almost like how a blister is when it dries up.....i dont know how his paws could've got that way, the vet suggested perhaps he had burnt them and i guess its possible that he jumped on a hot car or something, but it shows we dont really know what he got up to.

Maybe he stepped in something caustic and also ingested some of the poison. Maybe the dogs didn't kill him after all. Glad to hear the dogs will be coming in the house when you're at home. Hope you enjoy and learn from the videos tonight.

Again, sorry for your loss. :grouphug:

jawert1
August 22nd, 2006, 07:09 PM
Hi clarert, first off, I'm terribly sorry about your cat, and can only pray that he didn't meet his end at the paws of his canine brothers. With a cat flap, there are any number of additional possibilities, but at this point the best option is to move forward. Given you'll be watching training videos tonight, they will stress the point I'm about to make in that regard. Consistency with training is vital to success. Both you and your husband must find a method you agree on and BOTH of you have to stick to it 100%. I cannot stress enough that this is not something you can disagree on, or only do 10% of the time, or one of you does and the other doesn't at all. I know Mahelani can tell you how difficult it is to maintain training a dog when a partner doesn't also support the efforts and methods. The same techniques you apply to your toddler, you must also apply to your dogs. Firm but loving boundaries, consistent signals and training, and the acceptance that sometimes CORRECT discipline IS necessary. I understand the both of you are grieving right now over the kitty, and my heart goes out to you. Good luck and please check the training forums for helpful hints and techniques so you and your family (human and furries) can move forward without fear of something like this happening again. Keep us posted :pawprint:

clarert
August 23rd, 2006, 02:24 PM
We watched a training video last night and learnt quite a bit. But we were watching with heavy hearts and i must admit that i am finding it difficult to be with my dogs, for praising them and rewarding them when they are being good. They dont know what they've done, i know that, but its still hard to be chirpy and loving towards them.....i hope this passes as i love my dogs and enjoy their company but its hard knowing what i know and detaching from that.
My cat is dead, the evidence points to the dogs and my son wont grow up with a cat, because i never want to risk this again.
He was a funny little cat, a feral kitten abandonned by his mother, half dead with his face all squashed and matted with filth when we found him.....but i miss him and i miss my dogs too.

LM1313
August 23rd, 2006, 02:38 PM
I'm so sorry about your cat. :( I hope that it was something else and that the dogs didn't kill them. Hopefully you can change your husband's mind about keeping them outside 24/7. You already have the clarity to see that they are dogs and do "dog things" without realizing they are "bad", maybe he will realize it too. Thank you for not giving up on your dogs after this traumatizing event! :grouphug:

jiorji
August 23rd, 2006, 02:41 PM
i think it's normal that you would feel resentment towards your dogs. But you say they had lived together for 3 years, is it possible for a pet to turn against another family pet??. I'd say dogs are smarter than that, unless maybe the cat really did come in with a strong foreign smell on her and they didn't recognize her.

the possibility of an outside animal being involved should be considered, especially since you say the dogs show no sense of guilt. I think that they would had they done it.

:rip: :cat:

Prin
August 23rd, 2006, 05:16 PM
Some people say that dogs can't show guilt though.. But to me, even if they can't, there would have been other evidence in their behavior and blood on their bodies.

chico2
August 23rd, 2006, 05:28 PM
I think it's only human to feel what you do,if I had a dog who supposedly killed one of my cats,I would have a really hard time dealing with that.
I know it's not fair towards the dogs,but how do you forget,what this kitty went through,before dying??
I know of a lady who had a Jack Russel and 2 cats,they were fine for many years,but one day she came home to find both cats killed?Why,nobody really knows..
I don't think it is fair to punish the dogs,they don't know why,but I can truly understand how you feel..
It will take time for you to look at them the way you used to,but time heals all wounds and you'll once again be loving with your dogs.
:rip: Sweet Tiger:cat:

MyBirdIsEvil
August 23rd, 2006, 06:29 PM
Some people say that dogs can't show guilt though.. But to me, even if they can't, there would have been other evidence in their behavior and blood on their bodies.

Not necessarily, they could have cleaned each other off.

Either way, dogs are dogs, and so many people see their dogs as their kids or similar, it's hard when you find out that your dog is just that: A dog.

Several dogs together unsupervised will exhibit strong pack behavior, especially when you've never established yourselves as pack leader.
Packs of dogs hunt. When pack behavior comes into play, all it takes is one dog chasing after the cat to trigger all the other dogs to chase. From there it escalates. The dogs start trying to prove things to each other, so they each fight to get to the cat first. Even if they weren't planning on hurting the cat, the dogs are more concentrated on each other and what each other dog is doing than trying not to hurt the cat.

That's why it's vital that if you have cats you teach the dog to completely ignore the cat. You mentioned your dogs had been sniffing the cat a lot. They probably slowly became fixated on the cat, and no one realized (or knew it should be stopped), until it was too late.

I'm sorry for your loss, I would be heartbroken if anything happened to one of my cats, and I know how it feels, because I had my favorite cat ever hit by a car when I was a child. He didn't come home and my cousin came over and mentioned that he'd seen a dead black cat on the way home. I KNEW right then it was my cat, and when we went down to look it was him. The whole front of his body was intact and the back was...well...
I was bitter for a long time about the person who had run over my cat. I wanted to get them back somehow even though I didn't know who it was. Much later on I came to realize that it was me and my parents fault for not keeping the cat in the house.

That's why your husband shouldn't be punishing your dogs. This happened because of your mistakes not the dogs mistakes. Hopefully you can convince your husband that the dogs should be in the house with YOU.

By letting your dogs stay outside by themselves you're only establishing further that you guys aren't pack leader. The dogs pack behavior will only get worse being outside together alone and left to their own devices, and it will only be all the worse when you DO let them back in, so please let them back in and start training as soon as possible.

rainbow
August 23rd, 2006, 06:36 PM
Interestingly the other week when i took Tiger for a check-up the vet noticed that on two of his paws he had some skin coming away, almost like how a blister is when it dries up.....i dont know how his paws could've got that way, the vet suggested perhaps he had burnt them and i guess its possible that he jumped on a hot car or something, but it shows we dont really know what he got up to.


Maybe he stepped in something caustic and also ingested some of the poison. Maybe the dogs didn't kill him after all. Glad to hear the dogs will be coming in the house when you're at home. Hope you enjoy and learn from the videos tonight.

Again, sorry for your loss. :grouphug:



I'm still having trouble believing it was your dogs that did it. As you stated above, your vet thought your cat could have burned his paws. Caustic materials burn. Who knows what your cat could have got into? He could have ingested something, come in through the cat door and died. With something that possible, how can you hold a grudge against your dogs? :confused:

clarert
August 24th, 2006, 09:40 AM
I dont really hold anything against my dogs, i think i am just going through the many emotions of grieivng right now - guilt, anger, sadness...they all overwhelm me at different times.
Yes, it could've been an outside element involved, we will never know.
My husband said when he arrived home at 2pm Cody shot out the front door and ran off, i couldn't find him for hours and eventually found him at 10pm in my neighbours garden hiding. Cody also hides if he thinks he might be getting a bath.
We do blame ourselves for not asserting ourselves as pack leaders and getting sloppy with the dogs, and complacent with them and the cat....and i'll always feel that guilt.
We have started to assert ourselves as pack leaders again - no walking through doors before us, we eat before they do. I started to retrain my dogs last night and we watched another 2 dvds last night.
I owe it to my dogs, and Tiger's memory, to train them to be the best dogs ever.....which they are, i love them dearly and i forgive them for what they did - they didnt know, they loved Tiger too and am sure they are missing him as much as we are.

jawert1
August 24th, 2006, 11:58 AM
We have started to assert ourselves as pack leaders again - no walking through doors before us, we eat before they do. I started to retrain my dogs last night and we watched another 2 dvds last night.
I owe it to my dogs, and Tiger's memory, to train them to be the best dogs ever.....which they are, i love them dearly and i forgive them for what they did - they didnt know, they loved Tiger too and am sure they are missing him as much as we are.

It's the fact that you have this attitude that will make your renewed efforts successful, I'm just sorry it was facilitated by such a horrid event.

Daisy_Mae
August 27th, 2006, 08:33 PM
I live in a multi-pet household, 6 cats and 2 dogs and occasionally a foster. It has always been in the back of my mind what could possibly happen. I so feel for you, I think quite honestly my husband would act that same. He is the cat lover, I am the dog lover. I have 2 declawed cats that meow and hiss at the dogs if they get out of line but they don't run like they should. I came home one day to one of those cats having a perfect round hole in her side, like a tooth had punctured her. At that time I had the dog beds close to the cat beds.

Now the dogs are only allowed on the main floor and we have a cat door to the basement for the cats to get away and one for the bedroom. I moved all their cat trees and beds to areas where the dogs are not so when I am gone, they are no where near the dogs. I NEVER let them get away with any pushing, barking, chasing or harassing my cats, not once. I am on them all the time. Unlike you household, my dogs don't have a close relationship with our cats but they know the cats are off limits. I have hound dogs, and they respect the cats in our home because I have taught them to do so but when we go for walks a cat is just the same ranking as a rabbit, for chasing and hunting.

Our neighbours have 2 JRT's that live with 2 cats. One of our declaws snuck past me and ran out the patio door (it was 5am, dark, and I didn't notice she snuck past when I let the dogs out). She managed to hop our fence into their yard. Both dogs attacked her and we had to take the neighbours deck apart to get her out. They were stunned that their dogs would do that since they have cats but I wasn't. Our cat came into their territory. Lucky she wasn't hurt.

I hope you can get past this and stop wondering what could have or did happen and learn from this experience, I am so sorry for you loss. I know I would feel the same as you if it happened to me and I would definitely be going through the same with my husband.

CyberKitten
August 27th, 2006, 10:10 PM
I am so very sorry for your loss - I too think ity unlikely the dogs should be thought of first. I am someone who does not allow my cats out except on a - leash - and become even more vehement,y assertive about this daily. It is not safe for cats (even if it ever was but there are so many dangers out there for kitties, timy little beings who cannot really protect themselves from cars, bad people, other predators) and cats will be cats and love to chase, even when spayed and neutered. Also, they will have the scent of other animals but really, if the cat has been with these dogs for 3 yrs, it seems very unlikely.

I guess you could order a necropsy and a vet might be able to tell you some more info (are the injuries consistent with a dog attack and that sort of thing). I loathe anectodal info but I have to admit that I have lived with cats and dogs together and rarely have I heard of anything like this. That said, some research might tell you more - along with a necropsy. I know someone whose cat died from fright - a heart attack - and while she blamed someone visiting for scaring her cat to death in essence - stranger things have happaned. You have no idea what may have happaned outside???

Again, my condolences. I think your story is one you might share with others who still think cats are fine outside.

Boubou
August 28th, 2006, 12:41 AM
Unfortunately Clarert, I have been in your shoes. I arrived home to find a soaking wet, dead cat in our bedroom. It took a few moments to realize it was one of our beloved cats. We always had many cats and our dogs never paid any attention to them what so ever when we were home so of course we couldn't believe Boubou, Puppy and Teddy could have done this, the cat must have died of an aliment or something. Until it happened again. Another dead, wet cat this time in the living room with obvious signs of a struggle; couch moved out, coffee tables turned over. There were never any signs of exterior injuries or blood, which made me believe (and hope) that the death was quick (probably grabbed by the scruff of the neck and shaken). If you have ever seen a dog kill a squirrel or a groundhog, it's amazingly quick. As for the wetness, I think they sorta "peck" at the body once they've killed it just to check it out to make sure it's dead.

The dogs were never left alone with our cats again. Whenever we left, we confined them to the kitchen with large wooden baby gates. Although they have since died (of old age), I still don't take a chance with my newest bunch (Ginger, Nelly and Petunia) and they too are confined with baby gates when we leave.......

clarert
August 30th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all your replies and insights.
Boubou - thanks for telling me your story, i will never trust my dogs with a cat again, if i ever did get another cat the dogs and cat would not be left to mix together in their own. The strange thing is that we have the baby gate at the kitchen doorway, and Tiger never usually comes in the house during the day, so not sure whether this was a surprise for the dogs too?
The dogs are back in the house and have been since last week, my husband hasn't quite forgiven them and i still feel a little strange, but we both love them dearly and know it wasnt really their fault.
Above all i miss my little cat and feel a little empty without him with us, you know, like the entire dynamics of the family have changed forever.
My little son keeps looking for Tiger, and i showed him a photograph of Tiger and he broke in to a huge smile and hugged the photo to his face like he does his teddy bears. He is too young to understand (15months) but he a close relationship with Tiger, and i feel very sad that he will grow up now without a cat.