When two humans, perhaps in the same household always pick on each other, they are usually said to be existing like cat and dog. This is because there is a generally perceived notion that dogs and cats cannot co-exist. This notion is so strong, movies and even very famous animations depict a major enmity between cats and dogs.
In the mind of the average person, it might be impossible for cats and dogs to live together. The fact is a lot of households have cats and dogs coexisting.
In as much as cats and dogs can actually coexist, it does not take away the fact that dogs have what can almost be described as a reputation for attacking cats. If all that dogs did was attack cats occasionally, perhaps, there would not be any problem. However, what happens is dogs attack cats and end up killing them.
As one would expect, when a dog attacks a cat, the cat tries to defend itself. However, domestic dogs are bigger than domestic cats and are usually much stronger. Due to this, a lot of times, the fight between a dog and a cat is a one-way affair with the cats always being at the losing end.
Dogs do not just kill cats that live in the same household as them. Sometimes, they attack a neighbor’s cat or even a stray cat.
A good number of dog owners have experienced their dog killing a cat and this has always left them wondering why exactly a dog will take it upon itself to kill a cat.
In as much as it might be difficult to find a convincing reason why dogs kill cats, there are reasons that you can always hold on to. Furthermore, if you must have a good understanding of the reason dogs kill cats, then, you have to have a good understanding of dog instincts.
About Dog Instincts
Dogs are often trained to listen to instructions and act a certain way. Also, they live among humans and can very much be considered a major part of a household. Due to this, lots of dog owners often expect dogs to act in a seemingly civilized way. This might seem like a regular thing to ask for if you have a dog that is well trained. However, you have to realize that a dog will never act like a human regardless of how trained it is. Training can go a long way in conditioning a dog’s actions. However, it does not erase its instincts.
If you have a properly trained dog and do not have any issues getting it to do what you really need it to do, it is not out of place to feel that it will drop some of its instincts. However, when you realize that the natural rules that govern humans are not the same that govern dogs, you might begin to expect a little less from your dogs. Unlike humans that will face trial and go to jail for taking life, in the world of animals, there is no such thing as murder. What humans call murder is simply a survival instinct among dogs. To a large extent, in the animal world, life is about killing or being killed. It is a case of the survival of the fittest.
Now, you might agree with the fact that dogs have a natural instinct to kill prey. However, you still might be of the opinion that domesticated dogs should not act like dogs in the wild. In as much as domesticated dogs and dogs in the wild are expected to act differently, once in a while, domesticated dogs follow their natural instincts and this can lead them to do something as extreme as killing a cat.
How do Dogs React to Movement
Have you ever wondered why dog owners always tell you not to run when you come visiting and their dog is barking? While there could be various reasons for this, dogs have a natural instinct to chase a running animal. It does not matter how well trained a dog is, this instinct gets to kick in frequently.
In the wild, dogs would always chase a smaller mammal in their environment until they catch it. Amazingly, they do not just chase this mammal. The first thing they do is make contact with the target through their eyes. Once they do this, they begin stalking the animal until there is an opportunity. As soon as they get an opportunity to chase, they waste no time before going in for the chase. This series of actions do not end up with just a chase. Dogs do not give up until they have the animal and give it a killing bite.
You might assume the killer instinct that dogs in the wild possess is not present in domesticated dogs. Well, if this is what you have always assumed, you are wrong. Life for domesticated dogs might be a lot more comfortable than life for dogs in the wild. This, regardless, they will have the same reaction to an animal moving in their environment.
A lot of dogs in the wild do not give up on a small prey until they have chased it. However, domestic dogs do not go on completely with these lines of actions. This is one reason you might not see your dog killing every small animal that its eyes catch.
Although a dog might not go on completely with a the series of actions that end up with killing an animal, there are times it goes all the way and this could result in the death of a cat.
Other Factors Responsible for Dogs Killing Cats
A dog’s instinct is the major reason it might be caught with a dead cat by its side. Nonetheless, there are other reasons why a dog could kill a cat. That being said, let’s take a look at other reasons that could cause your dog to kill a cat.
A Brief Period of Aggression
A dog might not always set out to kill a cat. However, after a brief period of aggression, it could attack a cat in a way that will result in the death of the cat.
If a dog is very well trained, its owner might expect it to always be on its best behaviour. Well, you have to realize that humans are not the only ones that could have bad days. There are times dogs to have bad days. These bad days could be caused by medical conditions or injuries.
When a dog is having a bad day, it does not matter what the reason for its bad day is, it could be at the edge and this might make it lash out at a cat around it.
It Might be Protecting its Territory
Dogs have a natural tendency to guard their environment and territory. One thing they might have in common with lots of other animals might be keeping their territory in check. The ability of a dog to keep watch over its territory is great if you need it as a guard dog. However, it could pose some problems.
One of the major problems you will have to deal with if you own a very territorial dog is it will always bark at anyone that it considers a stranger. With humans, this might not be much of a problem as humans know exactly when to back off. Well, the same cannot be said about cats. If a cat strays into your dog’s territory, it will go the extra mile to ensure that the cat is taken down. This might result in the death of the cat.
Beyond just guarding a territory, dogs can also be very protective when it comes to their food. This will never be an issue for humans as they really have no business with a dog’s food. Cats, on the other hand can be a little too brave and might make attempts at a dog’s food. A smart cat might get way with this. However, this could ultimately result in the death of the cat.
Dogs Kill Cats when they feel Threatened
There are times a dog kills a cat simply because it is protecting itself and its master. This situation is one that could occur when your dog encounters a cat while it is going for a walk.
When a dog encounters a cat, the cat could make a sound like a swat or a hiss. In as much as this sound might really never be a sign of aggression, your dog could assume it is a form of aggression. Due to this, it could also get aggressive with the cat.
A little aggression from a dog to a cat is not supposed to be enough to kill a cat. However, dogs have very strong jaws and this makes it relatively easy for them to kill cats.
Dogs Could Kill Cats by accidents
Dogs do not always set out to kill cats. Sometimes when a dig kills a cat, it is realty an accident. Accidental deaths of cats caused by dogs are something that could take place between cats and dogs that seem to have a good relationship.
When a dog and a cat spend so much time together, it is only normal that they spend time playing. While playing they could wrestle a lot. Also, the dog migbt end up chasing the cat. In as much as a good number of times, the play does not get past this point as the dog knows when to stop, it could also end up in the dog killing the cat.
How to Stop Your Dog from Killing Cats
Knowing the various reasons why dogs kill cats is not very easy. Equally difficult is making dogs stay away from killing a cat. Although not impossible, making an animal do something that is deep in its instinct is not the easiest thing to do. While the process of getting a dog to sop killing a cat is hard, you can always make it use its instinct in a much better way.
Some of the ways you can get a dog to stop killing cats are;
Seeking for Help from a Professional
This is perhaps the easiest way to stop your dog from killing cats. One of the reasons it is considered easier than other methods is the responsibility of keeping your dogs from killing cats will not rest with you if you decide to follow this method, all you need to do is let the professionals do their job.
Professionals have a lot of experience with issues like this. So, your dog’s issues might not be a challenge.
When a dog keeps killing cats, over time, its instincts towards killing cats will get stronger. So to keep this part of it from getting more developed, you will need to stop it in its track.
One way to keep your dog from killing cats is to come up with a chain of commands that will make it less focused on its targeted prey.
Keep It under Control
To keep your dog from killing cats consistently, you might need to alter its environment or make sure it is kept under control. One way to do this is to ensure it always gets into a territory you consider unfamiliar when it is kept under leash. Also, ensure you do not let your dog spend time with a cat without any supervision. Even if your dog and a cat seem to be getting along, it still could cause it some harm if you are not around for a fairly long time.
There is a lot the average dog owner can do to ensure that their dog does not make any attempts at taking the life of a cat. With the right effort, you will be quite successful at this. Nonetheless, you must realize that the instinct to kill cats will never be completely erased from a dog’s mind.