can a dog kill a cat

Will My Dog Kill My Cat? He absolutely could. Obviously, if your dog is smaller, the chance of this is much lower. A cat that is heavier than the dog is likely not going to be seriously injured, especially if they can get away from the dog if needed.

Dog breeds that kill cats

You should be aware that breed is not the only factor that could lead to your dog killing your cat if you are afraid that your dog will kill your cat and are wondering which breeds are most likely to do so.

Many Pit Bulls have a best friend who is a feline. Even canines that are avid hunters typically pick up on how to get along with cats and other household pets.

However, there is a higher chance of conflict between cats and the following dog breeds and types:

  • When they notice something small and furry, sighthounds like the Greyhound, Afghan Hound, Scottish Deerhound, Taigan, or Borzoi are inherently wired to pursue it.
  • Strong predation instincts are a characteristic of terrier breeds like the English Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, and Jack Russell Terrier. They may still possess a strong inclination to pursue and kill small game or to engage in combat with other animals, such as cats and dogs. They are also extraordinarily tenacious.
  • Some breeds of livestock guarding dogs, like the Anatolian Shepherd or Kangal, occasionally have a significantly lower tolerance for animals that might be thought of as potential predators. Although if raised with cats, many owners report success. If they grow up around cats, they may guard the felines as members of their “herd.”
  • Due to their natural desire to herd, high-energy breeds like Border Collie and Australian Cattle Dog may harass cats. This does not necessarily make them lethal to cats, but since no cat enjoys being herded, they usually need to be raised among cats to prevent too much disruption.
  • Following terrier and guard dog breeds as the most frequent offenders are hunting breeds. This can range from Vizslas to Weimaraners, to even Beagles. Although these dogs are not used for hunting as much as they once were, they still have a strong natural desire to hunt, which can occasionally cause cats to become uncomfortable. These dogs must grow up around cats and receive early and thorough socialization from them.
  • A variety of canines are referred to as guarding or protection dogs, including the robust Cane Corso and more established working protection breeds like German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. If these dogs are not properly trained and socialized, the same instinct that makes them excellent guardians can also become a problem for cats.

It is noteworthy that the majority of these breeds can lead fulfilling lives when living with a cat in the home. Problems are rare for committed owners who socialize these puppies with domestic cats.

Do dogs get jealous of cats?

Dogs can be envious of other people and household pets in addition to cats. This can occasionally occur when a new pet or person enters their life, but it can also develop gradually over time without any obvious causes.

Dogs may become envious of cats who get more attention from their pet parents, have access to better food, or both.

This poses a particular issue for a dog that has developed an anxious attachment to its owner and begun to protect them from other people and animals. Owners may even encourage this protective behavior, failing to recognize that jealousy can turn into a dangerous circumstance.

Factors that can influence whether your dog will kill a cat include:

  • Have your dog and cat formed a bond during their upbringing?
  • You can learn more about the critical socialization window and the appropriate ages for your puppy’s socialization here. Has your dog been successfully socialized with cats during this time?
  • Unfamiliar cats are more likely to cause problems for your dog, so it’s important to know if this is a new cat or one you’ve had for a while.
  • Is your dog of a strong breed that despises cats? While small, elderly, or disabled dogs may be hostile to cats and dislike them, an elderly Yorkshire Terrier is unable to kill an adult cat, even if they so choose.
  • How persistent and reactive is your dog? A lot of dogs will show aggression toward a cat once, then back off after a quick swat on the nose. But some dogs, like many terriers, are “game,” which means they can have an innately high prey drive and don’t give up easily in a fight. They can also be far more aggressive against other animals, be far less tolerant of them, and be a greater threat to cats.
  • On that note, breed and genetics play a role. Breeds with a history of hunting, dogfighting in their lineage, or extreme territoriality are generally more dangerous to cats. However, any breed can have genetic or behavioral problems. Therefore, even typically amiable breeds like Golden Retrievers may act dangerously toward cats. This may be the case for dogs that exhibit fear-based aggression or dogs that have serious issues with resource guarding. Therefore, dogs that have demonstrated issues related to aggression could pose a risk to your cat.
  • If you live with more than one dog, sometimes dogs in a pack are more able and likely to kill another dog if they have a tendency toward aggression or are territorial. This explains why a typically peaceful dog may get into a brawl at the dog park. Pack behavior is sometimes a problem.
  • If your dog is starting to growl or snarl, there might be trouble brewing, and it’s time for a professional to step in before things get out of hand. Has your dog ever shown your cat any prior signs of aggression? Your cat is in danger if your dog has bitten it in the past or if you find it difficult to keep your dog under control when your cat is around.

We also answered the question in our post, Will My Dog Kill My Rabbit?


Can a cat defend itself against a dog?

While it’s natural for cats to defend themselves when feeling threatened, training a cat to specifically defend itself against a dog attack may not be effective or advisable. Cats are generally more agile and have sharp claws and teeth, which they can use to protect themselves.

Can a cat survive a dog attack?

Cats undergoing more aggressive treatments were significantly less likely to survive (P = 0.029). Fifty-seven cats (79%) survived to discharge. Conclusions and relevance: Cats sustaining canine bite wounds have a good overall prognosis for survival to discharge.

Can a dog kill a cat without leaving a mark?

Certainly. Many dogs kill by shaking their prey. A quick snap of the cat’s neck and you have a dead cat with no exterior marks. A detailed autopsy would probably reveal teeth marks in the cat’s flesh, but that’s going to cost a lot of money.

Who will win cat or dog?

Can a dog defeat a big cat? No dog breed at all could take a healthy adult big cat in a one-and-one fight. The wild predators are much stronger and, in lions and tigers, around 3 times more massive than most large dog breeds.