missylit asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Can a pit bull ever be socialized to cats once it's killed one?

One of our pit bulls (3 yr old, spayed female) killed my cat yesterday. I'm certain now that our previous cat was also killed by the dog (I had assumed he was poisoned, because I couldn't fathom our dog doing such a thing).

I've always well-socialized my two pits to other dogs and a variety of people and children, and I have never seen signs of aggression. I have not, however, been able to socialize THIS dog with the cats to the extent of my other dog, because of her incontinence. She is rarely at home (she goes with my husband to work), and when she IS home she is not allowed in the house. Basically, she hangs out with my husband and his friends in the garage and outside, and doesn't see much of the cats (they are indoor only).

I'm wondering if there is any way I can avoid this kind of tragedy in the future (besides not getting another cat). I have taken every precaution to keep the cats inside, but it only takes leaving the door open for a second.


Wow. Some of you are really brutal. To clarify, I am absolutely devastated by losing my babies. I only get a limited amount of characters to work with here. I could have explained my devastation, but then I wouldn't have all the facts I needed to get my question answered.

Regarding her incontinence, please do not mistake it as isolation. My husband works on a ranch, so she enjoys going with him. She is hardly home because we are very active outdoors as a family, and our dogs go with us (ALWAYS on a leash). I have always been very proud to say that our dogs are rarely ever alone. I've researched treating her incontinence, but why subject her to meds when its only a minor inconvenience (proper placement of pads and regular cleanings, etc). Now that I know what she is capable of, I wouldn't want her free roaming my house unsupervised anyway.

My son opened his window while I was in the shower, and I believe that's how my kitty got outside and was killed.

Update 2:

Neither cat had bite marks, which was why I didn't put two and two together the first time. It would make sense that they were crushed.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have an American Pit Bull Terrier(6 y/o), a pit mix(8y/o) and 2 cats(12 and 15 y/o). The cats are indoors only. The dogs are primarily indoors and go outdoors in a fenced yard to play and potty. They all get along famously when they are indoors together, but I am not sure what would happen if they met up outdoors.

    About 5 years ago, a neighbor's cat jumped our fence into our yard. No one saw it happen. But, when I called the dogs inside I noticed the pit mix had blood on her muzzle and her breath. After making sure she wasn't bleeding, I went out in the yard and found the dead cat. Five years later, she continues to be nothing but gentle with our two house cats They get nose-to-nose on a regular basis and fall asleep within a few feet of each other.

    To this day, I couldn't say whether the pit mix's tolerance of our cats can be attributed to the fact that she has known them since puppyhood and recognizes them as "part of the pack" or whether it's because she has never encountered them outside the house. I would prefer to think the former. But, I can't rule out the latter. Maybe it's some of both.

    My point is, that as we socialize our dogs, they come to understand that there are alot of things they can do outdoors that would not be OK to do indoors (pee, poop, rough house, give chase, etc.) The dog you are writing about hasn't had to learn to situationally restrain herself to the extent your other dogs have because she is mostly an outside dog. I think acclimating her towards cats would require alot of work and patience. I think you will be happier enjoying her for the dog she is which is a great companion who can go to work with your husband, hang out with him and his friends, etc.

    If you are thinking of getting another cat, I would suggest you manage the situation by stepping up the vigilance level for keeping the cat indoors. Everyone in your family would essentially need to train themselves to be more aware of things like open doors, open windows and the whereabouts of the cat in relation to those things. It's a bit of hassle if you're not used to it. But, it can be done and after awhile it becomes second nature. In the twenty years that I've had cats I can count the number of times one has gotten outside on one hand--and then it was only a few seconds before it was scooped up and taken back inside. Only you and your family can decide whether you want a cat badly enough to make this kind of adjustment.

    I am sorry for your loss. I know it's devastating. And, some of the response here probably didn't help matters. Ignore the people who say you need to call animal control or that your dog may become aggressive towards humans. They don't know what they are talking about.

    Source(s): Experience owning cats and pit bulls. Web publisher for http://www.the-proper-pitbull.com
  • DP
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If you are going to get another cat ( I WOULDN'T ) You have to take better care to make sure the dog doesn't get it.

    It is not true that once a dog tastes blood that it is out to kill anything.. If this were true, what happens to dogs that are being fed a raw meat diet?? Aren't those families in jeopardy just because they are feeding raw meat?? Ridiculous isn't it...

    But once a dog has enjoyed the chase of small animals, it will be a little difficult to curb this... As it's likely that it was encouraged. Obviously the dog wasn't told not to anyhow. You can teach a dog not to kill your cats, or other cats that wander into the yard, bit it's likely that you are going to need the help of a professional..

    Also why wouldn't you treat your dog's incontinence, rather than dragging it around all the time and keeping it in the garage... Just treat the incontinence, and she won't be making a mess... Vet can help you with the proper diagnosis, will prescribe her medication to help her.

  • 1 decade ago

    humm....thats very odd..i had a dog who was very territorial and chased all cats out of our yard and was known for killing ground hogs but once we had got a cat as a pet he was fine with him...dogs can usually make the distinction between animals invading their territory and new pets that will be sharing their house...our dog was also a very unbelievebly nice dog he just didnt want anything on HIS property that didnt belong...its possible that the dogs havent seen enough of the cats around you guys to understand that it is actually his house mate...so he probably thought it was an intruder...if you ever plan on getting another cat i would seriously suggest keeping it somewhere he can't easily escape...like in the basement or something for the most part and making sure that the dog sees it as often as possible...supervised of course...and to start out make sure the dog is on a leash and the cat is in a cage and let him sniff...then after he gets used to that hold her and keep him on the leash and keep introducing them like that also if the dog shows aggression even while the cat is in the cage...make sure you disipline him with a firm NO and maybe a smack on the nose or bum...i hope this works and i am very sorry to hear about your loses

  • 1 decade ago

    My Akita killed two of my cats. After the first one we went through retraining, reintroducing to the family etc.. and then he killed my cat. Unfortunately he just wanted to play with them and got rough. Small prey drive is an instinct and I be live from everything I read, and everything we tried to do with our Akita that you can not "train" it out.... believe me we tried. I am so sorry for your loss but I don't think you can introduce your dog to another cat. So the choice comes down to keeping the dog or getting another cat. In our case I knew that after the second cat was killed I would never be able to fully trust him again~love him yes, trust him no. I found the perfect family for him and adopted him to them. We visit and send pics back and forth so we know he is in an awesome, cat free home!! And I still have dogs but I also have 9 cats. We have a pit mix that we have to watch constantly because she has been aggressive with the cats so we keep them separated now. She has never attacked one of the cats but it can happen so I must be vigilant always!

    If you are going to keep your dog than I would not get cats. I would also caution you to keep an eye on her and small dogs... small prey drive is not limited to just cats. Good luck with this and again I am sorry for your loss. Oh~ and you might want to check into a natural vet for the incontinece... I had a dog that I dealt with for that and we went to an acupuncturist and they fixed the proplem... Check out http://www.lovingtouchac.com/ I know it is in GA but they might be able to help you find someone in your area as they deal with people from all over the world... Good Luck!

    Oh and don't listen to the idiots up there (and don't have an animal control officer to "evaluate" your dog)~~ give me a break. Accidents happen and nature is not something you can fight. Ignore the idiots and just do the next right thing. I am really getting sick of hearing that once they taste blood they won't go back, and that pitts are problems. Give me a gd break!!!! I have a 1/2 wolf, pits, rotties, akitas... all vicous and mean and killers!!!! Do you know that we use ALL of our dogs as certified therapy dogs?????? Stupid people...

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  • 1 decade ago

    dogs who kill cats normally do it after they have chased and caught the cat so you can show your dog cats and get no response but when left alone the dog will most likely kill another cat just continue keeping her outside and confined to your yard. I am sad to admit I had two rott mixes that played with my cat all the time and were very nice to cats, they remained in the back yard while we were not at home one day I found a dead kitten with no bite marks, but assumed they had done it. Then one day one of the cats decided to eat out of there food bowl, they sniffed it and then the cat got mad and ran away, they chased the cat and tried to play with it like they do themselves, they weighed 130 and 150 pounds the cat was like 5 pounds . This cat got away, but I'm sure that is how they killed the kitten they smashed it :(

    We keep cats anyway, most were smart enough not to go in with the dogs and run, if they walked the dogs sniffed and then lost interest. So if you want another cat just get one and keep it away from the dog, dogs chase cats then sometimes kill them pitbulls as well as husky's are known for haveing what is known as a high prey drive they chase to kill for the most part. But be careful to not allow the dog out of the yard off leash and unattended as it may harm a small dog or cat and there's a lawsuit for you, but over all it sounds like the dog is too rough with cats like mine were. It's sorta hard to do anything about that.

    Oh and don't tell your neighbors or animal control anything, because everytime a cat goes missing they'll blame you, or get scared and make you get rid of your dog, and animal control is a big no no, tell them your dog killed a cat and they'll list it as vicious or seize it. As long as your dog is in your yard you sould be fine, if someone elses animal wonders in and gets hurt thats the other persons fault for failing to properly confine their animal,

    Good for you for keeping an animal with health problems, so may people dump a pet at the shelters for being inconvenent

    Oh and the best way to keep a cat from running out is to keep the cat in a different section of the house when you are coming and going, or if the cat gets out confine the dog to the garage when left alone then you won't come back to any nasty surprises

  • 4 years ago

    I would easily choose a German Shepherd. I have had four of them and, when they are well trained and loved, they are great companions. I would take my shepherd for a run everyday and she always pushed me to run just that little bit. They make great guard dogs even if they are friendly and placid, because people have terrible misconceptions about them, not to mention that they do come across as rather intimidating to those who don't really know them. They are large, and in my experience pretty smart. I used to have one that would pick up her ball and put it on the trampoline for me to kick. They meet all the requirements on your list and, in my opinion, are the best dogs you can get.

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to have your pit bull assessed by an animal welfare officer. Most pit bulls are great dogs. The problem comes from the very few that still have the pitty instinct.

    Unfortunately if your husbands girl has killed two cats she becomes a higher risk to small children and people who may wander into your yard. She most likely killed your cats out of territorial aggression and this can be dangerous.

    Although she sounds like generally a good dog. I would be very careful of any other small animals around her and definitely get her assessed. There may be some underlying stress causing the aggression, but if it is instinct you should talk to your husband about getting some signs and letting your neighbours know so that they do not let one of their cats accidentally wander into your dogs yard.

  • 1 decade ago

    Don't listen to the moron up there who told you you'll kill your next animal - he's not being very nice.

    It is possible to socialize your pit with cats - just watch at all times. It will be very difficult, however. Props to you for socializing them with people and children and other dogs - good job.

    Just keep doing what you're doing and keep them separated and take a lot more caution or expect to have another cat killed by your pup. I will likely never be able to own cats without constant fear of my pitty eating them. She's never had a chance to really be socialized to cats.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My only advice is if you get another to keep the seperated if the cat gets out put the dog in a crate until the cat is found and back inside. Good Luck

    Source(s): I own 5 American PBT's & 1 mix
  • 1 decade ago

    lol, this kinda relates to a question i just asked. umm well im in the same pardicament an am not sure yet if its possible. it seems a 50/50 chance so far. not sure

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