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I live in a rural area and an older man who lives across the road feeds every stray cat in the area. For years I've put up with these cats pooing in my flower beds and in my driveway. He buys them food but that is the extent of his caring for them; no liter boxes, no vet visits, they sleep in an out building on his property.

My 18 month female GS loves to be outside and we have an invisible fence and she can run and play on 10 acres.

Today a kitten, couldn't have been more than 2 months old, wandered onto our property while this neighbor was outside watching. I was also in the yard as was my dog. I shooed the cat back across the road but it came right back into the yard. This time my dog was waiting and the second the kitten was in the yard the dog snapped it up, ran through the yard, shaking it violently back and forward. In less than 5 seconds it was dead. After my initial shock I told the dog to drop it which she did although I had to hold her back while my husband scooped the kitten into a bag.

During this incident the neighbor didn't say a word or attempt to do anything. After the dog dropped the kitten, he went inside his house. Personally I think he was happy to have one less cat to feed because a few weeks ago he mentioned to another neighbor that he was spending a lot of money on cat food.

We brought the dog back inside and she has been acting like her old self all evening.

I have to say that I was surprised at the viciousness in which she killed this kitten. I'm worried that she will now stay close to the property line in front of the house waiting on more to cross over. I suppose this is normal dog behavior, it was just unsettling to watch.

My husband is concerned at the possible diseases these cats might carry and personally neither of us feel we owe an apology. While I do feel bad about the way the kitten died, I do look at it as one less cat pooping on my property.

If this neighbor were to call the Humane society or some other organization, would we be at fault? I've read stories where dogs have been tested on their temperment after such incidents.
 

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did your dog ever leave your yard? If not, then I doubt there will be an issue this time. But you may want to jump on this prey drive and stop it before she runs thru the invisible fence to kill a cat. And they WILL run thru that fence when they are in drive.
 

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I have these stray cats that come on my property to hunt in the woods...there is no question in my mine if my 15 month old catches one they are goners....fortunately they climb trees fast. The cats are trespassing, and it's instinctive for dogs to chase cats....so it is what it is.
 

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Jax - my dog never left my yard, she waited until the kitten was in the yard. How do I stop this prey drive? She also chases rabbits through a field on our property, but they run faster and she has never caught one.
 

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That's a plus. If she had left your yard and chased the cat down you might have an issue. I would check your local and state laws though.
Just because she's never left your yard doesn't mean she won't next time. I would advise you get a trainer to evaluate her and help you.
 

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did you see your dog waiting for the kitten to return to your yard???

I live in a rural area and an older man who lives across the road feeds every stray cat in the area. For years I've put up with these cats pooing in my flower beds and in my driveway. He buys them food but that is the extent of his caring for them; no liter boxes, no vet visits, they sleep in an out building on his property.

My 18 month female GS loves to be outside and we have an invisible fence and she can run and play on 10 acres.

Today a kitten, couldn't have been more than 2 months old, wandered onto our property while this neighbor was outside watching.

>>>>> I was also in the yard as was my dog. I shooed the cat back across the road but it came right back into the yard. This time my dog was waiting and the second the kitten was in the yard the dog snapped it up, ran through the yard, shaking it violently back and forward.<<<<<

In less than 5 seconds it was dead. After my initial shock I told the dog to drop it which she did although I had to hold her back while my husband scooped the kitten into a bag.

During this incident the neighbor didn't say a word or attempt to do anything. After the dog dropped the kitten, he went inside his house. Personally I think he was happy to have one less cat to feed because a few weeks ago he mentioned to another neighbor that he was spending a lot of money on cat food.

We brought the dog back inside and she has been acting like her old self all evening.

I have to say that I was surprised at the viciousness in which she killed this kitten. I'm worried that she will now stay close to the property line in front of the house waiting on more to cross over. I suppose this is normal dog behavior, it was just unsettling to watch.

My husband is concerned at the possible diseases these cats might carry and personally neither of us feel we owe an apology. While I do feel bad about the way the kitten died, I do look at it as one less cat pooping on my property.

If this neighbor were to call the Humane society or some other organization, would we be at fault? I've read stories where dogs have been tested on their temperment after such incidents.
 

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I think the whole situation kinda stinks. I would be highly upset with my dog if it did something like that. I don't know if its normal behavior. I have 4 dogs and none of them would ever kill a kitten, especially viciously. I would venture to say that you might as well kiss the electric fence good bye, because now she knows she can get them and she will, even if that means going through the fence if she wants the cat bad enough. I'm sure you don't want her to get hit by car.
 

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It is normal behavior. My dogs live with two cats but I wouldn't expect them to be friendly to one trespassing in the yard.

While the way that she killed the kitten seems vicious to us, its not. It was likely quick and pretty humane as far as killing another animal goes. Dogs are predators, they kill prey. Shaking is a quick way to do it no matter how disturbing it is to us humans.

I agree with Michelle. I would work with a trainer to get her prey drive under control and reinforce the boundary of the yard. Now that she has caught the kitten, it is more likely that she will accept the shock from the fence if in high drive.
 

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I'd be mad if that was my cat. Specially cause you were standing right there when it happened.

I don't want my dogs attacking and killing neighbor cats that come into my yard. I don't want them attacking killing rabid racoons that may come in my yard. I do not want them 'killing' anything unless it was accidental and CERTAINLY not while I was there.

Bummer if you ever take your dog to a relatives house and they have a cat/kitten..........
 

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I am sorry that it bothers you, or your dog. That said. I hate that cats are allowed to wander around freely. Everyone accepts it. I hate that they can have a poop in your garden, and its OK. Is it worth a death sentence? Probably not. But people need to keep their cats on their own property, or leashed. IMHO.
 

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It is normal behavior. My dogs live with two cats but I wouldn't expect them to be friendly to one trespassing in the yard.
It is absolutely normal. It's prey instincts. Is it common? I don't know. I know Jax is fine with the cats that live here but all others are fair game. She's never caught one so have no idea what she would do with them.
 

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Try calling your local shelter to see if there is a trap and release program. They might come out and spay/neuter all the cats and give them rabies shots. I would be concerned that the cats have no vaccinations as well. On the other hand, it's also been proven there is less disease where there is a feral cat colony because they keep down the rodent population.
 

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With that many cats roaming around, I'm surprised coyotes are not preying on them. We had a cat hoarder about a block away. It got so bad, I started trapping them and taking them to the shelter. They were in horrible shape, missing ears, hair, and some had abscesses.
 

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It is normal behavior. My dogs live with two cats but I wouldn't expect them to be friendly to one trespassing in the yard.
See I do expect them to at the very least ignore cats we see outside of the house and they do. We have cats all over the place, they come up to our windows and all of the dogs(even the new one) just walk away. Now I just have to work on the skunks. I can't stand seeing cats outside and there should be a leash law for them to. I do love both dogs and cats.
 

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With that many cats roaming around, I'm surprised coyotes are not preying on them. We had a cat hoarder about a block away. It got so bad, I started trapping them and taking them to the shelter. They were in horrible shape, missing ears, hair, and some had abscesses.
Around here they are dinner for the coyotes, that is how I brought two in the house. I did not want to hear them getting killed, nor did I want to come home and see them dead in the street. If people want to let their cats out, there are ways to contain them in a secure setting in the yard. I just purchased a tunnel made for cats to go outside in, that is how my cat will get to go out and I know he's safe.
 

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I'm with llombardo and MaggieRoseLee on this one.

I try to think about treating others, even animals they way I would want to be treated. If you had 2 month old puppy that happened to wander in the yard of someone who had a dog with a high prey drive, I'm sure you would want that person to do everything possible to prevent your puppy from being attacked.

I've rescued several feral cats, and amazingly none had diseases, only fleas. Many of them are very healthy, we have one near our business that has been there for over 10 years. Maybe you can work with your neighbor and set up traps to catch the ferals and at least get them spayed and neutered. If young enough, bring them to the animal shelter.
 

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I would also be disturbed watching my dog kill a kitten. I believe a lot of dogs view outdoor cats as squirrels, and many dogs will kill a squirrel if given the chance. All the dogs I have owned in my lifetime are great with my cats (inside and outside) and friends cats that we visit and cats in pet stores. Cats outside have always been fair game and I am fine with this. I may get bashed for this, but I live in a low income neighboorhood, a lot of stray and ill kept cats running around and my guys get fleas every summer from them. I DO NOT want stray cats on my property, peeing on my windows, leaving fleas and disturbing my indoor cats. My dogs are encouraged to chase (on command of course) the stray cats off of my property. They are also expected to stop chasing and relax when told to do so. I would not let them catch and kill one of the cats (they are usually on leash when we come across a cat on our property), but that is what is going through their minds while they are chasing the cats. I have never had any of my dogs transfer this idea to pet cats in a building. And they are trained to stop when told to stop, and they must stop.
I would suggest you train around some cats and get some control before you lose it entirely. Cats are mighty fun to chase and kill and the dog might start making up games to catch cats. And if the frustration builds enough she likely will break through the invisible fence and I'm sure the neighbour will call animal control when there is a german shepherd in his yard killing all his cats. High levels of distraction training, reinforce your fence training and find some cats to work with.
I don't believe that this one incident means the dog is crazy, most dogs would have done the same thing if it was a squirrel, rat or chipmunk and we wouldn't call a dog out of control for killing a rodent. The dog just needs some solid training.
 

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It is natural for dogs to chase and kill cats as much as rats and rabbits. Some won't and some need to be trained not to.

Like it's natural for cats to catch birds.

I would chat to the guy any ways. He may feel bad for the kitten and might want to bury it himself rather than it thrown into your bin. I look at cat people as loving there animals as much as dog people. If your dog died you'd want the body back.

I would also make sure he is cool and not thinking of taking revenge or something. I've had friends dogs die of poisoning.
 

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One of my older cats was a feral cat. She was born in my yard years ago, then her mom got hit by a car. She would run when I tried to get closer, but when I brought my oldest dog out, that cat would go right up to the dog. She LOVES dogs and that was how she was caught. Oddly my other feral cat also loves dogs, they both seem to have a bond with the dogs. I could never allow my dogs to chase a cat. They aren't allowed to chase any wildlife. Right now I have baby rabbits that were just born out in front of my house. My oldest loves baby anythings and she will defend them if needed.
 

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Allowing them to do and it being a natural instinct are two completely different things. Hence why most people who said it is natural also said to work on control of the prey drive to keep the dog and other cats safe.

Just because dogs are our pets it doesn't change that they are first predatory animals who need to be taught to do control those instincts and live within our rules.
 
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