Dog attacked kittens-UPDATE-we have harmony


Terd of Hurtles
11 Years
Oct 23, 2008
Northwestern Minnesota
Our mini dachshund, Emma, usually fosters new kittens that we bring home. She will mother them like you wouldnt believe even tho she has never had her own babies. Well we broughthome 2 new kitties yesterday, they were finally old enough to leave mommy cat. Emma came over and sniffed, wagged her tail like she was ok with it, then suddenly snarled and attacked them! I had to grab her and toss her onto the straw bales with one hand and grab the kitties in the other hand before they could bolt and get lost on the back of the barn. Why would she suddenly NOT like kitties? The poor things are locked in a cage (its big, 3ft by 3 ft) with their toys and blankies and stuff so Emma can sniff and watch but not touch till we figure out what to do! They arent big enough to fend for themselves or escape the dog so we cant let them out while we are gone...I am just at a loss as to what to do...
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wow! O_O

was momma still near the babies, or are they old enough to leave her as in old enough to where momma has no interest??

I'd think that momma cat would have beat the ever loving snot outta the dog LOL

I dunno why she'd do that, but it sounds she needs to go into the stew pot!
THey were old enough to leave as in off of milk but momma cat was still taking care of them. THey live on another farm, our best friends, and they have been holding these two for my boys since they were born. So momma cat wasnt there. I spanked the dog (not hard, just one to get her attention as I told her that she has to be nice to kitties) and she growled at me too! I swear sometimes dachshunds are the biggest butts on earth! I just dont know how to keep the kitties without the dog killin them! Its mean to keep them locked up for an entire day and then get out only for a few hours in the evening!
Is your dog getting elderly? Sadly, dementia can affect animals as well as humans, and sudden aggression from a dog who has never shown it before can be an indicator.
Daschunds can be a rather twitchy breed. They were bred for hunting, so it is not unheard of for them to be ill-tempered towards smaller animals and children.

As a child I had a daschund who was very sweet... until he wasn't. No warning. No ill-treatment. Just one day he started biting people. He 'd be wagging his tail at you one second and latched onto your hand with teeth sunk up to the bone the next. He ended up being euthanized after he bit 2 visiting neighbors, my uncle, my cousin and my sister in the course of a month.

I'd be very careful with the kittens around. And I'd also be watching your dog closely to see if this is a new behavioral problem manifesting. Perhaps her behavior was just a fluke, but please use caution. Your sons would no doubt be devastated if she killed their new kittens.

Good luck.
My most likely bet is that she smelled the other smells on them from the other farm. Did they have a dog? Did their dog interact with the kittens or mom cat? Even if the people petted the dog and then petted the kittens, the doggie smell would be on them. She may have been reacting to that.

Handle the kittens ALOT so that they get your scent on them. Does your dog have a blankie that she lays on? If so, give it to the kittens for a few days, so HER scent gets on the kittens. Also, let the kittens lay on a towel for awhile, then give that to the dog, so THEIR scent gets on the dog and she gets used to it. Sounds confusing, I know. Dogs sense of smell is absolutely incredible. The kittens are going to smell like all kinds of things that she isn't used to because they are not from around your home/farm area.

Be very, very careful when you re-introduce them. Keeping the kittens in a cage where the dog can smell them and they her, is a good idea and keeps the babies safe. Once the dog gets used to them, she probably will be ok with them. Also, it may sound "cruel" to keep them caged, but if it is a large cage, and they are only baby kittens, then it's not near as bad as you think. Lots of animals live in cages for a long, long, long time (think humane societies, shelters, some foster situations, etc). Another thing, the cage will keep them safe from "most" predators, such as hawks, owls, etc. But, Coons can and will try and pull them through the cage, so make sure they are in the house or locked up tight in a barn somewhere that the coons cannot get to them at night, ok? Kittens grow pretty fast, so in a few weeks or so, they will be plenty big enough to fight back agianst your dog, as she is a small dog, or at least stay out of her way. I believe that your kind of dog was bred for hunting, though, weren't they? For small animals? If so, I would never totally trust a dog to accept the kittens and not hurt them. Even though she has done it in the past, I would be so very careful.

I have a German Shepherd and I absolutely cannot trust him not to hurt my cats or my ducks. I have to supervise him when he is around them. Sometimes, he wants to "herd" them and uses his mouth to grab at them. He might not intentionally hurt them, but he is 100 lbs and might do it by accident. I have seen him grab my cat by the head (her head in his mouth) and pull her away from the food dish. Not agressively, just grabs her and moves her out of the way (this is HER food dish, too). Of course, I correct his behaviour, but still!

Good luck with your kitties. Post some pics of them. I would love to see them.

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She barely turned 2 years old, May 14th actually was her birthday. She isnt old and isnt aggressive to my kids...I never thought about the neighbors dog smell being on the kitties but thats prolly it cause their dog does spend time in the shed with the cats. I guess we will just keep them in where they are now, parked next to the chicken coop in the goat barn...where the dog sleeps. EVERYONE will get very integrated by the end of this wont they! The holes are very small so I dont think a coon or the dog could get to the kitties thru the cage.

They named the kitties Thunder (I had a tortoise shell cat named Thunder when I was little so I may have influenced that name) and Princess (I wanted Lightning as it is black with white boots and a white streak down its front) because DS#1 names EVERYTHING female Princess (He's a boy, I dont know why everything female is Princess...)

Pics soon
>>The holes are very small so I dont think a coon or the dog could get to the kitties thru the cage.<<

Aaarrgghhh....a racoon will reach in through the cage wire and pull them out piece by piece. That is what they do!! Please put them inside where a racoon cannot get access to their cage.

A racoon killed my old pet cat last week. Was not a pretty sight.
my 3 doxies don't care forcats too much... I have 2 cats they are always barking at... but they never have hurt the or anything

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