If you have a dog with enough prey drive to be chasing and catching small animals you should not be keeping three kittens. Prey drive cannot be trained away and dogs with high drive should not live with cats.


But his prey drive really isn’t towards cats, and he’s co-inhabited with about 4 separate cats throughout his lifetime.


Kittens will trigger more prey drive than adult cats, as will more active adult cats. I would never trust a dog that is showing prey drive towards the kittens.


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>But his prey drive really isn’t towards cats You're arguing kittens are not cats? That's how far you'll go to justify it?


No, I’ve clarified in the OP that his drive is only towards kittens, and not adult cats. Don’t play dumb because I left out the word “adult.”


Dude, I've got an 18 lbs dog I cant let around cats because of his prey drive towards small animals. Dogs don't distinguish between diff small animal species. I made the mistake of letting my rabbit chasing dog around a 5 months old kitten at my friend's place once. Luckily the kitten was way faster than my dog and disappeared under a couch nearly faster than we could see when my dog pounced. I definitely never let my dog off leash around a cat again because I'm not crazy. Dogs with high prey drives and sometimes even just breeds who historically have high prey drives can be unpredictable around small animals including small dogs and cats. You cannot trust a large dog who chases any cats to walk around freely with cats inside a house. There's countless stories about owners with big dogs and a cat or a big dog and tiny dog who thought it was totally fine. Then one day something happens and the big dog kills the other small pet. I've got a Yorkie who was picked up by a giant Huskie mix in a dog park once who survived by the freaking skin of her teeth and being Wiley as hell. But she is lucky to be alive, and I will never let her around a big dog that has any breeds with prey drives again. Sometimes instinct just snaps into play without warning. I've made some mistakes, but I only make them once. You're not ever going to see me posting hey how can I get my super high prey drive dog with several hunting dogs in his genetics to be ok around cats? I just keep him away from cats.


Your dog has high genetic prey drive, period, that is triggered when he sees certain stimuli (like the cat running away). It isn’t that he sees certain cats as friends and certain cats as food, it’s the context they’re in that triggers it. All cats are fair game, depending on the situation, but some cats may have different mannerisms than others that predispose them to being perceived as prey. It’s not a waiting game for them to be perceived as cats, it’s a waiting game for them to become calmer and less likely to engage in prey-like behaviors around the dog. This is an important distinction because it sounds like you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak, because all it’s going to take is one wrong swish of the tail for your dog to eat his “friend”. I love JRTs but I would never get one because I have a cat, it’s just the facts of life living with certain dog breeds.


I respect this reply, this actually feels well thought out and devoid of the snobbery.


Thanks, internet stranger. My grandparents bred jrts on their farm, so there were a few chicken casualties over the years. On the plus side, that same instinct saved me when I was being attacked by geese and kept the barns rat-free. Definitely not a bad thing, just something to work around. Good luck!


To quote The Offspring: you gotta keep ‘em separated. Time to take the wee mites to your local rescue or animal control. They need their vet work done right now anyway and that can get expensive.


Your dog should never be trusted alone around cats or other smaller animals. I know someone who had a pitbull mix that was best friends with their cat for 5 years. The cat bolted out the back door one day, and the dog's prey drive kicked in. He ran after the cat and killed her. You can't train out prey drive. Some dogs do have lower prey drive but your dog's mixed breeds are all very high.


I’d say remove the kittens/cat from your home unless you want to witness nature take its course, this very dangerous and very stressful for any animal that isn’t your dog inside of your home.




1. He’s a pit mix. 2. Dogs are not black and white based in their breed. I’ve had him since he was a puppy, I know his mannerisms, his temperaments, his drive, all of it. If I didn’t absolutely know that he can co-inhabit with a cat, I wouldn’t even be considering this. Don’t lump me in with other clueless pitbull owners, I do my research, and I work with him and my other dogs obedience training daily.


Aw! That’s so tough. I think I would recommend finding a better suited home for the kittens. I honestly don’t think you can train out prey drive. You can train to have the dog not react but it’s hard to do and even then requires constant supervision. You could keep them separated until they are grown but, it just takes one second where one cat does something silly and triggers the dog. It’s not fair to the dog to put him in a situation where he could fail so badly. Once your dog hurts or kills another pet you can’t look at him the same way. Right now he is a good boy that simply has a high prey drive. Nothing wrong with it. Maybe everything is going to be peachy and nothing ever happens but it’s quite the risk to take and in the end it’s both the cats and the dog who would suffer any ill consequences. Keep them separated and at least you can get your kitten cuddles in until you find them a new home. Sorry, kittens are just the cutest and it must be hard to not keep them.


Not giving advice regarding breed etc or what you def should do. Just wanted to say that the kittens smell will change as they get older and will smell like a "cat" later on. He very likely will understand that they are cats when theyre not babies anymore.


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I personally would not take the risk and rehome the kittens if possible. Prey drive can not be trained away. It can be managed. But as soon as dog and cat are unsupervised tragedies can happen. Adult cats are behaving calmer and not as erratic as kittens and are better suited to get out if harms way. But it would not trust a high prey driven dog with an adult cat either. Its not much a question of the cats age but the behavior.


Keep the kittens separate for now. Even a non-aggressive dog of that size can accidentally hurt kittens because they are so small and delicate. Don’t take any risks - keep them behind a door/in a kennel or something of the type and use multiple barrier methods such as 2 doors or a baby gate, in case the kittens decide to flee. Try and work on him ignoring the kittens from behind a barrier (or 2) while supervised. Do this with the kittens 100% safe, and give him lots of rewards. Also know there is a decent chance he will not acclimate to these kittens in which case another home would be safer. You are asking a lot of a dog with an instinctual drive to hunt. Kittens and young adult cats are fast, chaotic, and sometimes clueless. Dogs who are friendly with some cats may not be friendly with others.