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Cat attacked by dogs.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domestic Short Hair
Age: 1-2 years
We have 5 dogs and 4 cats (mostly rescues) who have grown up together and have always gotten along fine. Earlier today, I heard hissing and went into the kitchen, all 5 dogs had one of the cats cornered and were attacking him and he was attacking back. It took me a minute to get him away. They were biting and shaking him and wouldn't let go. The cat was crying. He has no puncture wounds or anything but he's just been lying around ever since. At first he was breathing really hard with his mouth open. Now, he's lying down 2 hours and has been for . He occasionally changes positions like he's uncomfortable and when he walked a couple of steps, he limped. Otherwise, he isn't reacting much. Is he just bruised and scared or do you think something is wrong with him? My vet is closed until Wednesday and I don't know what to do. Right now, the dogs are alternating between the laundry room and outside but I don't know how to keep this from happening again. Was it a fluke or are they going to go after him or another cat again? I am scared to death that Jakey is hurt or they will keep doing this. Please help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What you have described is really unusual, but I have heard other stories of dogs suddenly going into a pack mentality and attacking another animal.

I'm really concerned for Jake. Even though you are not seeing any wounds on him there is a possibility that he has damage to his organs. If a cat is shaken then we can see something similar to shaken baby syndrome. We don't know exactly what happens but the shaking can cause serious damage to organs.

Another possibility is that he has some damage to his chest. He could have a pneumothorax which is a condition where air can leak in and surround the outside of the lungs. This is very serious and can cause him to have difficulty breathing.

It's also possible that he has broken ribs or other bones.

And yes, it is possible that he simply has some bruising.

I would highly advise you to seek out an emergency vet in your area to have a look at Jake. Hopefully there is nothing serious going on. If they don't find anything then at least they can prescribe medication to help with the pain that he is in.

Unfortunately there is no over the counter medication that is safe to give cats for pain.

As far as keeping this from happening again, I don't have any answers for you. I understand it is a scary thing to see! The only way to stop the pack mentality though is to not have a large pack of dogs. But it is definitely possible that this is a one time thing and hopefully it will never happen again.

I hope the little guy is ok! That must have been so scary!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks so much for your response. We did, in fact, take him to the emergency vet last night. He didnt show any obvious internal damage but he was in shock. His temperature was down to 96. He spent the night there and he has responded well to treatment over night. We go pick him up at noon.

You're right, it was very scary. I thought my cat was going to die in front of me and I no longer trust my own dogs. We've adopted a Zero Tolerance policy around the cats, when before they slept curled up together with no problem. Now, no dog is allowed to look at a cat. But I'm a nervous wreck anyway.

Again, thanks for your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

So glad to hear that you were able to take him in, and also that he is ok.

Hope he continues to do well!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.