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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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prairie dog attacks cat

My female prairie dog has acted quite aggressively towards my cat. Before the cat had tried to enter their cage when the door was open and had been grabbed about the throat by an angry prairie dog. Last night, however, I let the prairie dogs out of their cage and the female grabbed onto the cats neck outside the cage. Then, after I managed to separate them chattered her teeth at the cat as the cat ran away and hid. It was an unprovoked attack that kind of scared me. The cat was just laying on the carpet, largely ignoring the prairie dogs. In fact, the prairie dog kept nosing at the cat and the cat kept moving away prior to the attack. I guess my question is, could this be related to the female being in rut? She's almost two years old and might be starting to do such things. I suppose I'll have to keep them separated from now on, or else risk such attacks. The prairie dogs have never acted aggressively toward me, and the male has never acted aggressively toward anything. Are females usually the more aggressive of the two?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 10:55 AM
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I have 2 females, so I don't know if there's a real difference in aggressiveness between males and females. I would definitley attribute the personality change to rut, but I also have to wonder if the pd was upset because the cat tried to get into her "burrow".


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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The cat tried to enter the cage probably close to a year ago and has kept outside it since. So, maybe the female remembers that intrusion, or just thought the cat was looking a little too full of herself and needed to be knocked down a peg or two.

I'm largely concerned that this behavior will get worse as she gets more mature and more in rut and the prairie dog might start attacking people. If I had her fixed would that take some of the aggressiveness out of her rut? Before this I hadn't thought of getting her fixed because she was a very peaceful dog. I had to wear leather gloves when I cut her nails, but she wasn't aggressive outside of that, really.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 12:06 PM
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I've heard that pd's can still experience rut once spayed or neutered. It might help some, but there's still a chance of her going into rut again.

So far this year I've been lucky. My one pd, Karmen, usually becomes pretty grumpy and chitters at me during rut. Luckily she has only done it a few times, but it was a little upsetting when she did do it. She has yet to do it this year. My other pd, Kasey, has never shown signs of rut.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambelly
The cat tried to enter the cage probably close to a year ago and has kept outside it since. So, maybe the female remembers that intrusion, or just thought the cat was looking a little too full of herself and needed to be knocked down a peg or two.
I agree, your pd girl may always remember the intrusion by your cat because she felt threatened. She may never forget/forgive. I would keep the two completely separated in the future.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 07:39 PM
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In addition, please have your cat seen by a veterinarian. Puncture wounds tend to get under and tear the skin away from the muscle, leaving a large area open and just waiting for infection from the mouth to set in.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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In addition, please have your cat seen by a veterinarian. Puncture wounds tend to get under and tear the skin away from the muscle, leaving a large area open and just waiting for infection from the mouth to set in.
Oh really? I don't think the prairie dog actually punctured her. At least I didn't see a puncture wound or blood. Though it looked like the prairie dog was trying. I was right there though and pulled her off pretty quickly. Do you think I should take her to the vet if there isn't any puncture wound?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 10:07 PM
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I am sorry to hear of this.

But it is ironic THIS time the rodent attacked the cat!

(I never thought cats belonged in the same house as rodents, but this time it is the cat who got attacked!).
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambelly
Oh really? I don't think the prairie dog actually punctured her. At least I didn't see a puncture wound or blood. Though it looked like the prairie dog was trying. I was right there though and pulled her off pretty quickly. Do you think I should take her to the vet if there isn't any puncture wound?
If there's no wound, no. But please look closely. Cat fur can hide puncture wounds well, especially a day or two after. Owners often don't notice them until they abscess, swell, and rupture.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 01:41 PM
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But whatever you do - even if you find a wound on the cat - DO NOT SAY your prairie dog bit her. Say you have no idea what happened.

Most prairie dogs are territorial about cages.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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But whatever you do - even if you find a wound on the cat - DO NOT SAY your prairie dog bit her. Say you have no idea what happened.
Is this just so that prairie dogs don't get a worse reputation than they already have? It's legal for me to have these dogs. I bought them shortly before the great ban of 2003. Of course, I have no proof of that.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambelly
Is this just so that prairie dogs don't get a worse reputation than they already have?
That and the fact that someone may go overboard and want to euthanize them to check for rabies.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 06:29 PM
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It is likely that this may be a result of rut. IMO I suggest all PD's be nuetered or spayed for cancer reasons and to help alleviate rut. The key word here is HELP. My female still has a tad of rut being fixed. But neither of my males have any rut. My loving female turned into a "dont touch me our I will bite you" pd when she hit full rut before she was fixed.
Rut symptoms can be the same in males or females. Some say males have it worse, some say females. So it just depends on your pd's personality. My female is the alpha of the group. First to eat, first to want attention, first to give off the warning alarm when she feels they may be threatened etc.
Regardless of rut, PD's would view a cat as a predator. Feral cats and other creatures similar (ferrets, etc.) kill prairie dogs in the wild. It is VERY likely that this was just a PD guarding her territory. My PD's fan their tail and chatter when my cats get near the cage.
Now out of the cage, they will walk right up to the cats no problem. But PD's are very territorial.
So, my advice... do not ever let your cats near the pd's again. Even if she isn't rutting, it is likely this is just the result of two species not meant to be allowed to interact. Regardless of rut also PD's will still be territorial.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 10:00 AM
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I think pds. definately hold grudges. When we adopted Cricket (4 year old un-neutered male) He made a bad first impression on Bug ( 5 year old female, not spayed), when he climbed up her cage. I'm guessing her reaction was partly due to territorial nature, & probably fear. She still hasn't forgiven him. I can't even hold Bug after I hold Cricket. He is a smelly boy. If I do she starts freaking out. She gets figgity & starts trying to put my whole shirt in her mouth. Sometimes I have to wrap her up in her "blanky" to put her back in her cage. She gets that look in her eyes like she may bite me, which is weird because she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. Sadly when she is like this we both miss out on snuggle time that night. She also acts like this when I give them fresh grass. She goes into nesting mode, & just won't settle down.
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