A FAMILY has been left devastated after their beloved pet cat was savaged by a dog.
Witnesses claimed the Maine Coon cat was treated “like a rag doll” by a Japanese Akita dog, which tore open the animal’s throat on Durar Drive, Clermiston.
Allison Riley, who gave the pet to her 17-year-old daughter Haylley as a present, described the death as “horrific”.
Her shocked son Daniel, 22, watched the incident unfold from his bedroom window after hearing a noise shortly before midnight on Saturday.
Initially Daniel thought the dog was playing with a black bin bag or a stick on the pavement – before he realised it was 11-month-old Cesar.
He said: “I saw a dog that was rag-dolling something and so I put two and two together.
My vet said that in all his years of being a vet, he has never come across a Japanese Akita that he trustsAllison Riley
“It was just swinging the cat about, I ended up shouting at the dog.
“It eventually ran away with the cat in its mouth down the road. The dog is always running about itself – it was definitely off the lead.”
Ms Riley, 40, said: “The minute we got out to him there was blood. His heart had stopped. I was with my four sons and my daughter.
“Daniel had screamed so we all ran out. When I picked [Cesar] up, I had blood all over my hands.”
She added: “My vet said that in all his years of being a vet, he has never come across a Japanese Akita that he trusts. He said they are hunting dogs and they hunt to kill.”
Cesar was one of a litter of kittens from the family’s other pet cat, Phoebe.
Ms Riley, a part-time home carer, said the violent death of the young cat would have a lasting effect on the family, and she has already bought Haylley a new kitten of the same breed for £180.
She said: “A lot of people ask me, ‘why did you get another kitten?’, but knowing my daughter, I wanted to give her a positive focus.
“I was looking as a mum to make her feel better. Cesar was hers – we gave the litter away apart from one. He was a prize baby.”
The Maine Coon, which is native to the American state of Maine, is one of the largest domesticated feline breeds.
The cats can grow to over 40 inches from nose to tail, and they are distinctive for their heavily-furred, long tails.
Japanese Akitas are described as natural hunters who can be wary around people and other dogs. The breed has been involved in several mauling incidents involving people, but they are not banned in the UK.
In relation to the Clermiston incident, a police spokeswoman said: “A 23-year-old woman has been cautioned and charged with a Dangerous Dogs offence and a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
The charge comes under Section Three of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, for incidents where dogs have not been kept under proper control.