"I am extremely sorry for what I did," Daniel J. Collins said during his sentencing Thursday. "Everything is my responsibility."
Collins, 39, pleaded guilty to a felony count of animal cruelty and two felony counts of neglect of a dependent. In exchange, prosecutors dropped three other felony charges.
"This is not civilized conduct," Judge Robert Barnet Jr. said as he sentenced Collins.
Under the plea agreement, Collins also must receive counseling and attend parenting classes and substance abuse treatment. The judge also prohibited Collins from owning a pet.
Collins was arrested March 13 after police said he forced his daughter to stab Boots, the family's 8-month-old cat. The girl and Collins' 11-year-old son said their father ordered them to stab the cat because he wanted them to "learn to kill."
Police said the boy tried to hide the cat from his father, but Collins found the animal and strangled it as his children watched.
Collins said he was intoxicated at the time and remembered little about what happened that day.
Deputy Prosecutor Judi Calhoun said she was outraged by the crime but agreed to the plea deal so that the children would not have to testify against their father.
Defense attorney Steve Bruce said Collins, a Navy veteran, has no previous felony convictions.