Small Wild Cat Attacked by Monkeys and Crows

By Rudolph A. Furtado

This is nature in the raw. A small wild cat is being attacked by macaque monkeys, crows and a dog who chased the cat up the tree. It all occurred in Shimla, India, which is a beautiful city in the north of India; a place frequented by the British during the British Raj. This map shows where it is:


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I was holidaying in Shimla and captured this rather distressing scene. To cat lovers: please note that the cat survives this experience in the video. You won’t see something that is too upsetting.

Dog chasing wild cat

Dog chasing wild cat. Photo by Rudolph.

Here is my description of the events with a few photos of the episode recorded in serial order stamped on the photos. In the first instance, a dog is shown on a tree, having chased this cat onto the tree. Next, the monkeys take turns in trying to dislodge this cat from its perch on the tree. I was surprised at the intelligence of this pair of monkeys, one of them literally shaking the tree to dislodge the cat (see video).

This cat held on tenaciously to the branch, crouched low and still akin to a statue. the jungle crows were also active in trying to attack it. when i finally left the scene, this cat was still perched dangerously on the topmost branch of the tree. I returned to the scene after approximately 2 hours and found the trees empty, the entire place desolate as if nothing had happened early in the morning, akin to a crime scene. I hope the cat escaped as nature is very cruel and many times the hunter becomes the hunted and vice-versa.

This road was on the main street leading to the “Mall” and the “Ridge”, two of Shimla’s prime tourist and shopping localities. As it was early morning the street was deserted and hence no disturbances barring the bark of the dog which aroused my interest and later the bizarre and cruel drama of nature at its worst and best.

Update added later: Here are two photos of the cat. The first one is when approached by the macaque monkey:

Cat attacked by monkey India

Cat attacked by monkey India. Photo by Rudolph A Furtado

The next is of the cat in a different position:

Cat attacked monkeys India

Cat attacked monkeys India. Photo by Rudolph A Furtado

Here are some more photos:

Wild cat attacked by monkeys

Wild cat attacked by monkeys. Photos by Rudolph.

Note from Michael: the cat is probably a leopard cat. They are widespread in India and good survivors being very adaptable. The leopard cat is the wild cat ancestor of the Bengal cat.

Update after seeing the pictures of the cat just added: This is not a leopard cat. My initial assessment is that this is a Jungle cat – if this cat is a small wild cat. The coat is like the purebred Abyssinian cat: ticked and the tail has bands (tabby marking). Shimla is certainly within the distribution of the jungle cat. The plain coat very much indicates this species of small wild cat.

Is this cat wearing a collar, or am I seeing something that is not there?

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Small Wild Cat Attacked by Monkeys and Crows — 12 Comments

  1. Thanks Michael.Excellent and to the point.You missed one good photo which i sent, the wild cat being attacked by the monkey as well as a photo of the Wild cat.Someone would be able to identify the cat by the photo i had removed as it is quite clear compared to the video images.

  2. I have been to Shimla – beautiful place. Monkeys mean business. I was on a rooftop and was accosted by a female with her baby in tow – she came right up to me growling and stole my mango fruti from a foot away from me. I learned my lesson. That was elsewhere but the same kind of monkeys.
    It is disturbing to watch though. I’m glad the cat came out ok.

    • At the time (15 years ago) Shimla was the only place you could go to get a cash advance on a credit card if you were in northern Himachal. If you were anywhere north of Shimla you had to come back down to Shimla.

  3. The crows around here pick on Monty. Sometimes a group of twenty will swoop into the area making a terrible racket all perched up in the trees around our yard. I bring Monty in. They sometimes do more than just caw at him– the will dive bomb him. Recently, a pair of crows were dive bombing him while he sat up in his favorite tree. I was getting worried for his safety, so I came out. The crows went away when I got very close. I was relieved. So was Monty, I think. Yesterday I came out and noticed Monty preparing to leap from one tree to another. I thought it was to avoid walking in the snow, but as I approached a crow fluttered away. Monty was trying to jump over there to attack it. When they caw at him from on top of the roof he will look up there and chatter back at them. I know he’d love to bring one down.
    This behavior is perplexing to me, because like the animal behavior in the video, it’s more like something humans would do. There is no good reason for those monkeys to kill the cat– it’s not their prey. But if they had dislodged the cat from the branch it would have been killed. There is no reason for crows to attack Monty. There is little chance of him getting one– they fly so high and perch way above where he climbs. But they actually risk their lives to get in close and upset him. And it does upset him.
    From my world view I would explain this as a direct result of human sin, human rebellion against our Creator. The longer this old world is allowed to turn post the fall into sin, the worse it will become. It’s not just the obvious poisoning of the planet through human pollution, suffering of humans and animals caused directly by human greed– I think the earth itself is infected by the presence of sinful humans simply being here. So we see animals behaving as badly as humans, but it’s not their fault. Human sin is like a cancer infecting all creation on a deeper level than we can imagine. This just isn’t right. Animals are not supposed to be enemies and tormenting each other any more than humans are supposed to be like that. I can’t prove that, but why can we imagine something better if it was really supposed to be this way?

    • I think the earth itself is infected by the presence of sinful humans simply being here

      Interesting comment. You know that I respect your thoughts. We know animals are smart. We know crows are very smart animals. We know animals learn by observing others. We know cats copy people sometimes. All these “knowns” might indicate that the crows and monkeys are copying human behavior in taunting this cat for no reason other than entertainment.

      I don’t think macaque monkeys eat cats. Are they herbivores? I think so. Macaque monkeys live near human settlements so have plenty of opportunity to learn human behavior. Crows are similar.

    • Ruth the same thing happened to my Gigi in Canada although they were the smaller blackbirds with orange beaks. They totally clouded her and began attacking her and poking at her and I had to scare them away. They made a ton of noise while they were doing it – they were bullying her. I don’t blam ethem though because she caught alot of birds many of which were similar in size to those blackbirds. But it was shocking nonetheless and I have witnessed the power of a group of birds over a cat and the cat can be pretty helpless. I would have been much more scared if Gigi was on a branch – she was scared and started trying to escape from them before I got out of the house to scare them off.

  4. If this cat is indeed a wild cat species then it has to be a young jungle cat. The cat looks young. The coat is more or less unmarked and the tail has bands. These are the characteristics of a jungle cat (felis chaus).

    I have one slight question mark. Is there a collar around the cat’s neck? I don’t think it is because it is too low (wrong place). I am fairly convinced this is a jungle cat.

    • Michael, thats not a collar, its the cats natural colouring. Its definitely not a domestic tabby or moggy as indicated by its bushy tail and grey colouring , akin to a fox.A stray ordinary cat would never ever be so agile in climbing up a tree, let alone battling a pair of full grown aggressive Macaque monkrys and crows.I was fortunate to get a clear image of this cat since it is not recognizable in the video.A cat expert would be able to identify the species, definitely rare, although Shimla has lots of pine trees and forested in certain sections.

      • Thanks Rudolph, as I say at the base of your post, the cat is almost certainly a young jungle cat (felis chaus). This is one of the small wild cat species that is distributed throughout India and Asia. All other small wild cats of Asia have strong markings on the body. This cat has few markings.

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