Do feral cats attack dogs?

Dog scratched by female cat

Photo: Facebook/Javiera Rodríguez

Do feral cats attack dogs? You can extend that to ‘do cats attack dogs?’. Maybe rarely a feral cat might attack a dog for a particular reason such as (1) defending herself (2) defending her offspring or (3) for domestic cats, defending her human caretaker but it is not going to happen normally for the obvious reason that, in general, dogs are the larger predator and in the natural order of nature, when there are competing predators living in the same area, the lesser predator steers clear of the larger predator. This happens with leopards avoiding lions for example. It is cat common sense.

There was a well publicised story of a hero cat chasing off a dog that was attacking a boy. Another example of a cat defending her human companion and owner.

Google tells us that a gang of feral cats attacked a woman and her dog in France but this is not the same thing. Anyway it is described as ‘highly unusual’ which is certainly it. It is rarer than that: almost unique. We aren’t told why the cats attacked. There would be a good reason.

The opposite is commonplace: feral dogs attacking cats. A simple Google search tells us that feral dogs often attack cats, feral or otherwise, wandering outside. A recent example reported by 12WSFA confirms the dangers to cat owners.

50 cats killed by 3 feral dogs

Three marauding feral dogs Mobile USA

In the US, Mobile, Alabama residents believe that the same pack of three feral dogs have killed 50 cats. The residents congregated last Saturday to make a point and a plea for help from Animal Control.

The say that the feral dogs have been roaming the streets for about a month. One of the residents, Kat Grette, spoke to the camera about the loss of her cat in the front lawn of her home:

“Yesterday morning, I was getting ready to go to work, walked out my front door, and my cat was dead on my front lawn”.

Their argument is that the dogs are not only dangerous to their cats but also to vulnerable people: the young and infirm.

Ashley Watson said:

“Originally, O my gosh, it was five, then it was ten, then it was 15. Now, I would safely say, it’s over 50”.

In September of 2013 I wrote a page about cat and dog bite statistics. There are some startling facts on that page. For instance, there are 4.5 million dog bites annually in the USA. Ten to twenty of those people died as a result of their injuries.

“Dog bite injuries are the No. 1 childhood public health problem reported each year” (for Pinellas County, USA).

In the USA, annually, 885,000 people seek medical attention because of a dog bite of which 30,000 needed surgery. You can read more stats on dog and cat bites by clicking on this link.

Cat attack on dogs in Canada

There is a story in the Vancouver Times from August 2016 in Canada of a cat attacking seven pitbull dogs. The attack appears to have been unprovoked but that is not the case I believe. Cats never attack without reason unless they are rabid. In this instance the reason was probably twofold (1) protection of territory and (2) protection of her human caretaker.

The cat’s name is Baby. She is female. Her owner, Thompson, said that Baby is very protective of him. It appears that some of the dogs had walked on his front lawn. The woman, Kyla Grover, walking three of the dogs was warned by Thompson that his cat was nearby and she tried to pull ‘her pet’ away towards the sidewalk but too late. Baby attacked and swiped at her dog Bandida.

The dogs were passive during the attack. Bandida was hurt and treated at hospital (see photo at head of page). She did not suffer an eye injury thankfully; just multiple scratches to her face. Cats do attack dogs sometimes; damn rarely and there’ll be a reason, I’ll guarantee it. The underlying reason will be a human made one. So for instance in the pitbull cat attack mentioned above, it could have been avoided of the dogs had not crossed onto the man’s from lawn.

Associated pages (this is a selection. Please search for more):
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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

Comments

Do feral cats attack dogs? — 3 Comments

  1. There are many questions. Was the dog loose? Most people fail to realize that poodles are hunting dogs. Did they have food? We had a cat our here for a time that we eventually had to get rid of. Extremely feral and aggressive. He was killing not only male cats and kittens ( Hey this was my In-laws cats not mine and I’ve posted about the debacle they caused for years ) He was also attacking and killing female cats. When he started stalking and snarling at people we had to remove him. This is one aberration I’ve seen in my entire life. Feral cats will retreat with even mother cats abandoning their kits. Most of us have retrieved enough litters of feral kittens to know that the mother cat seldom puts up more than a hiss before backing off. I see cat haters latching onto this story and waving it around for years.

  2. I carry a wooden bat or a golf club to take my trash bins to the end of the road once a week. I’m not the least bit worried about a pack of marauding feral cats. Something else happened here although the humans may not even know what. Most likely the proximity of the dog and the humans got in the way.
    This has been turned into a hate cats debate per the link I will post at the end. Note if a pit bull had pulled the head off a baby which they have been known to do people would be defending the pit and saying the humans provoked it or left the child alone. It’s a perfect example of how we can contort in our minds and the media uses it to manipulate your feelings by either making someone a villain or a victim.

    • I agree with the above comment. I have dogs and cats but my fav is my cats. If my dogs posed a danger to other cats or my cats. Id rehome them. I feel bad for the dog but the owner warned her -rarely does a dog attack a cat and the cat live. And rarely does a cat attack a dog. What 2 in a million. Give me a break “

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