Domestic cats can have the courage to protect dog and human companions

Female cats can have the courage and motivation to protect their human and canine companions. It’s entirely instinctive. They are protecting their offspring. They appear to merge their feelings for their offspring and their feelings for their human and canine companions in what I call interspecies relationships.

And when a female cat is defending her offspring, she demonstrates the ultimate form of courage. It is courage which goes to the point where their lives are in jeopardy. It’s the kind of instinctive courage which comes to the surface in humans as well. Perhaps there is no stronger emotion than the one which drives a parent to protect her young.


Rachel, a brave female cat
Rachel, a brave female cat. Photo: Jaimes Roe.
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This is the story of Rachel by Jaimes Roe who adopted her when she was 16. About two years after they adopted her, they also adopted a Border Collie puppy who belonged to their neighbour. The dog kept coming over to them so the neighbour agreed that they could adopt him. Jaimes’ sister named him PJ.

When PJ was about a year old their neighbour’s Doberman dog like to come over to play with PJ. I guess it normally worked out well but one day something triggered the Doberman into attacking PJ.

In a split-second Rachel appeared and dived onto the Doberman’s back biting her neck. The Doberman yelped and retreated rapidly. PJ had some minor bites but recovered. His life was saved by Rachel.

Jaimes said: “She was a brave cat, and her quick action definitely saved PJ, and likely saved me since I would have had to be the one to try to intervene if she hadn’t.”

Male cat

It doesn’t have to be female cats who respond to their motherly instincts. Male cats can defend their human companions as well. There is a story from Cats Protection about Smudge who lived in Thorne in South Yorkshire, UK. His owner, Sarah Fenton, saw a group of boys push her five-year-old son to the ground. She said:

“Within seconds, Smudge shot out from the bushes, hissed and jumped up at one of the bullies, prompting them to beat a hasty retreat.”

Smudge was acting as a guard dog on that day. It seems clear to me that Smudge regarded his owner’s son as a good friend. A friend who was close enough to him emotionally to protect when needed. It appears that domestic cats can be more inclined to protect children than adults perhaps for the obvious reason: they are smaller and more vulnerable.

Female cat saves toddler companion from marauding dog

This reminds me of the cat who dived out of the house to defend her human toddler companion as he was being attacked viciously by a small dog. The dog had bitten the boy’s leg and was pulling him around the forecourt of their home. It is a very famous video on YouTube. It is a bit difficult to watch but not that bad. In the spirit of the modern woke movement YouTube have restricted viewing to people of a certain age. It is censorship. I think this is an overreaction. But there it is. Click on the link below if you have not seen it before.

RELATED: Domestic cat protects chickens as if they were her kittens


The best-known brave domestic cat was a ship’s cat named Simon. You may have heard about him. He was awarded the Dickin Medal; the animal equivalent of the UK’s Victoria Cross for his exploits in the Chinese Civil War in 1949. I have written about him before so I won’t repeat it here. You can read that page by clicking on this link if you wish.

Cat Bravery Awards
Cat Bravery Awards. Simon and the Dickin Medal.

My distinct impression is that most cases of domestic cats protecting people and other pets concern female cats reacting to their mothering instincts. A powerful motivator and driving force.

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