Fighting aficionados want to know who would win in a fight between a domestic cat the size of a Rottweiler and a Rottweiler. An important aspect of the question is that it refers to a “domestic cat”. Arguably, domestic cats have lost some of the inherent aggressivity and mental sharpness of their wild cat forebears. If the question asked whether a wild cat would be able to beat a Rottweiler if the cat was the same size as the Rottweiler, I would argue that the answer would be slightly different. They’d be evenly matched or the cat would win. For example, the female puma (mountain lion) is a similar weight to the female wolf. Who would win in a fight between these two animals? They would be evenly matched too and they’d probably avoid fighting. In fact, they’d avoid each other. But if the female puma was defending her offspring she’d probably see off the wolf.
Taking that a step further, which would win in a fight between a puma the same size as a Rottweiler and a Rottweiler? You’d probably back the puma because the cat is wild. Taking two other large predators, the leopard and the hyena, they are of a similar size. In one online poll they voted the leopard winning 87% to 13%. This helps us answer the question.
It is probable, too, that a domestic cat the size of a Rottweiler would avoid the Rottweiler and vice versa. But if they did fight I would probably just about back the Rottweiler on average in terms of a successful outcome if they fought from a face-off because the cat would be domesticated. Perhaps out of 10 fights the Rottweiler would win 6. There is another factor to bring into the equation. The domestic cat the size of a Rottweiler would use its guile and stalking ability to ambush the dog. This would give the cat an advantage. Cats hunt by stalking and approaching their prey as closely as possible before making a final lunge. African wild dogs wear down their prey over long distances. The chase is in the open. It becomes a matter of stamina. If you factor in the ambushing skills of the cat, this would give them an advantage which would even up the outcome to about 50-50 or the cat would win.
The question is theoretical in the same way that the question as to who would win in a tiger versus lion fight. There’s been an awful lot of discussion about tigers and lions fighting each other and who would win. I know quite a lot about this because I carried out a large poll and I found that opinion is pretty well split down the middle. This is partly because people don’t know. These big cats don’t meet in the wild. They have met in captivity and fought but we don’t know whether those fights were genuine fights to the death. They probably were not.
In the normal course of events, predators which are evenly matched tend to avoid each other for the obvious reason that if one party wins in a fight and kills the other, the victor is liable to be injured which would impair their chance of survival in the short or long term. In the long term the victor would probably die anyway. Wild predators instinctively factor these thoughts in when encountering an equal adversary.
Ultimately it’s all about survival and it does not make sense in terms of survival to fight against an adversary who is equal in terms of strength, skills and fighting ability.