Semi-feral cat can beat a mean Dobermann by attacking from behind and above

On the internet, a lot of people, a lot of the time, like to match up two predators to see which one would win in a fight. The classic is the lion versus the tiger and the outcome would probably be a draw but everyone has their favorite. On social media there is a short story about a semi-feral cat who lived on a farm. And in the adjoining property there was a junkyard dog, a large Dobermann, who was described as mean. The dog would bark at anybody and everything and foam at the mouth. This was a guard dog.

Dobermann versus semi-feral cat. Cat won. Image: MikeB (Canva).
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The family member who tells the story says that they owned a mean kitty. They describe the cat as feral but this feral cat liked one member of the family, an older brother and therefore couldn’t have been truly feral but they clearly had some feral qualities.

The cat would sit on top of a fence while the Dobermann prowled around inside an enclosure becoming irritated by the cat’s presence. The dog would bark at the cat. The dog gave the impression that they wanted to eat the cat and the cat wanted to get to the haystack which was guarded by the dog as there were mice in it.

The cat hatched a plan and ambushed the Dobermann. When the dog wasn’t watching she jumped from the fence onto his back; inserted her sharp claws and hung on. The Dobermann yelped and took off running circles around the chicken yard at full speed. The person who recounts the story believed that the dog wanted to get out of the enclosure.

The dog continued running and the cat continued to hold on for three circuits of the yard. She then unlatched and gently jumped off and walked over to the haystack to look for mice.

The Dobermann yelped for a while and then crawled under a shed to lick their wounds. From that day forth, the cat never had a problem getting to the haystack to search for mice. She just got down from the fence and trotted over while the dog watched from under the shed.

The moral of the story is that a feisty cat can beat a much larger and apparently aggressive dog and the way to achieve it is to attack from behind and above in a stealthy ambush. And of course, they can use their sharp claws to good effect. I’ve seen many videos of family dogs being bossed around by the family cat! Cats can scare dogs.

Female leopard jumps from a tree onto a kudu cow and kills it
Female leopard jumps from a tree onto a kudu cow and kills it. Photo: Eric Gurwin BNPS

Many wild cat species attack from above and behind. The leopard is a stealthy hunter which can attack from behind and from above (from trees) on occasions as shown in the photo. The tiger is known to attack from behind. How do I know that? Because in the Sundarbans which is a large forested swamp straddling India and Bangladesh where there are hundreds of tigers as it is a tiger reserve, farmworkers in that area, if they are wise, wear a human mask on the back of their head facing outwards. This is designed to scare away tigers who are stealthily tracking farm worker from behind.

Mask which protects from tiger attack
Mask which protects from tiger attack. Photo: Raghu Rai/Magnum

This mask has proved to be very effective and has saved many lives. It would seem to me that when a feisty domestic cat or a feral cat might lose a battle against a dog if they run away as this triggers the predatory behaviour of the dog who chases. If they run they have to climb to safety. For the cat, sometimes a better way is to stand their ground and slap the dog around the muzzle with sharp claws.

Muscular puma
Muscular puma. Image believed to be in the public domain.

Having written that, what comes to mind is how humans should deal with a puma which they might have come across on a hike in the American wilderness. This happens. And the experts say that you should simply stand your ground, try to look bigger than you are by raising your arms and make some noise. The puma is quite a retiring and shy creature despite their size and athletic and killing abilities. They tend to back away from a human standing their ground as described. At least the human will be safer than running away and being chased. The outcome depends on the circumstances.

Mother cats show a huge amount of courage and defensive skills when protecting their offspring from attacks by dogs or other predators. They have to stand their ground. Cats can sometimes protect their owners from dogs. They act as if they are a pack animal. This is surely an adaptation to living in the human family.

Note regarding the vide above. It may stop working because it has been deleted on YouTube. I won’t have notice of that. If is has failed I apologise.

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