Woman hospitalized after savage attack by Bengal cat causing deep wounds

Sheffield, UK-news and views: Barbara Neal claims that her neighbour’s Bengal cat attacked her savagely without provocation (see my comment at base of page, she did provoke the cat without realising it). She says that her neighbour’s Bengal cat is allowed to wander freely and had been coming into her home. She says that he (I am presuming that he is male) attacked her cats and stole their food. He broke the cat flap several times while forcing his way in, she said.

Last Monday she said that she saw the Bengal cat at the bottom of a flight of steps in her garden. Her husband took one of her cats inside and she stayed and “flapped my arms, trying to tell it to go away”. The Bengal cat immediately leapt up the steps and attached himself to her arm biting and scratching her. She couldn’t get him off. In the end she punched him in the face which made him release her. Her husband took her to the A&E department of Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Her wounds were treated.

Important: unfortunately, I cannot show you the gravity of her wounds and one is particularly bad. The reason is that Google does not allow website holders to show bad injuries to people in photographs because their advertisers, they believe, don’t like it. If I do show the original photographs Google will downgrade my website in terms of advertising revenue and it will hurt the website. Therefore, I present the images with the injuries pixelated. In lieu of showing you the actual injuries, I will describe them in words which is acceptable to Google AdSense (Google advertising).

Gash on the arm allegedly caused by a Bengal cat
Gashes on the arm, one deep, allegedly caused by a Bengal cat. Photo:
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The picture above shows a very deep gash to her forearm. It looks about 5 mm deep and about 30 mm in length. In addition, there are 7 or 8 scratches at the same location including one deep laceration as well. Although it is of a shorter length. The major wound looks serious in my view. It looks as if a knife has cut her arm and indeed it may be more than 5 mm deep, perhaps nearer 10 mm. It is hard to believe that a domestic cat caused the injury. Although I am not questioning the lady. It was caused by claws not teeth. In fact, I can see no teeth wounds in the photos.

UK woman says a Bengal cat badly scratched and injured her
UK woman says a Bengal cat badly scratched and injured her. Photo: Chesterfield Royal Hospital (believed).

The other photograph immediately above shows about 20 and more heavy scratches on her forearm, on the underside near the elbow. They are long. They are not deep but superficial. It is the number of them which is surprising.

There is a third photo not published here showing several deep wounds and some scratches to her arm. All in all, I would say that she suffered pretty severe injuries.

Barbara Neal says that she is still traumatised by what happened. She claims to be tough mentally because he’s an ex-teacher but the attack “knocked me for 6 and I will be scarred for life”. She also claims that the cat leapt at her granddaughter and that he could have “ripped her neck open”.

She is now afraid to use their downstairs toilet and will keep the conservatory doors closed. She believed that the cat was defending his home range. She called the police and the RSPCA but they said that they could do nothing about it. She’s disappointed because she feels that a crime has been perpetrated against her. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act it’s an offence to let a dog be dangerously out of control but there’s no such legislation for domestic cats in the UK.

Comment: I am very sympathetic. I don’t think that this cat’s behaviour is typical of Bengal cats. The cat may be a high filial Bengal cat by which I mean F1-F3. The 1st filial Bengal cat is half wild cat and half domestic cat and therefore has a lot of wild DNA in them. This makes them potentially more aggressive and more territorial. F5s, the typical Bengal, are very similar to standard domestic cats.

I am convinced that the reason why the cat attacked is because she waved her arms around. The cat saw this as a prey animal and ignored the size i.e. that it was a human and therefore much larger than him. Domestic cats respond to sharp movements as they are signals that a prey animal is there to be attacked and killed. She wouldn’t know this but I believe that that was her big mistake. And there will also possibly be a defence of his home range. The cat probably thought that she was on his home range and invading it. But above all else it was the arm waving which did it for her. In short, without realising it, on the cat’s terms she was provoking the cat. She really was. It is a cat thing. It is about getting into the head of domestic cats. The Bengal is all cat in mentality. Highly charged and plenty of Raw Cat to use Jackson Galaxy’s words and with tons of mojo.

Interestingly, in America, if you see a mountain lion it is said that you should try and scare them away by making a noise and waving your arms. You should try and make yourself a big as possible. Perhaps she was employing that sort of technique but it had the reverse effect.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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