While cats aren’t usually seen as natural defenders, they’re extremely loyal animals. But when it comes to whether cats can protect their owners, are they simply looking for a fight, or do they know to keep us safe?
While a cat’s natural response is to flee, a cat is capable of defending its owner. There have been several instances reported in the media of how cats have protected their human owners from wanted criminals and unruly dogs. It is also thought that cats can protect us spiritually from negative energies and evil spirits, but scientific studies haven’t proved this. Cats tend to develop closer relationships with female owners, so they are more likely to protect them from harm than men.
Cats and humans have developed a strong bond throughout the ages, since as early as 4400 B.C. So, a cat is likely to have your back if you’ve developed a close relationship. This isn’t a given as a cat’s loyalty has to be earned.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Would a Cat Defend Its Owner?
- 1.1 Signs Your Cat Is Protecting You
- 1.2 Cat Protects Owner from Intruder
- 1.3 Cat Protects Owner from Dog
- 1.4 Do Cats Protect You Spiritually?
- 1.5 Why Does My Cat Guard Me?
- 1.6 Why Do Cats Protect Babies?
- 1.7 Male Cat Protective of Female Owner
Would a Cat Defend Its Owner?
While it might be hard to believe for some, a cat is more than capable of defending you. In fact, a cat can be just as protective as a dog. However, it is unlikely a cat will resort to physical aggression unless it’s necessary.
A cat’s natural response is to flee. This is especially the case if the threat is bigger. Cats will try to avoid physical confrontation. Confrontational behavior in cats is passive in nature. Cats will posture and position themselves to send signals designed to reduce the risk of escalation to physical fighting.
That being said, domestic cats value their social group. This includes their human owners. If they sense danger or see their owners come under physical attack, their fighting instincts will kick in. They may scratch, bite, or hit their opponent with their paws.
However, cats are better suited to defending us from natural disasters. This is because they’re able to notice shifts in energy around them. This can include a change in the weather, undetected diseases, or predators who are lurking nearby. Keeping an eye on your cat’s changing body language can help you stay alert about potential hazards.
Signs Your Cat Is Protecting You
Despite common misconceptions, cats are intensely loyal animals. A study published in Eureka Alert that was carried out by animal scientist Kristyn Vitale found that much like children and dogs, domesticated cats form secure and bonds with their human caretakers.
She discovered that the majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment. About 65% of both cats and kittens are securely bonded to their people.
So, when it comes to the possibility that your cat is protecting you, you can be sure your pet is doing it in its own way. Here are some key signs:
Cat Follows You Around the House
This is quite an easy sign to spot. If your cat is nervous about something. such as someone hovering around the house, it will stay close to you. This is to get your protection, but to also ensure you’re safe too.
Cat Hisses or Bares its Teeth
If this is unusual behavior in your mild-mannered cat, something could be wrong. Cats will usually only become aggressive if threatened, and hissing is a way for a cat to scare its opponent off.
If it doesn’t trust a person or a dog that has come too close to its owner, this will be a natural reaction to try and eliminate the danger.
Cat Gets a Case of The ‘Zoomies’
It’s so funny when a cat goes crazy and starts zooming around the house. But this can be a sign that something’s up.
It’s usually to do with the weather – if a cat senses bad weather is coming, it’ll run around to alert you that a storm is nearby. A cat’s hearing is much more acute than ours, so heed your cat’s warning and make sure your house is all shut up.
Cat Protects Owner from Intruder
One of the most inspiring stories is of Indianapolis cat, Binky. Cynthia Kootz, Binky’s owner, was watching TV in her living room when an intruder pushed open her front door. Immediately sensing danger, Binky came out of nowhere and attacked the intruder twice – biting him and tearing up the man’s hand and arm. From Binky’s brave attack, police arrived at the scene and arrested the wanted intruder.
Cynthia has an interesting outlook on why she believed Binky protected her, and that is because she treated Binky like a normal cat and didn’t make him mean. Because of this, he naturally became loyal to her.
There’s also the heroic story of the Australian cat, Mannie. He only has one eye, but after spotting a home intruder, he immediately alerted his owner by loudly meowing. After realizing that this was unusual for his sweet-natured cat, Mannie’s owner, Andrew, found a stranger in his dining room. The intruder was later apprehended after Andrew spotted his license plate.
It just goes to show that paying attention to your cat’s body language and behavior can help you determine when something isn’t quite right.
Cat Protects Owner from Dog
A little while ago, it was widely reported in the media how Jeremy Triantafilo, a four-year-old boy from Bakersfield, California, was playing in his front yard when a neighbor’s dog bit him and pulled him off his bicycle.
Before anyone else had a chance to act, his cat, Tara, ran over and body-slammed the dog, scaring it off and chasing it away. Once Tara knew the dog was out of the way, she came back to check on Jeremy, who escaped with minor injuries.
As a result, Tara received the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s Cat Hero Award – the first-ever award of its kind.
Tara’s family describes her as mild-mannered and mellow. While out of character, this episode highlights just how loyal cats can be – parking their personalities and displaying their defensive nature instead to protect their human owners.
This is even more impressive when you consider that a cat’s territorial aggression is usually directed towards other cats. When a cat goes after a dog, there is usually a good reason.
Do Cats Protect You Spiritually?
It’s generally accepted that cats have some kind of sixth sense. A cat’s eyes are windows enabling us to see into another world.
And think about this: have you ever seen your cat stare into empty space, or become fixated on something that you couldn’t see? This can be unnerving, but it can actually be a sign that your cat is looking out for unseen dangers.
Spiritualists believe that cats can sense evil spirits or manifestations that have the potential to put you or your family at harm. This is because cats are born with an astral force, which is thought to be a repellent to negative energy, including evil spirits.
Many people believe that cats can frighten mean spirits off. They trap the aura using their energy field and drive the negative energy from the house. If you notice your cat wandering around without obvious cause, it’s best not to distract it as you may interrupt the process.
On a deeper, personal level, cats can also absorb our negative energies. If we’re feeling sad or down, your pet will sense this and absorb your troubles, leaving you feeling happier and more hopeful.
Of course, none of these theories have been tested in the scientific world so should be taken with caution. But cats are mysterious creatures that many scientists have struggled to fully research, so it’s more than possible that cats have a deeper connection to the spiritual world than what we can understand.
Why Does My Cat Guard Me?
Cats get attached to humans. Research shows that they have discovered that cats form emotional attachments to their owners. This is known as “secure attachment”, which describes when a cat feels calm, safe, and secure in the presence of its human caregiver.
There are also benefits for a cat to protect its owner too. In return for their companionship, they get a warm, secure home, regular food, a comfy place to sleep, and affection when they want it.
However, it can be very easy to confuse your cat wanting to be around you with them guarding you. If your cat follows you around the house, stands outside the bathroom door, or meows when you’re out of sight, it could have separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety occurs when your cat struggles to be away from you for prolonged periods. It might have a nervous disposition and seeks comfort from your presence, or if you have a rescue cat, it may have had a troubled past and feels safe around you. And there are many more reasons why a cat would suffer from separation anxiety.
If you’re worried about this or need some help, seek veterinary advice to ensure your cat’s behavior is not being caused by an underlying physical issue. If you get the all-clear on that, ignore your cat before you leave the house and immediately after returning home. This allows your absence to become part of your cat’s routine.
Why Do Cats Protect Babies?
When a new baby joins the household, cats will react in different ways. Some become jealous; others hide away from the new addition. However, there are instances when a cat may become protective of its infant friend.
Cats are intelligent creatures and have been known to raise the alarm when a baby appears suddenly unwell. There have even been reports in the media of cats keeping abandoned babies warm in the cold by wrapping themselves around their delicate bodies.
But why do cats do this? Some felines have a strong maternal instinct. They also use sounds to communicate. A baby’s cry can sound similar to a kitten’s distress cries, so your cat may associate the two. Its instinct may kick in, leading her to protect the baby by sitting with the child, licking it, or generally being nearby.
Allowing your cat to sniff, smell, and gently touch your baby under strict supervision is a good way to sow the seeds of friendship between your child and cat, letting the latter know that it has nothing to fear.
Male Cat Protective of Female Owner
Both male and female cats share a strong bond with women because they tend to interact with their cats more than men do, a study by Kurt Kotrschal found. When women meet cats for the first time, they tend to vocalize more than men, which is why cats are drawn to females.
The same study also found that cats approach female owners more frequently, initiating contact – like jumping on laps – more often than they would with a male owner. The study concluded that female owners have more intense relationships with their cats.
Interestingly, cats remember acts of kindness and return the favors later on. A kind of ‘negotiation contract’ is developed during the bonding process between a cat and its owner. If the human treats its cat well, the cat will offer some kind of benefit later on. In our examples of how cats have protected their owners, this could well be via protection from dangers.
So, while cats tend to prefer and naturally be more protective of a woman owner, it doesn’t appear that this sense of loyalty is specific to a male or female cat. As publicized in Research Gate, genetic differences and early interactions between cats, particularly when the cat is between 3-7 weeks old, will determine how it acts around you.