It is common knowledge that dogs are protective of their owners, but what about cats?
There’s a stereotype that cats are aloof and standoffish, but cats are social creatures who enjoy spending time with their favorite humans. They can also be just as protective of their owners as dogs can.
Previous research has shown that the relationship between cats and humans is almost identical to bonds between humans. So, this begs the question, do cats have protective tendencies?
Cats are territorial and observant, so when you notice them quietly perched in their favorite spot, they’re likely to be paying very close attention to what is around them in order to protect themselves and their owners.
While we may romanticize our cats coming to our rescue, if they do protect their owners, it is more out of instinct.
Will Your Cat Protect You From Harm?
Interestingly, cats prefer to avoid physical confrontation.
They will puff up and arch their backs if they feel threatened, but this is done in order to send signals to their offender in order to reduce the risk of getting into a physical altercation.
Their natural response is also to flee from threatening situations, especially if the threat is physically bigger than them.
However, that does not mean to say that a cat will not defend its owner. If they were to see them being physically attacked, some cats may have their ‘fight’ instinct awoken.
They could begin to bite, scratch, or hiss at the attacker.
It is important to note that this behavior may not be instigated in all cats. This will depend on the individual cat, and the situation itself.
Is Your Cat Protecting You?
Cats are incredibly loyal creatures and form very strong bonds with their owners. Therefore, if you are wondering if your cat is protecting you, they are surely doing it in their own way.
Here are some behaviors that show they are protecting you.
They Are Following You Around The House
You may notice your cat following you around wherever you go.
This behavior may be displayed if there is someone they do not know, hovering around your house.
Them staying close to you is a form of protection for themselves, but also a way of protecting you also.
Hissing And Bearing Teeth
If your calm-mannered cat is suddenly hissing and bares its teeth, then something may be wrong.
Cats will normally display this behavior if they feel threatened, so if there is another animal around that they do not trust, then this is a form of behavior to eliminate danger.
The ‘zoomies’ refer to when your cat begins to run around the house. While this is amusing to watch, some believe it can be a sign that something is going on.
Some say that this could be a warning sign that bad weather is approaching. A cat’s senses are heightened, so they are more sensitive to changes in the atmosphere than humans are.
Their inner ears can sense shifts in atmospheric pressure, so this can affect their behavior. Therefore, the next time your kitty gets a case of the ‘zoomies’ don’t be surprised if a storm appears soon after.
Is Your Cat Overprotective?
Some cats may be very protective of their owners, to the point that they display aggressive behavior too much of the time.
If your cat is showing signs of being overprotective, then pay attention to your surroundings, so you can determine what is causing them to feel threatened.
If they are in protection mode, they may have pointed ears, and dilated eyes. Their stance will appear crouched, and their tail may be making sharp and quick movements.
You may also notice they have exposed their teeth and claws, and they may begin to hiss and growl.
How To Manage An Overprotective Cat?
A cat that is protective, is a cat living in fear, and this can be very distressing for both you and your kitty.
When they go into their protective mode, you must treat them calmly in order to reduce their aggression.
You should never approach your cat when they become protective, as this could lead to them attacking you.
Always avoid rewarding them for this behavior, as positive reinforcement will show them that this behavior is acceptable.
You should also never back away in fear, as this will give your cat the idea that they have power over you. The best thing to do, is ignore them and go about the rest of your day.
If you do this, your cat will eventually calm themselves down, especially as they see there is no danger around them.
It is your cat’s instinct to sense when danger is nearby, as in their need to go on the defense when they feel threatened.
As mentioned earlier, cats are very observant and are always looking and sensing what is going on around them - this can be seen as their own way of protecting you.
However, it is important to remember that cats do not think like we do. Their protective tendencies are more a way of their own survival, rather than protecting you.
They know you are their food-provider, so they know you need to survive too. Therefore, you should not expect your cat to act like a guard dog, and you should ensure that your home is safe in other ways.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Cats Protect You While You Sleep?
Have you wondered why your cat sleeps by your feet, as opposed to on your belly or by your head? This is because they are protecting themselves, and you.
Cats know they are vulnerable while they sleep, and sleeping at the foot of the bed gives them the best view of the room in order to sense any potential dangers.
In the case of any intruders or danger, this position is perfect as the cat is able to become alert, and then escape or alert you about what is going on.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.