Feline martial art: fighting cats

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Feline martial art: fighting cats

Postby ART » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:37 am


According with the common perception about the cat, physically small and basically lonely, this animal is ill-suited to the physical confrontation, except only to hunt: the truth is very different. Even if their body is optimized for hunting small prey, cats often have heroic behaviors for the human standards and despite their small size and their delicate appearance are actually formidable fighters, who knows how to optimally exploit their natural weapons and often fearlessly they attack dangerous and much larger animals.
Following videos show some amazing cat fighting techniques. Like their wild relatives, domestic cats are territorial animals and they struggling to tolerate even the mere presence of their similar nearby: when they believe that offspring, territory or food are threatened they go straight to the action.

These videos show duels of cats, played according to precise ritual: two adversaries stand facing each other, at close range, and they emit intimidating sounds while are on guard, then they suddenly snap to each other and perform a body-to-body fight. These fights can be bloody, but never ends in death.

A very strange situations, almost comical: one of the contenders disturbed by two birds...
Dogs intervene to stop the duel...

May also occur group brawls. The agility of the cats involved is very evident in slow motion.

But really interesting are the strategies and techniques in various situations, such as fighting for the self and other defence against other animals.
Usually most cats prefer to avoid clash, facilitated by their small size that allows them to hide easily and jump or climb where enemies can not reach. When the cat decides to fight or is forced to do, despite his remarkable agility the general strategy for dealing with a fight tendentially is static: it is stationary or moves with caution, carefully monitoring the enemy while waiting for the right time to sudden attack. Assaults without planning are used less often, usually in emergency situations (such as kitten defence) or with less powerful opponents. Static fighting is accomplished mainly means lightning quick and generally accurate paw shots, repeated or singles during sudden moves, and when the opportunity is good with bites too.

Usually in urban areas the enemy is a dog: cats can not completely neutralize big sized animals, unless they are able to hit the vital points, so their strategy is to intimidate them and take on them with fast claws until the suspension of the enemy attack for tiredness or injuring. In the next video initially the cat remains on guard position (aggressive posture), with erect and externally rotated ears, extract claws, raised fur and slightly curved back, to appear bigger and threatening. A similar position but with flatten or turned backward ears, arcuate tail and more curved back, turned often by a side, is the so-called cat of the witch position (defensive threat posture) and expresses a mixture of fear and aggression. Later he carefully chooses the right moment to attack.

Static defence.
Besieged. Dog has no offensive intentions but the cat feels threatened and reacts with the classic lightning strike attacks that are his main "combat style". The sixth attack hit the mark.

Although this is not a real clash, because the dog has no real aggressive intentions, the last part of the video is useful for examining the features of the attacks. When the cat fights higher animals he often strikes describing wide circles with the paw, to increase the probability of upward hit. These shots are lightning like the others, as you can see at 1:27 sec. in slow motion.


When in alarm or angry the cat often emits some characteristic signals to scare the enemy and / or give him an ultimatum before attacking: they are usually a low tone growl and the typical puff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hckG8Cpypz8 (provocation with feather duster)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltZm48wZVyY (vocal signals)

Cat VS dog, difficult clash.
Looking the clash in slow motion you clearly seen that the cat mainly uses quick blows of claw, that easily strike. At 10 sec. you can see that the cat is grabbed and thrown upwards, despite this is able to land straight and continue to defend themselves immediately.

Cat VS dog.

Cat VS dog, lightning strike attacks.

Cat VS dog, close combat.

Cat VS 2 dogs.

A cat defends another from 4 dogs.

Dog lay an ambush from behind. Slow motion show the great flexibility of the cat's body, as well as the ability to react instantly.

In defence of others, especially the offsprings, the cat shows a much more aggressive behavior and does not hesitate to attack, for example, a big dog. Notice how initially slides with its paws upward to remove with blows of claw the kitten to the dog grip, then it performs a typical frontal assault. As you can see clearly, the defensive posture does not necessarily indicate the expectation of an enemy attack but it can prelude an action.

Now the offspring is a human baby, bitten by a dog. Cat perform an unconventional speedy attack: he running towards the dog and hits him with the whole body in a lateral impact.

Interrupted duel.

In this experiment a man pretends to spank an infant.

In some case certain behaviors are misinterpreted as ostility or aggression.

Cats also can fight extremely dangerous animals, such as snakes. The tactic is to provoke the reaction of the snake and try to grab it with the mouth just after the forward jerk of the reptile to attack.

At 4:10 of this video you can see the ability of this cat to neutralize the snake attack.

Very dangerous animal is the coyote: this wild predator hunting often in pairs and even attack big dogs and humans. The cat's strategy against these animals is to seek an high place (even on very small surfaces, such as poles or enclosures) to defend himself and attack with care at the right time.

Cat VS fox.

Cat VS monkey.

Cat VS raccon.

Cat VS bear.
In slow motion at 44 sec. the speed and skill of this cat is evident: all in less than a second, starting from aggressive position he lash with the left paw, then suddenly stretch forward close the ground and lash with the right paw.

Cat VS human.

Provocation with glove.

Although cats are basically loners, in urban areas they often form non-hierarchical communities and it can happen that they act together to defend themselves. In this case two cats cause a real disaster: the black one intervenes in defence of the white when dog imply an assault against him, then both attack to expel all intruders.

In condition of forced stilness the cat manifested all its horror or anger with various vocal emissions, such as the known hisses and puffs similar to those of snakes, or screams or a range of bass sounds similar to the roar. Classic cases that occur to the vet, when the cat is immobilized and feels subjected to a terrible threat. Of course it try to wriggle out and attack or run away at every opportunity.

Looking at low motion, at 20 sec. you can see how this cat does not simply try to break away from the grip but performs a lightning attack with the paws, aiming first at the vet's hand and then on the face. At 24 sec. Instead he tries to snap the hand.

General skills:
The cat's agility in running as in climbing is well-known. As seen, assaults are often performed with jumps: cat is able to accomplish prodigious leaps from various positions, much higher than its height and if necessary using vertical walls as trampoline or foothold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq47C-jBF4g (height measures of different vertical jumps)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDKzY_NIBDo (slow motion vertical jumps)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=705OzYq7cXU (slow motion jump with climbing)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGBHesEddAE (slow motion jumps)

The cat control in fall is total, even starting from the most disadvantageous position. Follow a short documentary.
Climbings and jumps.
Example of mid-air assault against bird.

Agility skills are also evident in the classical laser pointer game: despite its speed the dot is very closely followed and often "grasped".

No fighting would be successful without a certain amount of intelligence. The question of cat's intelligence is still being debated, however it is proven that domestic cats are able to perform relatively complex operations, such as hold or manipulating objects (for example to turn on taps and to open doors, windows and drawers) and sometimes they imitate the use of some equipment, for example they defecate in the toilet.

Escape from cage and shell game.
Escape from cage.
Shell game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL2ep9uOXk4 (drawer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jf6k2dN02Q (freezer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xODrc2LTqFk (doors)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2Uu02lRMpY (door with doorknob from support platform)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nstkbjfBhQg (door with doorknob from support platform)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6813SgG-6Rk (door with doorknob from the ground)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx4Fi-TlDPU (door with doorknob from the ground)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCreCr_g_io (window)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fLkhKxus90 (window)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj3XnbFfyBY (puzzle feeder)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVJxLc9NxpE (puzzle feeder)
Last edited by ART on Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 271 times in total.
"If you lose, you can't win" (Andrea)
"Let's go to see the monsters" (Andrea)
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Re: Feline martial art

Postby ART » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:11 am

Cat's weapons:

four sharp canines

retracting claws (10 front, 8 rear)



Postures and basic techniques:

defensive posture

aggressive posture

close combat

frontal assault

frontal assault

static defence
Last edited by ART on Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:33 pm, edited 22 times in total.
"If you lose, you can't win" (Andrea)
"Let's go to see the monsters" (Andrea)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
European soul, European pride.

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Posts: 5210
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:26 pm

Re: Feline martial art: fighting cats

Postby ART » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:53 am

"If you lose, you can't win" (Andrea)
"Let's go to see the monsters" (Andrea)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
European soul, European pride.

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