Watch a House Cat and Wiley Fox in a Backyard Standoff

Written by Alan Lemus
Published: September 29, 2022
© DiSavino
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A domestic cat may seem lazy and docile, but it still has the instincts of its wild cousins that make it aggressive and dangerous when threatened. 

When threatened, angry, or encountering an animal they don’t like, a cat’s typical behavior involves arching their backs to look bigger and making a hissing sound. 

The cat may then give the offender a god smack or quickly back away from the offender.

The Cat Stood Its Ground

The video begins with the fox running towards the cat to attack it but stopping a short distance away when it notices that the arched cat is ready to fight back. The arched cat appears almost as big as the fox. A dramatic standoff begins as the fox seeks to intimidate the cat that appears keen on defending its ground.

But the cat keeps its tail down, perhaps in fear, after noticing that it could never win a fight with the fox. The standoff lasts for a few seconds before the cat turns around and runs for it, the fox in hot pursuit. 

What’s the Reason for the Confrontation?

One cannot tell the fox’s aggressiveness because foxes are generally aware of a cat’s well-earned reputation for self-defense. Both cats and foxes are skilled hunters who target similar prey. Foxes are omnivorous, meaning they eat an extensive diet comprising berries, fruits, and other animals. 

Foxes can be a nuisance to farmers because they hunt lambs and chickens. They could also benefit city residents since, just like cats, they help lower rodent populations.

A fox is still an opportunistic scavenger and hunter who will eat anything they catch. Generally, they target prey smaller than themselves, including kittens and young smaller-sized adult cats. The cat in the video is relatively big, explaining why the fox hesitated the moment the cat jerked forwards as if to attack it. 

They are also both nocturnal since they prefer to hunt at night. These similar characteristics make these predators cross paths regularly, mainly in urban areas.

Why Didn’t the Cat Escape Initially?

It’s unlikely that the fox caught the cat off-guard. Thus the cat must have seen the fox coming but chose to intimidate it. Indeed, cats are known to intimidate animals much larger than them. The domestic cat’s wild cousins, such as the cheetah, leopard, and lion, regularly terrorize, even kill, and eat much larger animals.

Cats on the offensive are agile, fast, and scary animals. Any animal attacking a cat must be wary of the high chances of injuring itself. Cats have sharp teeth, but their primary weapon is their razor-sharp protractible claws. 

Some people refer to their claws as retractable, but the truth is they are retracted by default. They protract the claws when they need to attack. The cat in the video must have protracted its claws in readiness to attack just in case the fox got too close. 

Cats are good in self-defense because they are tactical in their fight. Cats aim for the face. This strategy explains why larger animals would hesitate to attack a cat. They must weigh whether it’s worth losing an eye just to intimidate a cat. 

The cat in the video was in no mood to fight, so it quickly disappeared after making its point.

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The Featured Image

Tabby cat facing camera, isolated on black background. A bit of collar and tag visible. Grumpy, confrontational glare or scowl. Horizontal with copy space.
© DiSavino

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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