What turns cats from lounging felines to supercats - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

What turns cats from lounging felines to supercats

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In an amazing video that everyone is talking about, a heroic cat came to the rescue of a 4-year-old boy in California that was being attacked by a dog.

The boy's mother said she turned around in time to see what happened but, until she saw it on video, she didn't fully appreciate what Tara the cat had done.

"I remember her hitting the dog, but seeing the video and seeing exactly what she did and chased that dog away, seeing her turn to check on Jeremy then returning to him," said Erica Triantafilo.

After watching the video for themselves, many cat owners might wonder if their cat would do the same for them and their children.

"All cats are extremely territorial," said Stephen Holdeman, the feline care manager with the KC Pet Project.

The video out of California has become a worldwide YouTube sensation. People are calling the cat Tara a supercat since she flew in out of nowhere to protect a member of her family.

Holdeman said he's not surprised with how the cat reacted.

"If you have a really strong relationship with your cat like the boy in the video probably did, that's his house, that's his territory, and so when he sees something happening to his territory, it's a very natural instinct for the cat to rush out there and try to correct that," he said.

The supercat was adopted from a pound in California and vets say there is some truth to the alley cat survival mentality. They say cats know when to fight and when to run away.

Dr. Zach Patterson with Pleasant Hill Animal Clinic said he's seen it before - cats fighting to protect their territory - and what comes across as extraordinary reaction and strength is really just how they're built.

"They have a little bit more different muscle types that allow them to do athletic things and they have more of a speed muscle that allows them to do what they do," Patterson said.

Add that with territorial attitude and Fido better watch out.

"The boy in a way was his territory. Really they're just trying to stand up for what they care about, which is their territory," Holdeman said.

The dog that attacked the boy has been put into quarantine and is under observation with animal control for 10 days and then it could be euthanized.

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