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March 2024

Are Cats Protective of Their Human Family?

Saturday, May 29, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

This is an interesting question. Normally we think that cats are indifferent, independent creatures but they really aren’t. They have complex personalities that includes protecting their home and family.

Every day we place some dry food and water on our porch so that two feral cats in the neighborhood could stop by for a meal. When they come up to the porch to eat, our cat Millie always gets excited. She jumps and scratches on the sliding glass door and makes a bunch of sounds. At first we thought that she liked these cats and were excited that they were here for a visit.

The other day, I saw Millie jumping and scratching at the glass door, I looked out but didn’t see anything so I opened the door to check. There was one of the ferals sitting under a chair. Millile dashed outside hissing and howling. She chased the cat into the street. I ran, told her to “stop” and reached to pick her up. She was clearly in distress. So our theories were totally wrong. Millie doesn’t like cats or other creatures visiting our house and was being protective of us and her surroundings. has published some guidelines regarding this issue.

How to handle an overprotective cat

You have to remember that a cat in protective mode is also full of fear and is running on pure adrenaline and instinct. Try to deal with your cat in a calm manner which will hopefully help to calm her.

Do not reward or punish your cat as these approaches are not productive. Do not console the cat because they will see that as a reward for their aggression. Do not retreat or show fear because the cat will see that as them winning over you. Punishing a cat will only sow resentment because they do not know that what they are doing is wrong as they do not have an understanding of what they did wrong.

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