How fast can a cat swipe at someone/thing?

Both my dog’s nose and I have been at the receiving end (not at the same time) of a cat scratch delivered so fast we literally could not see it coming.

How fast do cats swing their arm/paw/whatever when they mean it for attack?

Whenever I used to play with my cat, he would usually beat me when it came to avoiding his swipes, until I noticed that his pupils would dilate slightly a split-second before he committed to the swipe.

I only get that split-second warning, but now I can beat him most of the time. Try it, it works.

Does your cat play poker? I now have a “tell” on him.

Back to the OP, when I have watched cats and dogs “play”, the cats paw seems to be quicker than the dogs eye.

Conversely, (a 2yr old border collie) is faster than my cat, both in terms of locomotion and reaction speed. The only advantage the cat has is that she can climb - because he can outrun and outjump her, and is easily as agile. Plus, of course, bigger, stronger, and louder. She’s had to learn to perch in places he can’t get to due to his completely inability to climb, because if she’s under 6 feet from ground level she’s in trouble.

I feel bad for her sometimes, but she bullied him mercilessly when he was an 8-week old puppy barely able to climb the front door step and significantly smaller than her. So it’s karmic payback - one day he realised he was bigger, stronger, faster and more fercious than she could ever be, and it all changed round. The sad thing is that when he was little he tried so hard to be friends with her and she simply attacked him; and now it’s too later for her to change that.

I’m often bemused by those who claim their cats can take on a dog. Yes - right up until the point where the dog gets mildly irritated. Then the cat needs to get the hell out of dodge fast.

Unless this is your cat.

Unfortunately, due to severe inbreeding, the vast majority of white tigers are mentally retarded (as tigers go) to one degree or another, so the dog might still have the upper hand.

My grandmother had a yard cat that would take on any dog that wandered by. This cat once hopped on the back of my uncle’s bird-dog, sank its claws in, & rode that dog like a jockey.

Mine can slash you to ribbons in seconds. I learned how to read the signs…tail swishing,ears laid flat and eyes dilated…don’t bug her.

Everyone says they know a cat that could take on dogs. They can’t.

I always challenge people to lock their imaginarily supremely ninja-tough dog-beating cat in a room with my dog and take bets (and he’s not even a big dog - just a 2yr old border collie). For some reason they always turn me down! :smiley:

(Not that I would, of course - that would be cruel and despicable. But a cat would last under 10 seconds if it couldn’t escape somehow.)

I would counter by inviting you to bring your dog to my grandmother’s yard, but my grandmother, her yard, & the cat are long gone.


I don’t wish ill on cats, so I’d have to turn you down.

Seriously, it’s bizarre how people view their cats. They can’t fight dogs. There’s a reason for that old chestnut about dogs chasing cats.

My cat would probably be stupid enough to take on a dog(she is an indoor cat so unless she makes a jail break this isn’t going to happen)but I have no illusions that she would win. Dogs are one of the reasons she is an indoor cat.

Your dog might win the fight, but I’d put money on the dog coming away seriously injured (my money would be on losing at least an eye). This is assuming a much larger dog than a cat; at equal weight, I’d put my money on the cat every time. Five areas of pointy, slashing contact combined with blinding speed and agility, as well as their bad-ass attitude would put the cat in the winner’s seat in that contest. If my cat’s claws haven’t been trimmed lately, those bastards are sharp!

The dog might get a scratch or two, but that’s it.

Speed and agility - I promise my dog can match it. I’ve seen it. He’s insanely fast.

I like that “five areas of pointy,slashing contact” those claws are sharp…mine can slash you to ribbons without a thought. I have the scars to prove it. Despite all that,I love the little witch.
A cat would definately put a hurt on a dog,that is for sure,but as one poster mentioned,size is relative. I am pretty sure Simba could kick a Chihuahua’s ass,but a Germand Shepherd would probably kill her.

While most cats would not be able to outright beat most dogs, many cats would be able to put up a good enough fight to make it not worth the dog’s while. There’s also the matter that the dog might think the cat is just playing right up until it’s too late: Sometimes the only warning a cat gives is an involuntary facectomy.

I agree. Over the years, I have seen several times a cat (frequently s battle scarred alley-cat) stop a dog dead in its tracks with a vicious nose slash.

I think that dogs, being of the wolf persuasion, have the predators’ instinct to protect itself from injury. Many times bears or other large animals will back down in the face of a fierce attack by a smaller animal.

All depends upon the dog and the cat, in the end. (Which end I don’t know.)

I agree with those who say “pound for pound” the cat would win. Hey, “pound for pound”, a cat will win against a Tyrannosaurus Rex. For their size, they can be vicious. But we’re not talking about giant cats vs. miniature dogs.

I also agree that a dog can persuade a dog *not *to kill it by making it not worth its while, being naturally more aggressive than many dogs (but not exclusively so). But the dog who has decided that cat’s a gonner… once you reach the point where the dog has decided how it’s gonna be, then the cat has ony escape as an option.

I agree that a cat stands a chance against a very small dog. Against the average dog which outweighs is 5-1 at minimum, often 10-1, it lasts as long as the dog doesn’t close. Once the dog’s grabbed it, it’s dead.

As I said, up till the point where the cat really pisses the dog off. There’s just no physical match.

If there’s an ability to escape that generally all the cat is going to want and should generally have the speed and agility to do so, and may impart enough damage to slow the dog down enough to ensure it.

If cat vs. dog was really at all in question I’d think that it would be seen in the same seedy circles where dog fighting happens. Is there any indication such fights are staged as serious competitions (I have absolutely no idea what’s on the undercard at dog fights)?

Well, no. Who’s gonna bet on the cat?