When it comes to guarding the family home, the dog is – well – “top dog”.
Many people across the world rely on dogs for the ability to guard homes, properties, livestock and human owners (with certain breeds being developed largely for this task).
The ethics and practicalities of having a “guard dog” aside, there is no doubt that dogs can and do protect humans while they sleep or otherwise are in a property or area.
But what about cats?
Do cats protect you while you sleep?
Is there such thing as a “guard cat” or are your stuck needing a dog if you want a pet that will alert you to the presence of intruders and potentially come to your aid if the worst does happen? Can you count on your Bengal cat (or any other type of cat, for that matter) to come to your rescue when duty calls?
In this article we are going to look at whether or not cats will protect you, both while you sleep and otherwise.
Do Cats Make Good Defenders?
Cats are often thought of as independent and aloof, but many cat owners will tell you that their feline companions can be quite affectionate and protective. So, it’s natural to wonder if cats will protect their owners while they sleep.
There is no definitive answer to this question, as every cat is different and has its own personality and behaviors. Some cats may be more inclined to protect their owners, while others may not show much interest in doing so. However, there are a few things to consider when it comes to cats and protection.
First of all, it’s important to recognize that cats are not naturally aggressive animals, at least not outside of chasing what they have identified as prey.
Cats are generally more likely to flee from danger than to confront it head-on. After all, when you can run faster, jump higher and react more rapidly than most creatures you’re likely to encounter, it makes perfect sense from a self-preservation perspective to flee instead of standing to fight.
That being said, some cats may become more protective of their owners if they feel that their territory is being threatened. For example, a cat may become more vocal or aggressive towards an intruder if it feels that its owner is in danger (some cats just don’t like strange people who aren’t familiar, and might vocalise towards them).
Cats may also become more protective of their owners if they have a close bond with them. If a cat views its owner as a source of food, comfort, and security, it may be more likely to protect them. This is especially true for cats that have been raised from a young age by their owners and have formed a strong attachment to them.
However, it’s important to note that cats are not typically protective in the same way that dogs are. They are not usually trained to protect their owners and may not always recognize when their owners are in danger. It’s also worth noting that cats are generally not good at detecting danger (towards human owners) in the same way that dogs are, as they do not have the benefit of nigh-on countless generations of breeding for this purpose … bear in mind that part of the origin of the domesticated dog was humans wanting an animal that could protect them. While cats have been used for tasks such as warding of pests like mice, this isn’t the same as literally going in to battle for a human owner!
Overall, while it’s possible that a cat may protect its owner while they sleep, it’s not something that can be relied upon. If you are concerned about your safety at night, it’s always a good idea to take appropriate precautions, such as locking doors and windows and having a home security system in place.
Recap – Do Cats Protect You When You Are Sleeping?
In conclusion, while it’s not uncommon for cats to be protective of their owners, it’s not something that can be counted on.
So don’t go out looking to buy a cat (Bengal or otherwise) for the primary purpose of home defence. If you do, then you’ll almost certainly be disappointed.
Also bear in mind that even if your cat has a defensive streak, a cat isn’t necessarily able to defend you and your home in the same way that a dog can, simply owing to the typically smaller stature and lack of a bark.
A Bengal cat can give you a nasty scratch or bite, but lacks the sheer power and strength of a dog like a German Shepherd, Doberman or Rottweiler.
However, if you have a close bond with your cat and they show signs of being protective of you, it can be a heartwarming and reassuring feeling. It’s a “nice to have”, and there’s nothing wrong in taking comfort and solace in your cat protecting you (provided this is not resulting in antisocial/undesirable outcomes, e.g. your cat attacking strangers).
Ultimately, the best way to ensure your safety while you sleep is to take appropriate precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
If you want a pet that is going to be more likely to both deter an intruder or “unwanted” visitor, and potentially even use force to protect you, then a dog – particularly one of the breeds developed for such a purpose – is the logical choice (as mentioned earlier, I’m not going to comment on the ethics of keeping a guard dog, nor do I profess to be an expert on guard dogs. However, my border collie does an excellent job of alerting me to people coming up the driveway – any hour of the day or night – and will always put herself between me and anyone who might come up to us on the street while we are out for a run or walk. My old Bengal cat definitely didn’t exhibit this behavior!)
Is your Bengal cat (or other cat) protective? Do you have any stories to share of cats coming to the aid of their human owners? If so, feel free to leave a comment below – it would be great to hear from you.