Blog & Editorial

Reflection on this famous video where a cat saves « his »child


This article is currently being reviewed with regards to the vocabulary used. However, the tips suggested can be applied without worry. Only a few very specific notions must be reviewed throughout the site, like territory (we now refer to it as environment), marking, pheromones and other specific concepts that have recently been the object of studies.


I don’t much like to comment sensationalist videos that are filled with anthropomorphic commentaries. But, as this story is headline on the Internet, we will debunk things. In sum, I will burst your bubble.

Please, watch this video.

DISCLAIMER – As it is impossible for me to see what happens before and after the scene recorded in this video, the following explanation is hypothetical, though highly likely. Other explanations remain possible.

The cat enjoys the quietness and non-disruption of his routine. A child he knows is playing is the cat’s backyard. This is a normal situation and the cat is happy. Judging by the rapidity of the cat’s reaction, we understand that he has seen the dog approaching his territory and enter it well before the beginning of the video. He is already in a state of alarm, for a hunting predator has encroached on his territory. His state of quietness is already gone. When the dog attacks the child (note to dog detractors: this is not a perverse, malignant or aggressive assault, but rather a predating behavior), it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The cat attacks the dog, because the latter is both a disruptive element and an intruder. He then drives the dog out of its territory to try to restore the natural order of things. Then, he goes back to the child, meaning “All is well, the bad dog is gone: can we go on with our usual routine now?” The maternal instinct theory is very unlikely, but without knowing the relation between the child and the cat, it is impossible to ascertain whether it is a factor at play.

In the weeks that followed the video’s uploading, this cat and his family were subjected to tremendous attention from the media, going as far as participating in baseball ceremonial first pitches, getting a commemorative day in his name in his hometown, and getting a website that sells merchandise in the image of the cat. Not only is it highly probable that the cat has not enjoyed at all this kind of disruption in his life, but also, meanwhile, the assaulting dog has been euthanized.

All of his because of the anthropomorphic interpretation according to which a cat loved the child so much that he saved him. Yet it is not so! The cat always thinks of his own interest first. His well-being precedes all else. Always keep that in mind when you try to explain a behavior. That does not prevent us from appreciating when a cat comes to be petted or to cuddle on our lap, or, in this case, when a child is saved! 

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