Do You Have a Guard Cat? How Olga Guards Her Territory

Lifestyle


Hi, I’m Christopher! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my silly Russian Blue cat, Olga.

Aggressive cats sometimes guard their resources when they live in multi-pet homes, and they can prevent other felines from using the litter box or eating their meals. Although resource guarding and other undesirable behaviors can be addressed with training and veterinary assistance, some cats are protective over more than just their food, toilet area, and toys.

The Canine Advantage

Using dogs as reliable protectors is an ancient practice that still exists today, but can we rely on our housecats to protect our families and property? In most cases, I would say, “No!” If humans had been more involved in selectively breeding cats with desirable traits thousands of years ago, we could rely on larger felines to attack burglars, recover illegal drugs, rescue lost humans, and remove explosives.

Dogs are easier to train for those tasks because they’re more eager to please humans, and working breeds have a long history of serving them. Most cats are more likely to hide when their owners are threatened, but there are exceptions; some risk their lives to save other animals and humans.

I’m the new efficiency expert; work harder!

Life-Saving Kitties

You may have seen videos of cats protecting small dogs from coyotes or drawing enraged dogs away from their owners so they can get to safety. I prefer those clips to the ones of cats playing the piano, and they make me wonder whether Olga would protect me in a life-or-death situation. She’s a guard cat in some ways, but her idea of protection is much different than mine.

I don’t expect her to repel a home invasion or chase a porch pirate into oncoming traffic, but she protects me from pests. A flying insect’s life expectancy plummets when it enters my home because of the gray panther prowling around.

I'm impatiently awaiting my supper.
I’m impatiently awaiting my supper.

Pest Control

Like most healthy cats, Olga is a light sleeper. She springs to action if she hears or senses a housefly or other bug in her territory. Her impressive eye-to-paw coordination allows her to catch flies in midair, sometimes using two paws.

I don’t think she’s protecting me exactly; most felines enjoy hunting insects and other small creatures because of their instincts but not out of their love for their owners. However, flies and other insects carry diseases, and when fewer pests inhabit your home, you’re less likely to have an infestation or get sick.

Olga the Watch Cat

Sometimes, Olga alerts me with a grunt when someone pulls into the driveway. If she’s sleeping, she may not react until there’s a knock on the door, but she usually comes to me if someone or something approaches my house. When she hears a helicopter in the distance, she jumps up and runs to the window.

Do you think the helicopter will land on our house?
Do you think the helicopter will land on our house?

Unlike fireworks, she’s not afraid of helicopters, but the sound irritates her, and instead of running away, she stares at the sky and paws at the windowpanes. Our cats protect us in some ways, even if they aren’t as skilled as dogs. I’m confident that Olga, like Sam the Shetland Sheepdog in Lethal Weapon 2, will alert me in time to escape a helicopter attack.



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