Stray Female Cat Defends Her Kittens Against Men But Not Women

Video screenshot showing stray cat attacking man outside market in Istanbul

This interesting video shows a female stray cat, better described as a community cat, outside a market in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city. Her behaviour has been caught on the security camera attached to the building. Both men and women pass by the market and some go into the market.

When they get close to this cat she attacks the men and dogs but leaves the women alone. Some people think the cat is crazy while others have worked out what is going on.

A person who lives close to the market knows the cat. He knows the cat is a female and that she is feeding her young. Therefore, we can conclude that she is defending her offspring which is very typical of female cats. Under perceived threats female cats are incredibly brave and defend their kittens fearlessly.

The outstanding question is why she only attacks dogs and men and leaves women alone. The differential may be more to do with the clothes that they are wearing. This cat may equate trousers with aggressors and people not wearing trousers as not being aggressive and therefore not a threat to the kittens.

This may have been a learned process from her experiences namely that she has been attacked or kicked by men. Even in Turkey where community cats are common and largely respected (as I understand it) there are people who don’t like them and become annoyed and are therefore abusive towards them.


The video is a classic piece of female cat behaviour. I suspect that this cat lives within the marketplace and is therefore a classic community cat being fed by market traders. There are numerous videos online of this happening. Many stray cats in the Middle East and beyond including Asia are better referred to as community cats because they are fed by the community of market traders.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful
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Post Category: Behavior