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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19139
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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Do healthy domestic cats typically run toward/after

Customer Question

Do healthy domestic cats typically run toward/after strangers or run away?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome,

This is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

I am a small animal vet with many years experience with cats and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. You can expect a written reply sometime within the next fifteen minutes or so.

We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype. Please get back to me if this is more convenient for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }

Regards,

Dr Scott

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Dear Dr. Scott: I appreciate your prompt response but prefer to get your advice via e-mail/post. Thank you in advance
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hi Kathy

I am very much a cat person and I have eight cats at present so I am quite interested in your question.

1. The first thing to say is that cats do have very different personalities so the sort of behaviour you mention is unpredictable depending on the individual cat. Some cats will be very curious and would approach strangers with a camera, other cats will always be wary of strangers and would run away, but the majority group would be indifferent unless interfered with.

2. Another factor is where the encounter takes place, two of my cats are quite friendly both towards myself and strangers in our yard, but when I am out and about outside and encounter one of them they will be very wary even of me who feeds them. So clearly behaviour may differ depending if encounters occur either on or off the cat's established home territory.

3. I think that the bot***** *****ne is that cats are largely creatures of instinct and domestic cats are not so far removed form wild or feral ones so their survival instinct would be to flee from uncertain situations. I am not sure if the camera adds or detracts from the situation ...

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Dr. Scott: Your reply did not address any scientific (clinical veterinary) evidence about a healthy domestic's cat likeliness to exhibit the behavior I described. I was trying to be somewhat vague so as not to lead you to a conclusion that is not based on science. With all due respect, telling me about your own cats is not scientific evidence or clinical evidence of cats in general. I know they have individual personalities. I hoped for a response without further elaboration from me, but perhaps it is necessary to clarify. I am asking you if, given your knowledge of domestic animals, how likely (on a scale of 1-10 perhaps?) for a cat to run toward or after a stranger in an aggressive or threatening manner (if at all) as opposed to a DOG (on the same scale) for ANY REASON. I can explain my reasons for the question, but would prefer an unbiased but scientific/clinical opinion on the subject if possible. Thank you
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again,

This so hard to answer on the basis of published peer reviewed material or such so it is really impossible to give a statistically accurate answer in any way or form, but based on my own professional experience with cats over many years I can express it thus ...

1. The chances of a cat running toward or after a stranger in an aggressive or threatening manner would be very much less than 1 on a 1 - 10 scale { Ten being more likely and one being less likely } Meaning very unlikely.

2. Whereas in the same situation with a dog I would say 2 on the same 1 - 10 scale. Meaning this is possible.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
is it your educated opinion that the difference between a healthy domestic cat posing a threat (IE aggressively running toward someone) is a 1 while a healthy domestic dog posing a threat (IE aggressively running towards someone) is a 2?
Again, I may be asking you something that is not within your expertise; if so, please state that. Thank you
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again Kathy,

Well cat health and behaviour certainly is within my sphere of expertise.

But to clarify using the scale I stated my opinion is that the chance of a healthy cat aggressively running toward a person without being antagonised would be considerably less than one, this is not typical cat behaviour but is not unknown. However this sort of behaviour would fit in with the guarding and protective instincts commonly found dogs so I would scale that as 2 : 10.

You can certainly quote me on the above.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Are you planning to respond or is the conversation at an end? Please respond.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again,

No problem, I can talk this over with you for as long as you like, please ask any more questions you may have...

Regards,

Dr Scott

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I don't want to talk it over. If you cannot answer my question via statistics or clinical experience, I need to sign off. Please advise. I will be signing off in 20 minutes if you don't have an opportunity to respond. Thankyou.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

No problem, probably best that I opt out to let another expert here talk this over with you further ...

Good luck with your quest.

Kindest regards,

Dr Scott