Why Are Alligators Afraid of Cats? (Answered!)

Last updated on December 12th, 2021

You may have seen some surprising videos going around the Internet on YouTube or maybe even TikTok of cats and their odd interactions with alligators.

These spunky felines seem to show no fear when faced with what many consider a modern-day dinosaur. And shockingly enough, it can sometimes appear as though the alligators are actually afraid of the cats that stand in front of them.

But why is it that these giant predators appear to be frightened by cats despite making meals out of similarly sized animals? And why are cats not as afraid of alligators as they probably should be?

Alligators are afraid of cats because these furry creatures are very agile and can move swiftly, also, it’s very unusual for these reptiles to see a prey stand its ground while hissing, growling, and swatting its paws back at them.

Most of the prey for alligators are docile creatures while cats appear to be too aggressive for their liking.

However, let’s look into the possible reasons why an alligator may look at a cat and feel threatened.

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While alligators view animals of the same size as a domesticated cat as meals, they’re not used to seeing their prey stand its ground or fight back.

A cat will sometimes hiss, growl, or bat at something they feel is a threat such as an alligator they come across while out on their morning stroll.

Cats are also erratic creatures, making quick and jumpy movements whenever they feel as though they’re in danger.

These fast movements might make an alligator feel like it may be better to pick their meal somewhere else.

Another reason that an alligator may back off when faced with a crazy cat is that they’re more comfortable in the water.

Because alligators are such large animals, they more or less lumber about when they’re on land whereas in the water alligators can move fluidly and at ease.

When it comes to why domesticated cats aren’t afraid of alligators as they should be, it has a lot more to do with a cat’s larger-than-life attitude than the actual threat an alligator might pose.

You see, cats are both prey and predator, meaning that they’ll also hunt for their food when hungry.

Because cats are a predator species, they’re equipped with hunting instincts and the ability to fight when threatened, and as stated above they can be pretty agile and speedy when doing so.

Another reason that cats might not be afraid of alligators and instead attack them could be for territorial reasons.

Many cats are possessive of the land they believe is theirs and even sometimes the people they have come to know as family.

If a cat sees an alligator and feels as though it’s posing a threat to something the cat thinks of as theirs, it’s going to start acting on the defense.

This behavior can make it seem that the cat isn’t fearful, but in reality, the cat is just prioritizing its ownership of something over its fear.

Finally, some cats may not know to fear alligators. A domesticated cat that has never had to fend for itself in the wild might not realize that there are things out there that can harm or kill them, including alligators.

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