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Can You Sue for a Cat Attack?
ELI5: Negligence

It’s not uncommon for people to change their path when they realize they’re about to encounter a vicious dog. But most people don’t think much of crossing paths with the cat who’s sunbathing on the sidewalk. However, these cats can be bloodthirsty maniacs. While most cats will run and hide when an unfamiliar person approaches, some cats will launch into attack mode upon seeing a stranger. After all, inside even the fluffiest kitten is a savage warrior and, when they attack, you do not want to be their target. In the event that you are seriously injured by a cat it’s important to get the medical treatment you need first, and worry about compensation later.

The Short Answer

The short answer is yes, you can probably sue for injuries resulting from a cat attack. The longer—and more accurate—answer is that the success of your claim all depends on the circumstances. A person who is attacked while they’ve spent a lot of time provoking the cat may have a more difficult time filing a claim as opposed to a person who was randomly attacked by a cat roaming around outside. The fewer precautions the defendant cat owner takes to prevent the cat from attacking a person, the more likely it is that they could be found to be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Premises Liability

If you were on another person’s property when their cat taught—or attempted to teach—you a lesson, you may have a premises liability claim on your paws. Under premises liability, property owners are legally obligated to make sure their property is safe for guests and visitors. This means that property owners are responsible for removing any potential hazards from the property. Or, if the hazard cannot be removed, reasonable precautions need to be taken. While you may not be able to remove your malicious kitty from your home, you can always keep them in your bedroom while you have guests over. Depending on the circumstances and the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy, the insurance company may be the ones paying for the injury related expenses in the end. 

Reasonable Precautions

If you have a cat, it’s important to take reasonable precautions to ensure that your fluffy warrior doesn’t attack a well meaning guest or passerby. You can reduce your liability by ensuring your cat is always supervised and in enclosed areas outside. Do not let your cat roam around in open areas outside, and especially not on the sidewalk or other public areas where they are likely to encounter strangers. Keep your cat current on all their vaccinations as well. Some cat owners do not vaccinate their cats because the cat never leaves the home. However, if the unvaccinated cat gets out and harms someone, you could be more likely to be liable for their injuries. This is especially true if the plaintiff catches a disease from your cat.

When the Cat Injures a Dog

Though they may be small, cats are fierce little dudes. They may not have much of a bite, but when a cat swats at an animal with a fist full of claws, it’s not a pretty sight. Your average cat may have the claws and agility to beat up even larger dogs. Although the dog owner would be able to file a claim against you, it wouldn’t be a personal injury claim. While a lot of people consider their dogs and cats to be their babies, animals are legally considered to be property. So, unless a human is injured by a cat attack, that matter is not technically a personal injury claim, but the owner of the injured dog could have a claim against you for vet bills..

When You’ve Been Injured

If you’ve been injured in a cat attack, you may need medical attention promptly. Cats can carry a lot of harmful bacteria in their mouths so it’s important that all wounds are properly cleaned. The rate of infection in cat bites is much higher than the rate of infection in dog bites. Take plenty of pictures of the wound and, if possible, the place where the injury occurredoccured. It may help to ask for proof of vaccination as well. The faster you seek medical treatment, the better your chances may be in a personal injury case. You may also want to contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation in order to see whether or not filing a claim could help you get compensation for your injuries.

Getting You the Compensation You Deserve

If you’ve been the victim of negligent cat owners, Moxie Law Group is here for you. Our legal team is committed to fighting for the compensation our clients deserve. If you’re ready to file a claim, contact Moxie Law Group today.