A woman was left cut and bloodied after being attacked by a gang of feral cats as she walked her dog.
Jude Merwood was out for an early evening stroll with her Husky Sam, in Hinekura Ave, near Tamatea Reserve, Taupo, recently when she was set upon by the three cats.
The attack left her bloodied and requiring medical treatment.
“They came out of nowhere,” she said.
“They jumped on Sam first and she was on the lead.”
While trying to get the cats off her dog, Merwood ended up falling over and that’s when the cats advanced on her.
“I was trying to keep Sam with me throughout it all then I felt a cat on the back of my leg. It had bitten me on my upper, inner thigh.”
Thankfully, Sam’s thick double coat meant she was left unscathed but Merwood was covered in blood.
She cleaned her wounds, but decided a trip to the doctor the next day was a good idea.
There, she was told the cut was infected.
“It was infected straight away,” she said.
“I was put on antibiotics for the rest of the week.”
Merwood contacted Taupo District Council and was told they didn’t really have a policy when it comes to wild/stray cats.
Lisa Hudson, from Taupo’s SPCA, said identifying a feral cat could be quite difficult and it was important to correctly label them.
“Feral cats don’t live around humans, they are mainly found in the wild,” she said.
“They may have just been stray cats who have reverted to feral ways.”
Hudson said the SPCA was only involved when an animal’s welfare was in question – if the animal is suffering or not able to fend for itself.
Merwood was still feeling the effects of the December 11 attack and is still black and blue from it.
She wanted to tell her story as a warning for other people.
“It’s to advise people of the possible danger [when] walking their dogs or walking with children along Hinekura Avenue near Tamatea Reserve, as these three feral cats will certainly still be around somewhere.”