Warning to tourists in France after attack by feral cats – Telegraph
11:44AM BST 25 Jul 2013
About six cats pounced on the unnamed dog owner as she walked her poodle in the city of Belfort, in the popular Franche-Comte region, on the Swiss border, dragging her to the ground and mauling her.
She was bitten repeatedly and left with a torn artery which could have proved fatal, while the dog was also badly hurt.
It is thought that particularly high summer temperatures may have made the cats far more aggressive than usual.
Josette Galliot, the mother of the 31-year-old victim, said: “They jumped on her and managed to knock her over.
“The feral cats bit her on the leg and on her arms. They even pierced an artery,” Mrs Galliot told l’Est Republicain newspaper, adding that her daughter had been “living a nightmare” since Sunday’s attack.
The woman was rushed to hospital where she received treatment for her wounds, and a number of injections including one against Rabies. The poodle was treated at a nearby veterinary clinic.
A local police spokesman meanwhile suggested that the attack was “very unusual” and therefore “a cause of great concern”.
He added: “Tourists from countries like Britain should certainly be wary – they should certainly not approach these cats, or try to feed them.”
There are an estimated 8,000 feral cats born in France every day but they are generally considered relatively harmless.
Colonies of feral cats usually begin with people dumping unwanted, unsterilised pets.