Published Thursday, 15 May 2014
VIDEO GUIDANCE: Viewers may find footage of the dog attack disturbing and should note that graphic images of the boy's injuries are shown towards the end.
Four-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo was playing on his bicycle outside his home in Bakersfield, California, when the dog approached and then attacked without warning.
The animal bit his leg and dragged him off his bike to the ground.
But, even though Jeremy's mum ran to help him within seconds, someone else got there first.
The family's pet cat Tara dashed from the yard, hurled herself into the dog's side and knocked it away from the little boy, before chasing it away from the scene.
I've never seen a cat do that. It just shows how much she really has a family-oriented mindset.
Roger Triantafilo, Jeremy's dad
As the dog took off out of view of the cameras, the cat abruptly stopped in its tracks and headed back to Jeremy's side.
While the little boy suffered painful injuries which required 10 stitches, the family recognise that things could have been much worse if not for their loyal kitty.
"Thankfully, my son is fine!" Jeremy's dad Roger said, in uploading the video of what had happened to YouTube - where it has been viewed by well over five million people in just a day.
He also revealed that his wife had first checked on their son and then tried to make sure the dog could not return.
"The owners were there also and she was bit by the dog as she tried to pin him in his yard," Roger said, adding that the owners did then get control of the dog.
It is understood that the dog will have to be put down next week.
© UTV News