Alligator Attacks Cat
A cat lost one of its nine lives after nearly being eaten by an alligator. Alyssa Johnson (YouTube)

A cat has lost one of its nine lives after coming close to being eaten by an alligator.

Video footage from a camera trap in the National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge, Florida Keys, captured the curious feline as it cautiously moved towards something outside of the camera's view.

Suddenly, leaves are heard to be rustling and a six-foot long (1.8 metre) American alligator lunges forward as the terrified kitty jumps back and flees for its life.

Alligator Attacks Cat
A six-foot long American alligator appeared from off camera Alyssa Johnson (YouTube)

The camera is one of two belonging to Alyssa Johnson, an environmental education and outreach intern at the refuge.

"I love the cameras, because we get to see what the animals are doing when we're not around," Johnson told Live Science.

The footage was shot in the early hours of the morning, meaning the cat would have been relying on its sense of sound and smell, rather than sight.

The alligator clearly has a favourite hunting spot, as an hour after the cat incident it was seen on the same camera trying to attack a Key deer.

The deer refuge is on an island just southwest of the Florida peninsula and alligators live nearby in an old limestone quarry called Blue Hole, which is now a freshwater pond.

Many domestic cats roam the area as there are a lot of private homes outside of the refuge.

"Where the video was taken is very close to a neighbourhood," Johnson said. "It's very possible that this was someone's cat who was out for a midnight stroll and doesn't respect boundaries on maps."

A cat barely escapes from the jaws of an American alligator. YouTube