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This black bear clings to a backyard tree after it was chased by a New Jersey cat. ((Suzanne Giovanetti/Associated Press))

Who needsa guard dogwhen Jack the elderlysuburban housecat ison duty?

The 10-year-old New Jersey tabby defended his neighbourhood turf earlier this week by chasing a wandering black bear up a tree— twice.

West Milford residents Suzanne and Jack Giovanetti firstnoticed a bear huddled in a tree in their backyard on Sunday afternoon.

Sitting beneath the tree:A seven-kilogram, orange-and-white, declawed neighbourhood cat named Jack.

The bear remained in the tree for about 15 minutes, frequently looking down at Jack.

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Jack sits under the tree. ((Suzanne Giovanetti/Associated Press))

When it slid down the tree and ran off, Jack was hot on its heels.

Cat is 'territorial'

Suzanne Giovanetti told the Star-Ledger of Newark that the cat was hissing at the bear as it gave chase.

The bear climbed up into a second tree until Jack's owner, Donna Dickey, calledthe cathome.

"The cat sauntered back toward the group, rubbing up against everyone," said the newspaper.

As soon as the cat left, the bear clambered down the tree and walked into the woods.

Dickey told the newspaper that Jack is territorial, frequently chasing small animals from their yard. She believes the cat may have mistaken the bear for the family's chocolate labrador retriever.

Giovanetti, who said she's never bonded with the neighbourhood cat, said she was always a little afraid of Jack.

"Now, I think I fear him more," she is quoted as saying.