Originally Posted by BlackFeather
Animals move fast, at short range you may be better off with a contact weapon.
I can say with conviction that an old school wooden tennis racket will repel a house-cat, and make him actively avoid your property. When I was about 8, my neighbors' giant tomcat attacked my pet cat and I beat him with a tennis racket until he fell into a shallow creek with steep banks and he got away.
Turns out that the cat belonged to friends of my parents, when we went to eat dinner there or whatever, that cat would take one look at me, hiss, and run. They never could understand, because he was such a "friendly" cat. He never did step foot on our property again...