A four-year-old California boy says his family's pet cat is a hero after she fearlessly thwarted a dog attack that was captured on video.

Jeremy Triantafilo of Bakersfield, Calif. told a local media outlet that his cat, named Tara, bit a "mean dog" that attacked him outside his home.

"Tara is a hero," Jeremy said.

Footage of the attack, which was captured on a surveillance camera and uploaded to YouTube, has since made the rounds online, garnering worldwide attention.

The video shows Jeremy riding his bike on his driveway Tuesday when a neighbour’s dog runs around his family car and then suddenly sinks its teeth into the child’s leg.

The dog drags Jeremy for a moment before Tara comes racing into view, knocking the dog off the boy. The canine culprit runs away with the cat in hot pursuit.

Jeremy's father Roger Triantafilo said his son received multiple stitches as a result of the attack, but he is otherwise doing well.

He told CTV News Channel on Wednesday that he hadn't bothered to check the surveillance footage until police requested he watch the video.

"We watched the video and it was breathtaking to see the cat really just put herself out there and risk her life to put herself between the dog and my child," he said.

Triantafilo said he had seen Tara "scuffle" with other cats in the past, but never any other animals.

"I had never seen a cat do that before…especially taking on a dog that was easily eight times her size. It was just incredible."

Triantafilo said to his knowledge the dog has never been aggressive to other children.

Tara is getting some extra attention from the family after the attack.