An astonishing video from the Florida Keys shows a curious domestic cat almost becoming a late-night snack after narrowly escaping an attack from a hungry alligator.

Infrared footage, shot from a camera trap in the National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge, caught the cat's seemingly harmless walk through an area frequented by alligators.

[Credit: AmazingParadeMilitary]

The video shows the feline cautiously tiptoeing towards the outskirts of the camera's frame, when suddenly leaves rustle and a 6-foot-long (1.8 meters) alligator lunges for its next meal. Don't worry, the cat escaped thanks to its fast-acting reflexes.

"I love the cameras, because we get to see what the animals are doing when we're not around," Alyssa Johnson, who interns at the refuge and installed the remotely operated camera, told Live Science.

If the cat had been just a fraction of a second slower it would not have had a happy ending, as alligators on average run 10 to 15 feet long and weigh up to a whopping 1,000 pounds, National Geographic reports. These predators typically feed on fish, turtles, snakes, and small mammals like raccoons, but given that they are opportunists, a cat would do too.

The National Key Deer Refuge is located on Big Pine Key, a small island southwest of the Florida peninsula that is connected to the mainland. Johnson suspects that the elusive feline could be a house cat from a neighborhood in the area.

"It's very possible that this was someone's cat who was out for a midnight stroll and doesn't respect boundaries on maps," she told Live Science.

You might not think so, but these pampered pets are actually threatening to certain species, some of them endangered. House cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals in the United States each year, most of them native North American species, according to a 2013 study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

This includes the Key Largo wood rat and Key Largo cotton mouse, both of which are endangered.