I often go mining with my trusty cat in tow. However he is a bit clumsy and sometimes wanders infront of my pickaxe mid-swing, so I accidentally hit him. If I do this then I am more careful with my pickaxe for a while, although sometimes it happens again and he catches one in the face once more.
How often can I do this before he dies? Is it just (as I suspect) a time delay - I can hit him once at a time as often as I like, but if the strikes land within a short period of time (a few seconds perhaps) then I risk killing him, but if I spread out the hits over longer periods and keep them as single strikes then he'll recover and be fine?
Or, does each hit weaken him overall and so at some point one of my individual accidental hits will result in him keeling over and dying? Is it the same pattern for all animals?