Do Cats Know When You are Sick? (How & Which Illness?)
When I was younger, I always used to think that my cat could tell when I was sick. I would come down with a cold and he would be right there next to me, purring and cuddling up close.
I always thought it was strange that he would be so drawn to me when I was feeling awful, but now I realize that he was just trying to help. He knew that I needed some extra love and attention when I was feeling down, and he was there to give it to me.
So from my experience here in this blog post I’ll be discussing the different ways that animals can sense when we are or aren’t feeling well, and how they react to it.
Can Cats Tell When You are Sick?
Around the world, cats are known for being able to sense when their owners are sick. And while there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research into this phenomena, there is one story that stands out.
In 2007, a nursing home in Rhode Island adopted a cat named Oscar to help bring joy to the elderly residents. But according to medical staff, Oscar could do more than this. He could actually predict the death of residents in the nursing home. Between 2007 and 2010, Oscar correctly predicted the passing of 50 patients in the nursing home, much to the amazement of the medical staff.
So what was it that made Oscar so special? Some believe that cats can smell illness in humans, and since Oscar seemed to be able to predict when someone was going to die, he must have been able to smell it.
Others believe that cats can sense when their owners are stressed or unhappy, and that Oscar was simply reacting to the changes in the elderly residents’ behavior in the days leading up to their deaths.
Whichever explanation is correct, one thing is for sure – cats definitely seem to be able to sense when their owners are unwell, and this often leads them to become more affectionate and protective of their owners.
So if you’re feeling under the weather, don’t be surprised if your cat starts following you around more or sleeping on your bed!
How Can Cats Sense Illness in Humans?
Cats are known for their sharp senses, and one of the ways they use these senses is to detect illness in humans. Cats have been known to sit by people who are sick, even before the person realizes they are not feeling well. There are a few ways cats may be able to sense illness in humans.
1. Changes in Smell
When it comes to our feline friends, cats can sense illness in humans by observing changes in smell. This is because cats have an incredible sense of smell that is 14 times as strong as humans.
This means they can pick up on smells that we have never even smelt before and from much further away than is possible for humans to detect.
Almost every illness will cause some kind of hormonal shift as your body attempts to recover. However, the change in hormones is more evident in some diseases and conditions than others. Below are some illnesses that are known to cause a change in smell:
2. Changes in Body Temperature
Cats are known to be very intuitive when it comes to picking up on changes in their environment, and this keen sense also extends to changes in the bodies of humans around them.
Cats have been known to detect subtle shifts in body temperature and behavior that could indicate illness or disease. This is potentially due to cats’ highly evolved senses such as keen hearing, smell and vision.
It has been suggested that cats have thermo receptors in their noses which act like an infrared thermometer, allowing them to detect changes in body temperature of up to 0.1°C. They also possess a very sensitive sense of smell, enabling them to pick up on subtle chemical cues from the body that may indicate someone is unwell.
3. Changes in Behavior and Mood
Another way that cats can detect illness in humans is by observing changes in our behavior and mood. For example, someone who is developing dementia may start to behave differently or become more withdrawn, making it easier for the cat to pick up on the changes.
Likewise, a person who is feeling stressed or anxious may not be as engaging with the cat. This can make it seem like the cat is being overly protective, when in fact they are simply responding to subtle behavioral cues that we cannot detect ourselves.
4. Changes in Body Posture and Movement
Cats are also able to sense illness in humans by observing changes in their body posture and movement. For example, if someone is unwell, they may move more slowly or hold themselves differently than usual.
This can cause the cat to be wary of this person, as it is not a behavior that they are used to seeing. As a result, it is likely that the cat will keep a close eye on this person to try and determine if they are in any danger.
5. Changes in Communication
Finally, cats can sense illness in humans by picking up on changes in communication. For example, a person who is unwell may sound different or use different words than they normally would.
This can confuse or alarm the cat, especially if they do not understand what is going on. But by tuning into these changes and trying to decipher the cause, they will be better able to protect themselves and their human.
What Illnesses Can Cats Sense in Humans?
Many people believe that cats have a sixth sense when it comes to sensing illnesses in humans. There is some scientific evidence to back up this claim. For example, a study published in the journal PLOS One found that cats are better than dogs at detecting certain types of cancer.
Here I’ll discuss some of the conditions and illnesses that cats are known to be able to sense in humans.
1. Mental Illness (such as dementia or depression)
There’s a reason your cat always seems to know when you’re having a bad day. Turns out, cats can sense when their human companions are experiencing mental health issues like dementia or depression.
A study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry found that cats are significantly more likely to approach people with dementia than those without the condition. And while the reason behind this behavior isn’t entirely clear, it’s possible that cats are simply trying to provide comfort to their humans in times of need.
In addition, research has shown that cats can also sense when their owners are feeling down. One study published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine found that cats were more likely to rub up against their depressed owners and spend more time sitting near them than those who weren’t depressed.
The takeaway? If you’re struggling with a mental illness, it’s important to have a pet cat by your side. Not only will they provide you with companionship, but they may also be able to help you get through your tough times.
2. Broken Bones
When cats owners break bones, their furry friends can sense it. Studies have shown that cats are drawn to those who are injured and may even try to help them heal.
One such study, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, found that cats use their ultra-sensitive sense of smell to detect when their owners are injured. The study’s authors observed 21 cats who were visiting their owners in the hospital. All of the cats sniffed their owner’s bandages and gauze pads and licked their wounds, even when they weren’t allowed to do so.
The researchers believe that cats are drawn to the scent of blood and other chemicals associated with injury. They may also lick wounds as a way of providing healing saliva or simply because they enjoy the taste.
While there is no sure-fire way to keep your cat from licking your wounds, you can try distracting them with a toy or treat. You can also keep any open wounds clean and covered until they heal.
As mentioned above, research has shown that cats are able to detect certain types of cancer in humans. This is likely due to the fact that cancer patients have changes in their scent or body language that cats can pick up on.
For example, a study published in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications found that cats can detect bladder cancer by smelling the urine of humans with the condition. According to the researchers, this is likely due to changes in odor molecules associated with the disease.
Additionally, some studies have found that cats react differently to people who are at risk for various types of cancer. For example, one study published in BMC Cancer found that cats tended to sit closer to people who were at high risk for breast cancer than those who were not.
If you suspect that your cat can detect cancer, it’s important to consult your doctor right away. There are several screening tests that may help catch the disease early on and improve your chances of a full recovery.
As with cancer, cats have been shown to be able to detect diabetes in humans. This is likely due to changes in a person’s scent or behavior that cats can detect.
One study, published in Diabetes Care, found that diabetic owners were more likely to be licked or head-butted by their cats than those without diabetes. The researchers also noted that diabetic owners spent less time petting and interacting with their cats than people without the disease.
If you have diabetes and your cat seems to be avoiding you or acting strangely around you, it’s important to speak with your doctor. Diabetes can cause a variety of symptoms that may be noticeable to your cat, including excessive thirst, hunger, and urination.
However, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions that your cat can’t detect. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from your doctor to help manage your condition and protect your overall health.
5. Heart Attack
When a heart attack occurs, the body releases certain chemicals that can be sensed by cats. In fact, research has shown that cats are able to accurately detect when their owner is about to have a heart attack up to two hours before it happens.
One study even found that out of 43 heart attack patients, cats were able to predict 38 of them. While the specifics of how cats are able to do this aren’t entirely known, it’s likely that they’re sensing changes in the body’s chemical composition or alterations in the way the person is moving.
For example, research has shown that cats are more likely to act strange around someone who is having a heart attack, such as hiding or being unusually clingy.
I know pregnancy is not a disease, but cats do act differently when a woman is pregnant.
One study, published in the Journal of Perinatal Education, found that cats were more likely to sit next to pregnant women and pay more attention to them than non-pregnant women.
The researchers believe that this may be due to changes in pheromones or other chemical signals associated with pregnancy. If you suspect that you may be pregnant and your cat is acting strange around you, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
There are a variety of screening tests and other diagnostic tools that can help diagnose pregnancy and ensure that you have access to proper prenatal care and support throughout your pregnancy.
7. Deathly Illness
Cats have also been shown to be able to detect when their owner is dying. One study, published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, found that cats were more likely to spend time with people who had only a few days left to live as compared to those who were not near death.
The researchers believe that cats are able to detect subtle changes in their owner’s behavior, such as becoming weaker or less mobile. Additionally, they may be picking up on changes in the person’s scent, body language, or behavior that indicate that they are nearing death.
If you have a terminal illness and your cat seems to be avoiding you or acting strangely around you, it’s important to speak with your doctor right away. There are several tests that can help diagnose the condition, as well as treatments to improve quality of life and prolong survival.
Can Cats Help with Human Sickness?
There is growing evidence that cats may help people recover from illness. But remember people who’ve got life threatening diseases cat won’t help you recover you need to see a doctor for that.
One study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that cat owners were more likely to live longer and generally be healthier than people without cats.
This may be due, in part, to the fact that having a cat encourages people to be more active and spend more time outdoors, as well as providing social support for people living alone.
Beside, in one study patients who were hospitalized with heart disease were visited by a therapy cat. The results showed that those patients had shorter hospital stays and needed less pain medication than those who did not have a therapy cat visit.
There is also some evidence that cats may help people with allergies. One study found that children who grew up with cats were less likely to develop asthma or hay fever.
Another study showed that people who got short-gut syndrome, a condition that causes severe digestive problems, could decrease their symptoms by spending time with therapy cats.
Its because the purr of the cat seems to have a healing effect on the body, reducing stress and pain while also lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
Overall, it appears that cats can help improve human health in a number of ways. If you are suffering from an illness or condition, considering spending time with a cat or adopting one as your own.
My Final Thoughts
While there is still much research to be done on the topic, it seems clear that cats can have a positive impact on human health and well-being.
Whether through providing social support, encouraging more physical activity, or helping to reduce stress and pain, cats appear to play an important role in improving our overall health.
If you are looking for ways to improve your health, consider spending time with a cat or adopting one as your own. And remember to always consult your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about your health.