“YES” cats can sense if their owners are not feeling good. Many feline parents believe that cats have a sixth sense, and if their owners feel sick, they can detect it. Since they can’t talk like humans, cats tell you by their behavior, “yes, I know you are sick.”
You will find many stories regarding cats’ ability to detect illness at different plate farms. Since these stories can’t be taken as proof in the scientific world, we have created this comprehensive post based on reliable data from various scientific sources to help you know more about this topic.
How Can Cats Tell When You’re Sick?
Cats can discern when you’re sick, but not as you expect. If you have spent a significant time with your feline friend and have developed a good bond, your cat knows you and your body very well.
So cats can feel the physical and chemical changes in your body due to sickness. Let’s see how cats can sense that you are ill.
Cats have an extraordinary sense of smell. Cats usually have 125 to 300 million olfactory cells, while humans have only 5 million. This means they can detect a slight odor (even from a long distance) that we humans can’t detect at all.
Every illness causes hormonal changes in the body, leading to changes in the body’s smell. This change in the scent is so minor that we can’t detect it, but our feline friends can. Although your cat may not take it as a sickness, at least he will realize that there is something unusual.
Such hormonal changes are more evident in certain diseases like Diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, and Hyperthyroidism.
Many diseases raise the body temperature of the body and cats can detect the change in the body temperature.
Naturally, cats love warm spots, which is why cats snuggle more than usual and spend more time beside you when you’re ill (especially having a fever).
Changes in Habits
Whenever we are sick, our daily routine must undergo some change. Cats are a creature of habit who likes that every task is done at the same time every day.
Cats are also accustomed to their owner’s routines. So when we are ill, we stay more at home, and our eating and sleeping routine changes. And cats immediately notice any change in the pattern.
Whenever I am sick, my cat continuously meows at me as if asking, “Why don’t you go to work today” “why do you feed me late today” or “are you ok” etc.
Common Genetic Makeup
When we dive deep into history, it is evident that humans and cats had common ancestors about 92 million years ago. Research has shown that humans and cats share around 90% of their genetic makeup. This indicates that humans and cats resemble each other more than we think at the genetic level.
It also explains why humans and cats have many diseases and their symptoms in common. This similarity at the genetic level could be why cats can detect illness in humans.
Evidence of Cat’s Ability To Detect Illnesses In Humans
Although there is still a lot of research needed on this topic, however, scientific data that is available confirms that cats can detect sickness in humans.
Apart from stories circulating in society, we have living proof of a cat named “Oscar,” who used to roam in the corridors of a Nursing and rehabilitation center located in Rhode Island, USA.
The nursing staff there observed that Oscar (who usually avoided humans) visited every seriously ill patient and spent some time cuddling him a few hours before their death. And from 2007 to 2010, this happened with 50 patients.
Although all of these patients were seriously ill or near death, it can’t be a coincidence that all of them died a few hours after Oscar visited them.
What Can Human Diseases Cats Detect?
Below is a list of diseases that cats can detect more precisely.
- Mental Illness
- Broken Bones
- Heart Attacks
- Deathly Illness
- High Blood Pressure
Cats have a fantastic ability to detect illness in humans. However, they don’t take it as an illness. Cats sense the physical and chemical changes occurring in the body due to disease.
Whenever their human friends are sick, they try snuggling and spending more time than usual with them, as if they are trying to give them company. It is their way of saying that I know you are sick, don’t worry, everything will be ok.