How do cats detect cancer?

Domestic cats are the second-most popular pets in the world, and these animals have fascinated humanity for millennia. Felines started living alongside us, which led to the eventual domestication of these creatures, as far back as between 10,000 and 12,000 years during the Fertile Crescent.

After domestication, cats have been loyal companions to humans over the centuries and have been revered for their unique characteristics, plus their sharp senses. Felines possess highly developed olfactory senses that gift them with the ability to discern an extraordinary range of scents. The question as to whether they can detect cancer has left many scratching their heads, seeking conclusive and scientifically backed answers.

There have been reports by pet owners of how their cats alerted them of their cancer illnesses. One lady claimed that her cat repeatedly jumped on one of her breasts, and it turned out she had breast cancer. Another man alluded to his cat warning him of lung cancer by constantly dragging its paw on the left side of his body, and later, he was found to have a tumor on that side.

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The Applied Animal Behavior Science Journal published a paper in 2017 that stated that cats possess better olfactory discrimination than dogs. We all know that dogs have been trained to sniff out various things ranging from drugs, bombs, and even ailments in humans. Therefore, it would mean that cats have a high potential in carrying out the same roles even better than dogs if they are successfully motivated and trained.

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In Ancient Egypt, cats were treated like royalty. Several Egyptian deities are also depicted as having cat-like heads. Cats were glorified for such acts like slaying venomous snakes and protecting the pharaoh. They were revered as having protective functions, and it is believed that this gave rise to a cat cult in the Ancient Egyptian Kingdoms.

On the back of this illustrious history, cats have been accused, among other things, of being haughty and lacking in empathy. But this is far from the truth. Cats are excellent at discerning changes in their owners.

It has been proved that cats are very much in touch with human emotions. At times, they are seen to be inexplicably erratic and inscrutable but make no mistake; nothing passes by them. They can detect a range of even the slightest changes in the environment and humans. They have been known to act with empathy and more affectionate towards persons who later develop an ailment of some kind.

With their extraordinary sense of smell, cats can sniff out chemical changes that take place before the onset of a disease. A cat that has lived with you over a long period develops a special connection with you and will most likely detect hormonal changes. There has been anecdotal evidence of cats that have detected a range of diseases in their owners, including diabetes, migraines, and cancer.

Cats are usually complex in their behaviors and association, but they seem to possess a sixth sense that has been documented in many instances. A caring cat may sense illness in its owner; how they do it, the jury is still out on that one.

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It has been argued that cats domesticated themselves. The first close interaction between humankind and cats is traced back to the Fertile Crescent around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. That’s the period with the earliest recorded civilizations, as it was when humans finally settled and started practicing agriculture.

The stored grain harvest attracted rodents to human settlements. Cats, in turn, followed the rodents since these were their primary source of food. In the end, cats started hanging out around humankind settlements as rodents were readily available. For many centuries, cats thrived outdoors and would come and go as they pleased in and out of human homes.

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It wasn’t until around 70 years ago that keeping cats fully indoors gained popularity. Since then, cats have risen to become very popular pets, and humans have developed deep bonds with their feline pets. Regarding these special bonds, cats have been recorded to respond in certain ways when their owners are ailing, especially when the owner has cancer.

There have been various incidents recorded pointing to how cats act when their owner has cancer. It’s been said that felines use their highly developed olfactory senses to detect hormonal changes that accompany the growth of tumors.

Cats have also been seen to act more affectionately towards their sick owners. They strive to comfort them more, and in other instances, they constantly paw the affected body parts until the owner is forced to take action.

Either through their strong sense of smell or a sixth sense, cats exhibit some unusual behavioral changes that may point towards cancer in their owner. The owner must be observant to any unusual change in the way their cat responds to them.

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Cats have been loyal and devoted companions to humans for centuries. They have been revered and praised in equal measure and associated with numerous attributes that endear them to humankind. Cats were believed to have protective functions in ancient civilizations. One of these protective traits in cats has survived through the centuries and manifests itself in a cat’s uncanny ability to sense illness in humans.

Cats live in an olfactory world. They discern most things in their world through their impeccable sense of smell. It has been scientifically proven that cats possess higher olfactory discrimination than dogs. On top of that, cats also seem to have an inexplicable ability to sense things before they happen through what can only be termed the sixth sense.

Several cats have been documented to sense diabetes, migraines, cancer, and even depression in their owners. In other cases, cats have been known to sense before their owners have seizures. Different cats react differently, but all the behaviors warn the owner that something is not right. Some cats will unusually circle you; others may jump up onto your chest or face and howl incessantly.

Other cats go as far as alerting a family member or the significant other of the owner, even waking them up if they are asleep. That helps in preventive or protective measures being undertaken before a seizure happens. There have also been occurrences where cats have maintained a distance between themselves and a sick person.

That might be interpreted as isolating themselves and keeping away from a diseased person. These and many others are ways cats react to illness in a person, mostly with the aim to protect their owner.

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Can cats sense high blood pressure?

Cats can detect illness in other felines. They do this through sensing changes in scent and behavior in their fellow felines. With their superior olfactory senses, cats pick up hormonal changes in human beings and detect oncoming diseases. These abilities may vary from cat to cat and depend on other factors too. It depends on how long the cat and the owner have been together and what kind of bond they share.

Cats can pick up and master a range of human moods, behaviors, routines, and physiological functions. During petting, a cat pays attention to your breathing patterns and your heartbeat rate. One of the major symptoms of high blood pressure is a racing heart rate. That means that if there is a change in your pulse rate, your cat will be the first to notice when you are petting it.

Since cats are usually fascinated by our heartbeats, an erratic heart rate will be a matter of special interest to the cat, and it will react in several ways. Some cats will take it that you are anxious and calm you down by purring or kneading you. Other cats may interpret the elevated heartbeat as a sign of fear. Their next course of action is fleeing from whatever danger is causing fear in them.

All in all, you should be aware of any increased attention to your heartbeat by your cat. The cat could be picking up changes that might point to changes in your normal pulse rate. Have your blood pressure checked, and you may find out that your cat did sense a case of high blood pressure in you.

Stories about cats having the ability to sense people who were about to die have been told many times in as many different places. Although anecdotal and lacking in scientific backing, these incidents have generated a lot of interest in the topic. People are baffled about the accuracy of some of these cats, or rather, their senses.

From homes of the elderly in Australia to similar facilities in the United States of America, these occurrences are highly similar to coincidences. Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation, a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island, has a resident cat known as Oscar. Staff in the facility noticed a weird thing, by which the cat formed a habit of curling up and napping next to random terminally ill residents in the home. Strangely enough, those residents would die within the next few hours.

The same kind of strange activity by a cat has also been recorded in a nursing home in Australia. The cat involved was not even a home resident but came from outside at varied times and singled out particular residents with attention. All of them would die within days of the encounter with the ‘death cat.’

These are cases that have pointed to the abilities of certain cats to sense impending death. Many reasons have been fronted as to how these cats do it. Beyond the fact that cats can sense chemical changes in a human body through their heightened sense of smell, it has also been proved that cats do have a kind of extra instinct that boosts their sensory abilities. Even in ancient civilizations, cats were also believed to have psychic abilities.

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We have already looked into the different ways by which cats can detect cancer and other illnesses. Though most of it is anecdotal evidence, it still does not disqualify that it is possible. More research needs to be extended towards the abilities of cats to sense cancer. This ability is not limited to cats only. Other animals have exhibited uncanny abilities in detecting cancer and other diseases with impressive accuracy.

Dogs, like cats, have a highly developed sense of smell. To this end, humans have put these senses to great use by training dogs to sniff out explosives and narcotics. This training has extended into training dogs in sniffing out certain diseases, including cancer. Research done has suggested that dogs can sense many types of cancers in man.

These canines can detect various human signatures through training, including skin, urine, breath, sweat, and feces. The trained dogs are referred to as medical detection dogs. While some don’t need to be trained to detect cancer in their owners, trained canines are more accurate in detecting specific types of cancer as per their training.

Dogs have been trained to detect colorectal cancer using a patient’s breath and watery stool. Others have been trained to detect lung cancer from an individual’s breath at a highly accurate rate. Using blood samples, trained dogs can detect ovarian cancer cases and detect prostate cancer cases from sniffing urine samples.

Other animals that scientists have trained to detect cancer include pigeons. Scientists from the University of California and the University of Iowa successfully trained pigeons to spot cancer in images of biopsied tissue using their excellent visual systems.

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It is a fact that cats don’t have a great sense of taste, and although they see better in dim lighting than humans, their eyesight can’t see very far. For these shortcomings, they compensate with a highly developed sense of smell. Cats are, by nature, hunters and rely on their sensitive olfactory senses to maneuver.

When hunting prey, they rely on a sense of smell to pick up vital information about their environment and targets. Cats will sense prey long before they see it through their sense of smell. In this regard, cats have a high discernment of blood scent. Whether it is during hunting or detecting blood from a woman’s periods, cats can smell blood.

Being carnivorous, cats have a heightened awareness of blood scent and get excited by the smell of blood. They will also detect hormonal changes that happen during menstruation. Reactions to the scent of menstrual blood vary, with the cats being more affectionate and trying to comfort the owner. Despite being able to smell blood, blood isn’t a popular delicacy with cats, including cats that survive in the wild. Just like other predators, the scent of blood is known to draw them.

Cats have finely tuned receptors with which they use to detect particular volatile molecules in the air and use the information to form an opinion on the particular scent. The scent of blood is composed of various volatile chemicals that are molecules and easily evaporate, making them flow in the air and be easily inhaled.

In this way, cats can detect and smell blood even over a long distance through a finely tuned olfactory system. It is said that species will smell the blood that has a molecular link with their own blood.

One of the fascinating abilities by cats has to be their said ability to sense pregnancy even before the owner takes a test. A cat will master the owner’s behaviors, moods, body movements, physical appearance, and other physiological presentations with a deepened bond between cats and their owners.

In many ways, a cat relies on its exceptional senses to detect changes that come with pregnancy. They are highly observant creatures both visually and through their excellent sense of smell. Pregnancy is accompanied by a massive change in hormonal levels of the body, and cats can sense these changes through their sense of smell. Some of these changes may result in subtle odors that cats can pick up via about 200 million receptors.

With pregnancy comes other changes that are both physical and emotional. Cases of fatigue, irritability, and moody spells occur. These changes disrupt the routine and habits that your cat is accustomed to. Your cat will tell you that something is going on with you. That’s because cats are creatures of habit, and any changes are highly questionable to them.

Something else a cat is bound to pick up is the fetal heartbeat. Cats also possess a keen sense of hearing with an extra fold on their ears that plays a role in amplifying high-frequency sounds beyond human hearing. That means that at the first occurrence of the fetal heartbeat, your cat will be able to pick it up with precision. Pregnancy draws varied responses from different cats.

Some turn protective, while others become clingers fighting for every bit of attention from their owners. Others will turn rebellious in the act of defiance against the disruption of routine.

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Can cats detect sadness?

Despite being accused of being snobbish and nonchalant, Cats are quite observant and empathetic when the situation dictates. With prolonged cohabitation, a cat usually gets accustomed to its owner’s different states of being, both physically and mentally. Although cats prefer their solitary company in many cases, they also have a deep understanding of the happenings around them.

Cats can generally pick up on signals that suggest that a person is going through a rough patch emotionally. First of all, a cat can differentiate between different human facial expressions. A cat can tell when the owner is smiling and is likely to respond positively by rubbing, purring, or perching on the owner’s lap.

In the same way, a cat will pick up on a sad face or a grimace in pain and rightly sense that the owner is in some distress. Cats will also associate a good mood with treats and affection from the owner so that the absence of such will point towards a problem.

Cats can also tell from the tone of your voice and discern your current mood. A cat may mirror your mood when you are sad and act sad too. In many cases, cats will instinctively seek to comfort the owner when they sense they are sad. If you are lying in bed, the cat will snuggle up to you and, in a way, seek to reassure you.

This behavior is mutually beneficial to both the cat and the owner as cats have been found to relate those bouts of sadness with increased chances of petting and close contact with their owners. Whatever the case, cats are highly receptive and sensitive to sadness in their owners.

There isn’t conclusive scientific support for the theory of cats detecting cancer, but felines have superb abilities to pick up on nuances like your mood. Your cat is modestly sensitive to the emotions you display, and it’s safe to say that sicknesses like cancer can cause your pet to behave strangely.

One detriment to cats detecting cancer is how difficult to motivate and train they are, unlike dogs. Felines don’t respond to any form of order very well, and a reward system of training doesn’t work with these proud pets. Canines are compelled to sniff, it’s the sort of thing they enjoy, but nothing can compel a cat other than its own free will.

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