can a cat detect cancer

There are anecdotal reports about cats detecting cancer in their humans, but no formal studies to test cats’ ability to smell cancer. Cats have an advanced sense of smell and the potential to use that sense for many purposes. It’s impossible to say whether a cat can sniff out cancer in humans without further research.

Stories of Cats Detecting Cancer

To date, no formal research has been conducted to investigate cats’ ability to detect cancer. What we do have are accounts from cat owners claiming that their pets have prevented them from dying by smelling out problems. One such case comes from a woman in Tennessee. The story stated that she had a strange bruise on her breast. Her cat seemed to be particularly interested in that area for some reason. The cat would even jump on it, acting as though it wanted to warn her about something. After seeing her cat’s reaction to the bruise, the woman went to the doctor, whereupon she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This devoted pet owner attributes her early diagnosis and ability to recover from the illness to her cat.

An additional well-known tale concerns a man from Alberta, Canada. His feline companion started to focus particularly on his left side. The cat eventually started to paw at the man’s side. When the man finally went for medical help, he found that his cat was correct. Regretfully, the man had a soda can-sized tumor growing in his lung. The cat owner believed that the cat’s senses—particularly its claws—were what initially prompted him to visit the doctor for examinations.

can a cat detect cancer

Pet therapy is helping sick people all over the world on a daily basis [1-6]. In contrast to this scientific data, the media highlights patient testimonials claiming that early cancer detection from their cancer-detecting pets saved their lives. Because of this, the idea of “canine cancer detection” has gained traction. It is based on the theory that pets, especially dogs, have very low concentrations of aromatic and/or alkane compounds in their breath, urine, or watery stool, as well as in adsorbent materials, which are generated and released by malignant tumors [7–15]. It is commonly known that, in contrast to humans, where a visual cortex predominates, the brain of a domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris from the Latin) is dominated by a wide olfactory cortex. More specifically, dogs have up to 56 times more smell-sensitive receptors than humans do, with some breeds having as many as 280 million receptors spread across an olfactory surface the size of a pendrive (9 Comparing that to 5 million over an area roughly the size of a postage stamp (3.76 cm2) 08 cm2) for the humans [16, 17]. Its sense of smell is believed to be up to 56 times more sensitive than humans as a result. Due to its large surface area of olfactory mucosa (approximately 5 cm) and well-developed olfactory bulb, the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus in Latin) also has an acute sense of smell. 8 cm2), nearly twice as large as that of an individual human [16]. Tumor necrosis, a high cytoproliferative index, an elevated mitotic cell count, immune evasion, lymphovascular and perineural invasion, infiltrative neoplastic growth, and these are some of the diagnostic hallmarks of malignancy in oncological medicine [18, 19]. More specifically, tumor necrosis, or death from the Greek νέκρωσις, is a type of hypoxic death connected to the high metabolic demand of cancer cells. It does not proceed via the apoptotic cascade; instead, the unchecked release of products associated with cell death triggers an inflammatory response in the immediate vicinity that draws leukocytes, leading to an accumulation of cell debris and the breakdown of dead tissue [20, 21]. Pentamethylenediamine (cadaverine) and tetramethylenediamine (putrescine) are two well-known toxic diamines that are notoriously produced during the decomposition process and are the primary cause of the putrid stench in decomposing animal tissue [22–27]. Thus, due to their keen sense of smell, some pets—more likely, some dogs—may be able to identify the scent of tumor necrosis, which results from aggressive neoplasms, on their owners or on themselves (Figure ). Naturally, a tumor that developed close to the skin’s surface should be simpler to find than one that is buried deep. Given that advanced olfactory sensors have been patented for use in human diagnostics with astounding outcomes, it appears that even contemporary nanotechnologies may facilitate the ability to detect cancer [28–32]. The pet actually needs enough time to establish its owner’s typical odor status before it can detect even the smallest odor changes in a future domestic partnership, so it is unlikely that this pet ability can be used in cancer screening models. Errors resulting from different non-neoplastic morbid conditions with superimposed necrosis, like phlegmons, abscesses, or gangrene, could also impact the use of trained molecular dogs. Despite these misgivings, all the necessary conditions are met for basic “pet-diagnosis” to be accepted as true science.

Is It Possible for Cats to Smell Cancer?

The best method to ascertain whether cats could be able to detect cancer, given the lack of reliable research on the subject, is to look at their noses. We all know that dogs have superior noses. They have been trained to use their noses to detect illnesses, locate missing persons, and detect bombs. Although they may not be as adept at sniffing as dogs are, cats are still far superior to people at it. Cats use more than 200 million olfactory receptors to detect threats, food, and prey. Because humans only have five senses, our cat’s sense of smell is fourteen times stronger than ours.

The biggest difference, however, between cats and dogs is their ability to discern what they are smelling. A scent receptor known as V1R is credited for allowing mammals to separate one scent from another they’ve experienced. Humans only have one of these proteins. Our canine friends have nine, and our aloof kitties have 30 V1R proteins in their noses. A study 1 was conducted that used this information to claim that cats have a more sensitive sense of smell than dogs, which means cats could be used in detection and rescue situations.

Why aren’t researchers testing cats’ sense of smell in the same way that they do dogs now that we know cats have the tools—their noses—to detect cancer or other threats? The reason is straightforward: most people believe that cats are less dependable and untrainable than dogs in these kinds of situations. It’s a well-known fact that training cats can be challenging, but that doesn’t imply that they are completely untrainable. There has been a myth about cats for a long time.

Food is the main way a cat can be motivated. Your cat may come running from anywhere in the house when you pull out a box of treats and give it a shake. Additionally, it’s a great way to get your cat to come inside after they’ve been exploring outside. Consider the possibilities if you gave your cat some really delicious treats. Anything a cat enjoys—cooked chicken, tuna, or anything else—can inspire them and aid in training. Cats also enjoy playing and socializing as rewards. Even though they might be the more challenging domestic animal to train, it is still feasible.

can a cat detect cancer


How does a cat act when it detects cancer?

Vomiting and diarrhoea – cancer in cats can affect the digestive system, so these symptoms can be an indicator. Lethargy – if your cat is hiding more than usual or spending more time sleeping, it could be a sign that they’re feeling unwell.

Can cats detect illness in their owners?

They can also sense the differences in behavior both physically and psychologically due to an illness. It’s been known that both dogs and cats have saved many lives by recognizing and identifying the scent of human illness through the scent of chemical changes.

Will blood test show cancer in cats?

Although cancer is not always readily detectable in routine lab work, there are some potential red flags. The complete blood count– The complete blood count can provide valuable details with regards to the overall health of the patient and potential recommendations for further investigation.

Can cancer patients be around cats?

Keep your pets, like cats and dogs indoors as much as possible to minimize exposure to other pets and animals, such as birds and rodents. Make sure you have someone who can take care of your pets and their living quarters if you get too sick or have to be in the hospital.