do cats know when you are sick

Cats are extremely sensitive animals and have very close bonds with their owners. They can small chemical changes in humans and recognize changes in body language and facial expression. A combination of these can help cats detect when their owners might be suffering from an illness.

The Olfactory World of Felines

The most important realization is that cats exist in an olfactory environment. They are not able to see very far, even though they see better than humans in low light. Instead of vision, felines navigate with their sense of smell. After all, they are predators. With the aid of millions of olfactory cells, they are able to detect their prey through the scents they release.

It makes sense that cats could pick up on the different smells that you emit when you’re sick. You might use a methanol rub under your nose to breathe easier. You might be popping throat lozenges with different scents that your kitty could sense. Cats may even be able to detect them, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science 1.

It’s impressive to note that dogs can identify certain types of cancer and low blood sugar. Owners of cats can attest to their animals’ superior sense of smell detection. Imagine the thorough examination you receive upon returning home from petting a dog, or even worse, a different cat.

do cats know when you are sick

The domestication of cats provides additional clues about whether pets can tell if you’re sick. Scientists theorize that cats and people tolerated each other for thousands of years 2 before felines crossed into the pet realm. New research indicates our relationship with them began about 12,000 years ago in the Near East 3.

It was during the Ancient Egyptian period that things took a better turn for cats. Archaeological findings show that they traveled with people to places far and wide, further cementing their relationship with humans 4. It’s not a stretch that a cat would get to know the domesticated world as well as their territory, especially if their food and survival depended on it.

Sharing DNA with Humans

Perhaps the most convincing evidence on whether a cat can tell if you’re sick comes from our shared DNA. The fact remains that humans and cats share a common ancestry that goes back about 92 million years. That’s because all mammals are descendants of an ancient animal that existed during the time of the dinosaurs.

The essential thing to understand about genes is that they are like the ingredients in a recipe. That, in turn, is the code of the proteins or other materials that an organism contains. The entire package is the cookbook. Humans have about 30,000 genes in our DNA, composed of 3 billion base pairs of chemical units. Of that latter amount, only about 500 are uniquely human.

What that means is that cats and people are more alike than we may think. That supports our conclusion that felines can detect sickness in humans. A 2007 study found that dogs and cats share about 94% of their DNA. It is around 90% for humans and felines. We can see examples of it in the number of diseases that are common to both of us. Many have similar symptoms and courses as those of people.

Cats Recognize Physical Symptoms

There are other changes that occur when you’re sick besides just your smell. Physical symptoms such as a fast heartbeat, fever, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, weight loss, or weight gain are common with many illnesses. Your cat will be familiar with the typical sound of your heart if they spend a lot of time with you. They are also aware of the typical sensations of your skin and the sound of your breathing. They are observant enough to notice when these things change.

Check out this article as well: Most Cat Owners Love Their Pets More Than Their Partners

Although your cat may not at first associate these physical changes with a disease, they may become interested enough to spend more time with you This may give the impression that your cat is attempting to cheer you up.

do cats know when you are sick


How do cats act when you are sick?

So when the latter get sick, their furry friends tend to become more clingy and caring towards them. Such behavior in cats is expressed by spending more time with their owners, grooming them, rubbing against their body as a sign of affection, and trying to entertain them.

Can cats sense 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.

Why does my cat stay near me when I’m sick?

Cats know that when you’re sick, you’re vulnerable and they’ll do anything they can to make sure you don’t get hurt. They’ll even try to help you if they can. Because they can sense something is wrong. It probably scares them so they go where its safe, with you.

Why does my cat cuddle me when I’m sick?

Additionally, your cat’s natural instinct to care for and protect you may come into play when you’re not feeling your best. Overall, your cat’s cuddling behavior when you’re ill may be a combination of empathy, seeking warmth, and a natural instinct to care for you.