Here are some tips for dealing with grieving cats after the death of a family member: Stick to a routine so the cat gets a comforting sense of consistency. Many cats will suffer for hours or even days before they die. The cat in the nursing home was extra sensitive to that. 4. Yes I believe they can sense death. Jean New Member. And at least on a base level, our pets understand what death is. It doesn’t make sense to smell their smell long after they are gone. Some people argue that because dogs have much better senses than people, they are genetically created to be more aware of things such as sickness or death. Can they sniff out human diseases? And in the same way, cats' senses can understand the changes in smell that might happen as a human's body changes and possibly dies. That is scary, and that is real! Cats can also be creepy, but creepiness isn’t enough to feed the strong connection people feel between cats and death. But if you do, it’s a sign that they are still with you in spirit. In fact, a 1996 survey of pet owners conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals showed that 65 percent of their kitties experienced at least four behavioral changes after the death of a feline companion, according to the Manhattan Cat Specialists. "And cats can certainly detect illness." How a 'grim reaper' cat may sense human death. Cats can detect illness in fellow felines through scent and behavior. If your cat is a frequent wanderer and goes out of the house very often, it will seek a cool and shaded place outside the house to rest comfortably before death. Scientists believe that dogs can sense disease in others because of their evolutionary origin as wolves, who needed to be able to detect when someone in the pack was hurt or sick. Cats, like other animals, are very intuitive and can sense things that humans cannot.. One extreme example is a cat in Rhode Island named Oscar, who lives in a nursing home.. Oscar is known for predicting a patient's death, and will climb onto the dying patient's bed and stay with them until they die. Cats, unlike dogs or even elephants, aren't associated with altruistic, empathic behavior. My Mom rescued a beautiful cat at the shelter many years ago, and they've been close companions ever since. Keep reading to learn how you can help your grieving pets in the event that your family is faced with such a loss. Many cat owners think that when a cat goes off to “die” it is a peaceful death but many times (most times) it is not. Most of the time one of both of our two cats that live on the floor were in the bed with the resident. We at PetPlace hope this gives you some comfort. Yes that was a true story. When humans know a beloved cat is sick and dying, they can prepare for the inevitable. They might even be able to sense death. On the other hand, some cats that were quite independent when they were healthy may now seek out the companionship of the owners as death draws near. When humans die, the sense of sight is the first to go and hearing is the last. Grief in Dogs and Cats It's not known for certain whether dogs or cats have the capacity to understand the finality and significance of the death of a pet, and any evidence that they do is purely anecdotal, says PetPlace . It's not magic, cats can detect some changes through their senses. 6. You Think You See Them. As cats have a superior sense of smell, they can detect ill health in humans by picking up on hormonal changes. Since cats and other animals have an amazing sense of the death approaching them, they prefer quiet and lonely places for comfort during this phase. Dogs do it better because they have a better sense of smell than cats, which have a better sense than humans. They are able to detect certain events that human beings overlook. A lot has been written on dogs diagnosing cancerous sores but cats are also capable of this lifesaving talent. Some cats may seem not to care about the sick cats, while others may even seem happy and desire even more affection from their parents.” In other words, one cat’s reactions to another cat’s sickness or death can be just as varied as ours are. “Mum was a very vibrant person. People usually say that cats sense spirits because of their vision that go beyond what we can imagine. Other research has shown that some fish can sense an earthquake before it happens. As with earthquakes, people have started to observe cats are able to perceive the phenomena that occur before certain natural disasters, thanks to their acute senses. “Those things are hard to study. Can cats sense death? Well I've heard from people that when a person is gonna die the cat's with you until you die. What it is attributed to scientifically is that the cat can smell the chemistry or body changes in the dying. For years, people have debated on whether or not dogs can actually sense death. "Cats can smell a lot of things we can't," she says. Open mobile menu Psychology Today. You may notice a grieving cat meowing more than usual, and some grieving cats lose interest in their surroundings. People often also take into consideration how other companion cats in the house deal with a sick and dying cat. Some pet parents claim their cats detected their cancer. Cats may have characteristics that link them to death, but perhaps our perception of these strange creatures derive from our experiences with them rather than their traits alone. Depression can occur in kitties who have lost a fellow feline friend. Coming to terms with illness, death, and ensuing grief is a fact of life. The same is thought to be true for dogs and cats… If you ever looked into their eyes with attention, you probably saw some kind of intelligence, as if they were on a different level of consciousness comparing to us. They probably don't have the same spirituality around death, but that we may never know for sure. The Norse myths talk about Freyja – a goddess of fertility, love, but also death. Is this just a myth or is there any truth to it? She loved cats. 3. But, what about cats? Then this unique talented cats are available to nursing homes, hospitals and hospices to help doctors and nurses know when patients die. Cats also have an acute sense of smell and have the ability to sniff out a chemical change in the body caused by a disease. “I really love animals, and I do sometimes think they have some sort of special sense… Cats can sense smells and it is possible the human body puts out a different odor shortly before a seizure, illness or death. In 2006, scientific research showed that some dogs can smell a chemical change that takes place on a cellular level in people with cancer-in short, dogs can detect the illness before many patients can. So when dogs sense the presence of Freyja’s cats, they start howling and barking to scare them away. We have a cat that my brother rescued from the street and usually the cat is closer to my brother. Sudden death can happen in cats as well, which can be just as devastating and make as little sense. First, if a cat has this ability to sense an impending death, especially other cats do, or capability can be developed by them treats when they are correct identity when a patient is dying. Cats seem to have the ability to know that they are going to die. She would have been happy to know the cat was there.” Though Louise describes herself as a sceptical person, she thinks animals appear to have a special kind of knowing. It’s no secret dogs have an amazing sense of smell, from sniffing out bombs to sniffing out human ailments, like low blood sugar. The very presence of the Wild Hunt foreshadows war, plague, and death. The only comfort you can take from this situation is knowing that you did the best you could and that you gave your cat a wonderful life. In fact, many sensitive cats (and dogs) react to their owners’ emotional upset and grieve in response to our own changes of behavior over the heartache. One of my cats would often open my bedroom door a little and I’d see her in the dim night light leaving the room and going down the stairs when she was alive. Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by Jean, May 1, 2004. Skip to main content . “We can’t be certain if they mourn in the human sense of the word, but we should give them the benefit of the doubt”, says Beck. Some cats show no signs of grief at all, and they may even appear happy to be the only cat in the home. Let’s talk a bit more about the cat vision and their ability to see kinds of stuff before we get to any conclusion. Can cats sense death Can cats sense death It's the same thing as the companion dogs and cats who can sense when a person is going into diabetic shock or going to have a seizure. My Mom is battling breast cancer. And both dogs and cats can also sense the change in … If humans are able to see 50% of what exists in this world, cats see in totality. There is a persistent belief held by many people that dogs have some sort of "sixth sense" that allows them to sense when somebody is about to die. While he believes that cats probably don’t perceive death the same way as people do, for pet cats experiencing a drastic change in their environment, it seems reasonable to think that they do grieve. We ask the question that Can Cats See Ghosts or Spirits because we see our cats interacting with subjects that we don’t see with naked eye. Graves said there is no evidence to suggest cats can sense death, but he doesn’t discount it for a minute. Hiding. It's a scent. This can be a difficult symptom to interpret as many non-life-threatening illnesses can also lead to this behavior. Tales tell that Freyja travels in a chariot pulled by cats. "Jax" is an indoor cat. Cats can behave in many different ways after the loss of another cat. Do cats have the ability to predict certain events? There’s anecdotal evidence that cats have detected cancer in their humans. This suggests that cats may also be able to detect sickness in humans by utilizing the exact same techniques. When the Cats Keep Vigil Over a Dying Cat We can’t know if surviving pets realize their companion animal friends will soon die, but they certainly do act as though aware a change has--or will--occur. Working in a nursing home I saw many people pass away. Until a week ago I noticed that the cat started following me and she's always in my room. Can cats sense death?