Can cats smell cancer? Are you wondering if your furball is an under-covered sensitive? If he has an extra sense, or if he pretends to be silly, illogic, and cute while he is a sort of genius? Cats do not make it easy for us to figure them out. Few have made progress; many have failed. What is the real truth?

Cats can alert humans to many immediate dangers, including the presence of illnesses and cancer. Scientists and vet are not yet coming out with an official statement about it, but the web is filled with stories from cat owners reporting instances of cats detecting cancers and other illnesses.

Let’s see what cats can do.

Can cats smell cancer?


Cats are controversial animals. From one side, they look cute, funny, silly, fluffy, and innocent. On the other side, they can look scary, mysterious. Maybe they give the impression that they know more than what they show.

What is the truth? I believe cats are a combination of all those things together. It is also true that cats are different from each other in terms of abilities and personality, just like humans. Some cats can be more sensitive than others or have more capabilities than others.

Cats have developed senses, like, for example, the sense of smell. They can perceive changes in smells, chemicals in a way that we can’t even imagine.

When a human develops an illness, there are changes in the human body’s fluids, odors, and chemicals. Cats can sense it due to their improved smelling abilities. It is a little bit like dogs. Some therapy dogs can sense when a person is lower in blood sugar and alert the owner.

Cats are not that trainable, and it is difficult to predict if they would alert the owner each time something is going on. But many cat owners report their cats have warned them about cancer or an illness.

Find the more famous stories on cats alerting their owners here: CAN CATS SENSE BAD ENERGY? 10 REMARKABLE THINGS ABOUT CATS.

Some cats have been found to sit on a spot or paw at a spot in the owner’s body, alerting them that something is wrong. Some other cats have sensed toddlers having respiratory problems and running to their owner to warn them of the danger.

Cats are not that silly as we want to believe; they can surprise us with their sensibility and intelligence.


Since it has been observed that some dogs were able to smell ovarian cancer, a question has been raised about scents in people with cancer. Can cancer actually have a smell? And can it be smelled?

This study also shows not only that there is a specific scent emanating from cancer:

2010 study using dogs found that cancer does have a specific scent. What causes that smell isn’t clear, but it may have something to do with polyamines. Polyamines are molecules linked to cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Cancer raises polyamine levels, and they do have a distinct odor.

You can read the full study here: BMJ Journal

We just write here the full conclusion of the study so that you can easily see it:

Conclusions This study shows that a specific cancer scent does indeed exist and that cancer-specific chemical compounds may be circulating throughout the body. These odor materials may become effective tools in CRC screening. 

BMJ Journal

This is an old study from 2010. However, other reports are stating that different types of cancer can produce various kinds of odors. Some of those odors are also smelled by humans. Animals like cats and dogs may smell the chemicals and scents produced by other types of cancers that are not detectable from humans.

For example, it is reported that lung cancer causes a distinct odor coming from someone’s breath. Stomach cancer can also be the cause of bad breath. Other types of illnesses can be the cause of bad breath.

Cats could realize that something is wrong by the change in smell from their owner’s mouth. Maybe some of those smells we do not even realize are weird. But our cats or dogs could do it for us.


Since cats can captures differences in smell, they could understand that changes are happening even if very little. As we saw, different illnesses, cancers, and various types of diseases carry different smells and scents. Cats and dogs can figure it out.

It is most commonly seen in dogs. They help their owners to figure out the low blood sugar if they are about to get a seizure or a panic attack. Cats can be aware of more things than merely cancer signs.

Hearth problems, kidney problems, diabetes, GERD, and allergies are just some of the things cats can figure out.

It doesn’t mean that all cats will figure this out or that they are going to signal the problem. It can also be that cats are warning their owners about something that could be wrong, but the owner does not understand it.

Cats are still cats. They are always unpredictable and not easy to train. Some cats may be more intelligent than others. Therefore, even if cats can smell illnesses or cancer, it doesn’t mean they will do it for you or let you know.


Well, since cats have such an incredible sense of smell, cats can figure out when someone is dying from their body odor. Typically, a body that is about to shut down can emanate unpleasant odors, like acetone and other unpleasant odors.

We are talking about strong odors. Even humans can figure this out. Therefore it is easier for cats to smell it and connect the scent to dangers and death.

Cats figure out imminent life threats, environmental threats, risks from other animals, or even dangers coming from people approaching the house. Cats can hear things way before humans figure out that there is even something to hear.

And, let’s not forget about the famous cat’s six sense!


Cats are spectacular, they can sense dangers, sense cancer, illnesses, and figure things out in a way we can’t do. I hope I was able to answer in full all your questions. If you want to add anything or have additional questions, leave it in the comments below.

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  1. My friend has this kitten she smells me and purse with its bum sticking up and it’s back legs sticking in me is because she can sence I have got cancer why is that

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