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13 True Stories of Heroic Cats That Saved Their Owner’s Life


cat lying on humans lap

Cats aren’t often considered to be as self-sacrificing and heroic as dogs are. However, cats have shown us time and time again that they can be heroic when the situation calls for it. While cats have a reputation for being deceitful and selfish, the cats in these stories saved their owners and others.

If you need convincing that cats love their owners, look at these heroic stories.


The 13 True Stories of Heroic Cats That Saved Their Owner’s Life

1. Pudding and a Seizure

cat waking up her owner
Image Credit: WiP-Studio, Shutterstock

Pudding saved her new owner, Amy Jung, by waking her up at the beginning of a diabetic seizure. The cat stood on her chest and bit her nose until the owner was roused. She was then able to call for help. The cat also ran around and roused other members of the household, who were able to assist Amy until help arrived.

2. Cat Attack

dog and cat fighting
Image Credit: asife, Shutterstock

Dogs are stereotypically known to attack cats. However, when Tara’s 4-year-old friend was attacked by a neighbor’s dog, she sprang into action by attacking the canine and chasing it off the property. The 4-year-old only had minor injuries, and the cat was deemed a hero.

3. Sniffing Cat

cat at vet with owner and veternarian
Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

Cats aren’t typically used to sniff out missing people or illicit drugs like dogs are. However, their noses are much more powerful than ours. Tom the cat demonstrated this when he detected that his owner had cancer. He began meowing insistently and scratching at Sue, his owner. At first, Sue believed something was wrong with the cat, so she took him to the vet.

However, Tom returned with a clean bill of health, and the vet suggested that the cat may be smelling something unusual with Sue. Sue headed to the doctor, and it was discovered that she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

4. Smudge Against Bullying

Cat meowing at somebody or something nearby
Image Credit: Irene857, Pixabay

Smudge protected her owner’s young son from bullies who intruded into the yard while he was playing. The bullies began harassing him and even pushed him to the ground. This violence caused the cat to hiss at the children and chase them. Thanks to the cat’s behavior, the bullies left.

5. Masha Loves Babies

cat kissing new born baby
Image Credit: Julieta Fotografia, Shutterstock

While Masha didn’t save her owner, she did save an unknown baby. The baby was left in a box, abandoned, on a street. Because it was in the middle of winter, it was extremely cold. Masha climbed into the box to keep the baby warm. However, she became tired of waiting for someone to help, so she began meowing loudly at passersby.

Eventually, someone took notice of the cat and followed her to the box, where they discovered the baby. Luckily, the baby was completely unharmed.

6. Shelly the Snake-Slayer

cat and snake sniffing each other
Image Credit: Jay Fog, Shutterstock

Shelly was considered a normal cat until she saved her owner from a large snake. Her owner, Jimmie Nelson, first noticed the cat running around the house in the middle of the night. However, as any cat owner would confess, this isn’t exactly unusual behavior. Therefore, Jimmie wasn’t particularly concerned by the behavior.

However, he noticed the body of a dead copperhead snake around the area the cat was making a ruckus. These snakes are extremely venomous.

7. Fire-Alert Cat

firefighter give cat to little girl
Image Credit: Standret, Shutterstock

Cats stay awake much of the night and are much more perceptive than humans in many cases. One such cat woke up her owners when their house was on fire at 3:30 A.M. The Clairmont family was able to escape the fire before anyone was harmed. Plus, firefighters were also able to rescue the family’s other cat.

8. Another Fire Alert

cat and owner in bed
Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

However, some cats don’t just alert their owners to fires—they prevent them. Gizmo woke up his owner from a nap when a small fire engulfed the family’s toaster. His owner was able to put out the fire before it spread, largely thanks to Gizmo waking him up.

9. Cleo

cat waking up his owner
Image Credit: Kasefoto, Shutterstock

Cleo is another cat who noticed something wasn’t quite right in the family home. One morning, Cleo noticed that one of her owners had collapsed on the bed. Little did she know, her owner was having a heart attack. However, she knew something was wrong, so she quickly ran downstairs to get her other owner.

The woman noticed the cat was acting weird around the stairs. When she approached, the cat ran up the stairs quickly. Upon following the cat, the woman noticed her husband collapsed on the side of the bed. After quickly rushing him to the hospital, the man was diagnosed with a heart attack. However, luckily, he was okay after treatment.

10. Actual War Heroes

cute kitten in military helmet
Image credit: Alonafoto, Shutterstock

Some cats take their heroism a step further and become actual war heroes. One such cat was Tom, who served during the 1854 Crimean War. Due to supply chain problems, the soldiers Tom was with had no food and many were starving. However, Tom located food stores using his effective nose and led the soldiers to them.

After the war, he was taken back to England and lived a full life. You can see him at the National Army Museum in London, as he was stuffed after his death.

11. Major Tom

man sleeping with his cat
Image credit: Koldunov Alexey, Shutterstock

Major Tom wasn’t the Major Tom. However, he did perform a heroic act that saved his owner. Because he was owned by a sailor, Major Tom was used to being on the water. However, when Major Tom noticed the boat was filling with water, he knew something wasn’t right. (The water was supposed to be outside the boat, after all.)

After noticing the strange circumstance, he woke up his owner Sailor Grant McDonald. He was able to set off the emergency beacon and jump into a lifeboat with his cat, where they were rescued by a passing ship.

12. Gas Leaks

Woman with allergies holding a cat
Image Credit: Cat Box, Shutterstock

Carbon Monoxide isn’t detectable to humans. While we don’t know if cats can smell it, we know that Schnautzie, the cat, woke up his owner after a broken gas pipe caused the home to fill with gas. His owner heard a roaring sound from the bathroom and investigated, which is when the broken gas pipe became obvious.

A first responder informed the owner that the house would have likely exploded if the owner had kept sleeping. The cat was rewarded with the Purple Paw Award the next year.

13. Another Diabetic-Rescue Cat

cat waking up its owner
Image Credit: Anna Kraynova, Shutterstock

In the middle of the night, Claire Wood woke up. She got out of bed to use the bathroom but quickly collapsed due to low blood sugar. Her husband was still in bed, sleeping. However, her cat noticed that something was weird. So, he ran to the bedroom and woke up Wood’s husband.

Upon noticing that his wife wasn’t in the bed, Wood followed the cat to the bathroom. He saw his wife and was able to give her an injection of glucagon, which stopped the episode.



Cats aren’t known for being heroic animals like dogs. However, it is clear that cats are smart enough to know when something isn’t right and respond accordingly. Whether it’s saving their owners from a diabetic coma or leading the army to food stores, cats have shown time and time again that they can be dependable and helpful when they want to be.

While these were stories of cats that went above and beyond, many of our own pets show their heroism in small ways every day.

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels


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