Has Your Cat Ever Saved Your Life?

Rags in his yellow bed that he always slept in the basement
Rags in his yellow bed

My Cat Rags Warned Me About My Sump Pump Burning

When Rags was 18 years old, he woke me up in the middle of the night.  I kept shooing him away, but he persisted.  And I woke up enough to go the bathroom and when I sat up in bed, I smelled an electrical burn of some sort.  We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from – but finally discovered that the sump pump in the basement was causing it.  We unplugged the sump pump and went back to bed.  But of course, I thanked my Rags as I have heard electrical fires can be horrible.  I am pretty sure it would have turned into a fire if Rags hadn’t warned me.

The other night I was melting butter for artichokes and trying to be the multi-tasker I am, I ran downstairs to swap out a load of laundry.  I have a lot on my mind lately, so quickly forgot about the butter and started folding laundry.  Trigg came down and was being a little more needy than normal – and I thought to myself, “What’s his deal? He’s been fed.”  And kept smelling a slight burning smell and then figured it out.  I, too, thanked my Chiggy.

Has your kitty ever warned you about something burning in your house?  Please share your stories in the comments below!

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. MarikoCat says:

    Not my Ragdoll, but my Maine Coon. When I was about 4 months old, the family cat, a Maine Coon named Taylor, was only about two years old. He was always active at night, but my mom let him roam the house anyway instead of locking him up downstairs, even though he tended to get in trouble (he liked to take our stuffed animals and chew plastic from the trash). It turned out to be a good thing! One night he came into the master bedroom and would not leave my mom alone. He kept meowing, howling, and even biting her and running to the door. My mom finally got fed up and followed him, and he led her to my crib where I was gasping for air. Turns out I had the Croup virus which caused an infection. I was blue and could barely breathe. I was rushed to the hospital. From that night until he passed away at age 13, Taylor would visit each of us kids at night for an hour or so to make sure we were okay. I was a sickly child, and I remember that whenever I had a fever he stayed with me until it was gone. So much of my childhood was made of of lonely hours out of school and sick in bed, but he was always there, as was his sister Crystal. I miss them both terribly.

    1. wow!!! that’s really cool. i am glad you had them in your life and hope your health is on the mend.

  2. Thank Goodness for Rags and Chiggy alerting you something was wrong! Whew! A couple of close calls there, young lady! <3

    No, I have never had any of our animals in our lives warn of us any type of dangerous situation (we've been very fortunate with staying safe). However, I know that if something does go awry and create an issue that Miss Pink Sugarbelle will be letting us know immediately. She is absolutely The Smartest companion we have ever had. She always is very sensitive to anything that doesn't belong in its place around here. And she alerts us with the most curious mewing sound if she finds a bug-a-boo somewhere.

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  3. Teresa Reid says:

    So happy that Rags saved you and now Chiggy did the same thing! They definitely ARE our angels! One time while my daughter was on my bed with me, we were laughing uncontrollably and it triggered my asthma and a wheezing/coughing spell. It scared my heart kitty, Angel, so much that she began trying to help me breathe by stuffing her entire face into my mouth over and over. We immediately realized that while we knew that there was nothing seriously wrong, it terrified Angel, who thought that I was having a true asthma attack. Poor baby was shaking and panting and took a while to reassure her that I was fine and we had just been goofing around when I got choked on saliva. Made me realize just how dedicated and sensitive our kitties are to making sure we are safe and what lengths they would go to in an emergency. ♥♥♥♥♥

      1. Teresa Reid says:


    1. Your little heart kitty, Angel, was truly a precious little angel in every sense of the word!!! What a super sweet story! Poor little Angel trying to help her mommy. BIG HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3

      1. Teresa Reid says:

        Thank you Patti. She was one of those once in a lifetime kitty connections. Miss her so much!♥♥♥

          1. Teresa Reid says:


  4. Gwyneth Shapiro says:

    My stray cat Benny who adopted us !Saved me one night from being bitten ! He slept above me in a cat bed so he could watch us! Well one night he jumped by my head and bit something big kept it in his mouth and walked on my open night stand edge and jumped down on the ground and shook his head trying to spit out poison. It was a wolf spider that was about to climb on my head! Now I am terrified of spiders but he saved me from my worst nightmare! And he got the poison in his mouth Now after that I put books on all the registers and the next day we had our whole yard and bushes sprayed ! He now has kidney disease stage1 or 2 and I am scared that had caused it! I read somewhere that wolf spiders are poisonous! He moved so fast like the killer he is and he is suffering for his bravery just to save me! I can’t tell you what I do to save him,as I’m so scared of spiders but for awhile I have a hero protecting me

  5. I am new to cats, but seem to have developed fairly good communication with my Lil’One. She has led me to her litter box when it was dirty (just once!) and to her food dish when she is hungry. One day, when she wanted to tell me something, I followed her as per usual, but she led me through the kitchen to the back room and sat right in front of the upright freezer and looked at me: the door had not closed properly and water was pooling on the floor. If she hadn’t shown me, the freezer might have been left open all day causing me to lose my food — and a lot of time cleaning up!

  6. I am new to cats, but seem to have developed fairly good communication with my Lil’One. She has lead me to her litter box when it was dirty (just once!) and to her food dish when she is hungry. One day, when she wanted to tell me something, I followed her as per usual, but she led me through the kitchen to the back room and sat right in front of the upright freezer and looked at me: the door had not closed properly and water was pooling on the floor. If she hadn’t shown me, the freezer might have been left open all day causing me to lose my food — and a lot of time cleaning up!

  7. I’ve never had a kitty warn me of an actual fire but when I was married our male tabby Festus would always pace and cry when we turned the central heat on for the first time each fall. Whilst neither Lori nor I could smell anything burning there must’ve been some odor coming from the furnace that the cat found upsetting. Interesting that he had that reaction each year for ten years without fail. He was a good kitty…

  8. YES! Thirty years ago when my husband and I were renovating a 100 year old house with VERY high ceilings, my Persian cat Max woke us in the middle of the night. There was smoke in the bedroom; the house was on fire. A tarp had been left over the furnace and caught fire, spreading to the wooden floors. We escaped, thanks to Max. The firemen said that because our ceilings were so high that we would have suffocated before the smoke alarms went off. Max saved our lives. He was a special boy, and he’ll always have a special place in my heart.

  9. Although we haven’t had any issues with anything burning ( thank God) we did have a couple of issues with water leaks that our dear Andy warned us about. One was the hot water heater in the basement, the other was a leaking window during a wind driven rain nor’easter. Both situations would have been disastrous if we did not get this early warning. We miss our little boy. It was just a year ago January that he went to kitty heaven.
    We do have two ragdolls now, but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about our precious boy.

  10. My ragdoll Abby, recently woke me up from a nap when I had water boiling away on the stove. She easily got me up by crying and licking my face, but she has a whole array of different strategies to get me to wake up when she wants to. She will knock small bottles off the dresser one by one or dance on top of the clock radio until it turns on. She received a lot of positive feedback for saving the day, and looked very proud of herself.

  11. This wasn’t about a fire – sort of the opposite! My partner and I were watching TV one evening a few years ago, when one of the cats warned us that there was a problem with the washing machine and the laundry room had flooded! He wasn’t a Ragdoll, but a beautiful, long-haired tuxedo cat, and he warned us by meowing strangely and persistently, and then finally jumping up on the couch with wet paws. Good, smart kitty!

  12. No, thank God, nothing has ever caught fire here so far with my 3 girls I have presently. When Chrissie, my white rescue kitty (one amber, one blue eye), was with me, she stepped up on the fireplace and turned to look at one of the other cats passing by. She didn’t realize that when she turned her face outward, it also turned her tail to be just slightly over the fire! I saw it as it was happening and was like slow motion and couldn’t do a thing to stop it. The end of her white tail burst into a flaming torch as she bolted out of the room with me chasing her. Finally caught up with her under the bed. Thankfully, her tail fur has just burned down to little black nubs sticking out everywhere, but her tail bone and skin were fine. After that episode, she would never come near that mean fireplace again and now whenever it is on, I close the mesh curtains AND never ever leave it unattended with the kitties in the room.

  13. Denise Grande says:

    Yes, but she wasn’t a ragdoll! Her name was Sabrina and she was a feral cat who decided she wanted me as a mother and followed me home one night. Well to make a long story short, she touched my heart and I took her in and became known as a “crazy cat lady.” I bought her rhinestone necklaces, beds, towels with her name on it, a mouse skin rug (fake), a damask couch which was gorgeous and a leopard carrier made of leather and french fabric. She had everything you could think of! Anyway, several years into our relationship, one night my husband and I came home after a party and I was hungry. I decided to boil a couple of hotdogs and I fell asleep. I woke up when Sabrina pounced on my chest meowing at me. The house was full of smoke and I realized I had been cooking hotdogs. I shut the stove off, looked in the pan and saw what appeared to be 2 black turds… lol… I threw the pan and all outside and opened the windows. I don’t know why the smoke alarm didn’t sound, it was hard wired. I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t woken up but I always credit Sabrina with saving us. She was my first kitty but not my last. She is no longer with me but I will meet her again on Rainbow Bridge. RIP Sabrina, Nikki, Sammy and Merlin (2+ months ago). 🙁

  14. I’ve never had a cat that warned me of a danger, but did have a cat that set his tail on fire with a candle. My big orange tabby, Buster, liked to flick his tail and one night flicked it over a candle flame. Luckily, he had a bushy tail and it only singed his hair and he didn’t take off running! I learned to keep candles at a higher level since then.
    My cats don’t even react to earthquakes as they are happening, let alone warn me. I’ve been woken up by shaking and checked the cat’s reactions and they’re both sound asleep on the bed.

  15. Cricket hasn’t warned me of anything dangerous yet. But she does let me know when someone pulls up in the driveway. She growls and runs to the front window to see who it is. She also lets me know if the phone has rung while I’ve been out. She meets me at the back door and meows at me until I check the phone.

  16. animals can tell us many things and we should listen. my cats (the ones that are now dead) told me that my apartment was mold infested and dangerous. they were both pretty much indoor cats and after a while of living here, they didn’t want to stay in and i couldn’t figure out why. one of them was always crying to go out and i didn’t want them out of course for safety reasons. funny (and not in a good way) how it was a lot safer for them out there. both of them (they were totally healthy) when i moved in here, died within 2 years. one had a stroke and one died of a respiratory issue. granted they were older cats but they had been to the vet right before i moved in and were totally healthy. one ended up having a thyroid issue pretty quickly after i moved in and i thought.. ok, that happens and he was being treated for it. the other had no symptoms of anything other than after a couple of years, he got very lethargic.

    just recently i found out that my apartment is infested with toxic mold. i’m moving next week. i started getting very sick and could not figure out what was wrong with me. luckily i had a doctor that was progressive and a co worker that educated me about what could happen due to several water damage issues that i had here that were never addressed by my landlord so i had testing done and found out and then had myself tested. i have 3 cats now that i took in after they were abandoned by irresponsible college kids and they were all used to being outside and though i tried to keep them in, it has been difficult and now i know why and i’m glad that i didn’t try to force them. they do not want to spend much time in here at all.

    so this is something that i couldn’t see or smell, it was in the air (it was behind the walls). but my cats were warning me, they knew something was wrong. the anger that i have, i can’t even tell you.. and the pain that is in my heart knowing that i was supposed to care for and protect them and i brought them into a death trap, is so huge. i am suing my landlord and the property management for negligence but it won’t bring back my cats. i don’t know if my cats that i have now will become sick. once i get out of here i am taking them in to have blood work done to see if they have any mold in their bodies and how to detox them. for people, you can use garlic for the fungal infection but it is deadly to cats. i’ve had them with me for about 2 years and they don’t have symptoms of anything but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been affected.

    of course i couldn’t have known that my cats were telling me that my apartment was mold infested. but i know now that it wasn’t just them wanting to go outside to play, it was that there was something bad in here. pay attention closely at what your cats are saying to you, it could certainly save your life and theirs.

  17. Never of anything burning. However when we lived in Georgia our cat Emily warned us of a gas leak and then of high carbon monoxide. She sat in the great room and just started caterwauling. We got up and smelled the gas in the case of the leak. And found the carbon monoxide detector was going off muted. It is amazing what they can sense

  18. Wow Rags and Trigg are heroes!

    Thankful nothing has happened here yet.

    Have a fabulous weekend!!

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