A rescue cat left dumped in a box outside a shop has proved to be the purrrrrrfect pet by raising the alarm when her young owner’s blood sugar levels dip to dangerous levels.
Pippa was adopted by the Jansa family from our Canterbury, Dover and District Branch last year, who were won over by her friendly nature and sociable character.
Little did they know the black-and-white cat would give them more than just love and cuddles. Pippa appears to have the special ability to detect when her eight-year-old owner is about to suffer a hypoglycemic episode due to her diabetes.
Pippa won’t take no for an answer
Pippa’s incredible gift came to light when she woke up Mia in the middle of the night prompting the schoolgirl to test her blood sugar levels which showed they were dangerous low.
And when Pippa couldn’t get into the schoolgirl’s room to check she was fine, the persistent puss woke up her mum, Laura instead.
Mrs Jansa said:
“We quickly realised she was warning us. If Mia didn’t wake up, then she would come to my door and miaow. She comes onto the bed, walks onto my pillow and across me until I wake up. She really makes her presence felt, she won’t take no for an answer.”
Mia has type one diabetes, which she manages by testing her blood sugar levels between four and six times a day and injecting herself with insulin. If her blood sugar levels drop dangerously low she can experience a hypoglycemic episode which could lead to a coma. The schoolgirl is prone to suffering hypos at night when she is asleep and does not realise her blood sugar levels are dropping.
A bonus we were not expecting
Mrs Jansa said since October Pippa has alerted her about 20 times when Mia was in the early stages of having a hypo and now appears to sense when her blood sugar levels are dropping.
Alice Potter, pet scientist at the RSPCA, said:
“Although dogs alerting their owners to medical problems such as epilepsy, cancer and dangerously low blood pressure is well known, the RSPCA is not aware of any evidence in cats.
“Perhaps Pippa will be the cat to inspire new research in this area.”
Mia’s mum added:
“We are working with the doctors to stop Mia’s night hypos, but in the meantime I sleep a bit easier knowing that Pippa is around. It is so nice to have that back-up, it’s really reassuring and certainly a bonus we were not expecting.”
If you think you could offer an animal in our care a new home visit our pet search page.
We can’t do it without you
If you would like to help the RSPCA, please donate online or text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).