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Cat raises alarm when owner has diabetic episode

Rescue cat Pippa with owner Mia Jansa Photo: RSPCA

Rescue cat Pippa is now performing rescues of her own - by raising the alarm when her young owner's blood sugar levels dip to dangerous levels.

The black and white cat seems to sense when eight-year-old Mia Jansa is about to suffer a hypoglycemic episode due to her diabetes.

She is able to wake Mia - or her mother Laura - so they can take action to correct Mia's blood sugar levels.

The Jansa family adopted Pippa from the RSPCA Canterbury, Dover and District Branch in August.

Since then Pippa has alerted either Mia or Laura to a problem about 20 times.

Pippa's gift came to light when she crept into Mia's room and woke her up prompting the schoolgirl to test her blood sugar levels which showed they were dangerously low.

And when Pippa hasn't been able to get into the schoolgirl's room, she woke up

her mother instead.

Mrs Jansa, from Whistable, 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.

"She knows it's important that I get up and help Mia."

Beth Hixson, manager of the RSPCA Canterbury and Dover Animal Centre, said: "Pippa was dumped in a box outside a shop in Dartford.

"She has a such a sweet nature but I couldn't believe it when I heard how she is helping Mia, I got goosebumps, it's so amazing."

Mia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of six. She tests her blood sugar levels between four and six times a day.

"If they drop dangerously low she can experience a hypoglycemic episode which could lead to a coma.

She is prone to suffering hypos when she is asleep.

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 mother 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.

"Mia calls her 'my special cat, my little protector' and she's got a soft spot for her."