Pet Cat Noah Detects Aneurysm in Owner Janet Batten

A tabby named Noah performed a "cat scan" on Nevada owner Janet Batten.

Most people know CAT scans can save lives. Most of the time, though, the diagnostic machine isn’t covered in fur.

But rather than relying on a medical device, Nevada woman Janet Batten received an alert about her brain aneurysm from an actual cat.

About a year ago, Batten’s tabby, Noah, started pushing up against her head all the time. “He was constantly smelling my head on the right side, in the front, and in my eye and in my nose,” Batten told

Batten says that Noah would make a strange sound when he was sniffing around her head. “I began to get very suspicious,” she says.

At the same time, she began having vision trouble, so went to her primary care doctor and an opthamologist, but no issues were found. Noah’s strange behavior continued.

In August, however, after suffering a mini-stroke and an irregular heartbeat, Batten went in for a CT scan, where her aneurysm was finally spotted. Noah had known all along.

Batten’s aneurysm has since been removed, and she credits the cat for helping alert her to the problem. “Because Noah the cat had been alerting his mom that something was wrong…she was aggressive in seeking treatment,” said Noah’s vet, Dr. Bruce Coston, who nominated the cat for the Animal Hero Award at the Virginia Veterinary Conference. The cat took home the prize.