Social Question

Luna's avatar

Do cats try to take your breath away on purpose?

Asked by Luna (220points) April 22nd, 2010

I had heard about cats taking people’s breath away while they sleep and killing them. I didn’t really believe it until one night i had fell asleep on my back, which i don’t do often. i thought i was dreaming that my breath was being snatched away until i realized that i really couldn’t breath. I woke up to find my cat sitting on my chest looking extremely peaceful….should that worry me?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

32 Answers

SundayKittens's avatar

Urban legend!

Snarp's avatar

Any breathing trouble you were having could only have been related to the cat in one of two ways: allergies, or the weight on your chest. They aren’t trying to steal your breath, they just like your warmth.

Luna's avatar

@Snarp that could be possible. she likes to sit on my laptop when i charge it cuz the charger gets really hot.

silverfly's avatar

Must… refrain… from… sarcasm… No, cat’s don’t take people’s breath away.

rangerr's avatar

Everyone knows that cats are really dementors.

ucme's avatar

Can’t… help…myself…I’ve had my face buried in pussy on many ocassions & yes it can get a little hairy at times.

Love_or_Like's avatar

I don’t believe that! Its just some thing people made up to sacerd people.

Snarp's avatar

I used to have a cat that would sit on my chest and paw a my mouth and lick my eyelids to wake me up in the morning to feed it. But it never stole my breath. My new cat is learning some of the same tricks, but not nearly so creative as to lick my eyelids and paw my mouth, she just bites my nose. Also does not steal my breath.

Buttonstc's avatar

It’s what is known as “an old wives tale” from way back when. It’s a superstition particularly related to newborn babies and it’s very deeply culturally engrained, unfortunately.

I even went to a Dentist about 15 years ago who told me about a beloved cat he had for years even before he was married. When his wife was expecting their child, she was so terrified about this superstition that he ended up taking the cat to the shelter.

Three guesses on the chances of an older cat being adopted. Needless to say I found another Dentist who was not so beholden to superstition.

Way back in less educated times SIDS was little understood so it was easy to blame it on the family cat. That’s my guess on where this nonsense originated.

It’s difficult to realize that there are still seemingly well educated people willing to believe this nonsense.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I wouldn’t let it worry you unless you have bony chest, or breathing problems.

Factotum's avatar

In addition to warmth, cats can be attracted by the smell of milk on the breath of a baby. When cats are sniffing something they will often open their mouths and move their heads back and forth which, when combined with a dead baby (through weight on the chest) would certainly give rise to the belief that it was on purpose.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Well it happened to me when I saw my babys three week old adorable picture on the breeders website.
One look, and she took my breath away!!!
I mailed my deposit check to the breeder that very day.

she loves to fluther with me, her fluther name would be Madam Purrball, if she could!

MissAnthrope's avatar

If cats could steal your breath, I’d be dead many times over. Urban legend/old wive’s tale, no scientific evidence, but I am laughing at the ‘everyone knows cats are really dementors’ comment. Haha.

Mine just gets up in my face and rubs her face all over mine, especially my nose, when she wants me to wake up. Lacking subtlety, that one.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@MissAnthrope Awwww cute, that just makes me purrrrrrrr….....

Dr_Dredd's avatar

No, but my dog Max: 1) is overweight; and 2) loves to climb on me and sit on my chest and stomach.

The medical term is “restrictive lung disease” (e.g. your lungs are restricted in breathing, in this case by a hairy hound!)

I wouldn’t have it any other way. :-)

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Every evening at bedtime I go for a goodnight walk with all three of my cats…

…I lay in bed under the covers and they take turns walking up and down on me!

And each cat gives me a kiss goodnight too!

It feels like a mini acupressure session (who knows-maybe it is!) and just like
@Dr Dredd, I would not have it any other way!!!

thriftymaid's avatar

No, it’s not true and cats do not suck the air out of babies either.

Luna's avatar

@thriftymaid i always hear about the baby thing….mothers get so worried that when they have cats

Luna's avatar

@OneMoreMinute when my cats aren’t being evil to me they like to curl up on my pillow next to my head and go to sleep its so cute

faye's avatar

I’ve had 3 babies and the cat did not ‘take to them’ ! She sat back and watched and when finally it seemed that the babies were going to stay she gracefully accepted the fact, but never approved! No breath sucking at all.

wundayatta's avatar

@ucme You know that pussies have these glands that secrete a scent when they rub against you. Something about staking a claim to territory. It’s not the kind of thing you’d want your wife to smell.

Trillian's avatar

MY cat never stole my breath, but she would sometimes put her paw over my mouth and say “Don’t speak, you’ll ruin the moment.”

ucme's avatar

@wundayatta Not to mention the fur ball issues,clears throat.

Siren's avatar

@Luna: Unless you are mistreating your cat or suspect your cat has a mental disorder, I wouldn’t worry that your cat is trying to kill you, or take your breath away.

However, I do know cats have a weird habit of blocking our path when we walk. A relative of mine has frequently nearly fallen down her stairs when her cat took that opportune moment to step in front of her while she was attempting to walk down the staircase. Attempted murder or just bad timing for a leg brush? we’ll never know

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@ucme @wundayatta
why don’t you two tom cats go back to the alley that you came from!
hhhhhhssssssssssss! cool, cats!

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@Luna Aaawwww! Dats cute when the sleep there. Mine too. They protect you from all bad dreams there, did you know?

ucme's avatar

@OneMoreMinute Be cool, I know of no other way.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@ucme Jolly right! Simply the coolest and hippest cat evar!

Luna's avatar

@OneMoreMinute now that you say that i realize that i dont really have bad dreams anymore!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

When I was a baby my mother’s cat slept in my crib every night.

I’m fine, by the way. ;) This really is an old wives tale, as stated above. You may have subconsciously realized the cat was sleeping on your chest and then your dream ran away with it.

jprtay's avatar

Well, Luna I had a similar thing happen to me, which is what made me do an internet search. I never even thought of that happening but the other night was really weird. I was sleeping on my side whan I woke up. But, while I was sleeping, I started to sense this white light while I was gasping for air, then suddenly I woke up to see my cat in my face. I also woke up a couple times during the night to see my cat in my daughter’s face. I know it seems weird to think that this could or would ever happen, but you never know. I look at it like this, someone got the idea from somewhere and for some reason. It is easy to dismiss these types of things simply because it is just not normal or it sounds ridiculous but I think it is ridiculous to dismiss something based on only that alone when there is no proof either way.

Happylady1's avatar

Hmmm…I tell you what you have experienced is very true. On two occasions my mother experienced that from our cats. Well, the first was from a cat we had from my childhood named Kelly. My mom told me she wasn’t feeling well one day and she was asleep on her back and Kelly climbed on her chest while she was asleep and was literally breathing air into her mouth; almost, like she was trying to make her feel better. You know oxygen is the “key” to good health and life. Also, I know my “Kelpo” and she was very nuturing.

Now, the other incident just happened recently with my cat Nuanawee. My mother was laying on her back in the living room, which she was very tired from working all day. Nana, my mom said, “climbed on my chest put her hand over my mouth then put herself and body in a “V” like shape closed her eyes and started blowing air into her mouth.” What my mom said is it just seemed like to her is, Nana thought she was sick and was trying to help her. I know my Nana and she is very, very, sweet. So, to answer your question maybe they’re just trying to help cause you know they do that to their babies when they are sick but hey, check with a veternarian to get the real answer.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther