(BBC) – Paramedics said without Theo’s actions, owner Charlotte Dixon may not have woken up again.
Theo, eight, from Redditch, Worcestershire, was crowned National Cat of the Year but died a week before the ceremony.
Ms Dixon said: “All cats are amazing but I owe my life to Theo.”
Speaking about the incident Ms Dixon added: “When I woke up in the night feeling unwell, I put it down to a virus. I was confused and shaky but thought I should just get some sleep.
“Theo wouldn’t let me and was behaving very strangely and out of character. He kept batting me with his paw, meowing and jumping on me – keeping me awake.”
Eventually Ms Dixon rang her mother, who rang an ambulance.
She spent a week in the high dependency unit at hospital but has made a full recovery since the incident, three years ago.
A panel of judges selected Theo for the top prize at the National Cat Awards, run by the Cats Protection League, at London’s Savoy Hotel.
Ms Dixon said: “I’m devastated that he’s gone but I’m so proud of him for winning”.