From ancient times, the figure of the cat has been surrounded by myths that say they have supernatural powers, from the ability to transmit “bad luck” to the ability to anticipate events that have not yet occurred. There are 6 things cats may be able to predict. They have nothing to do with magic or miraculous wonders, but certain characteristics of felines make them more sensitive to some situations that go unnoticed by humans.
1. Is it true that cats can predict ea.rth.qu.akes?
According to the Seismological Society of America (SSA), not quite. While there is some evidence to suggest that cats are actually sensitive to seismic waves, it is impossible to generalize and assume that any cat is perceptive to ear.thq.uakes.
There is one theory suggesting that cats are sensitive to the static changes that occur right before an ear.thq.uake. Theoretically, so are humans, but the feeling of it can be quite easily confused for a simple headache or discomfort.
Another theory points out that cats are able to perceive the small vibrations that occur in the earth just before the quake through their paw pads, which are extremely sensitive to even the smallest movements.
2. Natural dis.ast.ers
Before a natural dis.as.t.er such as a ts.un a.mi, major h urri .cane.e, vo.l.can.ic er.up.tion, or ear.thq.uake, cats have a tendency to bolt. While they still may hide and meow, our felines will most likely look frantically for an escape from the indoors before a natural disaster strikes.
3. How about smell can.c.er?
There’s anecdotal evidence that cats have detected can.c.er in their humans. A woman claimed that her cat alerted her to her breast can.c.er by repeatedly jumping on the affected b.reas.t. A man claimed that his cat warned him of his lung can.c.er by dragging his paw down the left side of the man’s body, where doctors later found a large tu.m.or.
So far, these anecdotal reports are all the evidence we have. Unlike with dogs, there have been no formal stud i.es examining cats’ ability to sniff out can.c.er. This might simply be because it’s more difficult to motivate cats, famously less food-motivated than their canine counterparts, to learn such a skill. Whatever the reason, we don’t have any research to point to — at least not yet.
4. Can Your Cat Tell When You’re Sad?
Cats tended to respond more to a smiling owner because the cat learned to associate the smiling facial expression with things like petting and treats. If you’re sad, depressed or downtrodden and you crawl into bed, your cat may just be looking for a warm place to nap. But, you might find it soothing to pet them or cuddle them when they approach. Over time, the cat may learn that your sad mood comes with plenty of petting a scratching, which will make them more prone to seeking you out when you’re exhibiting signs of sadness.
So, while your cat may not exactly understand your mood, it does understand the nuances of your behavior while you’re exhibiting a certain emotion. It’s a bit less romantic than the idea that our cats have the capacity to comfort, but it does mean they care enough to recognize our behaviors! Cats are extremely observant creatures, which means they may be picking up on habits you didn’t even know you had—especially when your emotions are running high. Even something like crying or blowing your nose can be linked to some sort of action that benefits the cat—petting or praise, for example—that they’ll pick up on!
5. Cats predict your upcoming guest?
You’ve probably noticed that your cat changes their attitude shortly before any of the family members get home, getting restless and expectant. This is because, indeed, cats are able to detect that a loved one is approaching. All thanks to their wonderful nose and prodigious ear. The felines smell familiar scents at great distances, which allows your cat to wait for you at the door long before you arrive. They are also able to discriminate between the sounds you make with your keys or the way you walk.
6. And the de.a th??
There’s a story of a nursing home in Australia that frequently had a feline visitor known as ‘the de.a th cat’ among both staff and residents.
Although this cat did not actually live at the aged care home, it managed to find its way into the home at times throughout the year, and single out particular residents for attention in the aged care homes lounge room.
As heartwarming as that image may sound initially, this story took an unexpected and very mo.r.bid twist as it was revealed that every resident who became an object of this cat’s affection d i.ed within days of the encounter.
While some may be quick to chalk these circumstances up to coincidence, it appears that this was not an isolated incident, as there have been many aged care homes and families with elderly loved ones who claim to have eerily similar stories.
Also, a nursing home in the US actually has its own ‘de.a th cat’ that has become somewhat of a celebrity.