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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Can Cats and Dogs Predict Earthquakes?

Can Cats and Dogs Predict Earthquakes?

Many people believe that animals have a special sense, and can feel or predict earthquakes. Scientists have also given this question great consideration.

A German scientist, Helmut Tributsch, published an article about animal behavior and earthquakes. In it, he theorized that a flow of ions—electrically charged air—created by the friction of the Earth’s underground plates rubbing together just prior to earthquakes might be detectable to animals. Because animals have drier body surfaces than humans (they don’t sweat as we do), Tributsch believed they are more sensitive to the electrostatic charges that precede earthquakes.

There have been some great examples of animals acting strangely before earthquakes, yet no one has proven without a doubt whether or not animals, and in particular, cats and dogs can predict earthquakes. If you live in a place prone to earthquakes, the next time your dog or cat is acting funny, write it down. See for yourself whether your pet possesses an ability that would be of great help to geophysicists and seismologists.

Share any experiences you've had in our forum!

3 comments

1 Nitengale { 08.24.11 at 7:04 pm }

My chihuahua usually crawls under the covers by 9:30pm but the night before the quake he didnt settle until after 1am. He only gave up then because he was so tired. I am a believer.

2 stacey { 08.24.11 at 2:09 pm }

I believe this…I live in West Central Louisiana. We don’t have hurricanes come inland this far. I drive a school bus, and the day before Rita made landfall…While on my route, I seen more deer running from one side of the road to the other, more snakes moving than normal….I thought then, they must sense something coming. Rita made her nasty trail our way!

3 Sue M { 08.24.11 at 2:04 pm }

My dog slept thru it even though she was rocking in her sleep. But now that I think of it, she was sleeping at my feet which is odd for that time of day. Maybe it was only slightly disturbing and she thought I would protect her? (we are just north of Boston so I’m sure it would have been different closer to the epicenter)

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