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Are Cats Psychic?

Updated on November 4, 2007
Can cats predict the future?
Can cats predict the future?

Cats always seem to know more than they let on. But are they psychic? With the widespread news of Oscar the nursing home cat being able to predict when a patient will die, some people wonder if they live with a furry Nostradamous.


For 25 times, Oscar suddenly cuddled with a patient and refuses to leave until the patient is dead. For 25 times, the patient has died in four hours. Can Oscar glimpse into the supernatural? Or does Oscar possess natural senses that far surpass our own? The answer is most likely that a dying person puts out a certain smell that science has not been able to identify. Why Oscar is attracted to that scent, if this is so, remains to be seen. What is known that Oscar is a reliable predictor of death.


Long before Oscar, cats as well as dogs were known to be able to predict natural disasters long before people had any idea of danger. At Azabu University in Japan, Professor Mitsuaki Ota concluded that cats are incredibly reliable predictors of major earthquakes (those with a seismic rating of 6.0 or more). Cats will panic for no reason and try to escape the house. But not all cats will react, even to the same earthquake. It is thought that only 30% of cats reacted before the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1996 that killed over 6,000 people and an unknown number of animals. Perhaps the mystery isn't how cats detect earthquakes, but why would they bother?

There are several theories as to how cats can predict natural disasters. They could be able to detect changes in static electricity, or be super sensitive to underground vibrations. They could also be able to detect major shifts in the earth's magnetic field. Or maybe they can hear the screams from those in the epicenter. But not all cats seem to react to impending doom. Perhaps not all cats are psychic, like not all people are psychic, but only some are.

World War II

One of the great legends of World War II that is very hard to prove is that cats were able to predict air raids. Their fur would stand up on end. Considering how busy everyone was with other problems during World War II, no scientific study was ever encouraged. But there are many family stories in England about the family cat giving a life saving warning long before the air raid sirens sounded.

Home Sweet Home

In Rupert Sheldrake's popular book on animal psychic behavior, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals, he concludes that many pets are psychic in the sense that they can detect when their owner has left work or is about to come home - even when the owners leaves at unpredictable times. An observer was left with the cat and noted when the cat started waiting for the owner (such as looking out a particular window.) The owner would then compare the time of the cat's waiting to when he or she actually left for home.

Perhaps even more remarkable is a cat's homing ability. Many of us are familiar with tales such as The Incredible Journey, where pets traveled thousands of miles to reunite with their humans. Rupert Sheldrake did homing cat experiments where a cat was let loose in a place he or she had never been. The cat was closely observed (partially for the cat's safety) but also to see where the cat would go. Usually, the cat went right home.

In Conclusion

Cats definitely possess senses that we either don't have or don't use. But since cats are individuals, these senses differ from cat to cat. Cats can rarely be forced to do anything they don't want to - so why would Oscar want to comfort the dying, for example? Perhaps cats see in us something we can't see in ourselves - that we can be worth comforting, protecting and coming home to.


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  • profile image

    Annetherese 9 years ago

    Very interesting article. I'm a cat lover and enjoy animals.

  • glassvisage profile image

    glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

    I've also read something about a cat in a nursing home that would curl up at the feet of patients that were going to die within four hours. Crazy!

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    Liara Covert 9 years ago

    I think people often underestimate the power and intuition of animals just as its comon for individuals to underestimate their own innate psychic abilities. It comes back to faith, conditioning and attunement to the Source.

  • hglick profile image

    hglick 9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

    Very interesting article and very true. I have found that Cats probably do have a certain amount of ESP and are definitely more intelligent than we think. My cat Gracie will react to any form of pain or sickness around her, whether it's human or animal. I believe that she is empathic to a certain degree.

  • RenaSherwood profile image

    RenaSherwood 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. And thanks for you taking the time to comment.

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    Psychic 9 years ago

    Of course they are- they have all the knowledge of the universe squeezed in their furry little heads. :)

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    kristina 9 years ago

    That was a very interesting article. stumbled upon it while trying to find a question about my cat.

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    Alice Newton 9 years ago

    I liked the article, but didn't agaree with you saying 'Why would Oscar want to comfort the dying' since cats "can rarely be forced to do anything they don't want to do". No one is forcing Oscar to do what she's doing. She's simply doing it of her own free (cat) will. I believe cats know wayyyy more than we can imagine. They are extremely special animals. I love them sooo much!!!

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    catmansooty 8 years ago

    Earthquake I can buy that first there’s the (P wave) primary wave travelling faster than the speed of sound! Then its followed by the S wave Seismic wave that conflicts the damage and yes we are all rocked by an Earthquake thou I think Earthquake in Sensurround six-track 70mm is the next best thing over Batman the dark knight what a load of rubbish and my kitten could have predicted that for me, what a waste of money that was!

  • mayhmong profile image

    mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

    Wow! That is so true about cats! My cats are always right at the door when I'm coming home.

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    omg 8 years ago

    i think my cats posessed lol

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    psychic test 7 years ago

    The cat remains a symbol for such medieval holidays as Halloween; cats find their intelligent, inscrutable faces on the covers of occult magazines; and their profiles are used to suggest terror in tales of the supernatural. Truly, no animal has inspired such outpourings of affection from humans as has the cat - but neither has any other household animal quite so many enemies.

  • Star Destiny profile image

    Star Destiny 7 years ago from London

    Great article! I work with psychics, how cool it would be if they were animals, always prefer feline company anyway! grrr ;)

  • profile image

    LKW 7 years ago

    What a bunch of crap

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    scheng1 7 years ago

    At the very least, they know earthquake is striking sooner than us.

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    Hannah Shrives 7 years ago

    Dear Rena,

    I’m a massive fan of your blog about Psychic Cats... the facts are so interesting! I was wondering if you might like to take a look at ‘Psychic Cats’ by Theresa Cheung. Psychic Cats is a collection of heart-warming true stories that demonstrate the remarkable psychic power of cats. The stories Theresa has documented prove that our whiskered friends can be divine messengers of comfort, with precognitive abilities, and is set to touch the hearts of all who read it. This extraordinary book has already received excellent reviews and is due to be released this August. If you are interested in featuring a review on your website, please send me your address, and I can send over a proof copy. Theresa is also available for interview, or to write features. Please contact me for more information-, and please copy in Helen,

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Very best wishes,


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    Crow 6 years ago

    Interesting article- it is something that I like to believe. My cat( who is indifferent to most noises in my house, just suddenly jolted his head up and stared into the dark veined of my room, then went back to sleep. Creepy.

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    farkle 6 years ago

    cats always know your when you arrive home because they recognize your walk sound and your car sounds and you getting out of it. that isn't psychic its hearing ability and recognition.

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    Jan 6 years ago

    My cat Sophie is about nine years old, we got her from the RSPCA when she was about four. She has always been aloof and wouldn't let us even stroke her. However, since March this year, when my beloved dad started to exhibit signs that all was not well, (no one else in the family picked it up either, apart from Sophie & I), she started to become friendlier to me and sat on the bed and let me pet her. My dad died quite suddenly in July and since then she has been a constant companion to me, she has rarely left my side and constantly meows to me as if she is trying to tell me something. She has been a great comfort to me.

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    anon 6 years ago

    yes they so sister has been at my parents visiting...i had to visit too for a few cat has never gone on my sister's bed, neither has another kitten who stays kitten seemed sad..and I had a feeling she knew my sister was leaving tomorrow...the kitten ended up going to her bed and sleeping there--odd she had never done that...

    then the thing that convinced me was cat went to my sisters bed and was sitting there too..shocking as my cat hasn't even been in my sisters bedroom at all..

    they both knew she was leaving the next weird...they are definitely psychic ..empathic yes for sure...intuitive yes...psychic..yes too

  • profile image

    anon 6 years ago

    another comment..years ago...i was at my parents , and i had to leave and something had happened to me...when i got back.. my cat just 'knew'..she looked at me like "im so sorry you had to go through that"...she was so upset and sad...she stayed by my side..and didn't leave for weeks...she also hates my mother..because she knows what my mother has done to me and used to try to intervene in the middle of our arguments..and to this day...hasn't forgiven my mother...and is more unforgiving of her than I am...

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    Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

    Very good hub...I love cats and have had many over the years. Several times; no, actually more than several times; I'll be thinking of one of my cats; looking intently at her while having loving thoughts and, even with her back to me, she'll turn around and stare back, 'talk to me,' and get up and move to my lap. All may cats know their names and do not respond to the names of cats other than themselves. i think felines are AMAZING creatures! Great article..really enjoy it.

  • profile image

    Murakami 6 years ago

    For anyone who is interested in this article...

    I feel there is a very strong tie with this theory and Murakami Haruki's novels. Especially "The Wild Sheep Chase".

  • romari profile image

    Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes 6 years ago from Heaven

    I love cats and I believe too that they have this sense that we do not have

  • profile image

    Cleo Pascal 6 years ago

    All of us were given a special psychic skill. However, either not all of us know how to use it, or that skill comes in unexpected situation. We can say that science continues to improve and discover studies. I can say that there are mysteries that are truly hard to explain. That's why there are traditional healing and other alternative healing medicine existing today.

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    edwin h haywood 6 years ago

    In 1969 in Agadir Morocco an earthquake killed 15,ooo people, but most of the cats left the city days befor the disaster.So cats in the new city are treated with respect and are allowed to move freely throughout the city. As a person i spoke with informed me that if the cats leave we evacuate the town as fast as we can.

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    MelRose 6 years ago

    Yes Cats are very Psychic,,,Just truly tune into them and you will witness it sooner or later.I have had several over the years and not ALL have appeared to be Psychic!? One Male i had was VERY! And one Female didn't seem so in the least and NOW i have another Female that knows My every move and thought it seems,,,,She stops what she is doing everytime i am sick or in Pain.She even knows if she is downstairs and I'm Upstairs and i'm not making a sound.She runs to my side and insists on sitting on me somehow and if i don't pick her up she literally tries to climb me and she pats my arm over n over if i don't respond to her quick enough ect. Shes very tender toward me and no one else in the family.And everyone is loving to her but she choose me to guard.And i had am Male that would try to drive out certain Boyfriends!!! Honest to gosh! Long story} But they do see Spirits of ppl who are not on this earthly plane anymore too.They r quite scared of them in my house too,,,,,I have to tell them not to scare my cats bc they are bad and quite active and noisey at MY house{The Deceased} LoL yes i got ghosties

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    zae 5 years ago

    cats rule

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    Kim 5 years ago

    Perhaps frail people just died of fright after Oscar settled down with them - I think I might, given his reputation!

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