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The Extraordinary Senses of Animals

Updated on August 18, 2014

By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

All Rights Reserved

Do you think that animals are psychic?

See results

A True Story

I begin this write with a personal story about my terriers, Misty and Cloudy.

I recall researching for an article I was writing about the paranormal, specifically haunted homes.

One of the haunted houses I researched was that owned by demonologist Lorraine Warren. She came to my attention after I watched The Conjuring, a film based on the lives of a family in Rhode Island she helped to save from a witch, Bethsheba.

As some may know, Ms Warren has, as part of her home, an occult museum. I listed it as a home in my article.

Rumor has it that the museum has a deathly aura, owing to the jinxed objects she collected from possessed houses, that some have died tragically in it.

As I surfed her website for more information on the museum, I felt a sense of heaviness.

Further, Misty and Cloudy abruptly turned, faced one of the walls in my study and started barking.

They barked, a little too aggressively.

It took me a mere two seconds to turn my browser off. As you can imagine, I was completely shaken for the rest of the day.

Both dogs were clearly discomfited and sensed that not all was well. The episode hinted, rather disturbingly, at the extraordinary perceptions of animals. It leaves us with lingering questions about these unusual abilities.


1. Why it is possible for animals to be psychic

It is possible, if not probable, that animals are more perceptive than we think they are. They seem to have an extra seeing eye for the following reasons.

a. Ability to Sense The Supernatural

Firstly, animals are apparently able to sense forces beyond our understanding. As with the incident involving my terriers, animals apparently have an uncanny knack of sensing forces from beyond.

A relative of mine, looking to buy a home, brought her beagle along with her for a house viewing. When the viewing party stopped at a particular bedroom, the beagle refused to enter.

My relative later discovered that the room once belonged to the elderly father of the owner who had passed away within. According to her, the little beagle could sense his presence and somehow felt uncomfortable.

b) Animal after death communication

It is also well-documented that animals can sense spirits and apparitions when the death of their master is near.

President Abraham Lincoln’s dog apparently started howling and running throughout the White House before Thomas Wilkes Booth assassinated him.

On a personal note, Romeo, my aged pet Samoyed we had to find another home for as we were moving, died a few mere hours after his new master, an elderly gentleman, passed away.

Butterflies are, to many, a symbol of reincarnation. When my husband’s grandmother passed away, my family spotted a beautiful monarch butterfly flying around her coffin. It flew to a wall and stayed there until the pall bearers lifted the coffin and brought it to the crematorium. Apparently, it was my husband’s grandmother’s spirit seeking to connect with her family after her death.

c) Animals predicting the weather

Another piece of evidence implying that animals have psychic ability is that they somehow can predict the weather. If a dog runs under a table, a thunderstorm is about to come.

If cats lick themselves, it tells us that fair weather is coming.

d) Other abilities

Animals are extraordinarily perceptive in other ways. Dr. Rupert Drake, the author of Dogs that Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, believes that animals have abilities that humans may have possessed at one time but somehow lost over the years. He discusses these in his book.

i) Telepathy

One of these unusual abilities is telepathy. We understand it the inexplicable connection animals have with their owners. Sheldrake shares this remarkable story in his book.

There is the story of cat in Switzerland that seems to know when its master was calling. The master often went to work for a friend in Aargau. Before its master called, he would sit restlessly by the phone. She would also sit outside the front door thirty minutes before he arrived. Though this happened at irregular times, the cat sensed where her master was and what he would do afterward.

ii) The sense of direction

Another uncanny animal ability is a perfect sense of direction. We are familiar with stories of how pets make long journeys to reunite with their families. Sheldrake shares some of these stories in his book.

One is of a dog named Sultan. His master’s father-in-law was suddenly taken ill and taken to the county hospital. A few days later, he died. The family buried him in the local graveyard, five kilometres from their home.

After the burial, Sultan was not seen for days. He walked five kilometres, found his way to the specific grave and slept there, in an apparent show of mourning and respect.

iii) Premonition

Lastly, Sheldrake reminds readers that animals have the unusual ability to tell when unforeseen events are about to occur. Evidence lies in dog handler’s ability to train dogs to help owners who have seizures. These animals have an unusual knack of knowing when these are about to occur. They warn their owners of it beforehand.

2. Superstitions Surrounding Pets

Superstitions that surround animals could point to their unusual ability to foretell undesirable events to come. Though these may be folklore, they may show that animals possibly make psychic connections, or are at least more in tune with their instincts.

Bad Omens

a) Howling

The first of these superstitions is howling. According to folklore, if a dog howled beside a baby’s bed he would have an unhappy life. If it howled outside the house would mean that the owners themselves would meet an unhappy fate.

b) Digging

The next Irish superstition also concerns dogs. It states that if a dog digs up someone’s garden, it foretells pending illness of death.

c) A dog’s sleeping posture

A dog’s sleeping posture is foreboding too. If it sleeps with its tail straight out behind it and with upturned paws, bad news is coming.

Good Omens

e) A black and white dog

Animals point at good fortune as well. If a black and white dog was to cross your path, the business you engage in would be successful.

f) Being followed by a strange dog

And then, if a strange dog follows you, it is a sign of good luck.

3. Stories About Psychic Behavior

A few owners share their stories of their pets’ astounding ability to foretell incidents or make unusual mental connections.

1. Ginny the dog

Ginny’s owner, who stays unnamed, shares that her dog has can tell exactly when she is about to take it for a walk without any cues from her. She claims that her thinking about it is enough to get the dog to start barking joyfully.

To make it impossible for the dog to pick up signals from herself, she left the dog in the garden behind closed windows and doors. Without any movement or cue from her, he behaves crazily out or delight and expectation.

2. Bo the Cat

T, the owner of Bo the cat, shares that she once stayed with friends to save on transport costs. Her friends told her that Bo knew when she was about to come home and would, a few minutes before her arrival, wait at the window.

What was odd is that she did not come home from work at the same time every day. She often worked extra hours at the office and these varied considerably. T did not accustom her cat to any particular time.

3. Toby the Dog

An owner shares her experience with Toby, her little dog. Toby once prevented her from going out the door. The usually reticent dog pushed, blocked and leaned on the door to prevent her from going out. Frustrated with the behavior, she locked Toby in the kitchen.

She was, an hour later, involved in a horrific accident that involved a fractured neck and right arm.

4. Cats expressing displeasure at their owner’s choice of partners

Owner Susan shares that her cats tell her what they think of her cheating husband. When her husband was having an affair, they shifted their sleeping positions to sleep around her.

They also deliberately slept on his chest, which he hated intensely. They also started peeing in his shoes.



A huge thank you to those who answered the question “Do you believe that animals are psychic”?

Whether animals can make psychic connections stays debatable. However, most agree that animals are, at least, more in tune with their instincts than we are.


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are correct: animals DO have a strong sixth sense. Just because they cannot speak, they are able to allow their other sense to take over, and many times, it has been a good thing. They have saved a large number of people and other animals from harm.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      They can, Dianna!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Animals sense much more than humans at times. They can bring so much peace to a home. I miss our pets much and some day hope to have another in our home.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Kalli!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Dealforaliving!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Sharing this again, Travmaj!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Travmaj!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Chitrangada!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary. It's strange how they just know!

    • travmaj profile image


      6 years ago from australia

      Interesting subject Michelle and covered well. Of course I believe that animals are psychic or certainly sense things we don't..I was watching a show on TV - dogs were left at home with a CC camera - their owners had to leave and shop or lunch or whatever. The owners were told when they could leave for home. In all these scenarios as soon as the owners prepared to leave shops, restaurants, etc for home the dogs at home knew. The cameras picked up their reactions, and it was quite clear. Amazing. Hi to Misty and Cloudy, they know!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful hub about animal behavior!

      I know that the animals are the first one to know, if there is going to be an earthquake.

      Very well done and informative article! Voted up!

    • manatita44 profile image


      6 years ago from london

      It is known that they tend to be able to sense Tsumani's, hurricanes,weather patterns,etc. Interesting article. Much peace.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I so agree Michelle! I can't even open the drawer my dog's leash is in, he immediately starts jumping around ready for his walk. If my husband an I talk about going on a trip my dog immediately sits in his crate, ready to go.

      So many instances we all have. Well done Michelle and fun to read.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      I am certain that she does, Mary !

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rasma!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Devika!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      They probably did, Stephanie!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      It was spooky indeed, Sha. Fortunately, it was a one-time event.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Glad you liked it, Boutiqueshop!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Wonderful hub. My dogs always seem to know when things are about to happen...they bark, stare out the window. They are amazing creatures.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Nick Deal 

      6 years ago from Earth

      I really think more research should be done in this area. Maybe we're missing a big opportunity to learn from our pets?

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for sharing your insights about our pets. My dog (a Westie like yours) will sit and look at me as if he is trying so hard to send me messages. If I am still and pay attention to him, I can usually get a flash of what he is trying to tell me. Is that telepathy or just that we have a great bond? I don't know, but it works. He has no premonitions about storms, however. He only reacts when the storm is booming right over us.

      Vote up and interesting.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I've always wished we had a way of better understanding of our dog's senses. They really do seem to know what we are thinking; it is uncanny at times. I'm convinced my dog, Baby, knows what I am thinking sometimes!!

      Great Hub. Voted UP, and shared.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. I really believe animals have incredible powers. Our cat Sid will already start to get nervous before the first rumble of thunder is heard. He'll come inside just before the first raindrops fall and so on. I always know what's going on rain or shine all I need is to consult Sid.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Amazing about animals and you have a great sense of their behaviors.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      6 years ago from USA

      It's sometimes difficult to separate old wives tales and superstitions from truth about pets' psychic abilities, but I do believe that some animals have extrasensory abilities. I had a cat who I firmly believe tried to communicate with me telephathically when he was lost for several months. Interesting hub!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, and your thoughts, on this important issue. I'm sure we'll continue to learn more, as time goes by.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Michelle, that's so spooky that your dogs reacted when you were in that eerie website. It's almost like the spirits were given a window into your home. Did the incident ever occur again once you shut down the website?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe animals are light years beyond anything humans have in the way of senses....great topic for discussion here.

    • boutiqueshops profile image


      6 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      Having had cats all my life and now a happily confirmed crazy dog lady, I've always known that our animals bond with us beyond the physical realm. Enjoyed your anecdotes. :)

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      On animals's unusual senses.


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