Can cats and other animals sense and predict earthquakes and other extreme weather events?

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Can cats and dogs predict earthquakes and other extreme weather events?

Charlie thinks  “Yes, cats and dogs can predict earthquakes”

Many owners and some scientists believe that yes, animals do sense changes before an earthquake or extreme weather event.

Animals are more sensitive to electro-magnetic changes in the earth.

Animals may detect high-frequency sounds that are emitted prior to earthquakes and tsunamis.

Animals have been observed to flee before the extreme weather events occur.

According to The Daily Mail (article by Sarah Griffiths) March 2015 ‘animals can predict earthquakes’.

Griffiths states that:

  • Animals CAN predict earthquakes: Scientists document behavioural changes with seismic activity.
  • Scientists filmed the behaviour of animals in Peru before an earthquake and found that many fled to lower ground and holed up days before the event.
  • Expert from Anglia Ruskin University said rodents are extra sensitive.
  • Study suggests animals respond to disturbances in the ionosphere.
  • Positive ions in the air lead to disagreeable side effects in animals.

Earthquake rubble

Can cats and other animals predict earthquakes? The earliest reference of unusual animal behaviour before earthquakes.

There is anecdotal evidence of unusual or bizarre behaviour by animals before an earthquake that dates back to 373 BCE in Greece. (According to the US Geological Survey)

The Greeks observed that rats fled from the city of Helice days before the major earthquake struck.

Animal Planet documents theories about how cats and other animals might sense these impending seismic shifts, including the ability to detect the vibrations that occur before an earthquake, known as primary waves (P waves).

 

What do cats, dogs and other animals sense before earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events?

Cats and other animals are more sensitive to earthquake-related electromagnetic field variations.

Dogs have extraordinary hearing and some scientists think that dogs flee from extreme weather events because they can hear the high-frequency sounds that are caused by earthquakes.

Dogs and other animals survived a Tsunami by fleeing before the event.

tsunami

Why do pets show seemingly bizarre behaviour before earthquakes and extreme weather events?

These behaviours are driven by fear and are part of your pets’ natural survival instincts.

Cats and dogs may start exhibiting odd behaviours anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake hits. Scientists question as to whether this behaviour is due to the weather events or other circumstances.

Pet owners’ may be certain themselves that their cat or dog was displaying very unusual behaviours not normally seen.

 

The National Geographic reports that “Sheldrake did his own study looking at animal reactions before major tremors, including the Northridge, California, quake in 1994, and the Greek and Turkish quakes in 1999.

In all cases, he said, there were reports of peculiar behaviour beforehand, including dogs howling in the night mysteriously, caged birds becoming restless, and cats behaving nervously, vocalising and hiding.”

Japan and the study of whether cats and fish can predict earthquakes

Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. The devastation has caused the loss of many lives and left enormous damage to property. Researchers in Japan have studied animals for a long time to try to discover what they hear or feel before the Earth shakes. They hope to use this knowledge to help predict earthquakes in the future.

Mitsuaki Ota, a professor of veterinary science at Azabu University states that “Electromagnetic waves are emitted before an earthquake happens. Animals have the ability to detect these electromagnetic waves,” Ota says. “Actually, the Thais showed that after last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra that not a single animal was killed by the wave. The only answer I can offer for that is that the animals detected the earthquake and then fled to safety.”

 

Companion Animal psychology has an article discussing animals and the prediction of earthquakes in Japan. They document that “Japanese scientists Hiroyuki Yamauchi et al (2014) conducted an internet survey of pet owners. As well as obtaining demographic information about pets, they asked about any unusual behaviour exhibited in the minutes, hours and days prior to the earthquake. The checklist included things like howling and barking (for dogs), vocalizing (for cats), trembling, being restless, and escaping.

Of those who reported unusual behaviours in dogs, they were most commonly observed immediately prior to the earthquake, in the seconds and minutes before it hit (60% of cases). 16.7% said it happened from 1 to a few hours before. In cats with unusual behaviour, 44.6% showed it immediately prior and 30.4% in the few hours before the earthquake. Some owners reported changes 6 or more days before (6.3% of dogs and 2.9% of cats with unusual behaviour).”

The Japanese continue their studies in the hope that our pets may help us to predict future earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events and in doing so, saves lives.

walking tabby cat

References
Yamauchi, H., Uchiyama, H., Ohtani, N., & Ohta, M. (4). Unusual animal behaviour preceding the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan: A way to predict the approach of large earthquakes Animals, 131-145
Kirschvink, Joseph L. (2000). Earthquake Prediction by Animals: Evolution and Sensory Perception, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 90, pp. 312-323.
Quammen, D. (1985). Animals and earthquakes: This World, San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, p. 15-16.
Schaal, Rand B. (1988). An Evaluation of the Animal Behaviour Theory for Earthquake Prediction, California Geology, v41, n2.
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