Last week The Weather Channel posted that cats can predict the weather. It is hard to believe, so research was conducted and petnet.com, answers.yahoo.com, and ezinearticle.com all lent their expertise toward this topic. This old wives’ tale actually seems to be true.
Many animals, in fact have been used by the farmers, etc., to make predictions about the weather and whatnot. Just look at the groundhog for comparison. Before people did not have the technological capabilities like we do today, so they used what they did have. It seemed to work, although there are many skeptics today that still doubt this fact.
Whether these skeptics believer or not, cats and many breeds of dogs have a definite change in behavior; becoming more skittish when they feel the electricity in the air that a storm causes upon its approach and when it arrives. Animal senses are very astute; much more so than our human senses!
When the Weather Channel stated that a cat may indicate that when your cat sneezes that it is a sure sign of rain or when it lies on its back with its mouth open that a storm is surely coming, they were not far from what others believe about a cat licking its coat. Those folk believers were right on the money if they believed that the cat licked its coat before a storm to indicate a storm was coming. Scientifically this can be explained away because when humidity is low during good weather, there is less static electricity in the air, but during the winter season, static electricity builds up due to dry conditions which make a cat’s fur stand straight up. The cat will therefore tend to lick itself before an impending storm so as to keep the static from its fur.
Henry H. C. Dunwoody actually wrote a book in the 19th Century about Weather Proverbs. In it, he concluded that, in addition to the sneezing and lying on the back bits, that:
· The cardinal point to which a cat turns and washes her face after rain shows the direction from which the wind will blow.
· When cats are snoring, foul weather follows.
· It is a sign of rain if the cat washes her head behind her ear.
· When a cat washes her face with her back to the fire, expect a thaw in winter.
While these actions may or may not predict weather, animals are instinctual enough to care for themselves during dangerous weather conditions and have been since the beginning of time or they would not still be in existence. Before animals, like cats, were domesticated (or domesticated themselves), they were on their own to make it – or not.
Scientists concur that many actions are helpful when making one prediction or another. But, hey, what do they know, right?
So, you can make the determination as to whether or not you believe that your cat is a better weatherman than most. If they predict warmer, sunnier weather, you should keep them though!