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How Do Cats Act Before an Earthquake?

Updated: August 9, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Since many centuries ago it has been believed that animals have a mysterious sense in that they can feel an earthquake before it’s happening. The cat is one of these animals that seem to have that sense, but since they don’t talk, decoding the signal means interpreting their behavior.

So how do cats act before an earthquake? They can’t simply let us know that something will happen but they might act in peculiar ways that may give us a clue that something is not alright. And sometimes, that is just what we need to make a dash to somewhere safe.

Science or Supernatural?

There are a lot of stories of cats and other animals acting in weird ways just before an earthquake and while some of them are just that, anecdotes, there have been enough examples throughout history that made scientists try to study the behavior of animals in such cases.

While some people in various cultures around the world might believe that cats have sort of a magical sense that lets them know when an earthquake might hit, seismologists and researchers have a theory that says our little feline friends are actually able to feel the initial vibrations in the ground that we, humans can’t possibly feel. The primary waves, as they’re called, occur before the earthquake itself, and it’s what most animals can sense.

Some scientists say that there are even electromagnetic field variations that are generated by the underground movement of the earth that the animals can also feel.

So that might just be the answer to why animals feel the earthquake before it happens. In some cases though, when the initial tectonic waves aren’t present, those little furry friends of ours haven’t been able to predict what was coming, so this might be enough of a clue for those who believe in that magical sense of felines.

So How Do Cats Act Before an Earthquake?

As with most animals, cats react with fear to those initial warnings of the earth, causing them to have all kinds of bizarre behavior.

Most of the time they seem to either try to escape the house or hide under something like the furniture to comfort and protect themselves. Other behaviors include excessive whining and meowing, trotting around for no apparent reason, or even staying around you more than they usually do. Anything that you notice about your little furry friend that he or she doesn’t usually do might indicate that an earthquake is imminent.

At the same time, take into consideration the fact that he might also be injured or have a medical condition that you don’t know about that may lead to the same peculiar behaviors and the fact that out of all detectable earthquakes that take place each year, only around 20 percent are felt by us, and an even smaller percent cause any damage at all.

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