Can cats predict the future?

There are many myths, superstitions, and stories surrounding cats. But oddly enough, facts can be crazier than fiction sometimes. It seems that cats can tell when an earthquake is coming and if someone is close to death, or pregnant.

Cat's keen senses may allow them to sense natural phenomenons like earthquakes and death.
Cat's keen senses may allow them to sense natural phenomenons like earthquakes and death.  © 123rf.com/Veronika Kireeva

Black cats are thought to be omens that signal luck in some cultures, while calico cats are considered lucky in Japan.

But the real stories about cats are even stranger.

Oscar is an adopted cat living at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Provicence, Rhode Island. He made the news for his uncanny ability to sense when the center's residents were about to die. Oscar predicted over 50 deaths, according to Reuters.

Tiny kitten enchants TikTok with cute as a button throwback
Cats Tiny kitten enchants TikTok with cute as a button throwback

Dr. David Dosa, who was the first to share Oscar’s abilities in a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, revealed that the feline was never particularly social as a kitten. In fact, Dosa told Reuters that Oscar bit him the first time he met him. But when the cat was about six months old the staff noticed some fascinating behavior.

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Whenever a resident was approaching the end of their days, Oscar would go into that person's room, lie down on the bed and refuse to leave the room. The cat wanted to be near the person who was dying. It seemed as if he was there to offer comfort to the center's residents who were leaving this life.

There are different theories about why Oscar has these extraordinary abilities. Dosa thought it was because Oscar is attracted to some "pheromone or a scent" that is coming from the dying person.

But death isn't the only natural phenonomon that cats can sense or smell.

Cats can feel and smell changes in their surroundings

No cat skeletons have been found in the ruins of Pompeii to date.
No cat skeletons have been found in the ruins of Pompeii to date.  © 123rf.com/bruno135

Cats have also been known to sense their own time coming to an end. Some of them are said to bid their owners goodbye before going off to take their final breath. It seems that, unlike people, they prefer to spend their last moments alone.

But cats don't just sense death. They seem to be able to predict natural disasters. Witnesses report that a few days before an earthquake, cats and dogs tend to become more restless and want to be near their owners for no apparent reason. They also have a strong urge to flee the area right before an earthquake hits.

A historical fact supporting the idea that cats are great seismographs comes from the legendary case of Pompeii. Not a single cat skeleton has been found in the perfectly preserved ruins of the ancient city, which was buried under ashes and lava after the devastating eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 A.D. More recently, before a gigantic tsunami flooded the coasts of Indonesia and Thailand around Christmas in 2004, many cats were reported to have scurried off.

Wally the "floof wizard" cat gives serious sass and side eye on TikTok
Cats Wally the "floof wizard" cat gives serious sass and side eye on TikTok

According to ParentingFirstCry, cats can also sense if someone is pregnant. Pregnant people tend to have increased body temperature, and their smell changes because of the hormones associated with pregnancy.

So if your cat starts cuddling more often while you're trying to conceive, this might be a good sign!

Cover photo: 123rf.com/Veronika Kireeva

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