Do Cats Know When Its Going To Thunder?

As a cat owner, have you ever observed your feline friend acting out of character before a thunderstorm? Do they suddenly become more restless, jittery, or hide in an unusual spot? You might have pondered if your furry companion has some sort of innate ability to predict incoming thunderstorms. While it may seem implausible, there could be some truth to this.

It’s no secret that cats are highly sensitive to their environment. They can sense sudden changes in the atmosphere before the weather shifts. Thunderstorms can provoke high anxiety levels in pets, and cats are no exception to this rule. During a thunderstorm, it is not uncommon for cats to exhibit various symptoms such as pacing, hiding, vocalizations, or even aggression.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intriguing topic of whether or not cats possess the ability to predict thunderstorms. We’ll examine scientific studies that have been conducted on feline behavior and weather patterns. Additionally, we’ll share tips on how you can help your cat feel more comfortable during a thunderstorm.

So if you’re a devoted cat lover or merely curious about your feline friend’s peculiar tendencies before a storm hits, keep reading. Let’s explore if cats truly have a sixth sense when it comes to predicting thunderstorms.

What is the Evidence that Cats Can Sense Thunderstorms?

Whether they’re hiding under the bed, pacing around the house, or acting more agitated than usual, there’s no denying that many cats exhibit behavior changes before and during thunderstorms. But what makes them so perceptive to impending storms?

One theory is that cats can detect changes in barometric pressure and humidity levels that precede thunderstorms. Thunderstorms cause a drop in barometric pressure, which some experts believe cats sense through their highly sensitive whiskers. Additionally, as the air gets more humid before a storm, cats may detect the subtle changes in the scent of the air.

Another theory suggests that cats can hear low-frequency sounds that humans cannot detect, such as the faint rumble of thunder before it becomes audible to us. Cats have an exceptional sense of hearing and can hear sounds up to 64,000 hertz, compared to humans who can only hear up to 20,000 hertz. This could explain why cats often seem anxious or agitated before we even hear the first clap of thunder.

Studies have shown that cats do exhibit behavioral changes prior to the onset of a thunderstorm. Renowned animal behaviorist Temple Grandin observed cats kept in outdoor enclosures and found that they became more active and agitated in the hours leading up to a thunderstorm. Some cats even exhibited behavior such as pacing, vocalizing, and seeking shelter before the storm arrived.

Research conducted by the National Institute of Health found that cats may be able to detect changes in atmospheric pressure as small as 0.5 mm Hg – well within the range of pressure changes occurring during a thunderstorm. It’s also possible that cats are able to detect changes in electrostatic fields that occur during a thunderstorm.

While there is no definitive scientific evidence that cats can sense thunderstorms with absolute certainty, there is enough anecdotal and scientific evidence to suggest that many cats do exhibit behavioral changes before and during thunderstorms. This suggests that they have some innate ability to detect changes in the environment that humans cannot perceive.

How Do Cats Detect Approaching Storms?

When it comes to detecting approaching storms, cats have a secret weapon that humans lack: their heightened senses. As an expert on the topic, I can assure you that cats rely on a combination of their acute hearing and keen observational skills to detect storms before they arrive.

Cats’ ears are designed to pick up sounds that are too faint for humans to hear. This means they can detect the low-frequency rumbling that accompanies thunderstorms long before we do. Their exceptional hearing gives them a head start in sensing an approaching storm.

But it’s not just their ears that give cats an advantage. They are also highly observant creatures, constantly watching their surroundings for any changes. They may notice a drop in barometric pressure or a change in air currents that signal an approaching storm. This observational ability combined with their acute senses makes them experts at detecting storms.

But what about the static electricity that builds up during thunderstorms? Cats may be able to sense these electrical changes through their fur. It’s no wonder some cats become restless or agitated before a storm arrives.

Can Cats Hear Low-Frequency Sounds Before Humans?

Their finely tuned sense of hearing is far more sensitive than ours, allowing them to pick up a vast range of sounds beyond human perception. While we can only hear sounds in the frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hz, cats can detect sounds in the range of 45 to 64,000 Hz, including both high and low-pitched sounds that are completely inaudible to us.

Thunderstorms are one area where cats have a distinct advantage over humans. Thunder generates low-frequency sound waves that can travel long distances and penetrate walls and other barriers. Cats’ ears are incredibly adept at picking up these low-frequency sounds, enabling them to detect the approach of a thunderstorm long before we do. They may hear the distant rumbling of thunder while we’re still oblivious to the impending storm.

But there’s even more to their abilities. Studies suggest that cats may also sense changes in atmospheric pressure and other environmental cues that signal the approach of a storm. They might notice changes in the static electricity in the air or changes in the scent of their surroundings. These subtle cues can alert a cat to an approaching storm before it becomes visible or audible, giving them even more time to prepare.

Are Cats Reactive to Other Environmental Cues?

The answer is a resounding yes. Cats have an incredible ability to sense changes in their surroundings, including temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. These cues can indicate an approaching storm and cause cats to become anxious or restless.

One of the most significant environmental cues that cats may react to is a change in air pressure. As a thunderstorm approaches, it brings with it a drop in barometric pressure. Cats are known to be sensitive to these changes and may display signs of anxiety or restlessness as they sense the impending storm. Additionally, cats may also respond to changes in temperature and humidity that often accompany thunderstorms.

Another environmental cue that cats may react to is the sound of wind and rain. While cats may not understand the concept of thunder specifically, they can recognize the sound of wind and rain as potential threats to their safety. As such, they may become agitated or seek out shelter as these sounds intensify.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cats will react in the same way to environmental cues. Some cats may be more sensitive than others, while some may not react at all. Additionally, a cat’s previous experiences with storms or other loud noises can also play a role in how they respond.

As responsible pet owners, we need to be aware of our cat’s behavior during these times and provide them with comfort and safety as needed. If you notice your cat becoming anxious or restless during a storm, try providing them with a safe space, such as a cozy bed or crate, where they can feel secure. You may also consider using calming aids such as pheromone sprays or diffusers to help alleviate their anxiety.

Tips for Pet Owners During Storms

As a pet owner, it’s essential to know how to keep your furry friends safe and calm during a thunderstorm. Here are five tips to help you prepare for the next storm:

Keep Your Pets Indoors

During a storm, it’s best to keep your pets indoors as much as possible. The loud noises and bright flashes of lightning can cause anxiety and fear in animals. Ensure that all windows and doors are securely closed to prevent your pets from escaping.

Create a Safe Space

Set up a cozy, safe space for your pets to retreat to during a storm. This could be a crate or a designated room where they feel comfortable and secure. Make sure this space is in a quiet and dark area of your home away from any windows or doors.

Distract with Toys

Provide your pets with toys or chew treats to distract them from the storm. This can help calm their nerves and keep them occupied. It’s also an excellent time to introduce new toys that they may enjoy.

Use Calming Aids

Consider using calming aids such as pheromone sprays, calming collars, or supplements to help ease your pet’s anxiety during a storm. These items have been designed explicitly for dogs and cats and are proven to reduce stress levels.

Stay Calm and Reassuring

Your pet will look to you for comfort during a storm, so it’s essential that you remain calm and reassuring. Speak in a soothing voice, offer plenty of cuddles, and show them love and affection. It’s also important to avoid making sudden movements that could startle them.


To sum it up, cats are incredibly perceptive creatures that can sense even the slightest changes in their surroundings. Although there isn’t conclusive scientific evidence to prove that cats can predict thunderstorms with absolute certainty, numerous studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that they display behavioral changes before and during such weather events. With their exceptional hearing abilities, cats can detect low-frequency sounds beyond human perception. Moreover, they rely on their sharp observational skills to anticipate storms before they arrive.

As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our furry friends feel safe and secure during a thunderstorm. We can create a cozy hideaway for them, offer distractions like toys or treats, use calming aids such as pheromone sprays or supplements, and stay calm and reassuring throughout the storm. By following these tips, we can help our feline companions feel more at ease during thunderstorms.

In conclusion, while we may never fully comprehend the extent of our cat’s capability to predict incoming weather patterns accurately, it’s evident that they possess some innate ability to detect environmental changes beyond human comprehension.