We all know that a bad storm can put your cat on edge. Let’s talk about how and why different types of weather can affect your cat’s mood and behavior.
Noise is one of the main reasons your cats and kittens will freak out when a storm comes. All of the heavy rain, thunder, lightning, and high winds can cause a lot of scary noise. Cats have hyper-sensitive hearing and are good at pinpointing the direction they are coming. However, it can be overwhelming, especially if they are indoors and cannot quite see what is going on. Storms give your kitty anxiety and put them in a very fearful mood.
Cats hate getting wet, mainly because wet fur is very uncomfortable and takes forever to dry. Wet fur is heavy and makes it harder for a cat to naturally move around or run in the case of bad weather! Some cats enjoy playing with water but will stay clear of a rainstorm.
Since cat’s sense of smell is so strong – they can tell the difference between water from the tap and natural water. In other words, they can smell the rain coming.
Sensing the Future?
Humans have been curious and thankful for animals’ reactions to weather and natural disasters for thousands of years. It meant a warning of what might come long before we could check the temperature on the news or our phones. Cats can sense impending earthquakes, and historically it has been documented that they have for as long as we have observed and domesticated them. However, it is an unexplained phenomenon – though perhaps that they have a psychic ability. Survival instincts also kick in, and cats tend to become anti-social and hide before a disaster.
The folklore of weather and cats
Superstitions have caused a lot of people to believe that cats have some control over the weather – unfairly including the following:
- If a cat busily washed its ears in Britain or Wales, it was believed it would rain
- If a cat clawed at carpet and curtains, that meant in Holland they were forecasting wind
- In the early days of America – people thought bad weather was coming if a cat sat with its back to the fire or if it slept with all paws tucked under
- Sailors believed that if a cat sneezed, it would rain, and if it licked its fur against the grain, a hailstorm was coming
As we know, it is more likely that the cat’s mood and behavior changed before a rainstorm because a cat’s senses are much stronger than ours – including hearing, sight, smell, and sensing things are changing in their environment. In other words, your cat hears the thunder before you do and can smell the metallic odor of lightning before you see it.
How to help your cat during a storm
If you find that a storm has made your cat anxious and fearful – you need to remain calm yourself, which will help your cat feel calmer. Distracting your cat during a storm with stimulating games or a petting session can help as well. Always have a safe place for your cat to retreat to anytime they feel wary of the world – but especially someplace to feel secure when a storm arrives.