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How can bad weather affect my cat? Learn some simple facts

By Daniel Mar Journalist

Updated on the

Cats can predict bad weather because they have an incredible capacity to detect barometric pressure changes just like a barometer!

Cats are magnificent creatures! In fact, there are very few animals in the world with their capacity to sense bad weather. In a way, your cat can become a lively barometer. When cats sense severe weather changes on the way, they tend to react in several ways.

Generally, cats try to flee to small, enclosed spaces or they frantically groom their faces. These behaviours might seem strange, but you should interpret them for what they are: a weather forecast!

Cats have predicted bad weather for centuries

It has been written in many historic journals, that cats were used by sailors before the 18th century to predict bad weather. Nevertheless, back then, sailors also thought that cats were actually causing the storms through magic “stored” in their tails! A few centuries later, scientists were finally able to prove that cats can perceive shifts in barometric pressure (just like a barometer). Furthermore, they can also feel changes in atmospheric pressure! If you asked me, having a cat at home is just like having your very own Stevenson’s Screen in your yard.

How does it work?

As you know, storms form when warm and cold air systems collide thus forcing warm air upwards and cold air downwards. Warm air rises because it is very dense and heavy, so it needs to cool off. As it starts to do so, it creates condensation that in turn, transforms cloud into storms. Since cats have always been natural predators in their food chains, they have enhanced senses. These allow them to be in tune with their environment. That is why cats can easily feel when bad weather is on the way.

Are cats afraid of bad weather?

Cats are not exactly thrilled with water or noises. But it isn’t fair to say that they are afraid of rainy days. They simply prefer (just like dogs do) to stay inside. Cats hate getting wet! But then again, we have seen this whenever we are trying to bathe them. Cats dislike water due to many reasons like:

  1. Cat’s top fur is water resistant so when they get wet, their fur can become waterlogged. This makes them heavier than usual which is very uncomfortable when they move.
  2. Cats don’t like getting wet especially when it is cold. Many cat owners don’t know this but their fur is very effective in insulation for both the cold and the heat. Therefore if a cat gets wet when it is cold, she/he will lose body heat and may become hypothermic.
  3. Cats are afraid of thunder. They tend to hide under beds or cabinets until thunders stop. The reason behind it is that cats are afraid of loud noises. Since they have an amazing sensitive hearing ability, a high pitch noise can be disruptive. Cats can actually hear up to 65kHz (two octaves more than humans)!

How to calm your cat?

Your attitude is the key element when calming down your cat. These pets can pick up your energy. If you are anxious about the storm, they will get anxious too. By staying calm, you will help your feline friend feel safer. You can also comfort them by playing with toys. This can distract them from the bad weather.

Take into consideration these advices and try to make bad weather as manageable for your cat as you can. Try to provide a safe, cozy hideaway and distract them as best you can.

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