Cat's Ears Answer
Wed Sep 01, 2004
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Hi, I’m Bryan Yeaton, and this is The Weather Notebook. Last month, we posed a
Brainstorm about whether it will rain within 24 hours if you spot a cat cleaning behind
According to Laura Hayden: My cat has no sensibilities with regard to meteorology.
Here’s Stephen Moore from Sharon, Vt.: By profession, I am a veterinary technician,
and I have known literally thousands of cats, and I never noticed any conjunction with
the rain and their behavior. But I would have to say cats regularly clean themselves,
and I would guess that it’s coincidence.
Meteorologist and cat lover, Maj. Paul Niesen of Montgomery, Ala., writes that he has
found no scientific pattern. If you want a good forecast, he says, ask his
But Denise King of Moultonboro, N.H., says that her cats do a "rain sleep": Cat sleeps
on its back, somewhat in a semicircle with its stomach exposed up toward the sky. It
always seems to rain when the cats rain sleep.
Natalie Mauller: My name is Natalie Mauller. I’m from Joplin, Mo. I believe I can answer
you question about the issue of a cat licking its ears meaning rain. In fact that has
been the belief for centuries along fishing villages in Europe. Cats are 12 times more
sensitive to changing pressure and temperature than other animals, including dogs.
All cats are different so you should observe yours to see what his specific behavior is.
Mine, for instance, lays on his back with his belly facing the ceiling and twitches his tail.
In 24 hours later or less than that it rains. He's never been wrong.
The National Weather Service will not comment about the use of cats in forecast
offices, although our cat on the summit—Nin—is perfect at predicting dinnertime. The
Weather Notebook is a program of the Mount Washington Observatory, funded by
Subaru of America.
For more information, try the following book: "Your Incredible Cat: Understanding the
Secret Powers of Your Pet," by David Greene.
Mount Washington Cats: