Society

Your Cat Might Be An Expert Meteorologist

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Cats are good at a lot of things landing on their feet, looking abnormally adorable, making blooper videos, and eliciting high-pitch voices from women. According to 19th-century Army Lt. H.H.C. Dunwoody, our feline friends also have quite a practical skill up their sleeves … err, paws, as well: predicting the weather.

In an 1883 book entitled "Weather Proverbs," Dunwoody touted cats as a more reliable way to predict the weather than meteorologists. 131 years later, many of us are still left awkwardly dressed and ill-prepared for weather our local meteorologists failed to predict.

According to Dunwoody, we shouldn’t be looking to people for weather advice. We need to look at animals. Though he lists a number of animals who display certain behaviors prior to inclement weather, he placed an emphasis on the prophetic abilities of cats.

“Cats have the reputation of being weather wise," Dunwoody wrote. "It is almost universally believed that good weather may be expected when the cat washes herself, but bad when she licks her coat against the grain, or washes her face over her ears or sits with her tail to the fire."

Here, according to Dunwoody, is how to interpret weather forecasts from your little kitty:

  • - When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
  • - When a cat scratches itself, or scratches on a log or tree, it indicates approaching rain.
  • - The cardinal point to which a cat turns and washes her face after a rain shows the direction from which the wind will blow.
  • - When cats lie on their heads with mouths turned up, expect a storm.
  • - When cats are snoring, foul weather follows.

The next time your cat does this, you'll know she isn't looking for attention. She's telling you to grab your raincoat:

Sources: NPR, Time