Bordeaux in Grassby Kelene Stockwell, KTVN Channel 2,  Reno, NV

Does your pet act strange moments before an earthquake?

A new Associated Press-Petside.com poll may confirm your suspicions.

It says 72% of dog owners get weather warnings from their pets compared with 66% of cat owners.

The poll adds that 47% of dog owners and 41% of cat owners also have received bad news alerts from their furry friend.

As for responses, the majority of pet owners say their animals hide (64%), whine or cry (56%), or become hyperactive (52%). Only 36% said their pets bark or meow persistently.

It’s long been thought that animals can ‘predict’ earthquakes or other similar natural events. Some scientists theorize it has something to do with an animal’s highly sensitive nose or acute hearing. Still, others theorize animals can detect electrical charges or gas.

National Geographic says the earliest known example of animals’ supposed sixth sense is in 373 B.C. when rats, snakes and weasels left Helice, Greece a few days before an earthquake.

My parents used to have a Scottish Terrier that would act strange before an earthquake. While he didn’t act like this before each quake, it was very noticeable something was up. Their current Westie does the same – although we don’t get many large quakes in northern Nevada.

So, what about other events like death? Remember Oscar – the adopted cat that could ‘predict’ deaths at a Rhode Island nursing home?

Oscar had an uncanny sense of curling up with patients two hours before their deaths. Soon workers notified families’ of impending deaths.Dog Lounging in Kitchen

His amazingly accurate predictions (25+) earned the so-called ‘Furry Angel of Death’ celebrity status with his own Wikipedia page and 2010 book called ‘Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat’ by David Dosa.

Dosa, who’s also a doctor, seems to think dying patients emit a chemical detected only by animals which would explain why Oscar didn’t like to be ushered out of the room when someone was dying.

The same goes for dogs when detecting signs of prostate cancer in urine. A while back French researchers from Hospital Tenon reported that certain types of molecules give off odors animals can only smell. In their study, a trained Belgian Malinois correctly classified 63 of 66 specimens. (Dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses.)

While this particular AP-petside.com poll did not focus on death or cancer, it’s still interesting to note that animals seem to have that sixth sense about life.

The poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications in October and has sampling error of +/-4%.

Article courtesy of FIDO friendly blog