Cats and Weather: Are They More Reliable than Doppler Radar?

Have you ever checked the weather forecast, particularly during the winter months, and then braced yourself for an impending snow storm that never came?  Sure, predicting the weather can be a challenge, and weather forecasters across the county are often victims of harsh criticism when their predictions are way off-base. It’s not an easy job. Perhaps there is someone in your home who could predict the weather for you instead:  your cat.

Over the centuries, people have turned to animals for predictions in the weather. Some may call this folklore, but others may hold firm to its accuracy. Animals do behave in odd ways when there is a change in the weather.  For example, roosters will crow in the afternoon before rain.  Cows will start grazing towards shelter before a storm, and pigs may make low noises when a storm is on the horizon. And, you? Well, your arthritic knee might flare up if rains are around the corner.

cats and weather

Behavioral Changes Signal Weather Change

When it comes to cats and weather, they are truly sensitive to changes in the atmosphere, so pay heed! You just have to know how to “listen.” According to, the secret is to understand which odd behavior is indicative of a change in weather. After all, cats have lots of curious behaviors, right?

A docile cat may become hyper or agitated.  An aloof cat may all of a sudden want to snuggle with you.  A social cat may seek a hiding place. An indoor cat may suddenly have the urge to dash out the door.  Those can be warnings signs of a change in the weather.

Sure, stuff like this sounds like an old wives’ tale.  We have Doppler radar now. That is reliable, right? But what did folks do before Doppler? You can bet they might have either turned to their bum knees or a change in their cat’s behavior to determine if the winds were a ‘changing.

Superstitions About Cats and Weather

Here are some superstitions, however, on cats and their ability to predict the weather.  Perhaps some are true; perhaps others are not. You just never know unless you have actually witnessed it…

  • A cat’s tail always points in the direction of the wind.
  • When a cat sneezes once, rain is on the way.
  • If a cat plays with an article of your clothing, such as a sock, then prepare yourself for a heavy storm.
  • When a cat sleeps with his back to the fire, there will be either cold weather, a terrible storm, or snow.
  • f a cat scratches more than usual, warmer weather is on the way.
  • A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under indicates colder air is on the way.
  • If your cat’s pupils widen, expect a change in the weather.
  • If your normally loving cat hisses and scratches, a bad storm is on its way.

So, the next time you listen to your local weather person, confirm and double check the information with your cat!

Does your cat have a behavior that signals a change in the weather?  Leave a comment and let us know, we’d love to hear from you!


Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.