Ever get a weird tingle at the back of your neck when you catch a cat staring at you from across the room? You’re not alone. Millions of people, even cat lovers, find the unflinching gaze of a cat a little unsettling. As it would happen, this reaction can be explained through science.A recent study at the
Sloof Lirpa Institute
in Brussels shows that all members of the family Felidae, from tigers to tabbies, are capable of low levels of telepathy - or mind reading.
How The Study Worked
Tests were administered on a number of cat species at the
Planckendael Animal Park
outside Brussels, from lynxes to lions. Researchers would have the cats stare at them while thinking of a specific thing - like a color, shape, direction, or action.Meanwhile, sensors were placed on the cats to collect a reading on their vitals, like heart rate, blood pressure, and body temp. While things like colors or shapes did not register a definitive response, when the researcher thought of a direction or action,
87% of the time
the cats would display an appropriate response.For example, if the researcher thought of running off to the left, the cat would tense up and become focused as if ready to chase. On the other hand, if the researcher thought about laying down or sleeping, the
cat’s body would relax
as well.Acting as a control for the study were dogs, wolves, bears, and other
non-feline predatory mammals
. Their responses, however, were much less exciting, showing unique responses to thoughts only
1 out of every 30 times
What This Means for Cat Owners
"Are you really thinking THAT?!"
While your cat isn't exactly capable of
superhero levels of mind reading
, they are able to accurately predict your movements before they occur. So if you ever wondered why your cat jumps down off your lap right before you were about to get up, it is because
they sensed your intentions
.It is also thought to be a big component in what makes cats the expert predators they are. The ability to tell what their prey is going to do before they make a move gives them a distinct leg up on other predators. Imagine playing basketball with someone who could tell if you were going to pass, dribble, or shoot before you even had the ball. That would make for some
Worried? Don’t Be!
Sure, your cat can accurately predict when you are going to stand up, sit down, run, walk, or jump. But what can they really do with that information?
.While you really have nothing to worry about in terms of your cat reading your mind, if you are concerned,
there are a few tricks
the researchers picked up that can help mask your thoughts from your cat.
While not a perfect cloak, wearing sunglasses did reduce the efficacy of the cats’ ESP by around 70%. Same with any other garment that blocks your eyes.
Hold a Magnet
The study also showed that if the researcher held a strong enough magnet, the cats were
unable to predict their thoughts
. They believe the magnetic field interferes with their telepathy somehow, although the mechanics behind their abilities are still largely unknown.
Empty Your Mind
Pretty simple in theory, but difficult in practice. If you can clear your mind of all thought, then your cat has nothing to read. Thich Nhat Hanh's
The Miracle of Mindfulness
is a great read for those looking to clear their mind and protect their thoughts from cats.
Think of Something Scary
If you are unable to clear your mind, the next best thing is to think of something that would scare the cat. This seems to distract them long enough for you to think about something else without fear of being cat-scanned.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read
On a more serious note, here are some actual facts on the subject -
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you telepathically communicate with your cat?
According to some beliefs, it is possible to telepathically communicate with your cat. Cats can communicate with humans through a heart-to-heart connection. This heart-to-heart connection is popularly known as the heart chakra. Since cats lack the same cognitive functions as humans, the relationship between a human and a cat needs to be more emotional and primitive. Thus comes the need for a heart-to-heart connection.
Why do I have such a connection with my cat?
You can have a strong connection with your cat for many reasons. It could be that you hold the cat very dear to yourself. It is also possible that over time, your cat and you have grown extremely fond of each other. Because of that, there exists mutual respect and love between the two of you where you both know how to respect each other’s boundaries. You might even hold a special attachment to your cat.
How do you connect with animals spiritually?
Yes, you can connect with animals spiritually. This will depend on the bond that exists between you and the animal. In most cases, there needs to be a feeling of mutual love and respect between you two. You two must also respect each other’s boundaries. You are here connecting at a soul level since it is impossible to communicate with animals verbally or even via actions most times. Therefore, in most situations, you must connect with animals spiritually via your heart chakra, which means through a heart-to-heart connection that is to be built over time.
Can cats read your mind?
No, cats cannot read your mind. However, they can read your body language and your actions. Over time, they can understand what you are saying as well. This does not follow a normal procedure. Cats cannot understand human language. Therefore, they rely on your body language, your actions, your mouth movements, facial expressions, etc. to determine what you are telling them or trying to communicate to them.
Can cats sense depression in humans?
Yes, it has been observed that cats can sense depression, along with other moods, in humans. Cats are very observant and intuitive. Because of this, they can understand the emotional cues they get from humans. This is how they can sense depression in humans.
Can cats sense people's intentions?
Yes, cats can sense people’s intentions. They do so by closely observing the human’s body language and facial expressions. A cat can easily determine whether or not someone is there to harm it or be friends with it.