The answer to this question is something that has been taken to study in recent years and that has aroused the curiosity of the scientific community, reaching conclusions, to say the least, can they really predict an earthquake? Let’s go by parts…
Much has been attributed to that sixth sense, capable of perceiving things that we could not even imagine. The result, however, of this almost mystical quality, is nothing more than the great sensory capacity that cats have, thanks to highly developed and evolved senses.
The energy released in an earthquake is radiated in the form of seismic waves, the S waves and P waves. S waves are slow and are the first that humans perceive, transformed into L waves upon reaching the surface.
However, the P (primary) waves are faster and propagate before the earthquake or earthquake has devastating effects.
P waves and cats
The latter are longitudinal waves, which means that the soil compresses and expands in the direction of propagation. They travel at a speed 1.73 faster than S waves and can travel through any type of matter, at a speed of up to 5000 meters per second.
An anticipated reaction of many cats to these signals has been evidenced, and it is that the high sensitivity of the pads of their paws, is prepared to feel minimal variations of the environment, due to their large number of nerve endings. Also the whiskers, which have nerve receptors extremely sensitive to pressure or movement. Both qualities developed for hunting and survival seem fundamental when it comes to perceiving and anticipating external signals, almost imperceptible, such as the previous ones, emitted by earthquakes.
There are recent research studies in another complementary direction and that has to do with the positive ions released, which are produced when rocks rub violently in the water, producing chemical changes in the air, when they come to the surface. They are linked to an increase in serotonin in cats, the hormone responsible for stress and anxiety, when released into the atmosphere.
So although it is to be confirmed, as there is no conclusive research that can affirm it categorically, if everything seems to indicate that cats can anticipate an earthquake, by perceiving signals that exceed the sensory capacity of the human being.