Cats and dogs can sense ghosts, spirits and other supernatural beings. Saleen and Jake answer your questions about pets detecting ghosts.
Can dogs and cats detect ghosts?
Saleen: Yes, they can. I haven’t read a scientific article about it yet, but animals can be more sensitive to ghosts and spirits than people. That includes psychics and mediums, too. Jake and I have both had experiences where our pets noticed the ghosts before we did.
Do dogs and cats have psychic abilities like people?
Saleen: I’m not sure if it’s psychic, but it could be their enhanced senses. They can sense subtle changes in vibrations, smells and sounds. I read an article on Animal Planet with an animal psychologist. She seemed to think pets do have forms of ESP like people do.
Jake: I think it’s their enhanced senses, too. Dogs, cats and other animals can detect earthquakes before they happen. I’m sure they can notice the change in temperatures and vibrations when a ghost manifests.
Do dogs and cats react differently when they detect ghosts?
Saleen: I’ve seen three types of reactions from cats. First, they may hiss, put their ears back, and stare at the place where a ghost manifests. Second, they look over at the area with the ghost, shake their heads a little, and go back to what they were doing. Third, they could try to hide. They won’t give much notice and hop off the bed or couch, and run away to a safe place.
Jake: I’ve got dogs, so I’ll take the canine angle. For dogs, I find them to be cautious when they sense spirits. I’ve seen them lower their ears, slowly walk up to the ghost with their heads down, slightly wagging their tails. It’s like they’re meeting a new doggy playmate and they don’t know what to make of the new pooch. They could also growl and bark like the spirit is a stranger approaching their house.
If they recognize the ghost, then they may greet it like they do for you when you get home from work. If it’s not a human spirit, they can be very aggressive and want to attack it, or they’ll curl their tails under their belly and run away like a kicked puppy.
Have you had any personal experiences with your dog or cat?
Saleen: Yes, it was just over a year ago. I rented a house built in the 1890s in suburban Chicago. It had a funeral parlor where the living room is now. One morning, I woke up to find my cats hiding under my dresser. Then, the room shifted and a residual haunting happened of a man and woman fighting over silly things that married couples argue about. Once it ended, they came out from under the dresser, jumped on the bed, and snuggled with me.
Jake: It happened right before I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. Saleen and I were running an EVP/Tarot card session, when Wally, my German Shepherd, reacted to something. He stood up and went in my living room, turned to the corner by the master bedroom, and just went berserk on something. He was growling, barking, his hair went up, and he tried to get into the bedroom.
When we played back the digital recording, there was demonic laughing right before Wally had his barking fit.
What are some protection techniques you can use for your pets?
Saleen: I say a little protection prayer before I leave for an investigation and ask God to protect myself, home and cats before I go. I have used herbs to protect their room from time-to-time.
Jake: After Wally went crazy on a spirit, I burned asafetida and put angelica in the corners of the condo to drive out whatever was in the house. If I’m really worried about something following me home, I’ll pour Oil of Abramelin around my dogs’ crates.
And, I never have boxwood around my pets. It’s highly poisonous to them.
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about the paranormal in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.