Is animal telepathy real? For many years, dog trainers and pet owners have been speaking of various cases of inexplicable insight in animals, looking like they might have telepathic abilities. Unfortunately, this topic has not been studied enough and tends to be considered pseudoscientific, while researchers and parapsychologists are more focused on humans.
According to sample research in England and the United States, many pet owners believe that their animals sometimes communicate with them telepathically. On average, 69% of dog owners and 48% of cat owners claim that their pets respond to their thoughts and silent commands. Many horse trainers and riders believe that horses are able to understand their intentions telepathically.
Some pets seem to know who is calling before the telephone rings. For example, when the phone rang in the house of a famous professor of the University of California at Berkeley, his wife knew that it was her husband at the other end of the line because their cat rushed to the phone.
“When I pick up the phone, the cat meows. If someone else calls, the cat does not react. It meowed even when my husband called home from Africa or South America“, she said.
Experiments reveal the unexplained abilities of animals
Researcher Rupert Sheldrake has conducted a series of experiments with hundreds of animal trainers, blind people with guide dogs, veterinarians, and pet owners since 1994. He explored some of the unexplained abilities of animals and divided them into three main categories:
- animal telepathy
- sense of direction
Often pets know when their owner is coming home. You may have noticed that your cat is hiding when you are going to take it to the vet. Your dog might look excited when you are planning to take it for a walk. Of course, some of these phenomena can be explained by conventional expectations, subtle sensory signals, random coincidences, and selective memory or imagination of caring pet owners. This is a reasonable hypothesis but requires to be confirmed experimentally.
Dr. Sheldrake and his colleagues focused on the study of the ability of dogs to know when their owners are coming home. Many pet owners say their animals are anticipating the arrival of a family member 10 or more minutes before he/she comes.
Animals are usually waiting at the door or window. A sample study of households in England and America showed that on average 51% of dog owners and 30% of cat owners said they noticed this behavior in their pets.
In a series of experiments with a terrier named Jaytee, owned by Pam Smart from Ramsbottom (near Manchester, England), the pet was responding to the intention of his owner to come home even when she was miles away or was returning unexpectedly. Jaytee was waiting not only when Pam was coming in her car, but also when she was coming in other vehicles: bicycle, train, taxi.
Dr. Sheldrake also conducted experiments in which Pam was returning unexpectedly, just after leaving home. In these experiments, Jaytee was still waiting at the window, though no one knew she was coming back. The data show that Jaytee reacted to Pam’s intention to return home even when she was many miles away.
So is animal telepathy real?
According to Dr. Sheldrake, animal telepathy seems the only hypothesis that can explain these phenomena. However, the scientific community doesn’t look convinced, and Dr. Sheldrake’s studies have been criticized by many scholars. As such, professor Susan Blackmore says that Sheldrake based his evidence on the comparison of 12 tests of random duration to the initial experiments where specific patterns of the pet owner’s journeys were present, and thus, the dog could have reacted to them.
In any case, animals are certainly sensitive and intelligent enough to respond to their owners’ behavior in unexpected ways, but the concept of animal telepathy is still questionable.
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