Melbourne woman captures moment cat senses impending earthquake

Sep 22, 2021
A cat named Carol is making headlines across the country. Source: Brodie Lancaster/Twitter

A video doing the rounds on social media suggests cats may actually be smarter than we give them credit for.

The video shared to Twitter by Melbourne woman Brodie Lancaster shows the moment her pet cat named Carol realises something’s not quite right.

Earlier today, an 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Victoria with the epicentre in the Alpine National Park around Mt Skene. The tremor was felt across Victoria.

In the video, Carol can be seen playing with a floppy fish toy before momentarily walking away. The cat then comes back into view and begins playfully swatting her fish toy again. Carol then pauses and looks up at her owner. Right on cue, the earthquake begins, and Carol causally walks towards another room and pauses in the doorway.

“Not a joke: the earthquake started as I was filming Carol playing with her new floppy fish toy,” Brodie wrote in the caption. “You can see her notice something’s happening here before I do. I am a dumb woman who thought for a sec *this toy was making the floor shake*.”

Brodie followed up the video with another post showing where a frame had fallen.

“Lucky my cat is smarter than me cos this happened a second later,” she wrote.

Fellow Twitter users were equally impressed by the cat, with @aimeeclarke commenting: “Went to stand in a doorway! Smart.”

@BendigoLioness added: “Wow. I was in bed and my whole room started shaking!”

Meanwhile, @Brigit82642248 offered up an explanation on how the cat knew, writing: “This kitty didn’t ‘sense’ the earthquake coming, she could hear it coming. It makes a deep rumbling sound on approach and her acute hearing must have picked up the sounds.”

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), which provides educational materials about natural hazards, the belief that animals can predict earthquakes has been around for hundreds of thousands of years.

“The earliest reference we have to unusual animal behavior prior to a significant earthquake is from Greece in 373 BC,” the USGS said.

“Rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes reportedly left their homes and headed for safety several days before a destructive earthquake. Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects exhibiting strange behavior anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake.”

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Has your pet ever done something strange like this before?

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