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Why are dogs afraid of thunder and cats not?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 03:58 pm
Unless cats just think it's applause?



We had a massive thunderstorm last night (and RAIN, Msolga...which will hopefully get to you!)...and the cat and I were out on the balcony enjoying it.

It made me think of how often I have watched storms with various of my cats, and how they have seemed to really enjoy them, except, occasionally, a crack of doom sort of thunder right above us, which has made me jump, too.

My current cat is the most timid I have ever had, and even she doesn't mind storms...while most dogs are cowering messes.




 
View best answer, chosen by dlowan
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:14 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Why are dogs afraid of thunder and cats not?

We had a cat that would hide under our bed when there was thunder. So, I think, like everything else, there are exceptions.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:19 pm
@Reyn,
You WOULD have a damn mutant cat!!!

Very Happy

Perhaps it's Siamese who aren't afraid of thunder?


But again, why?

They're little furry domesticated predators like dogs.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:31 pm
@dlowan,
I think it's just the loud volume of the noise. During the second week of August every year, he didn't used to like the jets from our local airshow roaring over our roof either.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:34 pm
@dlowan,
Off hand I can not think of one of our family dogs or cats over the decades that had a problem with thunder.

I am sure that there are such dogs and cats but from my life of 6 decades it is not common for either dogs or cats to fear thunder.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:36 pm
@Reyn,
Well, the jets were way too much for my cats!!!'
Having a hornet buzz you at just a few feet (as used to happen when I lived very near our Grand Prix track) was way too much!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:37 pm
@BillRM,
Now we have mutant dogs!

I have never come across a dog not fearful of thunder.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:47 pm
@dlowan,
I have never come across a dog not fearful of thunder.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hmm, I been counting the family dogs in my head and had reach the number of 11 and I had live in both the Jersey Shore and south Florida areas both known for great lighting storms and I can not for the life of me remember any of the dogs reacting badly to those storms.

I know I had always hear that dogs tend to fear thunder I just had not seen it myself.

Side note I been in all kind of weather with my pets even going through Hurricane Andrew a cat 5 storm with my dog press against my back laying in a hallway and the cats complaining in the off hallway bathroom.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:48 pm
@BillRM,
I have no doubt.

Perhaps the frequency of storms de-sensitized them as wee pups?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:54 pm
@dlowan,
My theory is that dogs' may have a greater sensitivity (hearing wise) then cats. La Neige, my former husky was deeply affected by thunder. Even before we humans knew a thunderstorm was coming, she would become anxious and start walking pacing around.

During the worst storms, she would try to find the farthest place to lie down, away from the windows and since it was a New York apartment, there really wasn't any place for her to go to hide. So she usually hide under a table or a desk especially if someone was sitting there.

Not all dogs are affected by thunderstorm. One time I was walking 3 dogs for work when a sudden summer thunderstorm hit 2 of the dogs were a-okay but the black lab in the bunch refused to walk at all (despite the intense rain pouring on top of us). Thankfully we ducked under an store eave and like many summer squalls, the rain only lasted 3 minutes. But even though the rain stopped, the thunder continued in the distance and the black lab still was uberhesitant to walk back to the dog kennel where I worked.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:02 pm
@dlowan,
Dlowan I just got off the phone with my mother who is one year short of being on the planet for 9 decades and she also stated that none of the dogs in our family had a problem with thunder.

Now I do remember her telling me as a very young child that thunder was the sound of the angels bowling in heaven!
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:24 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

My theory is that dogs' may have a greater sensitivity (hearing wise) then cats. La Neige, my former husky was deeply affected by thunder. Even before we humans knew a thunderstorm was coming, she would become anxious and start walking pacing around.


That's what my big dawg does, pathetically so. He then hides behind a door cowering and cannot be moved - he shakes and shakes. He is the same with fireworks or any loud "bang". My little dawg always lets me know there is a thunder boomer on it's way - she will bark scaring me half to death and then the thunder booms, at which stage, she will continue barking until it's all over, jumping up and down as if she is arguing with the thunder. (Thunder storms don't last too long here usually).

The kitties tho - well, they don't give a monkey's - they don't flinch at all - just carry on snoozing and playing Very Happy
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:37 pm
@tsarstepan,
That's interesting.

I wonder if there is any evidence about relative sensitivities of hearing?

Cats seem pretty sensitive to me.


hehe...be fun to line up dogs and cats in different rooms, and see whose ears moved first towards a sound...all those ears pricking would be a hoot...yes cats' ears prick, and so do their whiskers.

All my dogs have been terrified of thunder.


dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:38 pm
@Izzie,
I LOVE storms!!!!!
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:39 pm
@Izzie,
I wonder if the dogs that are scared of the thunder are resentful of the cats who aren't....

Dog: <<Hey?! Why isn't that cat frightened by the sky boom boom?! I wonder if she's conspiring with the big cat in the sky to make that horrible and malicious racket?!>>

Cat: <<((sigh)) What is up with that dog?! Look at him! Such a pissy puppy, cowering under the dining room table like the world is going to end! Over something as innocuous as angel's bowling in the alley in the sky?! ((sigh)) I'll just go back to sleep so I don't have to watch his patheticness.>> ... <<oh and **meow**>>
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:43 pm
@tsarstepan,
yep, and when the little dawg prances about shouting "Mom Mom, them darn tables and chairs are being moved around in the sky and you know what will happen next, those lazy kitties will then come eat my food whilst I'm having a song and a dance about it, utter cheek of it but I just can't stop myself Mom"

Kitties absolutely look down their noses at the dawgs tho they will often cuddle up them at their choosing only. Which is lovely, I love that.


<menagerie here.............>
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:48 pm
@dlowan,
I really do think they do have sensitive hearing for those things.......... what kinda gets me is when it's just a nite with me an the animals.... and they start barking and.... no thunder, perhaps way distant that I can't hear. Sometimes over nothing (they rarely bark).... that I find freaky.


When the cats get the heeby jeebies I really do worry. My kitties are my instincts.... hmmmmmm.

Not sure what that's all about - but they are very sensitive to possibly things I don't understand. Sometimes they bolt upright and just stare stare stare.

heeby jeebies!
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:15 pm
@Izzie,
Our dogs and cats are afraid of thunder. I think they inherited it from me. Animals follow the pack leaders. Im terrified of lightning.
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:25 pm
@farmerman,
Ah, but I love a thunder and lightening storm, especially lightening - wonder of natures wonders. Will sit out and watch it 'tils it done bu an open door. The noise with the rain on the conservatory roof is mind blowling. Almost feels like it will collapse by "cats and dawgs rain". Perhaps that doesn't help the dawgs because as the biggun in cowering and the littleun is jumping about - maybe she's trying to protect me.

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:34 pm
@farmerman,
Farmerman maybe you had hit on one of the factors on dogs being afraid of thunder or not.

As no one in my family is fearful of lighting storms and view them as free firework shows so our dogs never did picked up any fear from us and on the other hand any dog owner with such fears is likely to transmit those fears to their dogs.

Cats on the other hand is not so tie to our fears and therefore are less likely become fearful of thunder because of our emotions.

Now all we need is to apply for a million dollars government grant to test this theory out. Drunk
0 Replies
 
 

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