If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably wondered if your pets know what you’re thinking. Maybe your cat runs away and hides when you’re preparing for a vet trip. Or perhaps your dog runs toward the door as soon as you think about going for a walk.
Pet psychics believe that pet owners are constantly telepathically communicating with their pets and don’t even realize it. In other words, your pets are reacting to signals you’re sending with your mind.
Pet psychics take this concept one step further and claim that they can talk to pets. To do this, pet psychics talk to the owners either in person or by telephone, then relay (for a fee) telepathic messages to and from pets. The pets don’t even have to be present; pet psychics claim they make contact through photos or descriptions.
People who seek the advice of pet psychics often have a specific reason, such as:
- The pet is missing, so the owner wants to find it or encourage it to come back home.
- The pet exhibits inappropriate behaviors, so the owner wants to learn why and make it stop.
- The pet is ill or injured, so the owner is trying to discern whether it should be euthanized or not.
- The pet died, so the owner wants to communicate with its spirit.
This communication with animals is a paranormal, extrasensory phenomenon, combining clairvoyance and telepathy. Many pet psychics describe it as a form of energy. According to them, energy fields surround and penetrate all matter in the universe. This energy can’t be scientifically proven, detected, or measured. Pet psychics claim to use this energy to communicate with animals, even if the animals are no longer alive.
Here’s what to expect in a typical pet psychic reading:
- The psychic will relax, calm her mind, and mentally connect with the pet’s energy.
- The psychic visualizes the pet and gets its attention by telepathically saying its name.
- She asks the pet a question using pictures and/or words.
- The psychic waits for a response, which may also contain pictures and/or words. Some say that the pets reply using childlike voices.
- The psychic acknowledges that she received a response and accepts it.
- The psychic shares the pet’s answers with its owner.
- The psychic may choose to ask more questions or transmit messages from the owner to the pet.
This process makes sense to some animal lovers. But communicating with animals using energy is controversial. Scientists have no conclusive evidence of the existence of this type of energy or of sensory organs that could be used to detect the energy or use it to transmit messages.
Pets and Emotions
Some pet psychics believe that pets remember events from the distant past, experience and express feelings, and are able to reflect on their emotions.
Many owners have witnessed their pets behaving in a manner that suggests they do experience emotions. But scientists haven’t reached a consensus regarding whether these are proof of actual emotion. Human emotions are quite difficult to define. Psychiatrists, philosophers, and medical doctors don’t agree on what they are or exactly how they work in humans. Pets and other animals aren’t capable of describing what they’re feeling, which makes it all the more difficult to carry out scientific studies on their emotions.
Animals do experience stress and feel pain. Recent research suggests that animals experience emotions such as grief, anger, and joy. And the possibility that pets and other animals experience emotions is becoming more widely accepted.
But there’s a significant difference between simply feeling an emotion and having the ability to analyze or think about it. Even scientists who believe that animals have feelings don’t think animals have the intellectual capacity to think about those feelings. Scientists and pet psychics also disagree about animal consciousness and their potential for self-awareness and higher reasoning.
Pet Psychics and Cold Readings
Pet psychics’ techniques for communicating with pets are scientifically controversial, so most people are skeptical of pet psychics. Some people claim that pet psychics who appear successful are simply practicing cold reading, a sly method to extract personal information. Cold readers frame their questions to trick the other person into providing information. The reading results can therefore appear quite convincing. Skeptics also claim that pet psychics simply tell pet owners what they want to hear.
A pet psychic using cold-reading techniques likely understands animal behavior and human psychology thoroughly.
Cold-reading techniques include:
- Stating the obvious. A pet psychic may observe a dog chewing on his paws and say, “She says her paws are bothering her. They’re itchy all the time.”
- Using vague language. A statement like, “He says there’s something different in the house,” might lead a pet owner to blurt out what that change may be, such as, “Oh, yes, I got new pillows in the living room.” The cold reader can then base a reply on that information: “Yes! He says the pillows smell strange. He’s scratching the door to get away from them.”
- Making generally true statements. Most indoor cats like looking outside. A cold reader who says, “She’s curious. She says she likes sitting by the window to see what’s going on outside” is likely to be right.
- Asking questions. Cold readers ask a lot of questions. When the person answers, the cold reader may incorrectly rephrase or repeat the answer, hoping that the person’s correction will yield additional information. A cold reader will also use answers to decide which questions to ask next.
Successful cold readers often appear to be genuinely psychic. But cold reading doesn’t account for the apparent success of pet psychics, many of whom claim that they’ve found lost pets, solved behavioral issues, or helped heal injured or sick pets. Skeptics consider these successes mere coincidences.