To pet owners, it comes as no surprise that cats and dogs have a few abilities superior to our own. Some have incredible sniffers, while others can hear the crinkle of a treat bag from a mile away and some even seem to detect their owners' moods. Yet one uncanny ability has stumped humans for generations: the ability of pets to predict future catastrophe.

From many natural disasters, stories emerge of predictive pets who have "known" beforehand and alerted humans of impending disaster. Even the most level-headed person can't help but wonder, "what's going on here?".

The Evidence

Most logical thinkers consider themselves above such hocus-pocus — that is, until their own dog predicts a hurricane or their tabby forewarns the family of an earthquake. Perhaps you're fortunate enough to have realized this knack for foresight. Such was the case with author Cal Orey, whose dog and cat have now actually proven their abilities to predict earthquakes.

In her book The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes, Orey concludes that while we can never prevent natural disasters, we can look to our animal friends for predictions and try to prepare for them.

At first, she was skeptical, like many of us. "I thought 'Oh yeah, right.'" After compiling all of her research, she now says, "You can learn to familiarize yourself with animal warnings of an earthquake and be prepared before it strikes."

What to Watch For

Before a natural disaster such as a tsunami, major hurricane, volcanic eruption, or earthquake, many animals may show signs of restlessness. Dogs tend to increase protective contact with their most loyal human friends just before a natural disaster, as well.

Cats, however, have a tendency to bolt. While they still may hide and meow, our felines will most likely look frantically for an escape from the indoors before a natural disaster strikes.

"They Knew. I Don't Know How, but They Just Knew."

Consider the number of eyewitness accounts that testify to the remarkable signals our predictive pets can provide. On April 27, 2011, Kelly Sumerel of Danville, Alabama, noticed her dog acting peculiar. She told AllAlabama.com, "It was the strangest thing I think I've ever seen because she actually seemed totally freaked out by something. She couldn't be still and whined constantly." Hours later, a tornado ripped through their community, leveling buildings and changing lives forever.

Many Petcentric readers have lived through a natural disaster and witnessed their pets' predictive ability. Has it happened to you? Share your own story in the comments!