Biology Forum 91, 57-74 (1998)
by Rupert Sheldrake, Catherine Lawlor and Jane Turney
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Abstract
A survey was carried out by telephone in London to find out how any pet owners had observed seemingly telepathic abilities in their pets. 52% of dog owners claimed that their animals knew in advance when a member of the household was on the way home, compared with 24% of cat owners. Of the animals that reacted, 21% of dogs and 19% of cats were said to do so more than 10 minutes before the person's return. 73% of dog owners and 52% of cat owners said their pets knew when the owners were going out before they showed any signs of doing so. 43% of dog owners and 41% of cat owners said their pets responded to their thoughts or silent commands; and 57% of dog owners and 37% of cat owners said their pets were sometimes telepathic with them. 46% of people with pets now and 37% of people without pets now said that they had known pets in the past that were telepathic. 39% of those with pets now and 38% of those currently without pets said they themselves had had psychic experiences. But significantly fewer of those who had never kept pets had had psychic experiences themselves. The results of this survey are compared with two similar surveys in North-West England and in California. The general pattern was remarkably similar in these three very different locations, and shows that seemingly telepathic abilities in pets are common. In all locations dogs were more responsive than cats to their owners' thoughts and intentions. The potential for experimental investigations of these abilities is discussed.