Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 61, 1997
by Rupert Sheldrake and Pamela Smart
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A telephone survey was carried out in Greater Manchester to find out how many pet owners had observed seemingly psychic abilities in their pets. 46% of dog owners claimed their animals knew in advance when a member of the household was on their way home, compared with 14% of cat owners. Most of these animals reacted 5 minutes or less in advance, but a substantial proportion reacted 10 minutes or more in advance of the person's return. 69% of dog owners and 48% of cat owners thought there pets knew when they were going out before they showed any physical signs of doing so. 53% of dog owners and 33% of cat owners thought their pet responded to their thoughts or silent commands; and similar percentages thought their pet was sometimes telepathic with them. Just over half of those who had kept pets in the past thought that some of these animals were telepathic. More dog than cat owners claimed to have had psychic experiences themselves, and a higher proportion of "psychic" pet owners claimed that their pets exhibited psychic powers than "non-psychic" owners. The potential for experimental investigations of the seemingly psychic powers of pets is discussed.