Cats have psi trailing (psychic trailing)?

It is said that cats have “psi trailing”. Psi trailing refers to the ability of a cat to find its way home over many miles without any apparent assistance. The domestic cat can also find a new home that their owner has moved to, which may be many miles away, even though the cat had no idea where the new home was. In other words, when a cat is psi trailing, he is using his extrasensory perception (ESP) to locate his owner and his home.

Psychic cat!
Psychic cat! Image: DALLE-E.
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The word “Psi” refers to parapsychology and apparently can be divided into two categories (a) extrasensory perception and (b) psychokinesis. Psychokinesis refers to using the mind to move matter at a distance, which is not relevant in this instance. Therefore, when we refer to Psi in relation to Psi trailing this must be referring to a cat’s extrasensory perception to find a trial which takes him home.

Extrasensory perception is a way for an animal or human to receive information that has not been gained through normal senses. The mind senses something which directs the person or animal. This is my understanding of this skill.

Debunking psi trailing and cats’ ESP abilities

The great Dr. Desmond Morris, a zoologist and author and also a painter by the way, debunks the idea that cats have psi trailing. The suggestion, as mentioned, is that domestic cats have psi trailing because they can find their way home from very long distances without even knowing the new home. It is so extraordinary that people put it down to extrasensory perception which includes psi trailing.

He remarkably suggests that when people say that their domestic cat turned up two years later after they moved two thousand miles to a new home is because another cat, a stray cat wandered into their home and they mistook that cat for theirs! That’s the first time I have heard that suggestion. It is a reasonable one because there have been some remarkable cases of cat owners believing that their cat has been killed on the road and then burying the cat thinking that it was theirs only to find that their cat walks in the back door the next day.

ESP is a contradiction in terms

Dr. Desmond Morris also states that ESP is a contradiction in terms because everything that is tangible and real can be sensed through one of the cat’s senses. ESP stands for extrasensory perception. The phrase “extrasensory” means that it is outside of the senses and if that is the case it cannot be perceived. And if it can’t be perceived it isn’t there.

He suggests that when experts try to explain aspects of cat behaviour which are very difficult to explain, they might resort, lazily, to basing that behaviour on ESP. He says that there is always a zoological, practical and scientific reason. It is just a matter of finding it which is harder work than assigning it to ESP.

Psi trailing cat
Psi trailing cat. Photo of cat by Caroline and photo of earth’s magnetic field: Wikimedia Commons.


Extrasensory perception is a rather mysterious skill. But, then again, so is the ability of a cat to track down a new home that his owner had moved to even know he had no idea where that home was or what it looked like. Those are the facts of a recent story posted by Elisa. Because the domestic cat has what appears to be a rather mysterious and unusual skill (and one that impresses us), it is perhaps not beyond the bounds of one’s imagination to believe that a cat uses extrasensory perception to find his way home.

There is still a lot to learn about animals, in general, and the cat specifically. Every day we learn more and what we learn is that animals are more intelligent than we had imagined. I wrote a recent article about goats, believe it or not, because they were found to be smarter than people had thought and they are smart as primates at problem solving the set task.

Dog intelligence varies and some dogs learn many words

ESP abilities do not help a cat find their new home

In conclusion, therefore, Psi Trailing refers to a cat using extrasensory perception to locate things, most typically his home, at a distance. I had heard, also, that the domestic cat and perhaps all cats including wild cats were able to use the Earth’s magnetic field to help locate places at a distance and recognise the onset of earthquakes. If the domestic cat is able to detect or feel the Earth’s magnetic field the cat would be able to locate the direction of North and South and as a consequence also be able to recognise were East and West were.

In being able to understand those directions and being able to memorise the journey he had taken away from his home a cat may be able to return home successfully. It would not, however, explain how a cat can find an entirely new location that he had never seen before which is where the explanation of extrasensory perception comes in.

Perhaps, a cat’s ability to locate objects at a distance is based on several separate skills. In fact, those probably far more likely saw a cat with uses normal senses together with those referred to above.

Do you believe that cat has Psi Trailing? And have I described this skill properly? I have only just this minute heard about it.

6 thoughts on “Cats have psi trailing (psychic trailing)?”

  1. It really is amazing what they can do they certainly have something! I asked my uncle who has Pigeons how they get back and he said that no one really knows they just do. Perhaps they have Psi as well as Ruth says? Who knows?

    • I don’t really believe in this sort of thing, extrasensory perception, but I’m not sure. Every day we learn new things about animals and their intelligence and abilities so we should keep open minds about it.

  2. What a very interesting article Michael, yes Psi trailing sounds very feasible! Cats are super intelligent and it’s amazing how they can find their way home.
    Do you think homing pigeons have Psi too? Their brains are tiny yet they fly many miles back to their home when set free.
    A person would be totally lost without sign posts if they were taken and left somewhere strange, miles from home.


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