Talk (and Listen) to the Animals

By Bobbi Pollack

Some pet communications are easily understood, especially at mealtime. But most people don’t realize how often they are sending and receiving information from their pets. In fact, some thoughts about a cat or dog may actually originate with the animal, who has telepathically transmitted a message of need. An example would be the pet owner who suddenly has the thought that Barney must be thirsty, only to find that the dog’s water dish is, indeed, empty.

Animals also communicate their thoughts through bodily cues. For instance, when dogs wag their tails high, they are usually alert. How high they hold their tales varies among breeds. Fast wagging signifies happiness or excitement, and sometimes it signals aggression. When the wag is slower, a dog is unsure, and, if the tail is tucked between the legs, or under the dog’s body, he or she is afraid.

When cat’s hold their tails straight up, they are feeling good about themselves. If their tails are down, they may be unhappy, scared or in the process of exploring territory. Outdoor cats often hold their tails straight up when they come within three feet of their owners as a way of saying hello. When a cat is sitting on an owner’s lap and the tail is down and twitching a little, he or she is mildly annoyed or excited. When the twitching increases, it’s a signal to let go before getting “hit upside the head.” Many people who’ve been seriously hurt by a dog or cat probably did not heed the bodily cues that the animal was giving them—until it was too late.

Dogs and cats may touch a person with their paws in order to get attention. Some cats are known to touch companion humans with their nails slightly extended when they think that their mealtimes may have been forgotten. Dogs can stamp and alternate paws when they are excited or asking for something. When cats knead against a person (with paws pressing up and down), they are comforted, much as they were when drinking their mother’s milk as kittens.

If a dog’s or cat’s ears are erect and facing forward, they are attentive and may be listening to an unknown sound. Ears back may indicate fearfulness, timidity or honing in on a new sound. When a dog raises his eyebrows, he is expressing interest. If the eyebrows are lowered, he is uncertain or slightly angry. Dogs bark because they are angry, excited, or wanting attention. If their lips curl or they show their teeth or growl, they may become aggressive. Cats have also been observed growling to defend their homes.

When cats purr, it can signal contentment, but it can also indicate that they are ill, tense, or in pain and trying to soothe themselves. Meowing is a common signal for attention or food, but there are other sounds that cats use to communicate. At the Circle of Tranquility in Hawthorne, NY, two resident brother cats are known to chirp when they are playing or looking for each other. Those who live with cats know that they can also chirp or use chattering noises when observing prey. Although there are different theories as to why this occurs, it may be because the cats are both excited and frustrated, as this usually happens with indoor cats when the supposed prey is outside.

Turid Ragass’s book, On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, describes how animals use “calming signals” to let other animals know whether they are friend or foe. Animals approach each other head-on when they want to fight. Friendly calming signals include yawning, play-bowing, lying on the back and exposing the belly, sniffing rears or tails, licking lips and turning away.

Pets also use calming signals with their owners as a means of connection. Licking can be a greeting or a sign of bonding or intimacy. Cats and dogs slit their eyes when they are showing affection to their owners. Cats also blink when they are making a loving connection.

Animals can use calming signals to try and relax people, too, but this is usually misunderstood. For example, when a dog is let outside to “do his business” and his owner yells at him to hurry up, the dog may deliberately slow down and take his time before coming back in to calm down the owner. Paying attention to these signals can really help animal lovers to strengthen their connection to pets, and vice versa.

When animals communicate telepathically, they do so in the form of pictures, so it’s best to use mental images when sending information to a pet. The easiest way to do this is to create a picture in the mind, send it and then visualize the pet receiving it. To let Josh know that his owner will be away for a few days, try visualizing the car driving away, followed by pictures of two moons, each indicating one night away.

When communicating with a pet, it is important that one’s intent be pure, loving and compassionate. One way to enhance a connection with a pet is to try this simple visualization that’s especially useful for those who want to guide a lost animal companion back home:

First, create a space devoid of distractions and sit comfortably with arms and legs uncrossed. Slow the breath and imagine becoming more energized with every inhale and more relaxed with every breath released. Next, imagine a golden thread moving from your heart center towards the pet with every gentle exhale. At the same time, see a similar golden thread coming back to you from the pet’s heart center. As these threads meet and intertwine with each other, allow feelings of love for the pet to grow, and send this love back to the animal. Be open to receiving communication received from the pet, and remember that it will probably be in the form of pictures. This is a good time to ask questions. Examples include “What is your favorite food, treat or toy?”

Everyone has the potential to communicate with their pets and other animals as long as they are willing to take the time to be observant, understand the signals, and really tune in to the sacred connections that exist between all living things.

Bobbi Pollack’s mission is to connect people and their pets, and to help balance, empower and educate both people and animals. To learn about her private consultations, workshops and seminars at the Circle of Tranquility in Hawthorne, NY, visit or call 914.769.1446.

Sending the Right Messages to Animals

By Barbara A Baker

Animals are able to telepathically receive pictures from their human companions, so it’s important for people to send pictures and messages in a way that’s consistent with their intent. Otherwise, undesired behaviors could be reinforced.

For example, if a dog is in the habit of jumping and the objective is to get the dog to stop, a person would likely say, “No jumping!” while holding an image of their canine friend doing exactly that. A better choice would be to picture the dog in a calmer state while saying something like, “Four on the floor.”

Likewise, someone confronting a cat that’s shredding the upholstery may picture the cat’s claws sinking into the sofa while saying, “Don’t do that!” Unfortunately, the mental image being sent is one of the cat doing exactly the wrong thing, thereby defeating the purpose. Thus, the tone or emotional quality of the voice and words is not as important as the picture transmitted via the mind.

A “no” or “don’t” message cannot be accurately communicated to an animal, just as it can’t be received by the human subconscious. Remember carrying that big plate of delicious food across the room while thinking “Don’t trip, don’t trip,” right before tripping? People are accustomed to thinking and speaking in “no” and “don’t” terms when they want to avoid things, but it’s not a useful practice—especially  with beloved animal friends. It’s more effective to think positively, literally. That means conveying the positive form of the desired outcome in both words and mental images (e.g. “Leave the sofa and go to your scratching post.”).

Be consistent and mindful of the messages you are sending. Both animal and human will be rewarded.

Barbara A Baker is local holistic and metaphysical practitioner serving people and animals. Learn more at

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