Do Your Pets Mind Thunderstorms?

Bit of a long night for me. I have two dogs, one of whom (Lucy) happily snores through the worst of thunderstorms. But the other (Linus) feels that as the man of the house he must Protect Us From Loud Noises – that’s his story, but I think it’s really that storms make him anxious. A BIG one rolled through last night, and it lasted for hours. I’m lying in bed and he’s lying on the bed – an unusual grant of favor but, hey, storms make him anxious. This means I had hours of this:

Flash of lightning


“Linus, be quiet.”


Roll of thunder


“Linus, be quiet!”


“Goddam it, be QUIET!”


I try to swat him, he evades, but finallly shuts up. We both re-settle

Next flash of lightning – Repeat whole scenario.

I’m a little tired. I’m also putting an ad on Craigslist to give him away. (No, not really.)

So how do your animals handle storms?

When I was growing up, the family dog (another Lucy) always barked through thunderstorms. My parents have three dogs now, and I think they’re all apathetic to thunder.

My Dolly used to be fine. I made a point of being really calm during storms when she was a puppy. Then we moved to our own house.

One day, we had a storm that knocked out the power. When you power down my computer without turning off the power to the speakers, the speakers (or really, the subwoofer) make a loud POP.

This apparently scared the bejeezus out of Dolly.

Slowly, she started getting more and more afraid of sounds associated with thunderstorms. First the rumbly thunder, then the rain (which of course means thunder!) and then the flashing lights (absolutely no way to ignore flashing lightning in our house unless we go into the bathroom and put a towel under the door).

For a while we would go into the basement when it stormed, and try to play a bit. But she got wise to that and stopped being into it.

But, she still thinks we gotta go into the basement when it rains. So when she gets a tad bit nervous about the weather, she growls at me. Then claws at me. Then moans like she is being pulled apart. Not big on barking, thank god. We get up, go to the basement, she sees lightning, we come back up. She growls and moans all over the house…no dice.

We’ve many tried different things, like me ignoring her, me comforting her, putting up her cage so she can go in it (she doesn’t use the cage normally), giving her some sort of soothing liquid from Cesar Milan, giving her some sort of soothing flower extract. NOTHING works.

It sucks. I haven’t enjoyed a nice thunderstorm (or rain storm, for that matter) in five years :frowning:

Glad she doesn’t bark, but a very anxious 80-lb dog is not a happy thing at 4 AM.

i’ve heard that the low tones of thunder is reacted to by dogs as a growl from an adversary, so it would be like Godsilla was growling at them. though it could also be sensed as the vibrations of a large danger moving nearby.

cage trained dogs may well like to be in cages, they sense they are protected on 5 sides and this can help them feel more secure. they don’t realize that Godzilla could just flatten them with one step.

Freckles, our 10-year-old cat, is blasé about storms, though he may opt for a safer place to sleep.

Layla, our rescued Lhasa Apso, is terrified of storms and, for that matter, all loud bangs. At the first rumble, she cowers, trembling, until the storm is over. If she wasn’t empty before storm time, she takes a dump on the floor. Even in an interior, windowless bathroom, she can’t be comforted. Fortunately, she does all this quietly.

If we’re on a walk, and she hears firecrackers or thunder, she turns around, tail down, and pulls for home like a wee sled dog. If there’s a roofing crew with their nail guns, she doesn’t want to go down that street.

Our female terrier mix is terrified of them, and she senses them well before we do. When she starts panting and pacing, it’s time to check the sunroof on the car. Once she’s burrowing in the back of the closet, we won’t see her til the sun’s out again.

Our Beagle/Corgi male wasn’t bothered by them til the female started freaking out. I think he only does it because she does. He started squatting rather than lifting his leg not long after we adopted her. He’s not so bright.

The Puggle doesn’t notice one way or another. If he has something to chew on, he neither knows nor cares what’s going on.

I have two dogs and a catzilla and all are fine with storms, which is a good thing because we live in a hurricane-prone area and we get a lot of thunderboomers, especially this time of year.

However, I once had this cat, BooBoo Kitty. I went out of town for the weekend and when I came back, she was terrified of thunderstorms. I had asked my friend and neighbor to look after her while I was away, so I got the story.

BooBoo Kitty liked to go outside during the day, so my friend would stop by on her way to work, let the cat out, and then put her back in my apartment that evening. One day, there was a terrible thunderboomer while my friend was at work. She ran home on her lunch hour to check on Miss BooBoo Kitty (good friend, that one) to find that my cat had flattened herself up against my apartment door in sheer terror. Apparently, the thunder and lightning had scared her pretty badly and she was trying to make herself invisible against the scary booming monster who was trying to eat her. My friend let her in and even went inside my place to sit with her and try to comfort her, but she just ran under the bed and hid.

She was never the same after that. Every time she heard thunder, from that day on, she would squall and howl like you just chopped her tail off, and then she’d slink off to hide under the nearest low piece of furniture, wide-eyed and slightly growly. When the storm blew over, she’d slink back out as if nothing had ever happened.

I was really glad that cats don’t bark.

My two youngest dogs don’t even seem to notice when there’s a storm. My oldest, though, tends to get clingy. He just wants to be near us- no reaction other than that, though.

Our cat could care less about storms beyond what effect it has on the birds and squirrels outside the window.

The big, bad ol’ German Shepherd I had as a kid would whimper and whine like a puppy though. Scared him to death and although he wasn’t supposed to leave the utility room, he’d come sit by you and cower until any storm passed.

When we moved from California, I thought the Neville kitties would be terrified of thunderstorms. But they don’t care about them. Katya’s normally skittish, and even she doesn’t care about thunderstorms. I guess they’re not nearly as scary as earthquakes (they experienced a couple of very small earthquakes when we lived in CA).

The late lamented Tango would wander around panting and drooling during all thunderstorms. Get herself stuck behind the couch or under the coffee table. Gah she was irritating when it thundered.

My new little guy,Cin, has only been with me two weeks, and it hasn’t thundered yet.

The chow dog is absolutely terrified of storms (or other loud noises). If she’s locked in her cage during a storm, she’ll eat her way out of it. She’s eaten her way through 5 separate dog cages and three doors. Her teeth are ground quite flat.

We now tranquilize her during storms. If we knew a storm is coming, we can give her half a 25mg tablet of Ace, and she’ll sleep through it. If the storm has already hit, she usually needs a pill and a half to calm down.

Yes, I drug my dog. Happily. I don’t find her running loose with a bloody mouth anymore. And if your dog is that upset by it, I recommend a tranq. Talk to your vet.

My last dog did not like thunderstorms. He would start panting heavily at the first hint of lightning.

Later, he even started reacting to the flashing orange light on the snowplow as it cleared the lot outside the bedroom window.

Our mutt will hide in the bathroom or under the bed. The parrot is indifferent.

Our dog doesn’t like them, but doesn’t really get overly upset. She’ll find a place to lay down that’s close to wherever we are and so much the better if that means being under the computer desk. that’s her favorite place to hide from thunderstorms. We always know when one is coming because she’ll crawl under the desk about 30 minutes before it hits. I assume she’s hearing something we aren’t or she’s feeling the air pressure build (or both.)

She’s not fond of fireworks either, but again, reacts in a relatively calm manner to them. Unlike our neighbor’s cocker spaniel, who of course gets left outside every 4th of the July anyway.:mad: (he is terrified and leaves his yard. he almost always comes into ours and whines at the door hoping we’ll be nice and let him in. :frowning: )

My cat is afraid of snow. As in, that slight swishing sound you hear when it’s falling really heavily or blowing around a bit.

So, yeah, thunderstorms are a bit traumatic for him, too. You could say that.


Havoc the cat is absolutely terrifed of two things: thunder and the garbage truck. Neither bothers her sister. If we ever need to find Havoc during a storm, the place to look is under the bed.

Our beagle used to stare at the wall during storms. It was pretty weird, some kind of distancing thing, maybe? If she can’t see the danger, it can’t see her? This was in the tropics, where two thunderstorms a day was the norm for maybe 3months of the year.

Our 2yo basenjis, Zef and Epi, slept through some pretty loud thunder last week. Yay! Not many storms round here, of course.

When I had a dog and a cat they didn’t exactly like storms but they both ran and hid, the dog took for under the coffee table and the cat went under whatever else was available, but you could see they weren’t nervous as long as they could retreat “under” something