What Are Paranormal Pets? Exploring Firsthand Encounters

Three black cats on a table in front of a window

It's possible for a beloved pet's spirit to linger here after death, just as some human spirits linger. Some people claim to feel the spirit of a pet who has passed away hours, weeks, or even years after the pet's passing.

Pet Spirits

Pet owners often describe how they hear, sense and in many cases see their pet's spirit. These are very real happenings to those who have a deep connection with their animal companions. None are frightened by these ghostly visitations. Instead, they find comfort knowing their beloved friends still exist in another form and dimension.

A Cat and Its Favorite Napping Spot

Dusty Rainbolt, host of the podcast Paranormal Pets on PetLifeRadio.com and author of several nonfiction and fiction books, agrees that pet spirits linger with their owners. She tells how one of her foster cats had to be put to sleep. "A month and a half after he died, I was lying awake in bed, and I felt the cat jump up in bed." She looked to see which of her cats was joining her for a cozy sleep. "There was enough moonlight flowing through the window that I could see there wasn't anything there," Dusty explains.

She felt its little footprints as he walked across the bed. "I could feel the little feet and the pressure when he lay down." She explains this particular cat always slept on her ankles. "It was his little spot. And whatever this was walked across the bed, with its little kitty footprints, and then laid down on my ankles," she says.

"I instinctively knew this was my little kitty, and I just wanted the experience. I felt perfectly safe, there was nothing frightening about it at all. It was a wonderful experience as a matter of fact," she says. For Dusty, it was a one-time thing, but for other pet owners, their cats often linger for weeks, even months after their passing.

Feeling a Cat Rubbing Against His Legs

Readers of Joan Morris's Mercury News column shared stories of their own paranormal pet experiences. One reader explained that her husband believed their beloved cat had visited him. "About a week after he died, my husband called to me from the other room. When I got there he had a strange look on his face and he said that he had just felt something rubbing around his legs and ankles like our cat used to do. When he looked down, there was nothing there."

A Terrier in a Historic Hotel

The Holly Hotel is known as one of the most haunted historic sites in Michigan, and, among its other resident ghosts, the spirit of the former owners' dog, Leona, is often seen or heard running up and down the halls, and has even been known to brush up against visitors' legs.

A Beloved Childhood Dog Provides Peace

A ghostly image of a Weimaraner

A woman named Ann claimed that she'd returned to her childhood hometown to be with a friend who was dying of cancer. Out on a walk, she felt a presence that she immediately just knew was her childhood dog, Billy. Billy walked with her and she claims to have felt an overwhelming sense of peace while he was there.

The Family Moved Out, but Their Dog's Spirit Still Visits

According to this story by The Dodo, their beloved dog, Spot, passed a while before his family moved. They'd buried him on the hill behind the house. They ran into the people who'd bought their old house at a neighborhood park, and when they did, the new family remarked that they'd seen a "holographic" looking dog in the hallway that matched Spot's description.

Understanding Your Interaction With Paranormal Pets

There are many ways to gain an understanding of paranormal pets, such as residual energy hauntings in addition to actual spirit interactions. It shouldn't be surprising that a loyal pet companion chooses to return after death--much like a human does--to reassure their loved ones.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
What Are Paranormal Pets? Exploring Firsthand Encounters