Millions of Brits believe their pets are already little stars but many fail to grasp that they – like us – can be affected by astrology.
If labradoddle Leo is howling or barking at the moon… he is, because it’s full.
Felix, the tortoiseshell cat, may occasionally walk backwards – is it because Mercury is in retrograde?
Astrologer Jessica Adams, working with pet wellbeing specialist ITCHpet.com, believes the strange behaviour can be down to timely astrological phenomenons – just as ours can.
A study of 2,000 cat and dog owners found our four-legged friends have been caught barking at nothing, eating mud and even trying to ‘dance’.
Acting like a human, trying to do a forward roll, sleeping in an empty bathtub and even sucking on a baby’s dummy were also among unusual pet behaviour.
Other weird behaviour, cited by respondents polled by pet specialist ITCHpet.com, included sitting in the toilet bowl, trying to eat candles and walking backwards.
Psychic astrologer Jessica Adams believes this strange behaviour could be down to a timely astrological phenomenon, particularly Mercury.
She said: “Pets can do all sorts of unusual things and a lot of the time we, as humans, can find it thoroughly entertaining. It’s what makes our pets so loveable.
“However, their quirky goings on might be down to more than just a ‘funny five minutes’ – as it could be due to something called Mercury in retrograde.
“Mercury is the planet that actually rules pets. When it appears to go backwards and forwards, moving in peculiar ways, so does life in general – according to your horoscope.
“This is what’s known as Mercury Retrograde. And animals also get affected.
“In 2020 we have Mercury Retrograde, and Mercury Petrograde, three times; February and March. June and July. October and November.
“So, if you think your pet’s behaving strangely, the answer is in the stars – with astrology at play.”
The study also found that a fifth of those polled agreed their pet’s behaviour is unpredictable, with them doing something ‘out of character’ twice a week, on average.
In fact, 23 per cent have even noticed their furry friend acting more unusually than normal during certain times of the year, with 42 per cent citing that snow sends them doolally.
More than a quarter said their cat or dog acts oddly on its OWN birthday – with an equal percentage saying they behave bizarrely on a human birthday.
Nearly a third believe their four-legged friends have acted more strangely with age, although 32 per cent believe it’s actually all down to Mercury in retrograde.
And two-thirds said their cats and dogs have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to mood changes in the atmosphere.
Tiredness, hunger and stress are also among the factors pet owners believe are contributing to their animal’s unusual antics, along with loneliness, excitement, spending time in different locations or even something they’ve eaten.
Unsurprisingly, 23 per cent have even taken their pet to the vets because of quirky behaviour.
Just one in 10 believe fleas are a cause of animal antics which are out of the norm, with a third were unaware fleas and worms can affect their pet’s behaviour.
Charlotte Harper, co-founder at pet wellbeing specialist ITCHpet.com, said: “We love our pets regardless of their weird and wonderful behaviour and celebrate everything about them – from the good, the bad and the ugly.
“But whether unusual antics are in the stars or not, it’s incredibly important to regularly check your pet for fleas and worms, as behavioural differences can also be down to their health and something they aren’t able to tell you about.
“Which is why we recommend treating your pet for fleas every month and being sure to worm them quarterly.”
Top 30 weirdest things dogs and cats have done:
1. Had a ‘mad half hour’ – such as running or darting crazily around the house
2. Tried to catch flies
3. Taken food out their owner’s hand
4. Chased their own tail
5. Tried to catch a flying bird
6. Head-butted their owner
7. Chased a leaf
8. Stood up on hind legs / sat on hind legs like a human
9. Howled / barked at the TV
10. Howled / barked at nothing
11. Drank out of a mug
12. Climbed into a carrier bag
13. Bitten their own tail
14. Tried to ‘talk’
15. Deliberately done things their owner has told them not to
16. Barked at blank space
17. Slept on their owner’s face
18. Carried around a log
19. Walked into a window / glass door
20. Jumped on the TV
21. Bitten at their owner’s hair as if it were another animal
22. Dug at a hard floor
23. Barked at themselves in the mirror
24. Sat in the sink / bath with the tap running
25. Refused to let other animals / people near their owner
26. Howled / sang along to a song
27. Barked at the phone
28. Cat barked
29. Eaten mud
30. Ran backwards*
How Mercury Petrograde Affects Your Cat or Dog, according to astrologer Jessica Adams
The Aries Cat
Hunters who’ll head-butt flies or chase dogs – or the postman. On Mercury Petrograde, though, the postman may well chase them.
The Aries Dog
They’ll bite everything, including your hair. They also like digging floorboards. Especially on Mercury Petrograde. Watch for holes.
The Taurus Cat
They are dribblers who love their breakfast and will lick empty food bowls. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ll even lick the fridge.
The Taurus Dog
They do like chicken. And turkey. And trying to catch sparrows. If their tastes change to caviar, you can blame Mercury Petrograde.
The Gemini Cat
They imitate you, the radio or the dog. They sing along to songs, but usually get the words wrong on Mercury Petrograde.
The Gemini Dog
Barking at the TV? Jumping on it? You must have a Gemini dog. Try not to let them answer the phone on Mercury Petrograde.
The Cancer Cat
They miss you so much when you go shopping, they get in the bag. Don’t let them sleep on your face on Mercury Petrograde.
The Cancer Dog
Home-loving Cancer dogs lick the radiators when it’s cold. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ve been known to carry around logs.
The Leo Cat
They like gazing at themselves in mirrors, windows or glass doors. Make sure they don’t walk into them on Mercury Petrograde.
The Leo Dog
Kings and Queens. They look good in Christmas cracker paper crowns. On Mercury Petrograde they may pinch your best hat.
The Virgo Cat
Fussy! They sniff food before they eat it. On Mercury Petrograde their tastes may change to the strangest things. Even mud.
The Virgo Dog
The Virgo dog loves routine and will stand on you five minutes before the alarm. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ll be an hour out.
The Libra Cat
Romantic Libra cats are enthusiastic bottom-sniffers. Best make sure it’s not your bottom on Mercury Petrograde, though.
The Libra Dog
They form duets with other pets. On Mercury Petrograde, you might find them answering to their best friend’s name instead.
The Scorpio Cat
The bankers of the cat world. They line up dead mice they’ve caught. On Mercury Petrograde, the mice tend to line up them.
The Scorpio Dog
Sexy! They hump footballs. They have relationships with armchairs. On Mercury Petrograde, their libido may go backwards.
The Sagittarius Cat
Spiritual animals – but they have been known to eat the candles or incense. On Mercury Petrograde, they may even perform miracles.
The Sagittarius Dog
Great explorers, they are energetic doggy David Attenboroughs. On Mercury Petrograde, though, they tend to run backwards.
The Capricorn Cat
They like to be on top and will scale any Christmas tree they see. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ve been known to get on the roof.
The Capricorn Dog
Organised Capricorn dogs pack their toys away like professionals. On Mercury Petrograde, they may pack your children’s too. Oops.
The Aquarius Cat
They like a gang and will form one with other cats, the dog, or the goldfish. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ll even try your neighbours.
The Aquarius Dog
Friendly Aquarius dogs love social media and won’t get their paws off your phone. On Mercury Retrograde, they may start messaging.
The Pisces Cat
They love pond-watching or goldfish bowl gazing. Washing machines, too. Don’t let them climb in on Mercury Petrograde.
The Pisces Dog
Biting hose water or sea waves is their hobby. Also barking at ghosts. On Mercury Petrograde, they may drink out of your mug.
Astrologer Jessica Adams writes about horoscopes for GQ, The Daily Express and Metro. Her cat astrology appears in the new Sunday Times bestseller, A Friend Called Alfie, by Rachel Wells (Avon).