Pets and Prayer

Pets and Prayer

It dawned on me quite some time ago that I have a Catholic cat. (I know, I know.)

Seriously, though: She’s got a built-in “prayer radar.” Without fail, when I begin praying (no matter where she is in the house), she stops what she’s doing, runs over to me and plops down either on top of me or next to me and begins purring—her paws opening and closing in contentment and delight.

Maybe she’s drawn to the calm…the sound of my voice…the quiet; maybe she senses some sort of divine presence. I really don’t know. But without fail, she is my unofficial prayer partner. She even refrains from messing with my dangling rosary beads when I’m praying the rosary. (And for those who know cats, dangling beads are as enticing as a feather on the end of a string.)

As of recently, she’s now my prayer alarm clock. Just the other week I found her crouched on top of one of my rosaries, giving me a deliberate “look.” I made time to pray the rosary that very night.

Are pets more in tune with what’s really happening when we pray than we think? What do your pets do when you pray?

If you enjoy delving into the bond that people share with their pets, there’s a great article from St. Anthony Messenger magazine: “How a Mutt Taught Me About God.”

Further recommended reading:

"I Will See You in Heaven" by Friar Jack Wintz



About the Author

Lindsey Simmons is the publicity, social and digital media manager at Franciscan Media. An animal lover, she shares her home with her rescue cat and dog. She’s a member of St. Gertrude Parish in Madeira, OH, where she’s served on the Stewardship Committee and with the young adult group.
  • Brandon Kilby

    I believe that our pets our more in tune with our emotion. Animals have a way of showing us God’s presence. Growing up I had a dog that would walk away from my mom when she started praying. He would sit about six feet from her and just calmly watch.

  • bill seuffert

    all my cats,three of them,get real quite and sleep next to me or on my lap and the dog lays at my feet. when I finish you would think I said come and get it they go wild and start playing and chasing each other! it is a funny sight! And if they should be lucky enough to get into my prayer room they are so ‘reverent’ like they are tip toeing in church so as not to make any noise and they never want to leave when I am done.

  • Lindsey Simmons

    Brandon and Bill–thank you so much for sharing!

    Bill–how adorable! Sounds like you have some special pets, too! :)

  • Donna

    My son brought home a puppy recently that I did NOT WANT…I prayed that my son would come to his senses! Now I am constantly being bombarded with loving kisses and affection which I know came directly from my prayers…not what I asked for..but what I got. God is good!

  • Chris Weller

    I don’t have any pet prayer experiences, but it is interesting that God can work through our pets to reach us in our busy world.

    I agree with Brandon that they are probably more in tune with our emotions.

    Have you written anything on pets in heaven? Maybe I missed it.

  • Cinda Lippman

    My cat is Catholic too, she just doesn’t know it. I too have a special love for St. Francis because he saw all creatures as worthy of kindness.

  • Denise

    I have been married 31 yrs and never had a dog while married. I grew up with dogs until I was a teen. My daughter and son always wanted a dog, but I never got one.My children are 23 and 20 and this year we adopted a dog. Better late than never. I can not remember life without “Bella”. She has brightened up our lives as we are feeling the Economy Crunch as so many Americans do. She is a joy and I feel God always does things for different reasons. Bella keeps our minds off the financial situations our family has been experiencing. Thanks for my family and for Bella!!! Praise Jesus

  • Gerret

    Our house rabbit hops over and sits next to my wife’s head when she prays in the morning.

  • Charlotte

    We had a beautiful cat named Melissa, who lived to be 23 years old. Every night, as I would prepare to say my rosary, I would say, “Come on, kids . . . prayer time.” Melissa would climb into my lap; the others would sit very still and quiet nearby. They added so much to my prayer experience. They are all gone now, but there is no doubt in my mind that one day we will pray “our” rosary together again. God bless all of the animal children of the world.

  • Lindsey Simmons

    I wanted to thank you all for your lovely stories! Thank you so much for sharing! :) I really enjoyed reading each post. Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Karen Janisch

    My three dogs are at my feet every morning when I am in my prayer time. As soon as I finish and begin my day, they move to their perspective areas of the house. They know!

  • Alice

    My cat loves to keep me company while I pray at Vespers. First she sits on my breviary, looking at me intently, as though asking me to make a choice – but not to leave her out! Then I rearrange her and everything else, she settles down, and she purrs from beginning to end.

  • Lee Goodboe

    I feel that animals especially Dogs,Cats and other pets at home feel a presence when we pray. The Bible states that all creation is aware of God. I have 4 dogs and three of them come in and lay next to one of us during our family time of praying the Rosary and a Litany nightly. The fourth is just a pup and she (like most children) may just be too young to understand what is happening.

  • Book LadyClub

    Can anyone help me? I need to find a new book for our parish book club. It must have some spiritual merit and I’m looking for something upbeat possibly funny or amusing. Any suggestions?? Thanks

    • BarbaraKB

      Dear Book LadyClub –

      Thanks for asking for an upbeat and humorous title. May I suggest:

      Coffee With Nonna: The Best Stories of My Catholic Grandmother by Vincent Iezzi

      Also, you may find other books of interest in our online catalog especially for the upcoming Lent season.

      Please let me know if you need more help!