Pets have their own thoughts and feelings, which they can also be quite communicative.
If you’ve watched your pet sit there staring into the distance, you just know they’re thinking about something.
Animal and pet thoughts are much simpler and less complicated than human thought, but it doesn’t make it less important or significant than what we think or even feel.
Tarot is a universal language that can extend beyond language and goes straight to what we think, feel, want and need as a way to express ourselves.
Reading tarot with your pet can be a way to see into their needs, wants and feelings and better understand them.
Building Confidence in Tarot with Pets
Research has shown that children who read to dogs increase their confidence in reading, especially for children who struggle with literacy.
The practice of children reading to dogs started in the United States in 1999 with the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) program which later extended to other countries.
The practice of reading or performing in front of dogs (or other pets) can be therapeutic and help build confidence and motivation.
The non-judgemental energy of dogs (well, cats may be a different story) makes it easier to practice reading skills.
Who’s to say this can’t work on young adults or even adults who may feel shy or insecure about a certain skill?
If you’re new to tarot, want to try out a new spread, technique or even a new divination tool, practice with your pet.
Practicing in front of your pet can help to build confidence and also strengthen an energetic bond with your pet.
Grab a tarot deck and practice your readings with your pet.
Read your cards and say what you feel, hear, think and intuit aloud to your pet.
Sometimes thinking aloud can help to process ideas and thoughts easier.
Tarot Readings and Pets
Who says pets can’t get tarot readings?
Pets can have astrological natal charts just like anyone else, so why not have tarot readings for pets also?
Tarot readings for pets can be a little different than tarot readings for people, but it can be done with some minor adjustments and intuition combined.
Pets aren’t generally concerned with the big questions and mysteries of life, the life lessons shown in the major arcana.
Pets are more concerned with the day-to-day things in life as shown in the minor arcana.
There’s the saying that pets live in the moment.
However, pets do have memories and think of the immediate future that’s connected to the present moment.
They have hopes, wants, needs and desires just like everyone else.
Pets have thoughts and feelings, personalities, quirks, likes and dislikes which make each pet unique and special.
Pets are in constant communication with the world, people and animals around them whether verbally or non-verbally.
I’m even convinced they’re telepathic, too.
The Major Arcana for Pets
There are a couple of ways that pet readings can be done based on preference and how you feel you want to do the reading.
One method is to remove the major arcana cards from your tarot deck and only use the minor arcana cards.
A tarot reading with only the minor arcana suggests that pets are only concerned with day-to-day matters and that the major arcana wouldn’t have much influence or relevance to the pet.
The other method is to keep the major arcana in the tarot deck and use a full tarot deck.
In this method, you can make variations and more literal interpretations of the major arcana cards depending on the tarot deck that you’re using.
For example, The Fool card could suggest going for a walk or adventure with your pet, especially if you’re using the Rider Waite version which shows the Fool with his white dog.
The Empress could mean a day of pampering, going to the groomers or needing to go to the groomers.
Don’t be afraid to really think outside the box and stretch meanings when it comes to reading tarot for your pet.
Minor Arcana for Pets
Here are some ways you can interpret the minor arcana when doing tarot readings for pets:
Cups usually represent love, happiness and fulfillment and they can mean the same for pets also.
Cups also represent water, so in a pet reading, this could suggest swimming, bathing or drinking water. This could also represent health, comfort, nourishment.
The suit of Cups could represent how your pet feels about family, separation issues, the home, feeling loved and cared for.
The number on the Cups card can also be an indicator, so if you use numerology in your readings, you can take the number on the card into consideration.
For example, the 8 of Cups, it could suggest abandonment issues or separation anxiety, while the 3 of Cups can be socializing, doggy day care, the dog park, playtime.
Wands can represent passions, desires and wants.
This can be a strong factor in a pet’s life.
Wands can also be sexual, so if your pet isn’t spayed or neutered, this can show as a desire to mate for a male or going into heat for a female.
Wands can also literally represent a stick, Nylabone, chew toy or a feather on a string; something that your pet wants to grab, fetch or hold onto.
The Wands can suggest anything that your pet wants such as food, treats, toys, entertainment, excitement, adventure, travel or exploring.
Wands can indicate your pet’s energy levels depending on the number of the card in the Wands suit.
The Ace of Wands could indicate high energy levels while the 9 of Wands or 10 of Wands can suggest feeling worn down or tired.
Swords usually represent thought, intellect, communication and commands.
For pets, communication is an important aspect of their daily life whether communicating with their humans or with other animals.
Pets have thoughts of their own, although different than our own, they still make decisions and choices every day.
Pets rely on direction and communication from their humans to guide them.
Some pets want to be directed, told what to do and where to go and need frequent communication.
Swords can indicate if your pet has stress, anxiety or worry that may be conditional or behavioural such as a pattern or habit that can’t be broken and is cyclic.
Pets can be smart, so the Swords may indicate if they have ideas or that they want to communicate something to you.
The 9 of Swords can indicate fear, worry and anxiety while the 5 of Swords could indicate a struggle or defeat between dominance and submission.
Pentacles usually represent what we own and money, what makes us feel secure and comfortable.
For pets, their possessions can mean a lot to them to give them security.
Some pets can be possessive of their belongings, which the Four of Pentacles may suggest.
Pentacles could suggest their home, their property or backyard, their bed(s), their crate, toys, blankets or any possession that they really love.
The Pentacles suggest what makes them feel safe and secure.
The 9 of Pentacles may indicate a pet that prefers to stay home and not venture far from familiar territory.
The Ace of Pentacles or even 6 of Pentacles could suggest receiving a new toy, treat or possession.
Court Cards for Pets
Court cards can be different to interpret, but with the same idea to think outside the box and use your intuition, you can easily use them in a pet tarot reading.
Court cards can represent people (the seeker/querent or the client) or the situation.
When it comes to pet readings, the court cards can represent the human(s) that are connected with the pet and even describe your relationship with your pet.
A court card may be interpreted as how the pet views that person or specific traits about a person, or can even represent the personality of a pet:
Pages are youthful, vibrant and energetic.
Knights are extroverted, daring and outgoing.
Queens are sensitive, empathic and gentle.
Kings are regal, dominant and proud.
As an experiment without considering suit elements of the court cards, which court card would your pet be?
How would you describe your pet as a primary suit element?
Cups (Water) – Loving / Gentle
Wands (Fire) – Bold / Energetic
Swords (Air) – Cunning / Daring
Pentacles (Earth) – Patient / Tolerant
Maybe a combination of two or more?
How would you rank them from most to least?
Tarot Readings for Pets
To do a tarot reading for your pet, all you have to do is attune yourself with you pet.
This can be done anytime while they’re sleeping or playing.
You can do tarot readings for your pet when you want to get answers into a behaviour or habit your pet is displaying or to just understand what they are feeling and thinking.
Practice anytime with your pet, just have your tarot deck ready by your side.
Take a few moments to center yourself and attune yourself with your pet. You can sit next to your pet and cuddle to get a closer psychic connection while you shuffle your cards.
Before doing your reading, decide if you will use a full tarot deck or just the minor arcana (including or not including the court cards.)
Start with one card readings to attune you and your pet to the new card meanings for your pet readings.
Again, feel free to stretch beyond your normal interpretations.
Sometimes what you literally see in the card can be the interpretation.
That Ace of Wands might just really be a stick and that Ace of Pentacles may just really be a squeaky ball.
It may just mean it’s time to play fetch!
Whether you’re new to tarot and need some practice or want to connect more with your pets, tarot can be a connecting bridge between our world and the animal world.
Tarot can help us understand our pets a little more and strengthen the bond between pet parent and pet.
Animal Tarot Decks
Here are some animal inspired tarot decks that can be used for pet tarot readings and other tarot readings:
The Dog Tarot
If you have a dog, there’s one deck that you may be interested in: The Dog Tarot by Heidi Schulman.
This deck is designed for human and dog for tarot readings.
Magical Dogs Tarot & Mystical Cats Tarot
Wise Dog Tarot
Created by CJ Cullinane, the Wise Dog Tarot features dogs and even has pugs on the Empress card! Available at Amazon.
Tarot of the Cat People
This is a fantasy / science fiction deck of Cat People who live in different worlds as depicted by the four elements who have cats in their society.
Marseille Cat Tarot
If you like the Marseille Tarot and cats, then there’s the Marseille Cat Tarot by Lo Scarabeo.
The Marseille Tarot is a French tarot deck, but if you’re not proficient in French, the Marseille Cat Tarot’s cards are in English and French.
Black Cats Tarot & Tarot of the White Cats
The Wild Unknown Tarot & Animal Spirit
These are also sold separately, The Wild Unknown Tarot and Animal Spirit both have animals only in the decks. Created by Kim Krans, these decks have become hugely popular.
The Wild Unknown Tarot is available as an official collector box that features animals in the deck.
*no affiliate links in this post – only products that are personally preferred!