I had an “ah-ha!” moment on this common question recently and decided it deserved a short episode. So here is a discussion on earthquakes and triggering of earthquakes.
If you don’t want to listen and just want the answers to these questions:
Can a large earthquake trigger other earthquakes? YES! these are called aftershocks and their patterns are well studied and pretty well understood. Also with the largest of earthquakes, their big seismic waves traveling around the earth can trigger micro-quakes as they pass.
Are earthquakes increase? NO! After a large earthquake there is a bias towards reporting on more of the earthquakes that occur. So you are seeing an increase in reporting of earthquakes not the global rate of earthquakes increasing.
Animals!? There are 4 types of seismic waves and its possible they are recognizing the “p” and “s” waves that you may not feel. Also my cats always slept through them in Hawaii! Horrible earthquake early warning system!