Cats do lots of interesting things that keep us on our toes. They are quick to react to things that the average dog wouldn’t flinch at. And they are also the masters of making us wonder what’s going on through those little minds of theirs. But what about the strange things that cats do that can also freak us out sometimes? A classic example of such odd cat behavior is when cats stare at the wall. We may not think much of it… or we may become completely paranoid. If you’ve ever wondered to yourself “why does my cat stare at the wall” you are certainly not alone. Keep reading to find out why it is that our feline friends exhibit this rather peculiar behavior…
Why does my cat stare at the wall—are they seeing something that I’m not?!
Many times when cats stare at the wall, cat owners will think that perhaps they’re seeing a ghost, spirit, apparition, or whatever you want to call it. They say that seeing is believing—so should you believe in something that you can’t witness for yourself with your very own eyes? I’ll leave that answer up to you.
However, there has been much discussion in the history of people cohabiting with cats that speaks to the likeliness that cats can, in fact, see ghosts, etc. But, as I mentioned above, should you not believe in such a thing, then you can go ahead and rule this one out in your interpretations of weird cat behaviors.
But, if you do believe that cats can see ghosts, well, then it could be likely that this is what your cat is seeing. There have been many amazing stories of cats sensing incredible things. (If you’ve got a story of your own, I’d love to hear it!)
Is your cat staring at the wall? Perhaps they sense something you don’t.
Remember, your cat’s sense of vision is far more complex than yours. Especially when it comes to their peripheral vision and ability to see in low lighting. If your cat stares at the wall, they are likely sensing something that is so minute that you would have difficulty seeing it for yourself from far away. This could be something as small as a particle of dust—or maybe even a microscopic insect.
Our cats rely on those mighty whiskers to help them sense the world around them. This is especially because your cat’s sense of vision up close is quite blurry. In fact, those whiskers are what help them to catch prey with incredible accuracy. Whiskers act as sensory tools, and if they sense something in the direction of a wall, they will turn their heads this way and carefully observe whatever it is that’s intriguing them—even if it’s something that you cannot see for yourself. Reflections from watches and other shiny objections are another reason why so many cats stare at the wall, so if you’re in the sunlight and notice your cat staring at the wall, watch for those shiny reflections! You just might be the one triggering your cat’s senses and desire to catch their “prey”.
If your cat is staring at the wall—this could mean they’re locked in and loaded for predatory overdrive
Your cat is a wild predator at heart. And when cats are hunting, they will go to great lengths to catch their prey—even if it means watching and waiting for several minutes…or even hours. (If you’ve watched any National Geographic footage featuring lions then you know that big cats do this too!) Your cat will stare at the wall intently for a long period of time if they are hunting a tiny insect because the thought of catching that insect is intensely thrilling to them. Your indoor cat craves enrichment, and these hunts are a way for them to get excited. You can offer your indoor feline friend enrichment so that they don’t get bored and feel the need to stare at walls hoping for excitement. Here you can find some purrfect enrichment exercises to excite your kitty.
If your cat is staring at a wall while head pressing, this is entirely different.
Head pressing in cats—as well as dogs—is a very serious issue that requires immediate veterinary assistance. Head pressing is a telltale sign of a serious health issue and is not to be taken lightly. We have seen cute photos of cats sleeping on a soft surface such as a bed, with their face cutely planted downwards.
But head pressing against a hard surface—such as a wall—is a warning sign. It’s important to know and understand the difference. Veterinary technician Dani Buckley explains that,
“When they are doing this, cats are completely awake and conscious – not to be mistaken with a kitty sleeping with their head propped up by the wall. A cat that is head pressing may even slide their head against the wall until they reach a corner and lock their head into a specific place. If you see your cat exhibit this strange behavior, you need to contact a veterinarian right away! Head pressing is a sign of neurological problems.”