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What Is the Meaning of Cats Staring at Walls for?

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What Is the Meaning of Cats Staring at Walls for?


When it comes to behaviors, cats may be a little odd. They're known to knock things over, sleep in awkward postures, and gaze blankly at the walls. Your cat seems to like staring at a blank wall, but why?


What Is It About Cats and Walls?


There are many reasons why your cat has developed a sudden fondness for the color of your walls. The idea that your cat is keeping an eye out for a ghost or other paranormal creature is one that some people joke about (or take very seriously). However, I believe there's a more reasonable, natural explanation. For the most part, your cat staring at your walls is due to curiosity and the fact that cats are predators and prey.


They're Perceptive Enough to Notice Something


  • There is no doubt that cats have a strong sense of sight. There have fewer cones in their eyes than humans, which means they cannot perceive as many colors, but their rods are much larger, which allows them to see very well in dim light.


  • They can see further than us because they have a broader field of view. In reality, your cat's field of vision is 200 degrees wide, compared to ours, which is just 180 degrees wide. To put it another way, your cat has a far broader field of view than you have. If you believe your cat is gazing blankly at the wall, it's possible they're focusing on a bug or a shadow cast by a nearby object.


  • Cats, like humans, may have a short-term memory called an episodic memory. When it comes to the memory of past events, circumstances, and experiences, cats have a unique kind. This implies that your cat may recall, at a given time of day, the sun dancing on a particular section of a wall. It's possible that they're simply waiting for their favorite game to start if they gaze at the same wall all day.


They've Got a Good Ear for Sounds


Cats can hear like a cat's ears. Animals like humans and dogs can hear a broader range of frequencies than apes. So it's possible that your cat has the ability to hear things that you do not. Buildings settle, but they also include pipes and ducts, which may be a safety hazard.


It's possible that your cat has picked up on sounds like water flowing or air hissing as they pass through a pipe or duct. Outside animals can get inside our houses, of course. Cats may hear the scurrying of a mouse or other animal that has gotten into your house.


If this happens, they may be gazing at the wall. However, the sound does not have to originate from within the wall. Apartment dwellers should be aware that their cat may be hearing their next-door neighbors, even if they seem to be quiet from your vantage point.


In What Situations Should You Be Alarmed?


Your cat's proclivity for wall-watching may be an indication of a medical condition.


Cognitive problems in cats


  • Cat dementia is a condition that occurs in certain elderly cats and is formally recognized as feline cognitive impairment. This resembles human dementia and senility. Cats that suffer from cognitive impairment may yowl excessively at night or gaze blankly at the walls.


The condition is known as feline hyperesthesia


Your cat may be suffering from feline hyperesthesia syndrome if they not only gaze at blank walls but also attack their own tail, furiously start to comb their tail base out of nowhere, or if they simply appear excessively sensitive to touch. There have only been a few reports of this disease in the medical literature up to now.


Not many veterinarians are familiar with this diagnosis, but that may be because it is rare or just difficult to understand a cat's typical behavior in a veterinary environment. Cats with hyperesthesia syndrome frequently move from a manic condition of intense grooming and tail swatting to an almost trance-like state of gazing out at a wall while they are suffering from this illness.


In the event that you experience any of these signs, you should record a video with your smartphone. Having a video of your cat's behavior may be a huge help to your vet when trying to figure out what's wrong with her strange household habits.



There are a plethora of reasons why cats choose to fix their gaze on the wall. We don't always know what they've seen or heard, but most of the time they're trying to find out why.

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