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Have you ever seen your cat doing strange behavior in and out of the house? Many people have reported that they have witnessed their cats staring at the wall for hours without changing their position.
If your cat is displaying this behavior, do not worry because it is quite normal for him to do so. Almost all people who ask the question ‘why does my cat stare at the wall‘ do so because they cannot see nor perceive anything in the wall that warrants such attention from any creature.
The truth is that your cat is not staring at the wall for no good reason. A study led by Ron Douglas in the year 2014 concluded that cats and some other animals have the ability to see the ultraviolet region of light.
This essentially means that cats have better vision than humans since we can only see the visible light wavelength.
Perhaps this will also explain the reason for other strange behavior exhibited by cats. It is very common to see your cat moving at high speed from one corner of the room to the other, then all of a sudden it changes tact and rolls over your carpet.
It is also true that some cats look at the wall more often and for longer hours than others. It may be that your cat is on the extreme side of it and that is the reason for your worry.
While I have said that it is normal for cats to stalk at the wall even for hours on end, you need to be on the lookout because it can also be a sign of sickness.
Read more on how to tell if my cat is sick, I have also provided tips on taking care of a sick cat in that post.
Apart from having good eyes, cats also possess very high levels of hearing abilities. This makes them able to detect sounds and motions that our ears cannot hear.
The next time you see your cat staring at the wall, just relax because your cat is not looking at ghosts and spirits. He is just exercising his given abilities on eyesight and hearing.
Apart from the wall, cats also have the habit of staring into the space looking at ‘nothing’. This one will most certainly play out when you are spending some outdoor moments with your cat.
Are you wondering ‘why is my cat staring at the wall’ and does this habit bother you in any way?
If you have seen your cat spending long hours staring at the wall, then you may need to find out if there is a possible way to stop that.
Before we figure out how to stop it, let me give you the reasons why do cats stare at walls.
4 Reasons Why Do Cats Stare at Walls
1. Cats have very good vision
The fact that cats have very good vision is enough to explain why they keep doing strange things in the open space including fixing their eyes at the wall.
For us humans, our eyes are limited to what we can see around us, many particles are hovering around us all the time. If we were able to see all then we will never find any comfortable space to have peace of mind.
Your cat can see the light reflection of dust particles on the wall, he can also see small movements and motions on the wall by small insects.
It is very common to see a cat throwing his forelimbs on the air trying to grasp something, most of the time when he does this, we cannot see what he is playing with.
Cats are also able to see in a dim environment such as a dark room where a human cannot see anything other than darkness.
The next time you see your cat turning his gaze upon the wall for long, don’t be scared, it’s only that he sees better than you.
2. Cats have very good hearing ability
Cats have a broad hearing range of between 48 Hz to 85 kHz which is one of the broadest hearing ranges in animals.
To bring it to perspective, our hearing range as humans is 20 Hz to 20 kHz while that of dogs is 67Hz to 45kHz.
We can clearly see that cats possess a broader hearing range even when compared to other animals. In essence, this means that your cat can detect sounds which you cannot hear.
When there is a mouse moving on the other side of the wall, the cat will stare at the wall in keenness of where the sound is coming from.
3. Cats are curious
Cats have a very complicated brain which has been the subject of research for quite a long time. An old-time saying goes ‘curiosity killed the cat’.
It is this particular behavior that makes your feline friend fix his eyes upon the walls of your house, maybe trying to figure out small movements happening there.
It has been reported that what dogs can observe for seconds, cats will take hours to scrutinize.
It is also common for cats to study their prey. You can see this practice when your cat has taken hold of a rodent, sometimes he will stare at the rodent for hours without harming it.
In this case, the cat is trying to figure out something about the rodent in his custody.
4. Your cat could be sick
Your kitty friend might just be suffering from a condition known as feline hyperesthesia when he keeps observing the wall for long periods with increased frequency.
Luckily enough, there are other major symptoms that will tell you whether your cat is suffering from hypesthesia.
- Cats with this condition are very sensitive when touched, you will notice an aggressive reaction whenever you touch him.
2. Another major symptom is shown by the cat attacking his tail.
3. Overgrooming is also another symptom of this condition, and the cat often does this on his paws and tail.
Have a look at the video below by Dr. Becker where she talks more about feline hyperesthesia
It is not very clear what causes hyperesthesia; it could be anything from stress to more complicated seizures and injuries along the cat’s spinal cord.
You can eliminate or minimize your cat’s stress by maintaining a routine that involves playing and training your cat. Make sure your cat is well fed on a balanced diet not forgetting regular water supply and veterinary checks.
If after staring at the wall, your cat then moves along to press his head against the wall for a prolonged time, then you have a reason to worry.
This condition is known as head pressing and it is a definite sign of a serious medical problem especially in the nervous system. In this case, make a quick appointment to see your vet.
Having looked at the possible reasons for this behavior, let me now take you through a guide on how to live with this situation.
4 Tips on How to Deal With This Situation
Some people are concerned about the behavior of their cats. Mostly, it becomes more concerning when your cat overdoes it as he seems to ‘enjoy’ it.
As a cat owner, you need to be aware that your kitty needs stimulations to prevent him from getting bored throughout the day. When your cat is bored, he will often over groom himself and attack furniture within your house.
As we have established, a cat looking at the wall is not a direct sign of sickness or boredom.
As a cat owner, you might be interested in spending more time with your feline friend but unfortunately, you don’t receive much attention from him because of this behavior.
A better way of controlling this behavior is by joining your cat when he starts staring at the wall. You can do the following:
1. Move towards the wall and let the cat observe your moves to be a sign that you are interested in his attention.
2. You can take a torch and beam light on the wall he is observing. This will catch the attention of the cat immediately. You can then proceed by swinging the beam slowly across all corners and edges of the wall.
3. You can gently hold your cat as he stares at the wall, give him a nice environment to also feel your presence.
4. If you want to significantly reduce the time which your cat spends staring at the wall, you can remove houseplants that are hanging from the wall as well as the multi-colored decorations.
This will significantly remove the motion experienced on the wall hence losing the cat’s attention with time.
Cat owners who have often asked ‘why does my cat stare at the wall‘ are always concerned about the health and well-being of their kitty hence they can notice strange behavior quite often.
However, it is practically impossible to fully understand everything that a cat does, we have already seen that their eye and ear capabilities are far much better than humans’.
I recommend having a strong social connection with your cat as this will lead to an overall better experience with the pet.
Always be keen on ensuring that the walls of your house are not laced with any toxic substances that may cause danger to your feline friend. Make your house as mild as possible especially in areas where your cat can reach with ease.
How long does your cat stare at the wall, and how often does he do it? Please let me know in the comments below.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals since a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.
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