Why do cats stare at walls?

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  1. bethperry profile image85
    bethperryposted 11 years ago

    Why do cats stare at walls?

    We've had a few cats that do this, for hours sometimes- just sit there staring or following something along the wall(s) with their line of sight we can't see at all. Does anyone have an idea why a cat does this or what, possibly, their eyes detect that a pair of human eyes don't?


  2. davenmidtown profile image69
    davenmidtownposted 11 years ago

    Many times they here things in the walls...like mice.  When my cats do that after a few days I too can hear whatever is in there digging around.

  3. JohnGreasyGamer profile image77
    JohnGreasyGamerposted 11 years ago

    I think they stare at walls because they're looking for attention - if you go up to them, they might wander away and lead you along. Sometimes it could be the sun projecting beams, and they watch it as it goes away. Maybe it's because of some weird sixth sense?

  4. Amber Killinger profile image86
    Amber Killingerposted 11 years ago

    Anytime one of my cats does this, it's either because:
    1. They hear something in the walls
    2. They hear something outside/on the other side of the walls
    3. They see a bug, sometimes a tiny spider that I don't even notice
    4. They see shadows or light and it catches their interest
    5. They see cat hair or lint or dust bunnies that are moving with the air/heat (yes, then I know it's past time for dusting).

    And sometimes, I don't know. Sometimes I think they started off hearing or seeing something, and then just kind of zoned out.

    Mine never stare for hours though. Usually just minutes.

  5. profile image55
    ozmadelroseposted 11 years ago

    Cats have much more heightened senses than we as humans have. I believe that sometimes they could be sensing a spirit. Depending on your beliefs you may not be open to this response but I believe this to be true at times. When our cat Wessley passed away, our cat Logan who is usually pretty docile started to run around the house as if he was playing with another cat. When we'd look to see who he was playing with there was no other cats around. He would play as if another cat was wrestling with him. He even chased his tail as if a cat was playing with it which he has only done if in fact one of the cats actually was playing with it. We thought maybe he was playing with Wessley in spirit form. Of course, we did not see any cat playing with him but Logan is not the type of cat to act the way he was acting if he was just playing by himself. There definitely seemed to be another cat he was playing with.

    1. profile image50
      Dave Wickettposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I have to agree with you about ghost cats.  My cats (both of them) stare into the top left corner of the bathroom and, they also look at the same place from the bedroom beside the bathroom.  The walls are solid steel-reinforced concrete so not mice.

    2. de profundis profile image65
      de profundisposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I hope when my Salem does this it is because she is seeing the protective spirit of her sister and her human grandma.

  6. crazyhorsesghost profile image71
    crazyhorsesghostposted 11 years ago


    They see or hear things that you can not. Some cats like to play with sun light and dust. I have one cat that chases something I can not see.

  7. Brandon Martin profile image61
    Brandon Martinposted 11 years ago

    Maybe they're trying to think of a fun way to climb it.

    Maybe the house is haunted.

    Maybe they are counting all of the lines, or bumps, or maybe they are looking at colors that many people can't see emit from the walls.

  8. drpennypincher profile image88
    drpennypincherposted 10 years ago

    I think this may be an extension of the concept that cats are on the wrong side of any door.  When a door is closed, my cats will sometimes get right up against the door and stare at it until it is opened.  Maybe the presence of the wall is bothering your cats and they are staring at it wishing it wasn't there...

  9. Lor's Stories profile image60
    Lor's Storiesposted 10 years ago

    I'm not sure but when my cat does it she freaks me out.
    She just freezes and glares at the wall unless she can see through walls.
    Maybe she hears something. Then that freaks me out too.
    Maybe she's shadow boxing, or maybe she's tired of looking at humans.
    Good question,

  10. profile image51
    All-Answersposted 10 years ago

    They can probably hear bugs in the walls, or under the floor. Cats have sensitive hearing, and they can hear things humans can't,
    My 3 cats do that all the time.
    And when a cat follows "Whatever" it might see or hear something move, and follow it.
    I am pretty sure it isn't ghosts, but you can never be sure.
    Or your cats could have like a 6th scene or something. And be able to see past residences in your house.

  11. profile image49
    Ginia456posted 10 years ago

    My cat stares at the wall when she wants to play. She will look at the wall and then look at me. At that point, if you don't want to play, then don't put your hand on the wall. She will jump at it if you do.

    In most cases, the cat does hear something in the wall or see a bug on it. Sometimes, it could be something as simple as a shadow on the wall that can catch their attention.

  12. BChild75 profile image59
    BChild75posted 10 years ago

    My cat does this when he sees his shadow or reflection of something, also it has been said animals can detect the paranormal....so

  13. sickdub profile image59
    sickdubposted 10 years ago

    because cats have amazing imaginations silly!

  14. SandraSmith12 profile image58
    SandraSmith12posted 8 years ago

    I guess they wonder how to escape. I would say that cats are smarter than dogs. So, cats sit and stare at walls for hours and eventually jump on the wall. Or maybe they see something really interesting on the wall, like a fly...

  15. Besarien profile image77
    Besarienposted 7 years ago

    Cats can sense a lot of things we can't. They are able to see into the ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They also can hear things happening in the general direction of the wall in question that you can not hear- it could be something IN the wall, like mice or termites and could be something FAR BEYOND the wall like another cat prowling your neighbor's lawn or some distant yet particularly interesting cricket a mile away from our range of hearing.

    Let's face it, your cat is mysterious. It may operate on another plane of existence all together. It may be sensing things humans can't sense. Who knows whether these "things" are spirits or gravity waves or fun hallucinations due to the chemicals that felines release in their brains when they get bored?

    Your cat also may be communicating to you through body language, showing you her/his back as a form of protest. Perhaps the flavor of cat food this morning was somehow lacking. Maybe you ruthlessly kicked the litter pan an inch to the left last time you scooped it. Who is to say how many millions of ways you might have offended the poor thing?

    Best just to ask your cat this question next time the wall becomes fascinating. While you probably don't deserve real answers, it never hurts to ask. Just the act of trying to communicate with your feline overlord might earn you enough points to save a favorite sweater or endless rolls of toilet paper in the future.

  16. hglick profile image81
    hglickposted 7 years ago

    Usually cats stare at walls because this is the most common place to find spider webs and spiders. Any movement created by another living thing will grab a cats attention immediately.  They are hunters and this is one of the examples of how they follow their prey.

  17. roselinsojan profile image61
    roselinsojanposted 7 years ago

    Cats stare at walls because they wand something to eat.

  18. Mercy and poetry profile image64
    Mercy and poetryposted 7 years ago

    Hi, I just think the cat is wondering why it cannot climb the wall? And if it can, then how? Heh! They like climbing walls too, don't forget that.

  19. Kiss andTales profile image60
    Kiss andTalesposted 7 years ago

    Cats are so amusing ! another beautiful creation of veriety even in the wild jungle there are so many people usally  give no attention to how many.
    Since your hub is about cats and I must admit I do not know why they look at the wall,  it's possible their hearing is far more advance then humans, they can hear things between the wall or behind them.this could be the case.
    I like to add two of the most interesting things I learn lately about some cats.
    There is a cat that looks just like most domestic house cats, size shape ,and shades,
    But his teeth is for eating the flesh and blood of prey even a human. Saw this cat at the zoo.
    Also interesting and funny on YouTube the cat and a cucumber, 
    There is something  that they do not like about a cucumber if you place it behind them when they turn around its freaks them out.
    I don't know do all cats do it but it showed theses did.
    My family raised to litters when my kids were teens it was a delight to see them love them and bound and care for them.
    Thanks for your hub question. Bethperry

  20. Nidhun Raj profile image57
    Nidhun Rajposted 6 years ago

    Cats do some pretty funny things, and I usually don’t stop to analyze them. They just “are.” I suppose I sometimes do weird things that people don’t question … or do they? Doing fake Karate in the kitchen is pretty normal, right? Yeah, I thought so.

    One feline activity I’ve never really pondered is wall-staring. They all do it. Sometimes they sit with their noses nearly flat-against a wall. And what do they do? Stare. At what? I spent a little time considering the topic, and here are some of my thoughts. Total speculation, but probably pretty accurate.

    I think.

    1. Bugs or other tiny objects

    Cats have keen senses and certainly see things we sometimes miss. When they stare at walls, it’s possible they could be intently examining a little bug or piece of dust. Kitties have fantastic staying power, so they could probably place all their attention on that tiny spot for a lengthy amount of time. But if it’s a bug, and it moves, the cat will go absolutely insane. That’s how you know it’s a bug.

    2. Imagined shapes and designs

    I remember lying in my grandma’s bed and staring at the patterns in the wood-paneled walls. There was one particular area that looked just like an owl, and I thought that was pretty awesome. And then another area resembled a screaming ghoul — that was not as awesome, especially when you’re five.

    Maybe cats also see shapes and designs in patterned walls and doors. I’m thinking they’d naturally gravitate toward images like can openers and (gasp!) vacuum cleaners, the equivalent of my screaming ghoul.

    3. The future

    Perhaps cats use a wall as a sort of crystal ball, and see visions of the future while they’re staring. This could be why they seem to be hiding when we bring out the cat carrier or need to administer a pill. Yeah, they saw that business coming way ahead of time.

    4. Ghosts

    Cats are often thought to be intuitive and have a closer connection to the spirit world than the majority of humans. I’ve spoken to many people who are certain their cat saw something paranormal and reacted in ways that didn’t seem explainable otherwise. It could be a ghost hanging around on a wall’s surface, and maybe kitty and the entity are having a rousing mental exchange. Hey, you never know.

    5. Nothing

    OK, it’s also highly possible cats are staring at a wall and seeing absolutely nothing. I tried it myself and didn’t see a ghost, a screaming ghoul, visions of the future, or bugs. I did, however, notice a small stain from when I dropped a

  21. bluesradio profile image58
    bluesradioposted 6 years ago

    Probably contemplating the meaning of life, and wondering why you aren't doing the same?

  22. Goldia profile image55
    Goldiaposted 6 years ago

    Our kitten loves to look at some walls. I finally figured out why. He was fascinated with watching reflections on the wall from light at night and from silver handles.

  23. Susan Sears profile image90
    Susan Searsposted 6 years ago

    I am not sure why cats stare at walls but I had a dog that would do that - we used to joke that he was putting himself in the corner again. The sad part was that the dog eventually got diagnosed with a "doggie dementia." Yes, there is such a diagnosis-he really got bad with sitting in the corner - staring at walls. Eventually he even got nippy do to this and we had to put him down sad

  24. zaton profile image79
    zatonposted 6 years ago

    Because they want to be set free. Cat's are looking at the walls for evidence that it can be scaled. It's natural and genetic...you should see a cougar leap over a 14 foot gate - one of the most impressive things you'll ever witness. Or, a 600 pound tiger propel itself 7 feet in the air. Whew. http://pinstor.us/articles/african-lion … -big-cats/

  25. Rachu Murali profile image56
    Rachu Muraliposted 6 years ago

    Cats are thinking of taking the High Jump Outside and Measuring the Wall,  so that they can search for Rats Outside.

  26. mslizzee profile image64
    mslizzeeposted 6 years ago

    My cats stare at the floor,transfixed. I 'm pretty sure it's chipmunks that burrow under the dirt in the basement. They just sit and stare and wait. It gets prevalent in the winter when the chipmunks cozy up to the heater vents. That is so noisy even I hear it and the cats are loving it.


  27. ChadCrouch profile image56
    ChadCrouchposted 6 years ago

    I was also wondering about that on a lot of occasions before. Perhaps they're stalking a small insect as prey?


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