As a cat owner, there is no doubt you love all the obvious cat traits like; those perfect toe beans, the squishy tiggly belly, those tiny teef – they are just so stinking cute, aren’t they?!
Of course, cats are more than just the sum of their parts. They are all unique in their personalities and the weird ways they express themselves. Oftentimes this results in them doing things that really seem to have no rhyme or reason. One such behavior is staring at the wall. Not you, not their food, not their toys, but the plain old wall. Why though? Why is my cat staring at the wall? Do they know something I don’t?
Don’t worry, there are a lot of different potential reasons for your cat staring at the wall that could make sense. Let’s take a closer look:
Why Is My Cat Staring At The Wall?
The most likely reason you’re frantically looking up ‘cat staring at wall’ and ‘my cat keeps staring at the wall’ on your search engine is because you’re concerned. The search engine might not help reassure you. That is because there is likely to be one result that comes up that is a worry and that is ‘cat staring at wall disease’, which can mean a couple of potential medical issues you do need to be concerned about:
Your cat might stare at the wall in between periods of what seem to be very elevated ‘zoomies’. They might stare or paw at the wall before running around, stopping abruptly and meowing or twitching their tail with an intense stare. Other symptoms include:
- Deep guttural meowing or howling
- Sensitivity to being stroked
- Frantic grooming, often centred on the tail base
- Dilated pupils
- Cat playing with its own tail
The cause of this kind of behaviour is often normal for your cat and shouldn’t be a concern. However, if the behaviour is new or concerning to you, it could be worth having your vet doing an exam just to rule out anything nasty like seizures, spine lesions or abnormal brain waves.
If your cat is pressing its head against the wall, floor or other surfaces (often the very top of the cat’s head) for a good period of time, every time, it might be a sign they have a serious medical condition.
It should not be mistaken for normal head butting or even a cat falling asleep in a strange position. It is often where they are seeking out resting the top of their head on a wall, piece of furniture or person on purpose. It could mean there is a neurological issue going on that needs quick attention from a vet, so do seek advice from your veterinarian if you think your cat’s head pressing is abnormal.
The good news is that your cat staring at the wall is unlikely to be anything unusual, and rather it is because of the following reasons:
Cats Have Phenomenal Vision
Cats can see some wavelengths of light that we can’t, and they also have more light-sensing rods than we do. That means that they might see the tiniest bit of reflective material, dust or light on the wall and you just can’t see it. It is this trait that enables cats to see in low light too, which is why you might catch them staring at a wall in a room even with the lights out.
Cats Can Communicate Where They Want Us To Go
In the same way dogs can let us know they want a walk by running between us and the hook where their lead is, cats can do similar things to let us know what they want. If your cat is staring at you and then staring at the wall, it may be that they are actually trying to get you to go into the kitchen to feed them or, to the treat box up on the shelf. Their staring may well just be them letting you know what they want.
Your Cat Could Hear Something
As well as better vision than us, cats have better hearing than us too. They could hear a pest scratching behind the wall, or even some music being played next door. They might hear creaking or air being blown through cracks. They might be staring at that particular wall because they can hear something that we can’t.
There’s An Insect
If your cat seems to be chirping at the wall whilst they stare it may well be that there is an insect that you can’t see. A tiny moth, an ant, a fly, a spider – your cat has a great skill at detecting minute movements. If they seem to jump up the wall at some point after staring, you can almost guarantee there’s a little critter there they are after.
Your Cat Feels They Are In Danger
Cats can go very still when they think they could be in danger. It may well be that they have a sense of threat and so that place in front of the wall is where they have decided feels safe. They may even stare at it because something tells them there is a threat related to that wall.
Your Cat Feels Unwell
Sometimes a cat will make themselves small and stare because they feel unwell. If the staring is associated with symptoms like; throwing up water or bile, diarrhea, sensitive to touch near any particular area or you suspect they may have been involved in a car accident or poisoning, you should get them to a vet ASAP.
Why Not Stare With Your Cat Next Time?
Maybe, just maybe, your cat is staring at the wall like we sit and contemplate a fine piece of art in a gallery. They could just be taking in the nuances of that surface and it’s exquisite offerings, who knows?
Next time they stare, grab a drink and sit staring with them. Maybe you’ll notice something different about that wall, maybe you’ll look absolutely bonkers. One thing is for sure though, you’ll get to spend a little more time with your favourite feline, which is always something to be treasured.