Imagine the picture. You are having fun with your cat, and suddenly meow-buddy stares sharply at the room behind you. When you turn on the light there, you see nothing. However, goosebumps already run on the skin, and creepiness entered the chat.
You walk around the room, look under the bed, behind the closet, in every corner… But there’s nothing special at all. However, your cat continues to look into the void as if seeing what you do not see and hear what you do not hear…
Spooky as hell, right?
Dollars for doughnuts, in moments like these, you wonder, can cats see ghosts or what in God’s name is going on here? So, we suggest you not torment yourself with guesses, get that alien meowed one on your trembling knees, and figure out the matter as soon as possible.
Maybe it’s not even a ghost or an evil spirit, but an ordinary tiny Boogeyman, cute Teke-Teke, or domesticated Krampusnacht?
Cat and Human Sense the World Differently
It’s worldwide talked-of that cats are much more sensitive than other domesticated animals, what to say about humans. Then, to deal with such an amusing thing as cats gazing into nowhere, we need to explore their perception of the world.
And if you are hoping to see something magical like a cat’s 6th sense here, we have to disappoint you. After all, such stories are suitable for Halloween to have some fun, but in reality, one should not forget earthly prosaicness and healthy skepticism.
Perhaps some of our cat-loving readers have guessed that the answer lies on the surface. More precisely, it’s about only three things: cat eyes, ears, and scent, which are much more different from people.
Therefore, it’s quite possible that if a cat looks at an empty sofa for hours with slightly pricking up ears and moving nose, there might chill some invisible (to you) Caspers, Hamlet Kings, The Flying Dutchmen, or whatever else.
The Unknown Side of Cat Hearing & Smelling
Cats can smell a bird or a mouse more than 10 meters away. Also, if people hear about 9.3 octaves, cats can catch more than 10.5 ones.
Maybe, it’ll surprise you, but a cat’s hearing is phenomenally strong and sensitive, thanks to whiskers. So yep, this funny feline mustache isn’t so green as they look. There are many receptors that ordinary human beards even never dreamed of.
Therefore, it is not strange that sometimes cats freeze, looking at one point. Just imagine how much they hear!
Maybe they are listening to the steps of the neighbor’s cat on the roof right now? Or the rumbling of your stomach after a heavy dinner?
Or are they listening to a pompous mouse, which you didn’t even know about, but is already behaving like the queen of your basement?
What You Don’t Know About Feline Vision
It is known that felines have an enormous field of view: 200 degrees, compared with our 180. Also, their peripheral vision is much stronger than humans, so cats can see even the tiny fly behind their back which we’ll never notice. Special receptors called rods let purr buddies see six to eight times better than any person in the dark.
Multiply all this by the incredibly sensitive ears and catfish-like whiskers, and then answer yourself whether your cat sees a ghost. We believe it’s entirely possible.
Three Non-Obvious Reasons Why Cats Love to Stare in Nothing
Some scientists, including animal specialists Dr. Gutierrez and Dr. Zimmerman, did not want to dwell on such easily noticed facts and dug a little deeper.
Hence, we will be happy to present to you 3 (not the most known) reasons why cats sometimes stare off into space for a long time by these qualified vets.
And Ariana Grande, Raoul Duke, and Roy Woods will become our cat-assistants in this.
1. “The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole”
If you take a picture of a cat in the dark, his eyes will glow as if he has absorbed all the light around. The cause of this glow appears to be the tapetum lucidum, a specific tissue layer in the cat’s eye. It captures even the most minor light and returns, and one might say, mirrors it through the retina.
Therefore, the cat can peer into nowhere in the dark, catching the remnants of light to upgrade its tapetum lucidum. In simple words, he widens his eyes and captures as much light as possible to see well in the dark; when going to the kitchen to eat something at night. And your cat doesn’t want to bump into the door or the table like his clumsy big cat-man.
2. “We had two bags of catnip and a sea of Nepeta cataria…”
Yes, catnip can often be prescribed to very anxious and nervous cats to calm them down. But if your kitty takes too much of this relaxing herb, you’ll know right away.
Then her slightly distracted gaze will be directed to one point as if she is catching some flashbacks.
This reaction does not occur in all cats; some may have more severe symptoms, such as hypersalivation. It’s not as scary as overprotective cat moms might think. But still, we highly recommend you not to play with catnip and use it only for its intended purpose.
3. “Just following my instinct. Just know that I stay in sync”
Cats are hunters by nature, at any time of the day and under any circumstances. Hence, sometimes, having seen something (e.g., a tiny glare of your phone on the glass), your cat can sit for a long time and look at the point where it was.
Thus, your purring friend is either waiting for the appearance of his prey or for a dangerous enemy.
Cat buddy just wants to protect the territory or catch some yummy for his big weirdo feline obsessed with ghosts and other mystical business stuff.
Thank you! We hope you enjoyed our article! And don’t be scared of ghosts as your cat is always on guard to protect you, kicking asses of all the mysterious & spooky bastards.