Why Does My Cat Stare at the Wall?
Cats are some very interesting yet mysterious creatures, often very friendly and playful, but sometimes a bit odd. Cats are known for doing something very weird, for sitting there and staring at walls.
If you have a cat, chances are that at some point in time, you will notice it staring at the wall. So, why does my cat stare at the wall? It’s a pretty interesting topic of discussion as there are a variety of reasons for this odd behavior.
The Cat Hears Something
One reason why you might think that your cat is staring at the wall is because it hears something. The important distinction here is that if your cat hears something and is trying to hone in on the source of the sound, or it is just trying to figure out what the sound is, it may stare off in a single direction or cock its head.
If this is the case, your cat is not really looking at anything at all. Instead, it is keenly focused on whatever sound it is hearing. Your cat may be hearing those creaky pieces of wood that your house is made of, it might be hearing vents or air ducts, or it might even be hearing rodents, insects, or other pests in the walls.
A cat that is staring at something and sitting like a statue is often in the middle of focusing on a sound that it hears, a sound that your human ears may not be able to pick up on.
The Cat Sees Something (That You Can’t)
Another reason why your cat may be staring at the wall is because it actually sees something. No, it’s not seeing ghosts or some kind of optical illusion. Cats have much better vision than we humans do. It has been shown that cats may be able to see some wavelengths of light which our relatively weak human eyes can’t, such as ultraviolet light for one. Your cat may be seeing the sun reflecting off a particle of dust on the wall, they might see a miniature spider or insect, or anything else you can’t see for yourself.
Remember that cats also have excellent night vision, which means that they can also see things in dim light much better than we can. So, if your cat is staring at the wall, chances are they can see something which you cannot.
The Laser Pointer Problem
Yes, making your cat go wild with a laser pointer is always a sight to behold. Cats truly go nuts trying to find and chase that laser dot. However, this can actually lead to a bigger issue.
If you play with the laser pointer for more than a few minutes per day, it has been shown that cats will start to obsess over it. In other words, if your cat knows that there is often a dot of light flying around the house, it may begin to anticipate its next return.
Simply put, people who overdo it with the laser may literally cause their cats to be always on the lookout for that red dot. Yes, it is a problem, and for this reason most experts recommend avoiding excessive laser play.
There is a condition which may affect cats, one called hyperesthesia. Cats with this condition often exhibit maniacal behavior. They might paw at random things in the air, they might run back and forth uncontrollably, and they may stare at the wall.
Other common symptoms associated with this condition include random meowing and howling, enlarged pupils, aggressively attacking its own tail, sensitivity to touch, and frantic grooming (particularly at the base of the tail).
Unfortunately, it is not known whether this condition is caused by genetics, abnormal brain waves, stress, seizures, brain lesions, or by something else. If this is the case for your cat, you want to bring it to a vet for an examination.
That said, many people have found that reducing stress is a great way to take care of this issue, or at least to mitigate it. Regular play and lots of exercise tend to work best to destress cats to the point where their behavior may return to normal.
For the most part, if your cat is staring at the wall, it’s usually nothing to be too concerned about. Chances are that the cat sees or hears something which your eyes and ears are too weak to pick up on. Remember, their senses are much better than ours. That said, laser pointers and hyperesthesia are both problems to consider as well, so be diligent if your cat is showing this behavior.