Why Do Cats Stare At Nothing? 9 Reasons For This Behavior

In this post, we’ll share an amazing experiment conducted by Dr. Brian Hare that shows just how much your cats are observing and thinking.

Have you ever wondered why your cat stares at nothing for hours? Maybe it’s staring at that big ball of yarn you keep throwing. Or maybe it’s staring at the screen of your computer. If you think it might be staring at your soul, then you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll show you “Why Do Cats Stare At Nothing?”.

Why Do Cats Stare At Nothing?

why does my cat stare at nothing

Cats like unwinding in their favorite area. You’ll probably notice your cat looking into space as if they’re under some sort of spell, whether they’re sleeping in the cat condo or starring out a window. But why is your cat looking at nothing in particular?

Their sense of vision is different from humans.

Cats have a different perspective on the universe than humans; have you ever observed your cat looking at something late at night when you can’t see anything? This is due to their superb night vision. Rod cells and cone cells are photoreceptor cells in a cat’s retina. Unlike humans, cats have more rod cells, which allows them to detect dim light and track motions. Cats can see small insects that we can’t, so it may appear as if they’re looking at nothing when they’re actually starring at an army of bugs.

They have a keen sense of hearing.

The ears of cats are extremely sensitive to noises and sounds. Another reason cats look at nothing is that they can pick up a high frequency that is barely audible to humans. Consider a modest buzzing sound coming from your refrigerator; to you, it may appear to be a small spectrum of noise, but to your cat, it is painfully loud. Your cat’s attention deepens as the sound persists.

They’ve indulged in catnip.

why does my cat stare at nothing

Catnip’s benefits mainly include a calm and comfortable cat. Because of a molecule called nepetalactone, cats are drawn to catnip. The oil in catnip called nepetalactone affects a cat’s sensory neurons. Euphoria can occur after it reaches the nasal canal, giving cats a “high” feeling. Have you ever seen a drunk person looking at the ground? If that’s the case, your cat could be looking at nothing for the same reason.

They have episodic memory.

According to research, cats have episodic memory in the same manner that humans do. The capacity to recall a specific prior experience, such as the first time you ate ice cream or saw a movie in a theater, is known as episodic memory. Cats’ episodic memory might include recalling that the sun shines on a pole in the front yard at the same time every day, resulting in a reflection. They may also recall a happy incident and fantasize in the same way that humans do. They could even delight themselves by conjuring up nice recollections. It’s possible that your cat’s memory is working if it’s looking into space.

They’re having a seizure.

Although no cat owner wants to think of their feline pet developing a medical ailment, it does happen. A focused seizure is one such disease that might force you to stare into the void. This form of seizure, which originates in the cerebral cortex, might lead a cat to gaze into space. Focal seizures afflict just one side of the brain and are often inherited. It’s vital to note that if drooling or incoordination occurs, a trip to the veterinarian is required.

Curiosity hasn’t killed your cat.

why does my cat stare at nothing

Cat parents know that cats are inquisitive creatures that will pursue anything that attracts their sight or nose. An itsy-bitsy spider scurrying around on the inside of the glass or microscopic dust particles that people can’t see can pique a cat’s interest for hours.

Your cat has dysautonomia.

If your cat’s blank stare persists and worsens, you should investigate dysautonomia as a possibility. The Key-Gaskell syndrome is a disorder in which the afflicted feline loses control of its involuntary neurologic functions. The cat’s reflexes will also be affected.

Dysautonomia can affect cats of all breeds and ages, however it is more typically seen in younger cats.

Dysautonomia can impair the cat’s pupils, breathing, digestion, heart rate, salivation, and urine, among other things. This might be mistaken for rabies by the inexperienced eye.

The following are the signs of the Key-Gaskell syndrome in cats to distinguish dysautonomia from rabies:

Weight loss and anorexia

Pupils that are unresponsive and dilated

I’m staring at nothing in particular.

The third eyelid is raised.

Urine dribbling


Spinal reflexes are poorly controlled.

Muscle atrophy


On the third or fourth day, the symptoms will begin to intensify. If you see any of these signs in your cat, you should take it to the doctor as soon as possible.

Dysautonomia, on the other hand, has no identified etiology. This implies that your veterinarian will concentrate on symptomatic therapy in order to enhance your pet’s quality of life. Medication to maintain the organs and promote regular bladder function is included.

Your cat has hyperesthesia.

why does my cat stare at nothing

Hyperesthesia is another terrible illness that causes a cat to gaze at nothing. The rolling of the feline’s skin is the most obvious sign of this.

Aside from this defining symptom, cats with hyperesthesia will also meow incessantly and loudly for no apparent reason. You’ll also notice weird eye appearances and long periods of looking blankly.

Because physical contact is painful, the afflicted cat will be sensitive to touch. In the long term, when the kitten’s cognitive impairment and hyperesthesia symptoms intensify, the kitty will engage in self-mutilation.

However, you must rule out poisoning before concluding that your cat has hyperesthesia. Skin rolling, similar to that seen in hyperesthesia, can be triggered by hazardous chemicals.

Your cat is aging.

Finally, it’s conceivable that your kitten has reached an elderly age and is losing cognitive abilities.

Senior cats may get disoriented or fixated on a certain thing. They’ll also appear to be lost in their thoughts or in places they used to know. Aging cats, like people, begin to forget things and exhibit strange behavior.

There’s nothing you can do to prevent this from happening. If your cat has been diagnosed with dementia, you’ll want to focus on improving its quality of life. Feline dementia usually develops slowly and worsens over time.

In this instance, the veterinarian will be really beneficial. The doctor will analyze your cat’s condition and make recommendations on how to deal with its deteriorating cognitive abilities.

Is It Bad If My Cat Stares At The Wall?

Staring at the wall is usually harmless. Cats, as we’ve seen, are inquisitive creatures. The blank stares might be caused by anything from a rodent making noises within your wall to the sound of a rusted pipe hiding beneath the drywall. However, it’s crucial to be aware of a condition known as head pressing. When your cat “presses” its head against the wall, this is known as head pressing. A issue with your cat’s neurological system is the cause of this ailment. Visual issues, repetitive circling, and behavioral abnormalities are some of the signs. If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

How Do I Know If My Cat Sees A Ghost?

Some individuals believe in ghosts, while others do not. Ghost tales have been around for decades, and some cat owners believe it’s a paranormal occurrence when their cat stares at nothing. It’s true that having your cat’s eyes track something we can’t see may be a creepy experience. After reading this essay, you should feel more at ease knowing that there are alternative potential explanations. We’re not saying you should abandon your ghost beliefs because, in the end, everything is possible—especially in the feline world!


It’s called gaze following because, like humans, cats are fascinated by what they see. They have a natural urge to look at anything shiny, interesting, or new. Cats are extremely curious about the world around them and want to observe and learn. When cats are interested in something, they will follow their gaze. This is the reason behind cats staring at the television or at a window. As a result, you might want to try changing your cat’s environment by giving him/her a toy, scratching post, or a cat tree. Your cat will enjoy exploring the new surroundings, and you will have a more relaxed pet!

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