Why Is My Cat Staring at Walls or at Nothing?

Besides being playful, extremely brainy and so cutes, cats are also curious creatures who want to interact and communicate with their owners, other kitties or pets.

They use various ways to communicate to you, other kitties or pets. Just watch their ears, tail, head, or pay attention as they meow, purr, hiss, chatter, yowl or growl. They are only trying to send messages, express themselves or ‘talk’.

One common thing these pets do is to stare. Don’t even imagine competing with them as they are obviously going to trounce you without even having to blink.

Why do cats stare at the walls, nothing or space?

We had a discussion on why kitties stare at their owners or why they may gaze at each other. Let us look at the possible reasons why these pets may keep their eyes fixed at a wall, blank space, out of the window or what may seem like nothing.

Why does my cat stare at the wall
Why does my cat stare at the wall?

Why do they do so? Are they seeing something we are unable to see? Are they trying to avoid making eye contact with us?

1. Kitties have superior vision

Cats have an acute or heightened sense of vision that enables them to see things we cannot see including on darker walls or poorly illuminated area, and so forth.

It is possible they are looking at small bugs on crevices on your wall, dust particles reflection by the sun or even a reflection on your television on the wall.

As Live Science notes, “many animals see in ultraviolet, and a study now suggests that cats, dogs, and other mammals can, too.”

Therefore, there is a possibility that they are seeing something we may not be able to see with our own eyes. For instance, they may be stalking prey on the wall since they have natural hunting instincts before they can sneak on them without being detected.

2. They may be hearing things

Secondly, besides their acute sight, they also have a superior hearing sense. In fact, they can detect some subtle motions we might not.

For example, they may have detected some noises including rodents climbing on the outer side of the wall or on the outside of the part of the corner they are staring at.

By staring, they are trying to be watchful or being detectives to any noise they may have heard which may be subtle or beyond the sound frequencies, we can hear.

3. Trying to figure out something

Katie Armour, the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center coordinator, notes that she has seen her cats staring at a dark corner or blank wall. This can be attributed to the fact that they have a spectacular brain we might not grasp how it works.

Katie notes that “when a cat is watching something that doesn’t seem to be there, or if they call out to us about this perceived presence, we should respect that not only are they trying to figure this something out, but they’re wondering if the situation is safe.”

Do not do anything that will make these pets feel threatened as you try to investigate why they are staring at what seems to be nothing.

4. Is it curiosity?

Sometimes, kitties stare at various things including in the space, wall, corners, out of the window, their owners, and other objects out of pure curiosity.

Therefore, they can sit and stare at various things for no apparent reason other than curiosity.

5. Could it be an erratic behavior?

Petplace notes that hyperesthesia may make your cat to “stare at the wall in between episodes of seeming mania.” Pawing on things on air, twitch their tail, rip their skin, and so on may also be noted. Some may even do the head pressing.

According to PetMD, common symptoms of hyperesthesia may include “twitching skin, the violent swishing of the tail, and repeated biting or licking of the back, tail, and pelvic limbs. Affected cats often have dilated pupils, appear agitated, and express erratic behavior.”

6. Do ghosts make them stare at nothing or space?

Kitties gazing into space or nothing has been associated with the presence of ghosts, things we cannot see.

Do cats see ghosts or spirits of dead people and other supernatural beings? I don’t think so. I don’t believe in them. This is more on to the side of superstitions that reality. Maybe your feline pal is just trying to figure something out.

Old cat staring at a wall or space

If your elderly or geriatric cats stare at a wall, it could be due to any of the reasons we have looked at above.

Also, as it may be due to cognitive decline or cognitive dysfunction syndrome where according to Dr. Catheryn Becker, may make your cat to disoriented and confused. For instance, it may “wander aimlessly, stare at walls, and appear lost or confused at times or stand still and stare.”


If your cat keeps staring at the wall including a blank one or on space, corner and so on, you do not need to be worried unless they are also showing some abnormal behaviors that need medical attention.

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