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Why Is My Cat Staring at the Wall?

picture of a cat

Cats can sometimes have a somewhat mysterious behavior, which could puzzle their pet guardians to the point that they might ask themselves whether there isn’t something wrong with their feline friend.

If you’ve noticed your cat staring at an empty wall for no particular reason, keep on reading as we’re showcasing some causes of this ‘strange’ behavior in this article.

Your cat could be hearing something you don’t

Cats are known to have the ability to hear sounds that we, as humans, aren’t capable of hearing. To give you an example, the human hearing frequency ranges between 20 Hz and 20 kHz, whereas that of cats ranges between 55 Hz and 79 kHz.

If you live in an apartment building and one of your distant neighbors is doing work on their home, you might not be able to hear the noise, but your cat might, and she might be curious about it. Some cats will exhibit this behavior, meaning they will look at a fixed point in the wall, but others will also paw at a spot.

The same goes for sounds that other cats make. While you or any of your friends might not be able to hear it, your feline buddy could be able to.

Your cat could be seeing something you don’t

As you probably know, cats can be pretty playful with a variety of things and beings, including tiny insects. Even if you haven’t noticed a bug on a wall, your cat could be paying attention to it and see whether it’s not getting ready to make a move and become one of its potential victims.

Cats have a keen vision, so you might not be able to see what they’re looking at. This includes particles of dust and debris, but also the way light is reflected on a wall, especially at specific times during the day.

Curiosity

Cats are known to have unpredictable personalities, so if they see any changes in their living environments, they will want to investigate it. But before they do that, they have to assess the situation and see how they stand and maybe if they don’t risk being attacked by a predator lurking somewhere.

If a cat feels threatened at all or if she doesn’t know what to expect, she will be as still as possible. This will allow her to react properly in case something potentially dangerous does happen. Besides, every cat has the tendency to stare once in a while, whether at walls, inanimate objects, or even their owners.

Abnormal behavior 

But what if your cat is staring at a wall because of a medical problem? If that is the case, you are most likely to notice other strange behaviors, not just this one. Most cats that begin to suffer from dementia will start being more withdrawn and will sit in the same place, sometimes for hours on end.

They might stare continuously at someone, an object, or at a wall, but this can sometimes happen with people who have dementia, too.

Geriatric felines can suffer a cognitive decline as they grow older and older, and this usually begins to occur as early as the age of 8 or 9, in some cats. To date, there is no specific explanation for this phenomenon, and some vets presume that it is due to genetic reasons.

If your feline buddy starts being confused or disoriented, he or she might be suffering from a cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Some cats can simply appear to be lost in a space that they should know very well.

What is feline hyperesthesia?

This is a medical condition that shows up rarely in cats, but it can be at the root of this type of behavior, but also others, such as self-destructive tendencies, anxiety, loud vocalizations, a sensitivity to being touched, and enlarged pupils.

Most cats that have hyperesthesia groom themselves to the point that they cause lesions on their bodies.

Unfortunately, even after decades of research, veterinary scientists have still not been able to discover the exact cause of feline hyperesthesia. Some think that it is due to neurologic disorders, whereas others believe that it could be a result of a certain type of trauma that has happened to the cat in the past.

Here are some symptoms that you should notice in a cat that suffers from hyperesthesia:

  • Seizures
  • Vocalizations
  • Continuous self-grooming
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Biting and scratching
  • Dermatitis (which can be mistaken for flea allergy dermatitis)

If you believe that your feline companion exhibits any of these clinical signs, take him or her to the vet clinic as soon as possible. There are some ways of alleviating the severity of the symptoms. For example, the vet might prescribe mild sedatives, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications.

If the cat is suspected of having developed the dermatitis case also because of the diet that you’re feeding her, the veterinarian will also instruct you on what you should feed to your feline friend.

Conclusion

It’s quite likely that, if you see your cat staring at a fixed point on a wall, there’s probably nothing wrong with your pet. As we have noted earlier on, cats can have erratic behaviors once in a while and act strangely for a variety of reasons, but in most cases, this has no repercussions on their health.

Try to offer your pet the best possible care and make sure that you take your cat to the vet at least once or twice a year for regular checkups. If there is even the suspicion that your feline buddy is developing a cognitive dysfunction syndrome or hyperesthesia, it’s always better to have the medical issue diagnosed early.

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