Why does my cat stare at the wall?

If you’re wondering the same thing, stick around!

We gathered 7 possible reasons behind this funny cat habit.

Read on to learn what they are!

Why does your cat stare at the wall?

Wouldn’t it be great to simply ask your cats what motivates some of their more unusual behaviors?

Sure, you can talk to them, but it’s very much a one-way conversation. 

When your cat does something strange without any apparent reason, you can start to wonder if there is something wrong with them, if it’s normal, or if your kitty is just a little bit crazy.

If your cat stares at the wall, know you are not alone; it’s a reasonably common feline pass time.

Your cat may not be able to tell you what he finds so fascinating about the wall, but perhaps the following 7 suggestions will give you some idea. 

READ MORE: Cat Tail Attacking Syndrome: Do You Need to Worry?

1. Your Cat Can See Something

Cat’s eyes are well suited for hunting in low light. This means that they may notice things we humans don’t.

Tiny bugs, shadows, or reflections could be what is drawing their attention.

In a 2014 study, biologists at City University London found that cats can see light wavelengths invisible to humans, so your cat could even be looking at something that is impossible for you to see.

2. Your Cat Can Hear Something

A Louisiana State University paper revealed that a cat’s sense of hearing is far more sensitive than a human’s or even a dog’s.

They hear high pitched sounds that we would never even notice. 

Our homes have all kinds of pipes and other systems inside the walls. The subtle, curious noises these make could be fascinating for an inquisitive cat.

Some homes may have rats or insects living inside the walls. All of these are bound to appeal to the natural predator within your cat.

Pipes or pests, your cat will stare at the wall as it tries to make sense of the noises coming from within.

3. Your Cat is Hunting

When it comes to hunting, cats can be very patient. They will study and stalk their target until they find the perfect opportunity to pounce.

In an article by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, they explain that cats will remain motionless for long periods of time while hunting.

If something on or in the wall catches your cat’s attention and they decide it is worthy of hunting, it would be fairly typical for your cat to stare in that direction waiting for the right moment to strike.

Even if their chosen prey does turn out to be the reflection off your phone screen.

4. Your Cat Remembers

Have you ever reflected the sun onto a wall for your cat to chase? Does the sun cause shadows to appear on your walls at certain times of the day?

Dr. Jeff Werber told Pet MD that pets are capable of storing many different types of memories.

Your cat remembers what and where things happen, but it might not always understand how they came to be.

If the reflection from your watch was an exciting experience for them, they might go back to the wall, hoping to find that reflected light again, even if you’re not there to play.

READ MORE: Why Does My Cat Bite My Nose?

5. Your Cat is an Acoustics Expert

John Clader of Acoustical Surfaces Inc. notes that walls, ceilings, and floors all reflect sound waves. That includes the wall your cat is staring at.

Nobody is suggesting that cats are physicists, but we know that they adjust and rotate their ears to amplify and locate sounds.

Dr. George Strain of Louisiana State University told Pet MD that cats could increase their hearing sensitivity by 15% to 20% by doing this.  

So if a corner or wall in your room reflects sound, your cat may focus its attention there while making sense of the various noises.

6. Your Cat Has a Medical Problem

Chances are, staring at walls is just normal cat behavior. However, in some cases, it can indicate an underlying health issue. 

According to Animalpath.org, cats with feline hyperesthesia syndrome can often appear absent-minded.

This is accompanied by other obvious symptoms such as outbursts of aggression, excessive scratching, grooming, biting, and mutilation of their tail.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine advises it could also be a sign of cognitive disorder or senility in older cats, both of which could cause your cat to appear confused or lost.

Consult a qualified veterinarian if you have any concerns.

READ MORE: Cat Scratching Bed: Is it Normal?

7. Cats Are Just Weird

Let’s face it, cats do some pretty crazy, weird, and wonderful things.

We can study them all we like, but we will never truly know what goes on inside their heads. 

Your cat could be staring at the wall for any of the reasons listed above. Or there could be a completely different explanation that you’d never have imagined.


Whatever the reason, it’s unlikely to be a cause for concern unless your cat shows other apparent symptoms of illness.

Enjoy and appreciate your cat for the marvelous little creature it is and accept its fascination with walls as one of the many quirks that make it unique.

Do you have other ideas why does my cat stare at the wall? Share below!

Peter W
Peter W

Peter is a cat dad who loves sharing his experience with other cat parents.