“Alexa, why does my cat stare at the ceiling?”, you utter under your breath trying to sound as serious as possible. You can’t help but giggle every time you catch a glimpse of your curious creature being unapologetically herself. You can’t help but smile every time you take notice of her being odd, quirky, or strange.
Argh, nobody warned you about these sorts of things when you were deciding whether you should commit and bring a thing of fluff you found on the side of the road to your apartment. And oh, that thing of fluff seemed like the most blameless, affectionate, and adoring pet you ever laid your eyes on.
“Alexa, why does my cat display every single of the most common, weird cat behaviors?” When you think about that, your neighbor’s four-legged friend spends her days lounging on the sofa, meowing, and purring. And, the one your friend has doesn’t even bat an eye when you cuddle her for three hours.
But, not your little stinker! She wouldn’t let you cuddle her for more than three minutes, and only after you read and put your signature on the petting terms and conditions.
And, what’s that whole thing with turning on her back while you’re petting her, letting you catch a glimpse of her stomach, and then scratching your eyes out?!
Oh, and don’t even get me started on that “knocking everything she can get her paws on” thing. What’s up with that? Whether she’s looking for attention, establishing dominance, or announcing that she’s bored, you’re not that pleased with the way she handles her emotions.
“Why does my cat stare at the ceiling?!” Alexa might be tired of your quirky kitty antics. But, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about your kitty’s oddball behaviors.
What’s the deal with these kooky kitty communication methods?
Your mischievous monster might not be as mischievous as you think! That’s right – you might have wrongfully accused your favorite fluffy friend of doing something you misunderstood. You thought she’s been doing the “elevator butt” thing or the “knocking everything down” thing because she’s weird.
But, that’s not the case! Your four-legged friend might have an array of quirks that make you question everything you’ve ever known about felines. She might even have her own kooky reasons for trying to communicate with you by employing her peculiar methods of getting your attention.
But that’s the thing that matters – she doesn’t have some personal vendetta against you. She’s a cat, for God’s sake! She’s a curious creature and she’s simply trying to communicate her emotions, wishes, and wants to her favorite, not-as-fluffy-as-her human.
And when you give this a thought, you might realize that cats don’t really have much going on for them when we’re talking about communication. “Meow, meow, purr!” doesn’t mean much when you don’t speak the cat language (and when she doesn’t speak English).
But, elevating her tail to expose her butt, knocking things down, staring at the ceiling, sucking on woolen blankets, and other oddities she does do mean something. And, don’t even get me started on the fact that cats can employ every single part of their body to communicate with you… When they want to.
“Why does my cat stare at the ceiling?” doesn’t sound so bad, right? She could be doing an array of other things. But, she’s chosen to spend her Sunday afternoon staring at a white wall and giving her human a minor heart attack.
Before you summon the priest – here are some of the reasons why your cat might be staring at the ceiling.
Why does my cat stare at the ceiling? Could she be trying to communicate something?
“Oh, don’t even ask me what’s going on! My cat’s staring at the ceiling and I’m pretty sure she’s doing that because she sees ghosts – why else would she stare at nothing?” As much as you absolutely adore your fluffy friend, you’re the first one to admit – you don’t always understand her.
And, you try your best to keep an open mind, consult with your vet, and do your own research. But, nothing prepares you for what that thing of fluff does behind closed doors. “She stares at them” She stares at everything and it’s creeping me out!” Don’t worry, your fluffy friend hasn’t gone off the deep end.
As a matter of fact, cats use staring as a method of communication ALL THE TIME. They stare at you when they’re looking for attention, they stare at your food when they’re plotting how to snatch some off your plate, and they stare at the ceiling for a bunch of reasons.
And, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they aren’t making a deal with the devil! Kidding aside, you can’t help but admire your cat’s ability to use body language to her own advantage. You might need a little help to understand what she’s trying to communicate, but that’s why we’re here.
“Why does my cat stare at the ceiling?”, you ask. Turns out we aren’t hooking you up with one answer, buddy. We’re bringing you EIGHT different reasons that put your cat’s obsession with ceilings into words.
1. She can see something you can’t
“My cat stares at the ceiling ALL THE TIME! She’s freaking me out because she appears as though she’s looking at someone or something while there’s nothing there. And, to top that off, she doesn’t move, meow, or purr while she’s having a staring contest with whatever’s stealing her attention.”
Maybe you thought of your mischievous monster while you were reading that little freakout story. Perhaps you even started dialing your priest’s number hoping to get hold of him to offer you advice on how to deal with the fact that your cat’s staring at a demonic creature residing on your ceiling.
Hold your horses (or even better, hold your cats) – your curious creature doesn’t spend her time auditioning for the Supernatural. But, she probably spends her time staring at something you can’t see. As frightening as that might sound, she’s simply putting her tapetum lucidum at work.
And, these two words that you don’t have to memorize AT ALL mean that your cat has a better vision than you do. She can see specs of light, reflections of the streetlight coming through the window, blinking LED lights, and stuff like that much better than you can.
2. She can hear something you can’t
Here we go again; step away from the phone and stop trying to dial the Ghostbusters! Trust me, the only busting that needs to happen when you see your cat staring at the ceiling seems to be myth-busting. No, she’s not doing that because she’s communicating with your great, great-grandmother.
She’s doing that because she can hear something you can’t. Or, at least that’s one of the pawsibilities to keep an eye out for.
Here’s the thing, cats are hunters by nature. Not only are they driven by a feeling they get whenever they see their prey. But, they’re also anatomically adapted to whatever they need to do to get their hands on their prey.
As a matter of fact, their senses are super heightened for that reason. Actually, cats can hear their prey from a great distance and prepare themselves for an attack. And, that’s why your beautiful beat’s been doing while staring at the ceiling.
Now, we can’t help you with the whole “What has she been hearing, then?” thing. But, we’re happy to report that there’s a pawsibility she’s simply been distracted by the sounds of moths, bugs, and other crawling creatures waiting to become her supper (or a delicious snack).
3. She can smell something you can’t
“Why does my cat stare at the ceiling? Sure, maybe she can’t see something that nobody else can or hear something that nobody else can. But, that’s not comforting whatsoever! Who’s to say she can’t see or hear ghosts, demons, and whatever blood-curdling creatures are out there?!”
Would you feel better knowing she’s probably sniffing something you can’t sniff? While we’re not saying your fluffy friend can’t communicate with the undead, we can’t help but suggest a different clarification of the situation.
Cats have a superior sense of smell, and who’s to say she doesn’t smell something you can’t?
Both cats and dogs are notorious for their sniffing capabilities. As a matter of fact, they have double the olfactory mucosa (A spell that can tell you why your cat’s staring at the ceiling? Nope, we wish!) that humans have.
Try not to cry for help next time you notice your little fluff staring into the abyss. Let her sniff out that rotisserie chicken roasting over at your neighbor’s house!
4. She’s a curious creature
Do you know that whole “curiosity killed the cat” thing? That’s actually pretty untrue. As a matter of fact, curiosity plays a crucial role when we’re talking about keeping your feline friend out of harm’s way.
She’s better off staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out whether that dot on the wall’s going to harm her more than lounging on the sofa unaware of her surroundings, right? And, to make things even more engrossing, curiosity seems to be related to your cat’s predatory predispositions.
Staring at the ceiling, analyzing, exploring, and overthinking everything she sees, hears, and catches a whiff of are her ways of satisfying her curiosity and making sure she’s not facing danger.
5. She’s got her predatory instincts worked up
“Why does my cat stare at the ceiling when there’s nothing going on there? She seems to think she’s playing a character on Supernatural! Or even better, that she’s the star of one of those documentaries on Animal Planet! Whatever her reasons are, she’s adorable but she’s freaking me out!”
Chances are, there’s nothing to freak out over. Cats are famous for doing the exact thing we don’t want them to do. That may be because of their curiosity, their predatory instincts, or the fact that they love pulling your leg. Circling back to that whole “predatory instincts” thing, you might be on to something.
More times than not, your little fluff’s focusing on something you can’t see – a moth, a bug, or even a spider. She’s stalking the prey before shaking her little butt and jumping as high as she can to catch that crawling creature before you can utter “Ewww!”
6. She’s reminiscing
That’s right, your rebellious rascal might be staring at the ceiling because she remembers every bug she’s snatched from that spot beforehand. Cats are pretty similar to humans when we’re talking about remembering stuff. Trust me, she remembers that time you took her to the vet after you promised you wouldn’t.
And that makes absolute sense in terms of the “predatory instincts” shebang we mentioned beforehand. She might have caught a glimpse of something on the ceiling and she’s waiting for it to reappear – whether that’s her “prey”, a spec of light coming from the outside, or a reflection from your phone.
7. She’s communicating her emotions
When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart conversation with your precious purrincess? Oh, you don’t speak the cat language? How do you communicate with your cat, then? How does she let you know how she’s feeling and what she’s been up to?
Cats don’t have much going for them when we’re talking about communication. They can meow and purr their little hearts out but they aren’t likely to get their message across unless they get their paws on Doctor Dolittle.
So, they turn to moving, twitching, wagging tails, staring, howling, chirping, growling, and hissing to get their point across. She might be trying to let you know that she’s afraid of something that’s on the ceiling (ghosts, again!). She’s looking for your help here.
8. She’s displaying signs of hyperesthesia
We can’t forget about Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome! Cutting the long story short, we can define hyperesthesia as a condition of extreme sensitivity that affects a cat’s skin. And, you might be thinking “What does that have to do with the fact that my cat stares at the ceiling?”. To that, we say “A lot!”
Cats with hyperesthesia react whenever you touch the hypersensitive area. But, they also react whenever something passes by that area or makes any sort of contact with that area. So, your cat might be staring at the ceiling because she’s looking for what the heck brushed against her three seconds ago!