Do Cats See Ghosts? Why Your Cat Can See Spirits

Updated on February 9, 2019
Layne Holmes profile image

Layne is interested in energy work and exploring the often unexplainable.

Do cats see ghosts?
Do cats see ghosts? | Source

Does My Cat See Spirits in My House?

It's usually the same hour every night and the same room. At 10 p.m. exactly, my 1-year-old cat goes from grooming and sleeping, to erratically staring at the ceiling, yowling, and acting as though something is chasing her (sometimes she does the chasing). She will go from staring one minute, to frantically zooming around chaotically, hissing at inanimate objects, and panting. Then, she returns to her usual grooming and relaxation like nothing ever happened.

I grew up in a fairly haunted house . . . that is, we had a lot of spirit activity in our home and still do. A few individuals have died in my house, so it's not surprising that there has been spirit activity here for many years. After experiencing a lot of encounters myself, I've always wondered if our cats see ghosts as well. I could only assume so. From what my cats have demonstrated throughout the years, they seem to pick up on things I can't.

Signs Your Pet Sees Ghosts

  1. They suddenly startle for no reason (arched back, fluffy tail, wide eyes).
  2. They stare at absolutely nothing . . . for long periods of time with an unbroken gaze.
  3. When there is an usual noise at night, your cat is next to you simply watching.
  4. Your cat is always on a mission (disappearing and reappearing).
  5. They meow relentlessly at random things (like closed doors), hisses, or growls.
  6. They have a favorite spot they return to investigate regularly.
  7. They get scared randomly and hide without any obvious trigger.
  8. Their eyes follow movements in erratic patterns when nothing is there.
  9. You sense that there is something in the house, and your cat behaves accordingly.
  10. Your house is knowingly haunted . . . and you have a cat.

Trivia

Cats were regarded as demigods in ancient Egypt. Egyptians would even mummify cats and punish those who harmed them.

Video: Cat Chasing a Ghost

Why Cats Can Sense Things We Can't

Most of us know that reports of cats seeing ghosts are mostly anecdotal: On one side of the spectrum we have the non-believers, and on the other side of the spectrum, we have the believers.

Cats have twenty-four vibrissae or whiskers which send information to their barrel cortex (similar to the visual cortex of the brain). Because of this, felines can essentially create a 3D map of their environment—they can also use their vibrissae to sense air movement.

Felines, with the various gifts, are able to detect things that we humans are insensitive to. So, should you live in an active household, your cat may very well be picking up on things that you aren't.

Can Cats See Things We Can't?

Humans and cats have very different gifts when it comes to vision. Humans are gifted with an array of colors and detail during the daytime, and cats are gifted with the ability of night vision but lack daytime detail. Objects that are slow-moving to humans, however, may look stationary to felines.

Cats have the advantage of high rod receptor concentration but the disadvantage of low cone receptor concentration (so high detail in low light but muted colors). They have a wider visual field compared to humans, but their visual clarity is less than that of a human (humans have 20-20 vision; compared to 20-100 to 20-200—so felines are nearsighted).

Cats see similar to a color-blind human. They can see shades of blue and green but reds and pinks are confusing. However, cats only need 1/6th the amount of light that people need to see due to their tapetum, which gives them the advantage of enhanced night vision abilities.

A comparison of the colors humans and cats see.
A comparison of the colors humans and cats see. | Source

Human vs. Cat Eyesight Advantages and Disadvantages

Humans
Cats
Sensitive to red, green, and blue.
Blue and gray or similar to dogs (cannot distinguish between red, yellow, green, and orange.
Day vision
Peripheral and night vision
180-degree field of view
200-degree field of view
6-8 times more rods than humans (good for low light)
10 times more cones (color receptivity)
Elliptical eye shape
Less night-vision capabilities
Larger cornea and tapetum (gathers light)
Can see 100-200 feet away sharply
Can see 20 feet away sharply
Information adapted from LiveScience.com

Video: How Cats See the World

How Do Cats Hear?

Cats have mobile ears (they can be pointed in the direction of a sound to locate its origin). Cats can also detect ultrasound in addition to high-pitched sounds. Why is that? They have a special chamber that extends their hearing to a full 8-octave range. They can, therefore, hear up to 64 kHz—1 octave above the range of dogs.

Cats Seem to Know Everything . . .

While data remains inconclusive and primarily relies on anecdotal evidence, it is known amongst animal lovers that cats are indeed sensitive. They can read a person without even having to get near them. Cats will shy away from people they dislike, and approach people they like. Similarly, they are very good at assessing situations and energy.

I've always been a believer in the spiritual world, and I have also seen my cats and animals act in weird ways. I believe that they are acknowledging energy that perhaps I can feel but cannot see—and I'm fairly sensitive.

I feel as though animals are protectors. I feel safer when they are around—they sense every little movement, hear every bump in the night and shift in the house. If you are someone who is sensitive to spirits, the paranormal, or even suspect you may be living in a haunted house, you are lucky to have a feline companion. Cats make for wonderful protectors.

Normal or Abnormal?

If your pet is acting erratically, it is important to have your vet do a regular exam to rule out any neurological issues or illness that might be causing him or her to act out.

Video: Can Cats See Ghosts?

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Layne Holmes

    Does your cat see ghosts? Share your stories . . .

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      • Ellison Hartley profile image

        Ellison Hartley 

        4 months ago from Maryland, USA

        It is reassuring having animals around. Even when mine do act a little spooked I'm not too scared knowing it's just family, ( at least I assume/hope it is) :-)

      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        4 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Ellison, so true! It's really relieving to hear your home comes from generations of family . . . that makes it way better. Yeah, the science suggests cats are extra-sensory which all cat owners seem to know . . . my parent's house definitely has some weird energy and our youngest cat totally loses it. It's reassuring to have cats and animals around!

      • Ellison Hartley profile image

        Ellison Hartley 

        4 months ago from Maryland, USA

        This is super interesting. I like how you explain the science behind the possibility of cats having more of an ability to sense ghosts than we do. My cat has displayed almost all of the behaviors you mentioned so I think it is safe to say she sees things I can't. Luckily, I live in the over 100 year old house on our family farm, so I don't think they are scary ghosts, just relatives dropping by for a visit!

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