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Can Cats See Ghosts?

2 min read

Being curious as to how far your cat’s sensing capabilities stretch is not an uncommon thought to have, especially as some of their abilities go beyond anything we are able to do ourselves. One of the many fascinating myths about our beloved felines is that they can see spirits.  So, can cats see ghosts or not? Let’s delve into the details to find out.

Can cats see ghosts?

As for whether cats seeing ghosts is possible or not, there isn’t any scientific data to show that cats can see spirits or feel their presence.  In terms of a cat’s senses, there are still many things to uncover and understand. But chances are, other things are going on and a cat ‘seeing a ghost’ might just be a reaction to something very mundane. 

What makes some owners believe cats can sense spirits and ghosts?

Despite the lack of evidence, some owners still believe that cats might be the key to communicating with the spirit world. From staring blankly at something that isn’t there, to twitching their ears in all sorts of directions – there is a collection of evidence that cat lovers have put together to try to prove the case that feline superpowers are real and that cats can see ghosts.

But believing in the spirit world isn’t for everyone. There are of course answers as to why cats act the way they do.

Cats may react differently depending on their surroundings, so any heightened reactions can be a result of environmental stress, and the anticipation of danger. Due to their incredible hearing abilities, cats are always on high alert. This may lead to them having sudden reactions to sounds, even in the midst of a good belly-up nap.  

There are a few behaviours that you may notice if your cat is suffering from cat anxiety. Sometimes these behaviours are misinterpreted as cats seeing spirits, but that is highly unlikely to be the case. Cat anxiety can cause intense physical reactions and can include cat behaviours such as staring, slight tail flicking, shifting the body or head constantly, and freezing. 

The mythology behind cats seeing spirits

Once upon a time in ancient Egypt, cats were worshiped. The death of a cat was a family tragedy and legend states that those who owned the cat would shave their eyebrows off to pay tribute to their beloved feline.

The ancient Egyptian belief was also that cats could communicate with the spirit world, and they believed that cats can see ghosts. In Buddhism it is believed that the souls of people who have passed are reborn as animals, including cats.

It is also believed that cats are able to sense the presence of any abnormal aura around them, and that they are able to sense an evil aura around people. 

How do cats see?

Cats are predators, and thus have evolved great eyesight to help them when hunting. However, a cat’s eyesight at daytime is not as good as our own. Cats have more limited colour vision than us and they are less able to focus on objects at different distances than we are.

However, a cat’s vision in the dark is far superior to ours. Their large pupils allow much more light to enter the eye than ours do, helping them to see in low light conditions. However, cats don’t just rely on their eyes to sense the world around them, they also use their ears and nose and those lovely long cat whiskers

How do cats hear? 

Cat hearing is a lot more sensitive than ours is. Cats can hear frequencies four to five times higher than us humans can, which is due to differences in the structure of their ears compared to ours. Cats can hear noises such as a mouse scuttling through the grass, or a squirrel climbing up a tree from about 10 metres away. Their sensitive hearing is one reason why cats may wake all of a sudden from a deep sleep.

When cats tilt and move their heads, they are trying to find an angle that helps them hear best and focus on where the noise is coming from. 


When are a cat’s actions something to worry about?

Even though cats seeing ghosts would be fascinating, and would unlock doors into an alternative universe, often their reactions and behaviour, rather than being associated with the spirit world, can be a sign of something else. If their sudden reactions and behaviour start to cause issues in your home, or they start to become destructive or aggressive, or you have any other concerns, then you should seek advice from your vet.
Although the answer to the question “can cats see ghosts” is likely to be ‘no’, cats are amazing companions - intelligent, loving and with abilities that often exceed anything we are capable of. What to know how truly amazing your cat is? Take a look at our article on 14 fun facts you should know about your cat, next.