Cats are generally known to have a particular ability to sense things – even the paranormal. Although this has not been proven scientifically, many people believe that cats can see ghosts.
According to veterinarian Rachel Barrack, of Animal Acupuncture, there is an explanation why cats stare at a particular, seemingly random, point in space
“When cats appear to be staring into space, they may actually be detecting subtle motion, as their vision is much more acute than ours,” Barrack told The Dodo.
According to a study in 2014, both cats and dogs have the ability to see some spectrums of light that humans don’t, like ultraviolet (UV) light. However, cats normally show a completely different reaction from dogs whenever they see something out of the ordinary.
“Cats, unlike dogs or other animals, are more curious by nature,” Barrack said. “This could explain their sometimes erratic behavior.”
The study also suggests that cat eyes have six to eight times as many light-sensing rods compared to humans, which explains why they see more in low light.
“I feel I should first state that I don’t personally believe in ghosts,” Katie Armour, of the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center, told The Dodo. “I do however believe that cats have remarkable capabilities, and we know that their senses are worlds stronger than our own.”
“Not only are they capable of seeing and hearing things that I cannot, they have marvelous brains that work in ways that we don’t fully understand,” Armour said. “When a cat is watching something that doesn’t seem to be there, or if they call out to us about this perceived presence, we should respect that not only are they trying to figure this something out, but they’re wondering if the situation is safe.”
The project coordinator suggests that cat owners should try to investigate the situation with their beloved pets and use the opportunity as a fun bonding activity.
“Shine a flashlight into that dark corner, press your ear against the wall to hear what they’re hearing,” she said.
According to Armour, one of her cats spends many hours pawing the reflection of light from the TV on the opposite wall
“She leaps at glimmers of light from the chrome of a passing truck, and hunts tiny specs of dust as they fall through a beam of sunlight,” Armour said. “Light and shadow transfix her, and it sometimes takes me a while to realize just what she’s watching.”
“If your cat is staring at you, owners are often encouraged to slowly move or even blink to send the message that you are not a threat,” Barrack said. “But chances are, it’s also out of love.”
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H/T: The Dodo