Can Cats See Ghosts?

Have you ever noticed your cat staring at nothing? Many pet parents wonder if cats can see ghosts. Let's explore the paranormal history of our feline friends.

Courtney Elliott

Updated December 30, 2022 • Published October 04, 2022

Share to

Can Cats See Ghosts?

Many have speculated that our feline friends can see things humans can't.

If you're a cat parent, you might notice your four-legged family member staring intensely at something that doesn't appear to be there. Or perhaps, you spot your cat fighting something off their face but you can't figure out what "it" actually is.

Given these odd happenings and cats' sharp vision and hearing, it's no wonder many people find themselves asking, "Can cats see ghosts?"

While of course there's really no way to find out for sure, you may be able to draw some conclusions for yourself by looking at cats' mythical and paranormal history, as well as their incredibly heightened senses.

Cats as mythical & paranormal creatures

Throughout history and across cultures, cats have served as a variety of symbols.

In Ancient Egypt, cats were believed to be full of divine energy. The Ancient Egyptians even worshipped cat-like Gods like Bastet, who had a cat head and female body. She was believed to be a protecter, pleasure giver, and bringer of good health.

Cats were also a means through which Egyptians connected with the spiritual world—they believed that cats were the medium between humans and spirits. So according to Egyptian mythology, it's not far off to think that cats can see ghosts.

Spooky stories of cats interacting with ghosts are especially popular around Halloween—and of black cats in particular. Black cats have a history of serving as objects of superstition. In Medieval Europe, black cats were believed to be cursed and symbols of bad luck. In the Celtic Tribes in Ireland, black cats became associated with dark magic and witches. Their sinister history is still evident in our society, with the influx of black cat decorations that crop up around Halloween.

With all that said, there are cultures in which cats are deemed good luck. In Japan for example, cats symbolize good fortune. Who knew cats could bring on such controversy?

In addition to cats' paranormal history, the fact that they have such strong senses leads people to believe that they can see ghosts.

Cats' heightened senses

It's no secret that cats have heightened abilities, from their eyes to their ears, and even their whiskers. They're able to detect even the slightest change in current or the tiniest amount of light.

  • Eyes: Tissue called the tapetum lucidum is not only the reason that cats can see so well in low light, but it's also responsible for that "glow in the dark" effect cat eyes have at night.

  • Ears: It's believed that cats can hear sounds three times higher than humans, and can also hear at frequencies below human ability.

  • Whiskers: Cats' whiskers act as highly tuned in sensory guides that aid vision, help them sense vibration, and navigate the environment around them.

These senses have helped them avoid predators and catch prey for centuries, and some believe that they also contribute to detecting ghosts, spirits, and otherworldly energies.

With that said, others argue that the intense staring episodes pet parents notice with their cats is for rational, earth side reasons, like a mouse in the wall that a human wouldn't be able to notice.

You're obviously more likely to believe that cats can see ghosts if you believe in the supernatural world yourself. At the end of the day, who's to say whether or not cats can see ghosts? What we do know is that these are incredibly intelligent creatures and we're lucky to have them in our lives.

Talk to a vet now — it's free!

Text, call, or video chat with a vet within minutes.

Talk To A Vet Now