If your cat keeps staring at the ceiling, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat stare at the ceiling? Likely reasons why your cat stares at the ceiling are that they can smell, hear or see something, or that they remember seeing something there before.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat will stare at the ceiling and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main reason and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my cat stare at the ceiling?

Below are likely causes and what would make each of them more likely.

They smell something

Cats have a much better sense of smell than humans and they may be able to pick up on things we cannot. When your cat is staring at the ceiling, it could be because there is an odor that has caught their attention or even something below them like another animal.

They hear something

If you own an air conditioner or heater in your home, then you know that they can be rather loud. The sound of your air conditioner, for example, will often lead a cat to stare at the ceiling because it is trying to figure out where this strange noise is coming from. Some other home sounds your cat may notice include your garbage disposal, the hum of your refrigerator or dishwasher, and even your clothes dryer. Water pipes also make a lot of noise and this can lead your dog to become startled by the sound.

They see something

Cats are able to see different parts of the UV spectrum than we can. It could also be the case that your cat can see something that you cannot.

They are scared

A cat may stare at the ceiling because they are scared, anxious, or stressed about something that it cannot see. If there is a commotion going on outside, then your pet may pick up on this and become very frightened as a result of it. If the cat is a new member of the family and is still trying to fit in, it may be feeling nervous about its surroundings.

A new environment

Cats love exploring their surroundings and will often be curious about things that we consider strange, such as ceiling fans, for example. They may stare at the ceiling because they are trying to figure out what this object is and how it works. If you recently moved into a new home, it will be very normal for your pup to explore its surroundings and stare at seemingly strange areas for long periods of time.

Health issues

There are some health issues that might also have been causing the behavior. This would be more likely if your cat has been looking upwards a lot and not only at the ceiling. It would also be more likely if your cat has been behaving unusually in other ways as well.

Your cat saw prey there before

Cats will remember where they saw prey before and will often stake out waiting for the prey to reemerge. The reason why your cat has been staring at the ceiling could be that they remember seeing prey there before.

They are tired or want to go upstairs

If your cat likes to stay upstairs and they only stare at the ceiling when they are stuck downstairs, the cause could also be that your cat wants to go upstairs.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason.

If your cat has always looked up at the ceiling

If your cat did not always stare at the ceiling, it would help to consider what else happened when the behavior first started. If the behavior started suddenly, it might be due to things such as health complications, your cat saw prey there, your cat started getting locked downstairs, or because your cat started hearing things coming from above.

The timing of when your cat stares at the ceiling

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your cat tends to stare at the ceiling. For example, if your cat tends to do it when someone is upstairs, the cause could be that your cat hears them moving.

What to do about my cat staring at the ceiling?

Below are some options when dealing with the behavior.

Let your cat do it

If your cat has not been behaving unusually in other ways and has not been doing it excessively, it would likely be normal behavior. In this case, the easiest option would be to just allow your cat to continue doing it.

Rule out medical causes

If your cat has been doing it excessively or has been behaving unusually in other ways, it would help to take your cat for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to rule out medical causes.

What does it mean when a cat keeps looking up?

If your cat keeps looking up, it could be because they hear, smell or see something, they are anxious, or that they want attention from you. It would help to consider the timing of when your cat does it and if you can hear see or smell something yourself.

Is it normal for cats to stare into space?

It is very common to see cats just sitting there and staring at nothing. If your cat does this and does not behave unusually in other ways, it would likely be normal cat behavior.

What does it mean when your cat stares at nothing?

Cats will often just sit there and stare at nothing because they feel like it. At other times they might do it because they can actually hear, see or smell something or because they remember seeing prey in a particular spot.

Why is my cat acting weird and staring?

If your cat has been acting weird and staring at things, it could be because something has been causing your cat to be fearful. This would be more likely if your cat is new, you recently got a new pet or if something bad recently happened to your cat. If you cannot figure out why your cat has been doing it, the safest option would be to take them for a checkup with the vet.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.