Can Cats See Ghosts? Hair-raising stories from our members!

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When a cat stares off into space, is he thinking deep thoughts, trying to remember where he left his favorite toy, or could it be he’s seeing a ghost? It’s unnerving right before bedtime or when a cat stares out of a lighted room into the dark hallway.
Photo of a scared cat on the street, Can Cats See Ghosts

What is a ghost? There are many explanations out there to the phenomenon of ghost reports. While science offers sociological and psychological ones,  Janice Gilligan, animal communicator, says, “I think of ghosts as spirits stuck in the physical world, attracted to places or energy sources, as opposed to beings that have transitioned and choose or have the ability to continue relationships with their loved ones.”

JellyBella says, “I don’t know if it’s ghosts or not, but Stan and Bella are always staring at things I can’t see. Of course, our house was once a funeral parlor, so I guess there may be a few “late” guests passing through!”

“Cats are very sensitive creatures. They hear and smell things beyond our ability,” says Cheylink.

Gilligan agrees, “Consider the electronics ghostbusters use, devices that amplify what our ears are incapable of hearing. They use lights, meters and thermometers. Cats are very self-aware and capable of evaluating their surroundings. They, like other animals, haven’t been programmed to rely solely on their five ordinary senses.”

What about cat ghosts?

TheCatSite member TTMom says her cat Penny came back to visit. “When Penny died we were living with my in-laws. When we moved back home, Toes looked all over the house for her. I started seeing cat shadows out of the corner of my eye. I even felt Penny get up on the bed.” Many owners experience similar experiences after a pet has gone on but TTMom had an actual sighting.

I was in the kitchen and saw Penny cross the living room and go down the hall to the back of the house. Toes watched her walk by and then took off after her. He came back and looked all over before complaining to me. All I could do was say, “I know. I saw her too.”

Gilligan says, “I asked a cat if she was able to “see” ghosts. Her response was “We’re at least as able to discern presences as humans are.” I’ve sensed that cats aren’t always (or even, usually) napping when they’re in that sphinx position, eyes closed, relaxing in the sun. I believe they meditate. I think they experience the presence of a ghost on a more intimate level than seeing.”

“Lynx was on the vanity counter in my bedroom while I was getting ready for work. All of a sudden he looked over my shoulder. I turned and there was nothing there,” says Telynn. “His eyes were following something. It really gave me a creepy feeling. I’ve seen him stare at a spot on the wall before but I never felt like that. That morning, I really got goosebumps over it.”

Whether you truly believe in ghosts or just know that creepy feeling of not being alone, perhaps the best attitude to take is the one Chausiefan used as a child. “Can some cats protect us from evil ghosts? I used to pretend that they could when I was a kid, just to help me sleep at night.”

How Do I Know If My Cat Sees A Ghost?

There is no way to know for sure if your cat is seeing a ghost unless you can see ghosts and spirits yourself. However, if your cats are displaying some normal behaviors, but seemingly for no reason, there may be a paranormal explanation.

Defensive Or Aggressive Behavior

A puffy tail, flat ears, and crouching are postural behaviors that cats display when they sense a threat and need to protect themselves. They may also hiss or growl when they are in a defensive state. If your cat is doing any or all of these things but you can’t identify a reason why, it might be because he or she sees a ghost.


Natural born hunters, cats can stare and focus on things that we can barely see. Most times, though, it only takes us a few seconds to realize that they are tracking a bug or even a piece of dust or fleck of light. If you can’t determine what your cat is staring so intently at, it is possible that he or she is seeing a spirit or ghost.

Reaction To An Unidentified Noise

Your cat’s reaction to a noise you hear in the home may be an indicator for two reasons. First, it is easy to blame pets for a noise that we hear but can’t identify. If you hear a noise and see that your cat isn’t the culprit, you will likely be more suspicious that something strange is happening.

Secondly, cats respond to noises much as we do. If we hear an unexpected noise, we are startled initially. A quick assessment followed by the conclusion that there is no threat eases our minds enough that we can forget the noise and return to our activity.

Similarly, cats will do a quick assessment when they are startled by a noise and then settle back into sleepy indifference. If this quick assessment alerts them to a threat, however, they will immediately be on guard and investigate. If they are able to recognize a threat that we cannot see or hear, it could be a sign of paranormal presence.

Protective Behavior

Despite having an independent and even rude reputation, cat parents will tell you that cats do have a connection with their owners. It can be seen in how they cuddle up with you when you are sad or sleep next to you when are calm or sleeping.

If your cat seems to be protecting you from something, such as standing by you while displaying aggressive behavior toward something you cannot see, he or she could be trying to keep you safe from a ghost or spirit.

Are Cats Considered Spiritual Guardians?

Cats are largely regarded as having an impact in the spiritual world. Even those who do not readily believe in or have knowledge of spiritual practices love to create superstitions involving cats. While some of this is the result of our natural love of being scared, there is some truth to these beliefs.

A natural jump from superstition is the belief that cats are a sign, either that something is about to happen or as a response to something asked of spirit guides or the universe as a whole. Not only is the cat itself important, but the color of the cat can provide a clue about the message that is being sent.

More complex spiritual beliefs identify that cats are spiritual guardians. Not only can they see into the spiritual world, cats can also protect those around them from negative spirits or energies. Some people believe that merely having a cat in your home will protect you from any evil energies that could be residing there. Others believe that cats of different fur colors have different strengths related to the spiritual realm and their energy can be used in spells or blessings.

TheCatSite Members Share More Cat Ghost Stories

For many, the idea of cats seeing ghostly presences is just a fun way to tell a ghost story. For some TheCatSite members, though, these ghost stories might be a reality. And it is their cats who are making them aware.

Was It A Ghost?

TheCatSite user LilyandFosters may have witnessed firsthand exactly how cats react to spirits, even when they are very young.

I was lying in bed after getting up to get some water and make sure my two 8 week old kittens were eating the food I left for them, and I heard this soft weird high pitched growly noise outside my door. I open my door after realizing it was the cats, phone flashlight in hand, and see both of them underneath the stairwell that leads to the loft. They’re both poofed up and making odd noises like you’d hear in a video of a catfight when they’re having their stand-off and making warning noises. They’re standing right next to each other facing the same direction, the stairs that lead up to the second floor, where we are…

…Again, I’m not a paranoid person, nor am I one to say to anyone I meet, ‘ghosts are real.’ But in media across the world, it’s said that cats are able to sense things that humans can’t, dating back to less modern times, so it’s something I keep on the mind.

LilyandFosters isn’t 100% sure that they saw a ghost, but she couldn’t find any other explanation for what had gotten the kittens so worked up. Interestingly enough, a glance at her clock showed her that this incident occurred at 3:30 am, right in the middle of the well-acknowledged witching hour.

Part Of The Family

TheCatSite user Mamanyt1953 has ghost cats at home and is quite comfortable with it. The resident living cat in the home can be found playing with her two ghost playmates some mornings. While these feline spirits are very playful, they have not caused any trouble in the home, so it is a win-win situation for everyone.

Now A Believer?

TheCatSite user kristy doesn’t really believe in ghosts but the behaviors of her cats make her wonder if she is wrong. “They look very frightened and freeze whilst staring into thin air. It’s not daydreaming as they sometimes follow this invisible ‘thing’ around the room. I check for flies etc. but have never seen what they are looking at. It’s very scary when they spot something behind me and follow it as it comes nearer.” Their behaviors sure seem to suggest that something of the ghostly kind might be taking up residence in kristy‘s home.

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15 comments on “Can Cats See Ghosts? Hair-raising stories from our members!

Amy Warren June 1, 2021
Look,we were in bed no tv was on it was about 3d my cat was asleep at the foot of the bed. Next thing I know she wakes up slowly stands up arching her back hair standing straight up ears all the way back and tail poofed . She stood still like that until I reached over to pet her at which she did not pay me no mind, she kept looking at the ground at something I could not see. This went on a while and she inched towards the edge seeming to think it went under the bed and was sniffing with her nose. She got down onto the floor eventually to check it out but she hasn't seemed quite the sane since. She was raised in my room she's two years old there was nothing out of the ordinary . Other than her doing this. What do you think ?
geodevos April 8, 2020
As a realist and a believer only in evidence, I can't say any such thing as ghosts exist, any more than I can say they don't. Evidence consists of facts as opposed to feelings. That being said, I have (only) feelings that ghosts of every single pet friend I ever loved have never left me. The issue is whether feelings have any existance outside our imaginations. Are feelings something or nothing? Let's not say feelings are nothing uness we know how to prove a negative.
Edi September 10, 2019
I thought I saw my cat swatting at another inside of a box, but when baby Bleu went over to inspect and swatted at it I realized there was not a cat in the box, but then, I saw what seemed to be a black cat, my passed kitty Bella, was a tuxedo cat, pass around the corner of the sofa I was sitting on. I thought perhaps it was one of my four babies, however, I counted them all in front of me immediately. Perhaps Bella came to play with my new kittens!
ThunderMau February 10, 2018
crazycatlady111 said:
Great article! Last night as I was laying on the couch when both my cats Sissy and Hootie began to stare at something in the living room. Then Hootie came walking over by me still acting like she saw something only she was approaching cautiously and when she got over by me she started sniffing and looking around and she was acting very nervous about it. Sissy came over as well and also was acting nervous. It creeped me out because I know that cats can sense things we humans cannot.
One time I awoke to all three of my cats staring at something above my head ,their eyes darted back and forth as I just watched them freaking out.
ThunderMau February 10, 2018
Both of my cats Mau and Thunder have been staring at invisible things , it seems to happen mainly at night. At times I think I catch a glimpse just flashes and blurbs and my mind get kinda scrambled like I can't comprehend anything Ive seen.
dejolane October 7, 2013
I don't know if cats see ghosts but they can see a fly that I couldn't see.
sugarsandz September 21, 2013
I really do think cats are seeing things beyond us and dogs as well. I'm a realist but I've had a few strange things happen with my cats that I couldn't explain that freaked me out.   Great article!
ladybird September 18, 2013
My beloved Gabriel left me on July 24. He and I had been together for twenty years. I have, so many times in the past three months, raised up to see what was jumping up on my bed. Nothing is there, of course. That I can see.
dottykittykat September 16, 2013
I'm so glad I could share on this site.  Not everybody "gets" it.  This is such a comfort. 
angels mommy September 16, 2013
Wow, good article Anne, & good stories from everyone else!  A year ago this month the neighbor kitty passed away. She had originally showed up on my porch a few years before, but w/ having Angel, I couldn't take her. (I could barley afford him at the time) Plus, he was hissing at her from behind the glass door, so my neighbor took her. She always liked hanging out on our porch though.  It was about 3 wks. after she had passed when it happened. I was sitting on the floor playing w/ Angel, & all of a sudden I felt a soft brush across my low back (I was in my p.j.'s & it was against my skin between my top & bottoms. It was a real as could be. It wasn't like a breeze, plus, no windows were open. It felt as if someone took a feather duster & rubbed it across my back. It was so real & sudden, even though Angel was sitting right in front of me, I actually turned around expecting to see something there! I knew it was Sheba. I had been praying for her, & often took care of her when she was around. When she passed, I also asked that she let me know she was okay, so I guess that rub up against my back was my answer!  I will never forget that! Angel does also look beyond me sometimes, & I'll say "who's here?" Is it Aunt So & so coming to visit & play? Is Sheba here??
dottykittykat September 16, 2013
Lori's story is so wonderful that I feel comfortable sharing here.  So here goes.  I know I don't have to tell you this is all very true.  My favorite cat on earth was a cat named Dorothy who died in 2002.  I still think of her every day. She was like a child to me.  About 13 months after her passing I was sitting comfortably, drinking a Diet Coke and watching television, when all of a sudden  I could hear the sound which seemed to be something being moved around on the knickknack shelf 5 feet above my head.  Well, that couldn't be since I live alone and no cat could get up there, so I thought it was a sound from the street or in the wall.   The room then became very quiet and all of a sudden a doll from the knickknack shelf came flying through the air and fell next to me.  I immediately knew Dorothy was in the room and I acknowledged that as I picked up the doll.  The complete impact of what happened didn't hit me until I stood up on a chair to put the doll back on the shelf.   You see, the doll was on the bottom shelf and her head touched the bottom of the top shelf, and she also had all sorts of smaller knickknacks in front of her and all around her, all of which would have flown all over the place if the doll had simply tipped over.  None of the items had moved even a tiny bit, just that doll.  And, it hadn't fallen over - it had been thrown down.  A few days later I was sitting at my computer when I heard the sound of a cat taking one flying leap and landing on all fours on my side cabinet in the living room.  I turned to scold whoever was silly enough to do that stunt, but nobody was up there.  As I looked over a candle was being jerked around and pulled out of a candle holder by an invisible force and then it was carried across the cabinet and flew a few feet through the air.  It was Dorothy.  I thanked her and told her how much I loved her and always will.  She has taught me that she is near me and that we will be together again one day.  God bless her!  What a cat!!!
lorie d. September 16, 2013
Midnight and Snowball have  both crossed the Rainbow Bridge now.  But years ago after Midnight was put to sleep because of problems she developed in old age, my son and I kept feeling something lightly touching the lower part of our legs.  We would always be able to see Snowball when this happened and he wouldn't be anywhere near our legs so we knew it wasn't him.  One day I was sitting near my computer desk when I felt something touch my leg.  Snowball was lying on the floor nearby and I could see him calmly watching something invisible as it moved away from me and went to the very spot where Midnight had liked to lie during her last few weeks of life
dottykittykat September 15, 2013
Once upon a time, very long ago, I was visiting my parents' home and they had gone out for the evening.  I was alone in their very large house, and sitting with me was my wonderful great big ginger cat, Gatito.   After a while I felt I could hear the footsteps and voice of my grandmother who lived about 50 miles from us.   It sounded like she was walking all over the place and calling the name "Bill...Bill".  Bill was my father, her son.  Ordinarily I would have felt I was hearing things, but Gatito's fur puffed up all over the place and he got into a stalking position and became uneasy in the house.  Later my mother came home and, while I didn't tell her I thought I heard Grandma (because she was never a believer), I did say I thought I heard noises in parts of the house.  She opened doors and walked around to see if everything was in place, and as she did that, Gatito crept along with her - belly to the ground and fur still puffed up all over.   The following morning we heard the news that Grandma had died.   It never occurred to mother that I truly had heard Grandma, but my father was always "sensive" and when I told him the story he truly did believe me and was very much comforted.
dottykittykat September 15, 2013
Ghosts? Sure, cats can see them.  I  have had so many of my own experiences with the "other side" that I am sure that there is more to this life than we can ever possibly know or understand.  Our pets, however, including cats, have very highly developed senses, so they see and feel what we can not.  Don't forget, we have all the modern conveniences, i.e., phones, television, computers, ipods, etc., that we have lost our pets' ability to just communicate with all of nature.  I see people all the time walking down the streets just talking into their phones or ear plugs in their ears listening to their music, unaware of what's going on around them, so in general we are just not nearly - by a long shot - as aware as our pets.  I'm a cat person, so speaking as a cat lover I believe cats are even more sensitive than other animals.
hakeemtarabulsi September 15, 2013
Reading this article early morning, really made me feel the chills moving through my skin o_O Nevertheless, one of my cats, Rainbow Kid (4 & a half months), used to stare at 'something' in the corridor, which I couldn't figure out, even after several observations. Well, probably he was able to sense the presence of 'something' or 'someone', or possibly a tiny fly!

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