In ancient mythology, there are legendary tales of cats, and with Halloween approaching, we can’t help but wonder about the one really big question here: Can cats see ghosts?
Well, it turns out that Tracey L. Kelley, who writes for Daily Paws was wondering the exact same thing. So she turned to Animal Planet’s Jackson Galaxy. His show My Cat From Hell was a network favorite that aired for 11 seasons. Galaxy is a cat behavior specialist and wellness expert, so if anyone knows about this it would be him.
Can Cats Really See Ghosts? Well…Maybe
Cat’s have some pretty amazing abilities, and Galaxy notes that their senses are more heightened than ours.
“For instance, their low light vision is far superior to ours. Between dusk and dawn, these crepuscular hunters needed to be able to see at low light or almost no light, depending on the moon, in order to still catch their prey,” Galaxy says. “They also have the tapetum lucidum, which is a layer of tissue behind their retina that collects all the light and then reflects it back, essentially generating light in their eyes when there is none.”
We, of course, don’t really know if ghosts exist, but it’s still fun to wonder about it, now isn’t it?
Cats Are Excellent Spook-tators Because Of Their Excellent Senses.
Galaxy tells Daily Paws cats have excellent hearing and can hear sounds that are roughly 1.5 higher than we can hear. But that’s not all.
- Their sense of smell leaves ours in the dust. A cat’s smell perception is 9-to-16 times greater than ours. But they also have a scent collecting organ, called the Jacobson’s or vomeronasal organ, which also gives them the ability to smell things we can’t. When you see your kitty opening their mouth halfway and with a slightly curved upper lip, it means kitty is using this organ. This is known as the flehmen response and it’s actually a response used by many animals, including your cat’s bigger brothers and sisters.
- A cat’s whiskers are highly sensitive and can even detect changes in temperature and air currents. “Whiskers are basically eyes behind their head, and act almost as a sense organ,” Galaxy says.
Research also suggests cats and dogs may be able to see in the ultraviolet range, making it easier for them to spot things our eyes wouldn’t detect. Maybe that’s a tasty bug crawling up the wall, or something else?
So Do They Or Don’t They (See Spirits?)
Galaxy thinks they just might.
“If you believe in the spirit world, as I do, then it’s much easier to take the leap that your cats are experiencing something in a realm that’s beyond the physical, rather than just staring at a blank spot on a wall,” he says. “With all of a cat’s heightened senses together, if there are ghosts or spirits available to us in our physical realm, cats will be able sense, see, and experience them far more quickly than we can.”
This particular writer is not a believer in anything paranormal, but a 2019 YouGov poll found roughly 45 percent of Americans do believe in ghosts. And ghosts or not, cats have done some pretty amazing things for their owners, including alerting one owner to cancer and meowing repeatedly to help others locate their missing owner.
Of course, maybe when my cats stare intently at the window at 3 a.m., who knows, maybe ghosts really are trying to communicate with them. But it’s probably just the wind, I mean right?
Here’s Jackson Galaxy on the subject of cats and ghosts.