It's late at night, everyone is tucked into their beds, your home is quiet and dark, and suddenly your cat starts running around your home for no reason. Or maybe your family will be watching TV together when your pet starts staring at nothing.
What's up with this creepy behavior? What is it about cats that makes them act like they're possessed every so often? Do they just do it to scare us?
Science has an answer: it's all about what your cat sees. We don't mean they have a special talent for spotting ghosts, but they can see things that humans can't.
To put things simply, cat eyes are way better than human eyes. We can see more colors than cats can, and cats are pretty shortsighted, but they have us beat in every other department.
Your eyes are filled with tiny parts called rods and cones. Rods are good for seeing in low light, and cones are good for seeing in bright spaces. Cats have six times more rods than humans do, so they can see almost perfectly in the dark.
So if your cat goes crazy at night when nothing is happening, it may be seeing things we just can't notice, like light reflecting off your windows, or dust falling through the air.
A photographer named Nickolay Lamm tried to capture what things look like from a cat's point of view. He interviewed lots of experts and then edited his photographs the show the difference between what cats see and what people see. It's a BIG difference.
Look at all the details they can make out in the second photo!
Cat eyes can also see special kinds of light that humans miss, like ultraviolet light (the kind of light that gives you sunburns) so your living room might be filled with a fireworks show that only your cat can see.
Lots of people share stories about cats staring at walls, which are weird to us because "nothing" is there. But what they're really looking at is special kinds of light reflecting off the wall that we miss. It's almost like TV for cats!
We'll never be able to prove that cats can't see ghosts, but it's a lot more likely that cats are just being cats. They love chasing weird lights around, just like a laser pointer.
Still, we want to believe that little Fluffy has supernatural powers. Cats just look so devious sometimes, they have to be hiding something!