Can cats see ghosts? Here’s what Animal Planet Star Jackson Galaxy says
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Wondering if cats can see ghosts is one of the many legends surrounding fascinating felines, but it’s not just during the spooky season that they hypnotize us with their magical associations and folklore.
The witch’s pet is an old hat, as kittens weave their way through all kinds of supernatural stories. The ancient Egyptians didn’t exactly worship cats, but rather considered them full of divine energy, especially that of Bastet (or Bast), a cat-headed goddess. Norse mythology suggests that the Norwegian Forest Cat may be an incognito fairy or goblin – a look in their eyes reveals the truth! Sailors around the world rarely left port without a few polydactyl (extra-toe) cats roaming the decks to ensure safe journeys. And while an old tale of English brides claims that black cats presented as wedding gifts bring good luck, Scottish and Irish folklore quivers with the ramblings of the sÃ¬th cat, a dark kitty who searches the countryside for souls to steal.
With these and other myths, it’s not much of a stretch to ask if cats can see ghosts (we wondered if dogs can see ghosts too!). After all, they are remarkable creatures.
How cats’ senses differ from those of humans
One possibility that we think cats see ghosts is due to their innate abilities. Author Jackson Galaxy is an expert in cat behavior and welfare. His unscripted show, My hell cat, which offered helpful advice to cat sitters and their favorite felines, aired for 11 seasons on Animal Planet, and some episodes are still on view on Discovery +. He says cats’ senses are sharper than those of humans.
“For example, their low-light vision is much better than ours. Between dusk and dawn, these twilight hunters had to be able to see in low light or almost no light, depending on the moon, in order to always catch their prey.” said Galaxy. “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.”
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Galaxy says cats have others spooky sense :
They can hear about 1.5 octaves higher than us.
Their sense of smell is 9-16 times greater, and they have a secondary odor-collecting organ called Jacobson’s or vomeronasal organ, which allows them to smell things we can’t smell. You will notice that they use it when their mouth is partially open with their upper lip curved back, known as the flehmen response.
Their whiskers detect temperature changes and drafts. â€œWhiskers are basically the eyes behind the head and act almost like a sense organ,â€ he says.
He adds that there are also theories that cats see in the ultraviolet, which gives them the ability to spot things that are imperceptible to the human eye. Is it a mouse in the wall or something?
Do cats really see ghosts or spirits?
Galaxy thinks it is possible. “If you believe in the spirit world, like I do, then it’s a lot easier to make the leap for your cats to experience something in a realm that goes beyond the physical, rather than just staring at an empty dot on a wall, â€says Galaxy. “With all of a cat’s heightened senses combined, if there are any ghosts or spirits available to us in our physical realm, cats will be able to smell, see and experience them much faster than us.”
So the real question is, don’t you believe in ghosts? According to a 2019 YouGov poll, around 45% of respondents do so, which could support Galaxy theory. After all, some people credit their heroic kittens with alerting them to cancer or constantly meowing to help rescuers find their missing guardians.
Courtesy of Andrew Marttila Jackson Galaxy, expert in cat behavior and welfare, star of Animal Planet’s My hell cat and author of five books, said, “With all of cats’ heightened senses and intense sensory abilities throughout the millennia, do we really believe they are wasting their talents looking at a spec on a wall hoping it will? move, or just distracted by a shadow? “
Additionally, Galaxy adds that for over 30 years, her personal and professional experiences and those of pet parents have helped suggest that cats particularly notice the death of a human or animal companion.
â€œWithin a few days, they notice their cat staring at a certain area, perhaps where the deceased was sleeping, or their favorite chair, or a wall where their picture is hung. They look and may fidget or their behavior changes in the room. this area., “he says. The VCA Animal Hospital cites studies that show cats grieve, but it is difficult to confirm whether they actually discern the presence of ghosts or spirits.
However, given that animals unabashedly sense something and interact with it without excuse or ulterior motive, Galaxy says, “I think it’s safe to say that they are experiencing something that we can’t.” And that revelation alone is enough to give you chills just thinking about it!
Are ghosts afraid of cats?
There’s not a lot of evidence (nothing really qualitative, anyway) to support that ghosts are afraid of cats. A random whistle or sudden flurry of the tail might be more the result of a bad dream, and not that your foal is preparing to take on a poltergeist.
But, if there is are ghosts and spirits among us, Galaxy says cats can potentially be frightened by them, just as they would a human who has started to “scream or move unpredictably, even though the cat knows this human well.”
Either way, we keep Fluffy on the cat’s bed nearby. You know, just in case we need backup.