Cat Stares Into Nothing: Lethargy and Apathy in Cats
If a cat stares into nothingness, this need not be a cause for concern. Besides signs of illness such as lethargy and apathy, fatigue is also a possibility.
Nevertheless, you should be able to recognize the difference in order to visit the vet early in case of health problems. This is crucial for the severity and course of many diseases.
Unnoticed injuries can also be a reason for staring, which is why a check is always important in case of conspicuous behavior.
In this article, you will learn if it is a concern if your cat stares into space and when you should consult a veterinarian about it. In addition, we show you other possible reasons for the behavior.
Cat stares into nothing
When a cat stares holes in the air, numerous reasons can be responsible.
Not all of them are serious.
However, if your cat’s behavior suddenly changes, or if it seems strange to you, you should find out the cause in any case.
This is crucial to rule out diseases or health problems and to treat them if necessary.
Causes for staring
If a cat stares at the wall or into the void, different triggers are possible. Possible causes include:
To be able to separate the harmless or positive reasons from the dangerous ones, let’s take a closer look at these examples.
If your cat stares at walls, the ceiling, or cabinets, jerking its head if necessary, it may be seeing lights.
Cats, unlike us humans, see a wider spectrum. They therefore perceive radiation that we cannot see.
It may seem strange to you if the staring lasts for a long time. However, the behavior is not alarming.
Especially in young kittens, “staring into space” is often observed. It often occurs when they are tired and close to falling asleep.
The gaze tends to be downward and the head may nod off repeatedly.
They fight fatigue, even falling over occasionally, and may purr reassuringly.
Looking around can be an indication that your cat is comfortable and relaxed.
It will also purr and may even loll.
Of course, this is not a cause for concern. On the contrary, it is a very good sign, especially for newly arrived cats.
If your cat is not feeling well, has a fever or is weakened, staring in combination with lethargy or apathy can be a very clear indication.
However, it does not indicate what the disease is. Appropriate veterinary examinations are required for this.
Visit him immediately and observe your cat closely. Does she eat as usual? Does she sleep more? Does she suddenly drink a lot? Have feces and urine output changed?
All of these factors are important symptoms and can help your veterinarian perform more focused examinations to get a quicker result.
This is crucial for early treatment and can increase the chances of recovery.
Injuries and pain
Cats tend to hide pain and withdraw when they are sick or unwell for other reasons.
Few exceptions want more affection in such cases. Most velvet paws, on the other hand, prefer quiet and avoid contact as well as touch.
In addition, there may be periods when your cat may react aggressively.
Injuries include not only visible scratches, cuts or bites. Falls can also cause bruises, strains and fractures.
Without proper examinations, these can only be guessed at by gentle postures or restraints, but cannot be diagnosed with certainty.
Swelling, warmth, and limping or recoiling from touch, as well as an increased need to rest, are possible symptoms of injury.
Just like humans, cats can be traumatized. If they have endured great anxiety, experienced shock, or been mistreated, staring is a common result.
When this occurs, the pupils are often noticeably dilated, as if the room were dark.
This can also result from a blow to the head or a fall.
If you find your cat in this state, unresponsive to approach and seeming literally “frozen in terror,” it’s a case for the vet.
Physical injuries, especially to the brain and skull, must first be ruled out.
If there are no problems here and it is possible, you should find out the cause of the trauma.
Was your cat in this condition after being cared for by a stranger? Was she accidentally locked in a shed for an extended period of time?
Could she have been significantly frightened by another animal or even threatened and chased by it?
These and similar situations can create a traumatized state.
How do lethargy and apathy manifest themselves?
If your cat keeps staring into space, that in itself is not a concern. It also does not mean that she is lethargic or apathetic.
There are other symptoms associated with these conditions and health problems. Among them:
increased need for sleep
loss of appetite
changes in feces and urine output
lack of grooming
In any case, you should take changes in your cat’s behavior seriously.
For example, did she always greet you when you came home, but now she doesn’t even show her face?
Did she wake you up when her breakfast wasn’t served on time, but now won’t even eat her favorite food?
In some cases, such a change in behavior can be attributed to life changes. Different working hours, a new partner, another pet or a move are all possible causes.
However, it is always important to have the health side fully clarified first.
Because the behavior can be due to a whole range of diseases and problems. These include, among others:
Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
Limitations of the immune system, for example due to FIP
Complaints in the area of the teeth
Side effects of medication
A clarification should therefore always be your first priority.
A special case: Depression
Have you had your cat checked out by a veterinarian and there is nothing wrong with his health – yet your cat continues to stare into space?
Then it could be a depression.
Yes, cats can also become depressed. If an animal gets into such a state, the recovery is often long and requires some patience from you.
A sure instinct and creativity are required. To reactivate your cat, you should first investigate the causes.
Since when has the sofa lion been behaving differently and what changes have there been during this time? For example, did another pet die with whom the cat played or cuddled?
Is there suddenly less time for them? Has a family member died or was a baby born and now different rules apply?
The causes can be manifold. A move or the change from free access to pure apartment keeping are enough for it.
If time for affection and activity has fallen away or a pet has died, a new friend and times reserved especially for the cat can remedy the situation.
Cuddling, encouraging them to play together, spoiling them with treats and lots of talking to them all support the healing of depression.
Nevertheless, it will often take a long time before you notice a significant change and your pet is back to its old self.
The effort, however, is worth it for both of you and additionally strengthens the bond.
With new toys, lots of petting and stimulation, you can also test out what makes your cat more motivated.
If the depression could be caused by a restriction of the movement radius, but outdoor access is no longer possible, a cat-proof balcony may be a remedy.
Here you are in demand and may have to be a little inventive.
If all changes do not improve the situation, veterinary supportive help may be indicated. Herbal remedies and aromatherapy are suitable at the beginning.
When the cat stares into space
Is always important to investigate the physical health and possible causes.
Decisive are the overall condition and the influences as well as changes in everyday life.
In any case, early treatment is useful and advised in the case of illnesses and injuries. The same applies to psychological problems such as depression.
The better you know your cat and the faster you react in case of behavioral changes, the easier therapy and countermeasures will be.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
The website will draw have authors who are vets, pet owners, and local pet breeders. All who will contribute their fantastic knowledge which in turn will be able to help you i hope.
There is a lot of information on the internet so it may be hard to know where exactly is the best place to start learning. But we will write articles that get straight to the point, and give you all the information that you need with no fluff!
If you have any questions please leave a comment on the article, and i will reply to you!