Cats are natural hunters with a strong instinct to observe their surroundings, even when they’re safely indoors.
I see my cat all the time looking outside the window and watching everything going on outside.
I love to see her do it, and I know it’s a huge part of her day. I call it cat TV because cats can see so many things outside through their windows.
That’s why I wanted to understand and share with you why cats love to stare outside the window so much—and what that behavior might tell us about them.
1. Curiosity and Stimulation
Cats love to watch things happen, from birds landing on feeders to the wind blowing leaves around, and observing and watching the world outside is an exciting and satisfying activity for them.
They enjoy observing birds, squirrels, insects, cars, kids, other animals, and people and objects that pass by.
Cats find a lot of mental stimulation by looking outside because there are a lot of interesting things to watch.
2. Warmth and Sunbathing
Cats don’t like the cold, but they love to soak up the sun, and what better place to do it than by the window?
On sunny days, you might notice your cat lounging on the windowsill, basking in the warmth and comfort of the sun’s rays.
It’s a perfect spot for them to relax and take a nap. It’s a peaceful experience for my cat.
Sunbathing can reduce your cat’s stress, boost their mood, and improve their sleep quality.
3. Prey Hunting Instincts
Cats are natural hunters, and they might be staring outside the window to look for prey.
They might watch birds, insects, or small animals, and some cats might even chatter in excitement or pounce on the glass as if they are trying to catch their prey.
4. Exploring New Sights and Smells
Cats are very curious by nature and love exploring new sights and smells.
We have window screens, and sometimes we open our window when our cat is sitting by the window. She really enjoys it; you can see her nose twitching when she smells the fresh air and scents.
The world outside is full of new and exciting sights, sounds, and smells that cats just can’t resist.
If you have window screens, open your window and let your cat explore as much as they like.
Window screens also allow air to flow into your home while keeping out unwanted guests like bugs, leaves, and debris, so it’s kind of a win-win situation.
5. Playing with Shadows
Cats are easily entertained and might spend hours playing with shadows cast by the sun or nearby objects.
The movement of the shadows can mimic the movements of prey, which can trigger their hunting instincts.
6. Taking a Nap
I mentioned warmth and sunbathing before because my cat loves to sleep on the windowsill, and when it’s warm, this is the perfect spot for her to take her naps, which are usually very short, then she’s back to staring outside again.
The soft sun rays, warmth, and fresh air make for a very comfortable and enjoyable spot to nap and relax.
7. Avoiding Boredom
For indoor cats, the window provides a necessary escape from the monotony of indoor life.
Even if they have toys, scratching posts, and comfortable beds, cats get bored easily, especially without interactive toys.
Watching the outside world is a way for them to create an interesting daily routine and stimulate their senses.
Why do cats like looking out window blinds?
Cats like to look out window blinds because it gives them an opportunity to observe the world outside, and they enjoy the warmth of the sun coming through the window.
They also use windowsills as seat warmers and may act as a night watchman, staring out of the window to watch and deter visitors.
Why is my cat looking outside the window at night?
Cats often look out the window at night due to their curiosity and natural instinct. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn.
They may be trying to view their territory or stand guard if they’ve caught a glimpse of something moving outside.
Additionally, cats have excellent vision in low light conditions, so they can see more detail than us at night.
Are cats being nosy by looking out the window?
Cats are not being nosy when they look outside their windows. They’re actually doing exactly what they should be doing: watching their world and being curious.
Which is a form of stimulation for cats, and it can provide them with many hours of entertainment and mental stimulation.
While some cats might be on the lookout for potential prey or just enjoying the view, others might simply be watching the world go by.
Regardless of the reason, it’s clear that cats find great joy in observing their surroundings from the comfort of the indoors.
Why do cats like looking out the window when it’s raining?
Watching the rain creates a stimulating visual experience that can help relieve your cat’s boredom and quench their natural curiosity.
Think about when the raindrops hit the window and start dripping down the window pane.
For cats, the movement of rain on the window can catch their attention and become entertaining.
In addition, the sound of rain is soothing and calming to some cats, creating a peaceful atmosphere for them to relax in.
What if your cat is looking outside the window and meowing?
There are a lot of reasons why your cat might meow when staring out their window, and some of these can include seeing another cat, a bird, squirrel, or fly either on the window or close to it.
Here is a video of two cats fighting with each other through the window:
Can you leave the blinds open when you leave your cat alone?
If you’re going to be away from your house for a while, leaving your window blinds or curtains open is a great idea because it can provide your cat with entertainment and stimulation while you’re gone.
Just make sure the window is secure and that there’s no way your cat can escape through it.
Just like how you might enjoy watching a good movie, cats find the outside world fascinating.
Whether it’s watching birds fly, squirrels chase each other around, other cats, or humans passing by on the sidewalk, cats are easily absorbed by the movement and activity outside their window, and I love and support every bit of it.