Why Does My Cat Stare at Me?
Does it make you feel uncomfortable whenever you notice that your cat is staring at you? Or, maybe they are staring at your guests or other pets in your home. Is there something behind these stares? This article will help give you the answer and decipher cat body language, so you don’t end up feeling awkward or uncomfortable next time your cat seems to be watching you.
I Caught my Cat Staring at Me. What Should I do?
Cats are the ultimate stare-masters. It is impossible for you to win a staring contest when you’re up against your lovable feline. But have you ever wondered why do cats stare at you or other people? What does a cat stare mean? And what makes it different from a human stare? Here are some useful insights about cat staring and how you should interpret them the next time you see your cat giving you a staredown.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you glance up, your cat is looking up at you, too? It may seem creepy, especially when you are a new cat owner. Before we started domesticating cats as household pets, they followed their survival instincts for food, shelter, and safety. Since we have inserted ourselves into their habitats and their lives, we eventually became useful tools for their survival, too.
Cats depend on their senses to hunt for prey. And since you have become an essential part of your cat’s environment, providing them with much-needed shelter, food, security, and companionship, they will naturally find your expressions and behaviors interesting, too.
As cats cannot express themselves in human language, they have mastered non-verbal social cues instead. Whenever I catch my cat staring at me, I recognize that she wants to tell me how she feels about my actions. In general, cats use their eyes to read your behavior, and in turn, their body language is a means by which they communicate to humans.
Perhaps your cat is staring at you to make sure that he has caught your attention. You share a unique and special bond with your cat, and giving you the stare is his way to convey that she needs you. Cats most commonly adapt to the feelings or energy of their respective owners. Hence, if you are calm, your cat is relaxed, too. Consequently, if you are stressed, she will feel stressed, too.
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me and Purr?
If you’ve caught your cat looking up at you in your peripheral vision, what is the first thing that you do? Do you shoo her away, do you start a staring contest, or do you suddenly feel worried because she might be in danger?
Cats are curious by nature. They become fully aware of their environment by using their sense of sight. They are born with instincts, and they use these skills to hunt for small animals, keep an eye out for enemies, and be alert in case other cats wander into their respective territories. Indoor cats do not lose these natural-born instincts. But instead of stalking prey and keeping an eye out for possible predators, they lock their sights on moving objects indoors – YOU. Your cat will stalk you, follow you, be alert when you are up and about – and all of these are natural and should not be a cause of alarm on your end.
A purr is one of the most common sounds that cats make. It is one of the many vocalizations that they produce to catch the attention of their humans. Other sounds that felines create are chattering, hissing, meowing, chirping, and growling.
A cat purring is a sign of contentment. It may also mean that a cat is a connection to other cats, is feeling hunger, or feels happy. For you to fully understand the message your cat’s purr is trying to convey, you also need to identify his body cues and other vocalizations.
In some cases, your cat stares at you out of sheer curiosity. Hunger, anxiety, and insecurity are also feelings that cats convey through their non-stop stares at you.
The reason why your cat is staring and purring at you is due to hunger and attention. Besides the usual purring and staring combo, vocal and non-verbal cues including pawing, running around your legs, nipping, meowing, and knocking down things in front of you are sure signs that he wants attention.
To stop your cat from purring and staring at you, make sure to provide him with food during his scheduled eating time. We recommend to only give in to his hypnotic stare and cute purrs during their set meal times, instead of falling for it all the time. If you give in and feed him whenever he pulls that stare and purr combination, he might end up too spoilt or needy.
Your cat staring and purring at you doesn’t mean that he’s asking for treats or wet food. There are also cases where your kitty wants you to play with them, too. Always make time to play with your cats as this activity enriches their lives. Buy your cat toys as this will also keep them busy, so you don’t always catch him looking at you. Giving him the attention that he seeks and the food he needs will ultimately make him a jolly cat to have around the home.
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me Intensely and For a Long Time?
Your cat looking imploringly at you isn’t always about his desire for food. This can be a sign that he wants or craves for something. If you are too busy with work, school, house chores, or other people, you will notice that his cat stares are more intense and more prolonged in duration. This means that your cat feels ignored and is merely seeking physical, emotional, and mental stimulation.
He wants to play with you or needs your company. And knowing cats, you know that their desire for human attention doesn’t last too long. So, make sure to give in to your cat’s request for some playtime with toys, or simply pet them for warmth and comfort.
Another reason why your kitty is staring at you with intense eyes is that he might feel stressed, upset, or scared about something. Stress factors for cats usually include a change of residence, the introduction of a new family member to your home, or a switch to new cat food.
In some gloomy instances, when you own two or more cats at home, and one passes on or is missing, your other cats might stare at you for a very long time as a sign of their longing for their fellow feline.
Another reason for intense stares from your cat is that he feels threatened by you, by another person, or by another cat. Whenever a cat feels threatened in his own space, he will take one of these two attitudes:
- If he steps aside and starts licking himself, this means that he’s not in the mood for a fight or conflict.
- If he is preparing for a fight, he will stare at his attacker with his piercing eyes and start hissing, wailing, or growling. These are non-verbal warning signs not to get too close to your cat if you want to come out of the situation unscathed.
- When your cat is on defensive mode, his tone and stare will be different from those he makes when he’s hungry or wants attention. His tone is characteristically acute and will generally sound hostile or violent. It’s best to stay back and move away from his field of vision. You may also blink a few times and move your head slowly side to side to convey that you mean no harm.
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me When I Sleep?
If your cat usually joins you in bed, they give you a unique type of stare. This particular stare is his way of blinking lazily at you, which means that he is comfortable enough to keep his guard down while sleeping.
Your cat staring at you in bed or whenever you are napping, or sleeping shows he trusts you enough to showcase his vulnerabilities. Your cat will stare at you in a soft, non-threatening way if he wants to snuggle in or whenever he wants hugs and kisses before sleeping. This simple stare from your cat means that he is relaxed with you around. They will look at you while you sleep and fall into slumber themselves shortly. Cats usually don’t attack sleeping humans unless outside factors threaten them.
So, the next time that you catch your cat staring at you, do not feel alarmed or concerned. If your cat’s stares do not fall under any of the cases mentioned above, or if the recommendations did not work to break the stare, it’s best to schedule a trip to the veterinarian. There are cases when a cat’s stare may be a symptom of a serious medical condition.