Cats are entirely unpredictable creatures. They act on their terms and are mostly independent in their day-to-day activities. Part of being a cat owner is getting used to their weird habits and tendencies.
And one of the common behaviors that cat owners are baffled about is when their cat makes a habit of staring at them. You are surely not alone when you ask, “Why does my cat stare at me?”
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me?
We enumerate eight reasons why your cat may be spending an unnerving amount of time staring at you. Read on for possible explanations for your feline friend’s weird behavior:
1. Out Of Curiosity
Cats are nosy and curious creatures, and it may be that their favorite subject is you. If you notice your cat staring, it’s because it constantly observes what you are up to and reads your body language.
The constant staring might be nothing but pure curiosity. After all, you are part of your feline’s social circle, and looking at you is just a harmless pastime that expresses its interest. Your cat can learn about you and try to understand the complexities of human life.
2. A Sign of Affection
If your cat stares at you intensely with moments of slow blinking, these are episodes to be celebrated. This means that your feline diva loves you!
When this happens, stare back and make eye contact. Blink your eyes several times and just enjoy this loving moment between you and your cat.
3. Your Cat Is Sleeping
Cats love to sleep, and they happily spend most of the day napping. If you catch your cat staring at you, there is a possibility that it might just be sleeping while its eyes are partially open.
Yes, this can be pretty weird to witness. Here you are, spending so much of your time thinking that your cat is up to something, when in fact, it is far from reality and is chasing some laser tunas in dreamland instead.
4. Your Cat Is Unwell
Chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and even diabetes can trigger high blood pressure in cats, which can lead to dilated pupils and eyes that take on a somewhat fixed stare. This condition is not very common but is possible, especially once cats are quite a bit older.
If your older cat seems to be staring at you more than usual, and its pupils are reddish and dilated even in good light, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet ASAP.
5. Your Cat Wants Something
Many cat owners agree that they also double as slaves to their feline friends. After all, you do your best to answer to your cat’s every whim and cater to all its needs. You are the source of all daily necessities, as well as hugs, toys, love, and attention.
Since cats can’t exactly put into words what they want, they will instead stare at you and assume that your human instincts and capabilities will just figure out they want something and provide it accordingly.
Once you spend enough time with your cat, you should be able to interpret what its pointed stares and silences mean. (Pro-tip: It may just want some treats between mealtimes.)
6. Your Cat Might Be Hungry
As previously mentioned, you are your cat’s sole provider. If your cat is trying to achieve mind control by staring at you, especially during dinner time, it is likely doing its best to tell you to hurry up and fill its bowl with its favorite kibble.
The staring can be further intensified by meowing and sitting near the food area. This is an obvious indication of a hungry kitty that’s demanding food, now, please!
7. Sign Of Trust
Another reason why your cat is staring at you is that it may be contemplating if you are to be trusted. Animal behaviorists agree that, in cats, eye contact is a likely indication that they are confident of their dominance over you.
This may not quite be the lovey-dovey explanation a cat owner would want, but it’s perfectly natural for cats to be a bit territorial about spaces they consider “theirs.”
On a more positive note, your cat staring at you can also be an indication that you have earned their trust. It’s making eye contact because it feels safe with you and secure in the environment you have created.
8. Trying to Communicate
Staring you down is also likely your cat’s primary method of communication. And unfortunately, figuring out what it wants to tell you is a challenge you need to solve.
You can check other factors such as its body language, the sounds it makes, and other indicators to find out what your cat wants to tell you.
Assessing a Cat’s Body Language
A cat’s stare can mean a lot of things. It can indicate what your cat is feeling or thinking, and decoding this stare means interpreting and understanding the rest of your cat’s body language.
Cats have an impressive and sophisticated way of using their bodies to reinforce their message. They use their eyes, tails, body, and overall stance to help you understand what they want.
When your cat snuggles up to you and gives you those slow blinks and stares, you can safely assume that it is happy and showing you some love. Loose body language and staring are strong indications that your cat is generally happy and relaxed.
In contrast, any sign of stiffness or agitation can include behaviors such as your cat swishing its tail, its pupils dilating, and its ears pressing onto its head. These are clear signs that your cat is upset or stressed.
If your cat is crouched down with its tail tucked under its body, this is a sign of great fear. A scared cat may stare at you with dilated pupils as it hides under or behind furniture.
How to Avoid Your Cat Staring at You?
When the staring becomes uncomfortable, break the connection by distracting your feline and redirecting its attention elsewhere.
Toss one of your cat’s toys across the room so that it has something else to stare at. You can also opt to stand up, walk away, and return with some treats.
But if you are sure that your cat is staring at you due to affection, you can carefully pick it up and share some loving hugs and cuddles.
Should I Be Concerned About My Cat’s Staring?
Aside from the discomfort that it might cause you, your cat’s staring is entirely harmless, and it should not be a cause of concern on your part.
If, aside from the staring, you notice new and unusual habits in your cat, then it will be a good idea to schedule a visit to the vet and mention your observations. Your vet can diagnose or rule out medical conditions that have led to changes in its behavior.