Why Is My Cat Staring At Me?

Have you ever woken to find your cat sitting on your chest staring directly in your eyes?

It’s a startling sight and may prompt you to question why they do this.

Why Is My Cat Staring At Me?

Are they trying to threaten me, or is it some attempt at telepathic communication? Or are they just molding their behavior to what I respond to?

The answer is pretty simple and may help you learn more about your cat and how they can talk to you without verbal communication. Let’s explore together!

Behind Watching Eyes

If you want to learn why your cat is staring at you, their eyes may be the last place to look.

We have all had those moments when our cat seemingly stares into what we think is nothingness but they seem very focused on that space.

This is because cats have a very astute sense thanks to their ears and eyesight, moreover, their whiskers will pick up tiny changes and make them a very sensitive animal.

What’s clear is that your cat will look at anything that it sees as interesting, and we probably have behaviors that are very strange to cats.

If your cat is staring at you, your best bet for actually figuring out why is to look at their body language rather than necessarily their eyes.

Happy Kitty

It can be pretty easy to tell when your cat is happy, and as owners we should take note of when they seem to be happy – there are some clear signs in their body language to notice.

If their tail is down or curled around their body, they are likely quite relaxed.

When they roll themselves up like cinnamon buns on your chest it’s because you are warm and they probably feel quite safe.

In this situation your cat may just stare at you and slowly blink, like a lover slowly falling asleep.

This isn’t anything to worry about, your cat is likely just vibing out and looking at you lovingly.

In the wild, blinking for a cat would be a show of weakness, if you notice a cat when they are on edge they will rarely blink – so blinking means their guard is down.

Your cat will probably just lock their eyes on you because you are fidgeting around, or just because they want to know where you are.

If you were sitting on someone’s lap, you would probably keep an eye on them too.

Scaredy Cat!

Humans are weird, we watch things on TV and scream, or we may just be walking around the house making strange noises because we are in a weird mood.

Your cat doesn’t understand any of this, this is behavior we have developed in the weird and wonderful world we exist in.

But your cat doesn’t understand what the Superbowl is or the memes you might shout at each other.

The point is that human behavior is pretty otherworldly to cats, so you can easily do something that might scare your cat a little.

The good thing is that there are easy ways to tell this is happening and easy ways to settle them down.

If Tom Brady has just hit a touchdown and the whole house is going wild, your cat will be pretty confused and scared.

While a dog will probably jump up and join in the excitement your cat will go into flight or fight mode.

In your cat’s head they will be looking for anger and will stare at anything super close, no blinking will be visible here.

Your cat will keep their body low to the ground and may even hide behind furniture or underneath something.

We are huge in comparison to our cats, so they will immediately hide when they think something is kicking off because they know they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Your cat’s eyes will be like a cop in a gunfight.

Depending on the trust you have with your cat, they might come back out quickly.

If they are new they might be more hesitant, you can easily coax them out with food though, and they will soon forget all about it.

Humans and cats might have more in common than they think.

Angry Kitty!

Angry Kitty!

Maybe you have brought your young cousins over who, as they know no better, might excessively play with your cat or just take things a little too far.

In this case, if your cat is staring, it might be best to give them some space.

Maybe you have been play-fighting with your cat, something they usually love, but maybe they have lost too many times.

Their bodies will tighten up and their ears will often point sideways.

This is typical behavior to tell you they are upset. Just like when we are annoyed, we might need space too.

In this case your cat will definitely stare at what is bothering them, they are both assessing the threat and getting ready to defend.

Give them a treat to show you are friends or leave them a toy, but definitely leave them alone they will be eyeing you up at this point.

Cats have no qualms with swiping at you.

It’s Not Your Cat, It’s You!

Just like cats we are animals too!

If your cat is staring at you, you may have that weird primal feeling that you are being watched, this might cause you to turn to your cat and tend to them, and they will pick up on this.

Your cat may have realized that if they stare at you or enact certain behavior, such as rubbing against you or sitting in front of you, they realize they can get what they want.

Obviously, as your cat cannot verbally communicate, they will learn how to get you to do things for them.

Cats can be a lot more clever than we think they are.

One such behavior may be staring at you until you feed them.

All mammals have non-verbal behaviors that indicate desire for attention, whether you are giving someone the eye across the bar, or waving at someone to say hello.

Final Thoughts

The two main things to think about when trying to understand why your cat is staring or when understanding their body language.

Firstly, cats cannot speak. While this is obvious, this will seriously dictate their bodily behavior towards us.

They find no verbal ways to communicate their needs to us – affection or otherwise.

Secondly, cats aren’t human.

While this is also obvious, sometimes pet owners have a tendency to contextualize feline behavior in a human context.

They do things for completely different reasons to us and have primal dispositions that make them act in a certain way.

In any case, if your cat is staring, there probably is a reason you can figure out, but it is rarely something to cause concern.

Courtney Trent
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