Why Does My Cat Stare at Me?
Ever wondered why your cat keeps looking at you? As humans, we are taught that it is rude to stare so it can be quite unnerving when you have a creature burning a hole into your head with such intensity. The truth is that there no one single reason why your cat is staring, but there are a lot of little possible explanations that we are going to look at in more detail in this blog post. The more you observe your cat and the closer you become to them, the more likely it is that you are going to be able to determine what is going on.
Why Do Cats Stare at You?
Look at Your Cat’s Body Language
When your cat is staring at you, also aim to look at the other body language that they are displaying. This can give you a clue of what is going through their mind, and therefore helps you to determine why they are staring at you.
If your cat’s body language is loose and relaxed, it is likely that they are feeling happy. You can also determine this if your cat is very close to your face and blinking slowly and this is a friendly and non-threatening gesture. During these times, it is a nice opportunity to play with your kitty and provide them some love and attention. Cats often stare when they are displaying the close bond that they feel towards you. When your cat knows that you are nearby, this gives them a sense of calm.
Another reason why your cat may be staring at you is that they are feeling angry and possibly about to attack. You may also notice their tail swishing from side to side, dilated pupils, and a stiff body in an attack stance. If you see your cat doing this while they are staring at you, this is the time when you should back off or redirect their attention. For example, you could make a knocking sound or throw something across the room to distract your kitty. Whether or not your cat goes after it, it will help to diffuse the tension and you may then be able to play with your cat.
If your cat is staring at you while they are crouched with their tail tucked under their body or hiding behind something, it is likely that they are feeling fearful. You may have raised your voice or dropped something that then made a loud noise. In these situations, your kitty is watching out for any signs of potential danger. You may notice that their pupils are dilated as well. Don’t make any sudden movements that could startle your kitty any further. If there are some treats to hand, you could offer a few of these to make them feel better. Alternatively, you could try having a game with them.
Your cat may be staring at you due to simple curiosity. Perhaps you are engaging in some behaviour that they have never really seen before! Cats use their eyes to determine what is going on around them, and they like to stare to assess the situation. It is more likely that you will get some curious looks when you are moving around as felines still have their hunting instincts which tell them that they need to keep their eyes trained on whatever is in motion.
A simple reason why your cat may be staring is that they are hungry. Often, this is accompanied by a high-pitched meowing that will let you know that their stomach is rumbling. So, if your cat is staring when it is nearly dinner time, this is a good indication that food is on their mind. If you feed your cat, this is likely to stop the staring pretty quickly!
Your cat could be staring at you because they are feeling excited. Perhaps you are holding something that is interesting to them such as their favorite toy or a bag of food. On these occasions, your kitty is probably waiting for you to make the next move, whether this is feeding them or initiating a game.
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me While I Sleep?
If you have ever woken up to find your cat staring directly at you, there is no doubt that this can be quite unnerving. Most of the time, it is likely to be because your cat has strong feelings of affection towards you. We also have to remember that many cats don’t sleep through the night like we do. In fact, this is when they can be at their most active. And thanks to their sensitive eyes, they can see very well in the dark, so your cat can probably make you out very well when you can only see a blurry outline. Another possible explanation is that your cat is concerned and wants to check up on you. After all, when we are asleep, we are at our most vulnerable, and they may just want to keep you safe from any potential dangers.
Should I Stare Back at My Cat?
While your cat may stare hard at you, there is some debate about whether you should stare right back again. Your kitty may treat this as a sign on intimidation or threatening behavior. After all, cat fights are often preluded by a staring contest as the two felines size each other up. One cat looking away often signifies surrender. Some general advice often given is for you to blink or wink your eyes when looking at your cat, which sends a message that you are not a threat, so they don’t need to be worried. It is thought that cats prefer their owners to use their peripheral vision when looking at them rather than making direct eye contact. Ultimately, you should look at your cat’s body language to see how they are responding to the way they are looking. If it seems to make them aggressive or fearful, it is probably better that you change tact.
Should I Be Worried About My Cat Staring?
In the vast majority of cases, you don’t have to be particularly worried about your cat staring at you. The main exception to this is if your feline is displaying aggressive behavior traits along with their staring. If your cat is hissing with their tail up in the air and look like they are ready to pounce, this is your time to back off. While it is rarer, there still may be times when staring means that your cat is suffering from some sort of health issue. Check if their pupils remain dilated and they are displaying any other issues that are out of the ordinary. A few possible things that could be wrong include kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. The closer the relationship that you have with your kitty, the better you will be able to tell if anything is out of the ordinary that you need to report to your veterinarian.
Staring Between Cats
Another example of cat staring that you should be a little more concerned about is when it occurs between felines. This is often a sign of aggression and you may need to step in to prevent a fight from breaking out. A loud noise may be enough to distract the cats from what could turn into a damaging battle. If you are introducing a new cat into your home, you are better off doing so slowly rather than suddenly. Supervise their early days together so you can be ready to step in to prevent fights if needed. You can also trade blankets and toys between the two cats so they both get used to each other’s scent. You may need to feed them in separate places, to begin with as this is when felines feel particularly vulnerable. You should also provide each cat with their own litter tray, bed, and scratching post as they are very territorial creatures and you don’t want to add any fuel to the fire. It is always easier if you bring cats home together rather than doing so later in life when they become comfortable in their setting.
If you notice your cat looking up or staring at you, this is usually nothing to be worried about. A lot of the time it is because they are showing their affection towards you or are displaying a need like hunger. Alternatively, it could be due to a passing emotion like curiosity or surprise. However, if you notice certain body language, your cat could be feeling aggressive, which is when you need to back off. On rarer occasions, your cat could be displaying that they are feeling sick. Bear in mind that felines are very good at hiding their other symptoms, so you may really have to pay attention to determine if anything is wrong and consult the vet if you are worried.