We love cats, and in the United States, 1 out of every 3 homes has a cat, with 74-96 million cats owned. When it comes down to it, you really know that, It’s a Cat’s World… You Just Live In It, right? While we’d like to think that we’ve domesticated cats, they likely domesticated us.
People haven’t been able to take the predator drive out of our feline friends. If you’ve ever noticed an outdoor cat, they are able to stalk and hunt incredibly well (which is one of the reasons why I like to keep them indoors – so they don’t kill too many songbirds!). Click here for compelling safety reasons to keep your cat inside. If your cat is indoors, you may notice her stalking a spider, insect, or cat toy.
So why is my cat staring at me?
Most likely, your cat is checking you out and stalking you. While I don’t want to anthropomorphize what’s really going on in your cat’s head while she stares at you, I often feel it’s due to the predator’s instinct.
Chalk this up with your cat’s curious nature. Your cat is staring as she literally checks you over. Personally, I believe cats are trying to mind control us into feeding them. "I’m staring at you so you feel guilty and feed me more." Don’t fall for it – give them some entertainment and environment enrichment instead, and let them take out their predator’s stare on a Buster® Cube or Roll-a-Treat ball instead.
Medical causes of staring
Rarely, medical causes can result in the staring appearance. Several leading causes of death in cats may be associated, including chronic medical problems such as:
If untreated, severe hypertension (e.g., high blood pressure) can result. Normal systolic blood pressure for a cat should be approximately 120 mm Hg (similar to humans); if it climbs over 180-200 mm Hg, ocular injury can occur. With high blood pressure, the retina (the “film” of the back of the eye that causes the appearance of “red eye” can detach [called a retinal detachment], causing a dilated pupil. It may look like your cat is staring. If you notice constantly dilated pupils and staring, get to a veterinarian for a blood pressure check.
Otherwise, chalk it up to your cat’s predatory drive and attempt to guilt you into something…
Return to, "6 Strange Cat Behaviors Finally Explained" >>
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Believe it or not, but there are weirder things that cats do, apart from staring us down. Staring isn’t the only thing, and neither is it the most mysterious, especially with indoor cats. Cats that are raised indoors usually have the desire to develop a strong bond and communicate with their owners on a deeper level, and staring the only way they know-how. Some of the most frequent signs of affection displayed by cats include rubbing up against pant legs, kneading, purring, and gentle biting or licking. Cats also love reaching out to their owners to touch them by lending a soft paw towards our bodies or with a light head-butt. Most often, cats do this as a means of marking their territories and family. Their scent glands are located on their feet and at the front of their heads, which is why they use these areas.
As it turns out, there are a few reasons why your cat may like to sit and stare at you. For example, Dr. Herman explains that sometimes a cat may do this because they are telling you it is feeding time, or perhaps you're sitting in their favorite spot and they'd like you to move. "Oftentimes though, your cat may just be observing you," says Dr. Herman. "They are curious creatures and are constantly interpreting the world around them and wondering what you might do next."
Another reason your cat may be staring at you is because they are trying to communicate affection. "If your cat has relaxed loose muscles, a loose tail, and is staring at you [while] blinking slowly, they are just connecting with you and showing you affection," says Dr. Liz Bales, VMD. "You can slow blink back to return the love."
However, if a cat is staring at you and seems nervous or on edge, it may mean something very different. For instance, Dr. Bales explains that if a cat is staring at you in a hunting position and with tense muscles, then this may mean it is about to attack you. "This can be dangerous," warns Dr. Bales. Thankfully if you are experiencing this with your own feline friend then it should be relatively easy to diffuse the situation. "In this circumstance, the best thing to do is slowly look away and distract your kitty by throwing something in the other direction," adds Dr. Bales. "It's best to give them time to decompress and leave them alone if you can."
It seems like every minute your cat’s eyes aren’t closed, they’re fixed on you. What is behind your cat’s seemingly impolite stare? You first start to feel it on the back of your neck, a tingling that then spreads to the rest of your body. Even if you get up and move, it follows you relentlessly. Sometimes you feel it in the middle of the night and other times it creeps up on you while you’re eating or watching TV. It’s that feeling that something is watching you, scrutinizing your every move. It's your cat.
It is a basic question we have all wondered at some point! Why does my cat stare at me? You are eating dinner or watching T.V. and you notice two bright eyes watching you. Your cat is creeping on you but you need to understand that cats are visual stalkers, this is how your purrfect pet takes in their surroundings to understand what is going on around them. Your cat is interested in your every move especially if they think there is something in it for them…think about feeding time. Your cat has very little patience waiting for you to get them their food wondering why you can’t go faster.
Why does my cat stare at me? As a fur parent, you are the key person in your cat’s life. You provide them with food, shelter, love, pets, and are their loving caregiver.
Every time you think “why does my cat stare at me” pay attention to what you are doing and how are you are feeling this can be a contributing factor in their mood too. Our pets often mimic our moods and behavior. Does your pet want you to stare back at them to have a special moment? Your cat might be staring at you to re-enforce the bond you have together. Is your creeping kitty trying to tell you something? What is your cat’s body language when they are staring at you? Is your cat happy, or bored, maybe something might have spooked them or made them angry to bore their eyes into your soul. Try getting some cool cat toys to keep your cat entertained.
Your cat loves you, when your cat looks at you with love in their eyes, return that look! Why does my cat stare at me? Now you know!