What does it mean when a cat stares at me?

Cat sitting

Maybe you’ve experienced that a cat is staring at you. You may wonder what this means, is it good or bad? There can be many reasons for why a cat is staring at you. Many people think it is a negative thing and that you should avoid eye-contact at all times. This is not true. It can be something positive when a cat stares at you. It could be a sign of love and affection! It is therefore important to look at the cat’s body language, as this will give you some insight about a cat’s emotions. Note that every cat has a different character, so not everything will apply for every cat.

The first part will explain the general reasons of why cats stare. Then, in the second part, you can read about what may be the reasons why a cat is staring at you. In the third part, we will explain why it is important to watch a cat’s body language when he or she stares at you. Finally, we will tell you when you should be concerned about your cat’s staring behavior and what you can do about it. Be sure to read on to find out why a cat is staring at you and what you can do next.


General facts about staring

Have you ever experienced that you’re working, and suddenly a cat is staring at you from nowhere? Many people will recognize themselves in this. You are probably wondering why cats do this. In order to understand this, below we will briefly explain why the eyes of cats are so important to them.

Cats have super good eyes. In fact, wild cats use their eyes to drag in their meal. The vision of cats is therefore very well developed. Cats stare at each other a lot. This is one of the most common ways for cats to communicate. Staring is often used by cats to show in whose territory they are. So staring is very normal for cats. But for us as humans, (a lot of) eye contact is always a bit strange. So, it is perfectly logical that it feels uncomfortable for us as humans to have eye contact. Especially when you do not know what a cat means by this.

General explanations for why cats could stare at you

As said before, there can be many reasons why your cat is staring at you. Probably the main reason why a cat stares at you, is that he or she is hungry. When your cat is staring at you, he or she is probably trying to get food or a treat. When your cat is staring at you around times that he or she normally eats, then you can almost be sure that it stares at you for food. It is more obvious when your cat is sitting by its food bowl and stares at you from there. If this is the case, make sure you feed your cat or give him or her a nice treat.

The second reason why cats could stare at you, is because they want attention. It can also be that they want a combination of attention and food. Third, it could be that they want to show you affection. This means that your cat just loves you and that he or she wants you to know that! Especially when the staring is combined with slow blinking of the eyes, your cat wants you to know that he adores you. Fourth, your cat could stare at you after an activity that it didn’t like that much. For example, brushing or bathing your cat. Most cats don’t like these things, so it is almost that he or she is holding a grudge against you.

They want you to know that they’re not happy with what you did. Fifth, your cat could simply be just bored. In this case, your cat stares at you in the hope that you will get up and entertain them, for example with a toy. And the last reason that your cat could stare at you is that he or she is scared or in pain.

Maybe your cat has just had a fight with another cat, or maybe it got scared from a hard noise. When your cat feels safe around you, it will come to you when he or she is hurt or scared. Make sure to cuddle and pet your cat, or give him or her a treat. In this way, you give your cat the confirmation that he or she is safe with you.

Cat staring

Body language, important to keep in mind

As said before, the body language of a cat can give you much information about how a cat is feeling. The eyes, tail and ears can say a lot about how your cat is feeling. Is he or she feeling happy, sad, anxious or maybe angry? It is important to look not only at the cat’s body language, but also how the cat behaves otherwise. Think about growling, hissing or purring. Below, we will give you some tips for how you can see the emotion of the cat in its body language.

  • If your cat has a relaxed body posture, with the tail not swishing back and forth, your cat is just happy. Therefore, if your cat stares at you at such a moment, it may be that he or she is showing affection to you. When this is the case, your cat will slowly blink its eyes. Also, the ears stand slightly forward when a cat is happy.
  • It could also be the case that the cat has an aggressive attitude. You can recognize this because he or she has a stiff body, where the tail moves violently back and forth. Also, the ears of the cat are often outwards. This is a signal for the cat to indicate that he or she needs a little more space. Leave the cat alone for a while, so he or she can get relaxed again.
  • It may also be that you are dealing with a frightened cat. Frightened cats may be startled by a loud noise. You can also see this in the body language of scared cats. Frightened cats often have their tail between their legs and can hide behind pieces of furniture. You can try to make the cat less afraid by treating him or her with his or her favorite treats.


When should I get worried about the staring of my cat?

As mentioned earlier, staring is very normal for a cat. It could be because he is happy, sad, angry or anxious. You can often tell how the cat is feeling by looking at its body language. In this case, nothing is wrong with your cat. As mentioned above, cats communicate mostly with their eyes and body language. But when this isn’t the case, keep in mind that it also could be something serious that your cat is trying to tell you.

So, if your cat suddenly begins to stare at you a lot, and he or she didn’t do this before, it is wise to take him or her to the vet. Also, take your cat to the vet when the staring is combined with weird behavior. If you have an older cat, staring could be a sign of losing its sight. Keep in mind that there could be more symptoms when your cat is going blind, such as bumping into things and becoming very anxious or nervous.

You now know why cats may stare at you and what meaning this may have. Cats in general stare a lot, because this is the most common way for cats to communicate with each other.  The staring of your cat could for example mean that he or she loves you. It could also mean that he or she is hungry, bored, or that he or she just needs attention. Or, maybe your cat is angry with you or maybe it’s scared, because he or she got startled by a sound. It is therefore important to always look at the cat’s body language when it is staring at you.

By doing this, you can often already tell if the cat is happy, angry or scared. Concluding, in most cases there is nothing wrong when a cat is staring at you. But when your cat suddenly starts staring at you a lot, while he or she never did so before, then it is useful to pay a visit to the vet. It could be that your cat is getting blind or that there is something else going on with them. This way, you can make sure to find out what is wrong with your cat.

Have you ever experienced a cat staring at you? And did you know why he or she did that? What was your reaction when this happened? Let us know below this article, we would like to know your experiences!

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Onlinecatworld.com Team

Onlinecatworld.com Team

We are a team of cat lovers, doing our best to create and spread information about cats. On Onlinecatworld.com you will read all about different cat breeds, and what makes them so special. You will also find information about grooming and training your cat. Be sure to leave us a reply if you like our article.

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