A cat can stare at you for different reasons. It is quite possible that a cat stares at you because he or she likes you very much. Yet we are often told that it is better not to make eye contact with a cat. This is often said about strange cats we meet on the street. However, eye contact with a cat is not necessarily bad and it does not have to be something negative for your cat to stare at you. But why does your cat stare at you? We will tell you more about it below.
Is staring a form of aggression?
In principle, a cat staring at you is not an expression of aggression. There are many reasons why your cat stares at you. The other way round, staring from you to your cat can be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, especially if the staring lasts a long time. Staring from cat to cat is, in their body language, a form of aggression. A staring contest often precedes a fight. But if your cat stares at you, this is almost always not aggressive behaviour.
Cats have sharper senses
It used to be thought that cats had psychic abilities. Still there are people who say their day is ruined when they meet a black cat. They have something supernatural. The ability of cats to stare intensely is one of the reasons why cats were thought to have a sixth sense. For example, they would see spirits floating in spaces or around you. That is why cats would stare at you.
Logically, this has never been scientifically proven and the chance is great that it is utter nonsense. What we do know is that the eyes and ears of cats are a lot sharper than those of humans. They see and smell more. So it may be that they stare at dust particles flying around us. It is also possible that they focus on a specific sound. They are therefore listening intently and this is accompanied by intense staring. This is often because your cat hears a potential playmate in the sound. This could be a small insect. If this insect is near you, your cat might stare at you.
Staring, a sign of love (or hunger)
It is often said about cats that they are distant pets. This is true for some breeds, but not for others. If you give a cat enough attention and love, they will love you too. A good tip is to watch the posture of your cat when it stares at you. If you notice by the body posture of your cat that he or she is relaxed while staring at you intensely, then they are showing their love in this way. It is a form of affection. If your cat does this around feeding time, this could also be a subtle hint from your cat to make dinner.
Aggressive eye contact
A cat staring at you can also have less loving intentions. Sometimes your cat is a bit moody or your pet is upset. You can see this in your cat’s body language. The ears are slightly bent backwards and slightly to the side, the pupils narrow, whiskers stand forward, the legs stretch and the back is curved. By staring, your cat shows that he or she wants some time to themselves. They need space and/or distraction.
You can make your cat less upset by offering an activity that provides distraction. Think of a toy or a stress ball lying on your desk. You can also slowly close and open your eyes a number of times. This is cat language for: I am a friend, not an enemy. This is how you take away the tension. When your cat is more at ease, you can play together for a while. You will be friends again in no time.
A startled cat
It is also possible that you have accidentally startled your cat. Again, you can tell that your cat is scared by its posture. Your cat may have hidden itself away and stared at you from this position. The tail between the legs is also an indicator of a scared cat. Sometimes this is because you accidentally dropped something or you got too scared while watching a horror movie. But also sudden (loud) noises from outside can scare your cat.
The cat stares at you because it knows (or thinks) that you were the source of the sound. In the mind of a cat, this makes you a potential danger. Reassuring your cat is the best solution. You can, for example, distract your cat with some tasty treats. In this way, you will get the cat out of its fear.
It depends on the context what a cat means by staring at you. Sometimes the animal is simply observing you. With a happy body posture, staring is a way of showing affection, especially when it is done close to your face. In this form it can also be a subtle hint that your cat is hungry and that you should go and prepare some food.
If your cat is restless and upset, staring is an indicator that it needs some space and distraction. Finally, you may have accidentally startled your cat. Put the animal at ease, for example by distracting it with a toy or treats. Do you have any experience with this? Let us know by leaving a comment below this article!