Why Does My Cat Stare at Me?
Have you ever experienced your cat staring at you without even blinking?
You might have asked yourself what your cat could have been thinking about at that moment.
You might've read that it's a negative sign if a feline stares at something.
Do not worry, it most probably is nothing problematic and there are different cases in which your cat might stare at you.
But why do cats stare at us?
Most of the time, cat staring is a sign of affection, especially when combined with occasional blinking.
This is your cat showing you her trust. But there are other possible reasons for your cat to stare at you, of which some are rather critical.
In the following, I'm going to show you a number of potential root causes for cat staring.
How Does Your Cat Feel?
Before trying to judge your cat's feelings purely by staring back at her and trying to win the staring contest, you should remember that even though eyes might tell you a lot about a person, that doesn't necessarily work for your cat.
For being able to understand your cat's stare, you also have to take a look at the other body parts of her.
This includes her whole stance, from the end of her tail to her nose.
Your Cat Trusts You
The way your cat's body behaves overall gives you hints about her emotional state and therefore how she feels while staring at you.
Is she letting her tail hang loosely while standing tall when she's staring at you?
This is often a sign of your cat wanting to spend time with you especially when it's combined with slow blinking.
A feline blinking slowly while staring at you is generally a good sign and shows that the cat trusts you and that she doesn't have to be very attentive because there is no harm to be expected from you.
Therefore slow blinking may also be a sign of affection.
If your cat is behaving this way, it is safe to assume that she is feeling happy and wants your attention, either in the form of petting, playing or food.
In case you know your cat's stomach is full, play with her or simply pat her, because your furry darling deserves it!
Your Cat Needs Space
If your cat is behaving uneasy while staring into your eyes it is clear to say that she is about to attack and that you should not provoke her any further.
Your cat being angry is easy to tell by looking at her tail, posture and eyes.
In this case, her tail will wag quickly from side to side with her posture being very stiff.
Also, her pupils will have expanded and her ears turned to the side.
These signs together are an obvious indicator for your cat being upset and her needing some space.
To break the tension, you should first avert your eyes and then distract your cat by throwing something across the room for her to chase after.
Knocking on a wooden surface or a wall also helps with breaking the eye contact.
After having prevented your cat from attacking you, try to give her some space by letting her be by herself.
Your Cat Is Frightened
Your cat might be staring at you because there was some loud noise that has scared her.
If she is scared, she will be cowered and have her tail wrapped around her lower body or she will be hiding behind furniture.
It could be you accidentally dropping an item or sounds from the outside that are too loud.
In this case, your cat will stare at whomever or whatever is closest to her or what has caused the frightening noise.
To help your cat to calm down, give her her favorite treat or redirect her attention by distracting her with a toy she usually likes to play with.
You might also try playing soothing music to your feline (for reference, check our blog post about music for cats).
Why Does My Cat Stare at the Wall?
Cats are extremely curious animals and can stare at something - trying to figure it out - for hours, while dogs would sniff once and turn away.
As recent research suggests, cats are able to see many different wavelengths that we humans can't perceive.
This is due to the much higher amount of rods, the photoreceptors responsible for light sensing, in the cat's eyes.
Because of this, they can also see ultraviolet light and reflections and glimmers of light that you don't notice.
The highly-developed eyes of cats may let your furry darling experience some interesting spectacles on the wall which you can barely or not at all perceive.
Your cat might also hear noises that you don't pick up.
There could be rodents inside your walls for example or simply the wind whizzing through tiny cracks somewhere.
Why Does My Cat Stare at Another Cat?
Staring at another feline is a dominant's cat show of aggression and when the other cat notices the stare, she'll immediately stop her recent activity and focus her eyes on the staring aggressor.
A cat will most probably begin staring if she thinks her territory is being intruded by another cat.
If the dominance showing cat realizes that the staring doesn't suffice, it will escalate into swatting or even a cat-fight.
Because cats are visual hunters and therefore dependent on their eyes while stalking prey, they're able to stare for a long time without having to blink, unlike us humans who have to blink rather frequently to keep our eyes moist.
This is why it's not possible for us to win a staring contest against our little tigers.
Your cat staring at you may have several reasons, of which most are rather harmless and no serious issue.
However, if your cat's staring has become more excessive, you might want to look it into it more thoroughly.
Your Cat Likes You
If she is letting her tail hang loosely and has a relaxed stance she simply wants to spend time with you and blinking slowly is a sign of affection.
She might also simply want you to play with her, pet her, or give her treats.
Your Cat Wants to Be Alone
If your kitty is behaving uneasy - indicated by her tail wagging quickly from side to side, her pupils having expanded and her posture being stiff - while staring into your eyes, that is a sign that she is about to attack you and that you should back off.
Break eye contact and distract her acoustically by knocking on a hard surface.
After that, you should give her some alone-time.
Something Has Scared Your Cat
A cat might also stare at a person if he or she has accidentally dropped something or if there was a loud noise outside and that person happened to be moving at that moment.
Your cat's fear might show in her cowering and having her tail wrapped around her lower body.
Try to redirect her attention by giving her a treat or playing calming cat music to her.
My Cat Stares at the Wall
If your cat stares at a wall it is very possible that she - thanks to her highly-developed eyes - sees something you could never perceive, such as ultraviolet light.
She could also be hearing noises inside your wall that you cannot pick up such as rodents or simply the wind whizzing through air ducts.
My Cat Stares at Another Cat
If a cat stares at another cat, she's trying to demonstrate her dominance and as soon as the other cat realizes she's being stared at, she will stop whatever she has been doing until that point to connect visually with the staring cat.
If the aggressor realizes that it doesn't work, it will escalate into hissing or even fighting.
Have you ever experienced your cat staring at you or something else?
Did you do something about it?
If so, what was it?
I hope this post was helpful and I am looking forward to reading your comments in the comment section below!