Why Does My Cat Stare At Me?

why do cats stare It is extremely hard to ignore your kitty, especially if she is staring at you with her beautiful eyes. Some tend to enjoy this moment for a while but at times, it can make them feel strange, particularly if the cat has been doing this all of a sudden or frequently for the past few days. This often makes a cat owner to wonder — why does my cat stare at me most of the time? Does he/she want something from me? Or it’s gazing in a friendly way?

Well, a cat staring at you could mean a lot of things. I will explain this in detail; but before that, here are some interesting facts about cats’ eyes, which I thought you should know if you own a cat at home.

5 Interesting Facts About Cat’s Eyes
  • Just like humans, even cats have binocular vision (the pictures from every eye overlap). They can see in 3 dimensions just like us.
  • Cats can’t see in complete darkness. But they have a high rod to cone ratio when compared to humans. Hence, their vision is great even in an extremely low light.
  • Cats are not entirely colorblind; however, their view towards colors is limited. According to scientists, cats perceive yellows and blues quite well but cannot differentiate between greens and reds.
  • Cats’ pupils are vertical slit-shaped (commonly seen in animals that are active during day & night), and this shape lets the pupils to modify the size at a much faster rate than round pupils humans have. So, the smaller the pupils, lesser the light gets in; thus, cats are less likely to get blind even with sudden variation of light levels.
  • All the kittens by birth have blue color eyes. However, the eye color changes when they reach their “adulthood.“ Most cats have green or amber colored eyes. Blues are usually found only in Siamese cats or white cats.

Why Does My Cat Stare At Me?

why does my cat stare at me

Cats stare (without blinking and from a distance) to show dominance, control, or aggression. According to the Humane Society of Unites States, a cat staring at you depends on the status of its pupils.

If your cat stares at you with eyes partially open, it indicates either aggression or fear. If your cat stares at you with its pupils constricted, it indicates either content or aggression. If a cat stares at you with big, dilates pupils, it indicates submissiveness or nervousness. But at times, it can also signify playful moods.

Besides eyes, a cat uses its tail, ears, and body to express its emotions. To read your cat’s feelings accurately, it is vital to examine all these four elements properly. Say, for example, alert, and forward ears indicate that the cat is happy whereas backward ears denote fright or anger.

What Does A Cat Stare Mean?

As said earlier, a cat’s stare or gaze can mean a lot of things. Here are a few to make a note of:

Staring With Fully-Opened Eyes:

  • The cat is alert.
  • The cat is paying attention to something.

Staring With Half-Closed Eyes:

  • The cat trusts you.
  • The cat is happy.
  • The cat is sleepy.

Staring With Enlarged or Dilated Pupils:

  • The cat is scared of something.
  • The cat is aggressive.
  • The cat is submissive or nervous.
  • The cat is excited to see his or her master.
  • The cat is attracted towards a new toy, food, or a feline friend.

Staring With Narrowed or Constricted Pupils:

  • The cat is confident.
  • The cat is angry.
  • The cat is content or calm.

Here is a detailed explanation and reasons on why do cats stare.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Lick You?

1. To Show Their Supremacy Over You

A cat’s eye contact is a way of establishing dominance. As a master, if you often turn away when your cat stares or gazes at you, he/she might assume that it is the dominant one in the relationship and not you. Due to this reason, often cats find direct, sustained eye contact to be highly aggressive.

Hence, if you are not much aware of your cat, never stare too much, as this could make him/her nervous, frightened, and can even prepare for an attack. However, if your cat knows you well, or desires for your love, attention, and care, will meow over and over until you gaze at him or her for a while. So, it all comes down to their behavior and how well you understand your kitty.

2. Pain Or In A Mood To Fight (Aggressive)

A cat’s eye signal has a lot to do with its pupil’s size. If the pupils are slit-like and constricted, his or her mood is mostly ambient, or maybe, it is predatory. But, if the pupils are completely dilated even in bright daytime, appearing as if they are big, black pools, then he or she is in pain or ready to escape or desires to wrestle.

3. Big Pupils Also Mean Letting In More Light

Though enlarged or dilated pupils are a sign of attack, pain or anger, it also means that the cat is trying to allow more light into his or her eyes. No wonder a cat’s pupils are big at nighttime. So, your cat might not be intimidating you. You will get to learn this, as you get along with your cat and understand his or her behavior well.

4. To Tell You That He/She Is Self-Protective

Besides expressing anger, pain, and attack, dilated pupils also mean that your cat is feeling defensive. A cat does this to enhance his or her peripheral vision and counters an attack successfully. I am not sure if you have observed this, but an attacking feline (just before he/she pounces) narrows the eyes to maximize the depth perception and to focus on the target completely.

5. Curious About What You Do

As its owner, your kitty is always curious to know what you are doing and what you are upto. So, at times it might stare and stalk for a while. This is more of a friendly version.

6. Observes Its Prey Or Communicates With Its Feline Friends

Cats’ corneas are evolved in a way that they do not need constant blinking like us to keep the eye surface wet. Hence, cats can keep staring for a long time. Now, this has multiple advantages too. They can observe their prey attentively or communicate with their peers even across long distances. With their motion, cats can even check their feline friend’s mind state and send messages back & forth – through subtle, small facial movements.

7. Rarely, Staring Is An Underlying Medical Cause

Staring is also a sign of an underlying medical condition. Though this is rare, it can happen. So, if your kitty is someone who keeps herself happy and enjoys most of the time and all of a sudden, you see her staring at you often, check with a vet. It could be a problem related to kidneys, heart, blood pressure or thyroid.

8. It Is Hungry And Needs Food

Well, this stare is out of complete jubilation. Your cat very well knows about its mealtime. To enjoy this moment, they stare often and keep an eye on every movement you make until you serve the food. However, if you haven’t served your cat yet, and it has surpassed its mealtime, she might stare at you intensely. So, understand this and serve at the right time.

9. Staring With Slight Blinking Is Expressing Love

Well, not all the eye contact your cat makes is bad. If your cat stares with a slight blinking in between (folks usually call this as “blink kissing“), it is showing love. It could be either you or his or her feline friend. This eye-break conveys a message that – “You can trust me, and I am not frightening you.“

According to pet experts, blink kissing builds a healthy relationship between an owner and a cat. So, when your cat does this, always make sure to blink back.

10. To Seek Your Attention

An attention-stare is something you will easily and quickly come to know. Your cat will gaze lovingly with a hope to get your attention back.

Hope, you have got the answer for the question – why does my cat stare at me? If you have some other valid reasons for its stare, feel free to drop it in the comments section.

Category Misc