It is always fun or even calming to look at your cat and play with it. However, cats sometimes drop whatever they are doing and just stare at you.
It can be unnerving for new cat keepers, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Cats will stare at you if they want food, while playing, or are curious about what you’re doing, or are just being affectionate. They can also appear to be staring at you when they are sleeping!
Whenever I found any of my cats in my cattery or even my house cat staring at me, it was always for one of these reasons.
Your Cat Is Attracted to Something
Cats have incredibly sharp senses of hearing, sight and smell. They can easily detect things we cannot. When they notice something moving, they focus all their attention towards that object.
It could be that your cat is staring at an insect or flapping paper or something behind you. It could also be that your cat heard a faint sound from the other side the wall, and is trying to ascertain what caused it.
It can sometimes appear that your cat is staring at you, but it is in fact focused on something else.
Your Cat Just Loves You!
Sometimes cats stare at you as a way of saying ‘I love you’. My cat, Auburn, often sits and stares at me. So I look straight at his face and blink slowly. In return, he often does the same to me.
And then he starts looking at something else. This means he just waits for me to look at him and we can show each other affection.
If your cat does this, it is a very good sign that it loves and trusts you.
Your Cat Is Sleeping
Cats can sleep with their eyes half open. This can be quite unsettling for new cat keepers.
So, when your cat does this, it can appear that it is staring at you. Right into your soul. Add that to the fact that when sleeping, cats’ pupils shrink to vertical slits, making them look even scarier.
But don’t worry; if it is asleep, it’s not really staring at you. Your cat will likely close its eyes or change its body’s position soon.
Your Cat Is Just Curious
Cats often stare at humans when they see humans doing something that appears different or new to them.
My cat often sits on the floor next to my chair when I’m on my PC and looks at me intently. It’s ok. Cats are naturally very curious creatures and want to know about everything that’s going on around them.
They also often look at you when you’re doing something while moving your hands. Cats are instinctively drawn to any type of movement.
You could be cooking, stirring a cup of coffee, typing on your keyboard, writing in a book or anything else. All these activities are very interesting to your cat.
Your Cat Wants Something From You
When your cat wants something, it has two ways to get your attention. It will either meow at you constantly, or stare at you – or do both these things together.
It will patiently stare at you without moving, waiting for you to look at it. When you finally do look at it, then it will ‘ask’ you to do something.
It could be that it wants food, the litter tray to be cleaned, or even to be let into another room.
I’ve written an article on the reasons cats meow. If you can’t figure out why your cat wants your attention, do read the artice over here.
Your Cat Is Play Stalking You
Hunting is a very integral part of a cat’s life. They not only hunt to eat, but also engage in hunting-like behaviour while playing.
Sometimes your cat may behave like it is stalking you, while staring intently at you. Don’t worry, it’s not going to hurt you. Any cat that wants to hurt you will first make its intentions clear by meowing loudly. If you cat’s quiet, it’s likely just playing. You can join it too!
Act like you’re going to catch it when it gets near. It’s fun!
Your Cat Is Unwell
Sometimes cats may stare at you due to an underlying health condition. If it is not apparent why your cat stares at you, you could take it to the vet, just to be sure that it is fine.
Determining the Reason for Staring Using Cat Body Language
Observing your cat’s body language while it stares at you will offer more insight into the reason it is doing so.
If its pupils are dilated, tail is moving from side to side its ears are folded, it could mean that your cat is either irritated or angry at you.
If this happens, do not look at her face, as it may get even angrier. You can speak to it in a calm voice and give it its favourite toys. It may even be helpful to just ignore your cat for a few minutes, so it can focus on other things.
On the other hand, a cat that is scared of you will also look at you constantly, so that it can run at the first hint of danger.
A scared cat’s eyes will be dilated, and the body and tail will be held close together. If it is standing, the tail will be held under its belly, between the rear legs.
If it is sitting, the tail will be wrapped around the body. It will also sit under furniture, to keep her distance from you and other things it considers a threat.
Again, you will need to speak in a calm tone, approach the cat very slowly and perhaps offer some treats to get it out of the hiding spot.
If the cat just runs away from one hiding spot to another, just leave it alone and ignore it for a while. It should come out on its own in some time.
While you’re ignoring it, give it signs that it’s ok to come out. Speak to others in the room (or just speak to yourself) in a friendly and calm voice, don’t make sudden movements and try not to make loud noises.