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Why Does My Cat Stare at Me?

4 min read

Cats are very curious creatures and if you have one in your home, you’ve probably become accustomed to them staring at you from time to time. If your kitty does this you’ll likely be wondering, “why does my cat stare at me?” Find out why with this article.

If you have the honour of sharing your home with a feline, you’re probably no stranger to that “I’m being watched” feeling. Whether you’re making dinner, sitting on the sofa or just waking up in the morning, it’s common that you’ll find your kitty looking at you with their big, round eyes – but what is the reasoning behind it? Is it just pure curiosity on their part? Or is it something more?

We’ve put together this guide to tell you the possible reasons why your cat stares at you, keep reading to unlock the secrets of your pet’s behaviour.

6 reasons why cats stare at you

Cats will stare at their owners for all kinds of reasons. This can be because they are being nosey, showing affection, showing they are angry, or because they feel anxious. So, next time you think your cat is trying to challenge you to a staring contest, consider the reasons why. 

1. It’s feeding time

The first and most obvious reason why your cat is staring at you is that they may be trying to convince you to feed them. If you find it’s around the time they’re usually tucking in and they’re staring at you with demanding eyes, it’s likely that they’re trying to use their best mind tricks to convince you to top up their food bowl. For added effect, they may also pair this stare with squeaks and meows to really get your attention!

2. Cats are curious creatures

Cats are incredibly curious by nature and they always want to know what’s going on. It could be just that they’re observing you to see if you’re going to do anything interesting.

Cats are visual hunters and when they go outdoors, they’re on high alert, keeping their keen eyes peeled for anything moving. When they’re indoors, that laser focus will shift to the motion in the household, which is likely you, especially if you’re up and about doing things!

3. Showing you affection

If you spot your cat staring at you and giving long, slow blinks and looking at you through half closed eyelids, this is actually known as “eye-kisses” and it’s about the best compliment you could get from a cat! This is the feline equivalent of showing you affection and their way of saying “I see you; I feel safe and relaxed around you.” How cute is that?

It can be hard to decipher which of the above is the reasoning behind why your cat’s staring at you, which is why you’ll also need to pay attention to their overall body language.

4. Your cat is relaxed and calm

If your cat looks relaxed and calm when staring at you, they’re looking at you for happy reasons and are likely just showing you affection.

5. Your cat may be annoyed

A cat displaying a stiff, puffed up body is one that’s likely very annoyed! You may spot them swishing their tail side to side too and when paired with staring, this is usually a cat’s way of threatening you and telling you to leave them alone or they may be forced to take action. If your cat is doing this, get some distance between you as soon as possible and avoid returning the eye contact – your cat may see staring as you being threatening too!

6. Your cat may be frightened about something 

If your cat’s staring at you whilst also in a crouched position with their tail tucked in, it’s generally a sign that your cat’s frightened. You may also find them hiding somewhere like underneath a coffee table or bed and when they stare at you like this it’s because they’re keeping an eye on the potential ‘danger’. If you can identify the cause of their fright – maybe you’ve shouted a little too loudly or made a loud bang in the kitchen – stop it and try to offer them some treats as a peace offering. This works particularly well if your feline friend is particularly fond of treats.

What to do when my cat is staring at me

When you catch your cat staring at you, try to understand the reason behind it, this will help you decide how to react. Never shout, hiss or push your cat away, as this will make them feel as though they are being told off for this behaviour, which is completely normal. 

Always make sure that your cat is feeling safe and has plenty of stimulation. If you notice that their body language may be off, or even that they seem to be staring more than usual, it’s best to contact your vet and schedule an appointment. 

Should I stare back at my cat?

Staring back at your cat will depend on their body language and whether they are staring at you due to being scared or happy. If you notice that your cat is staring at your and seems distressed or angry, do not stare back, instead either look away or slowly move away from your cat. 

Never punish your cat for this behaviour, as this is their way of trying to communicate with you. 

If, however, your cat is staring at you in a happy manner, then usually cats will be comfortable with soft eye contact. This may also be an opportunity for you to approach your pet and play some fun cat games with them. They may just be after a little attention. 


Now, hopefully we have answered the burning question “why does my cat stare at me”. Want to understand more about your cat’s behaviour? Read our article on why cats hiss, next.

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