Why Does My Cat Stare at Me?

Cats are curious by nature, so if you share your home with one it's likely that you've become used to being watched. Find out why your cat stares at you, here.
why does my cat stare at me
why does my cat stare at me
why does my cat stare at me

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 some of the possible reasons why your cat stares at you. Keep reading to unlock the secrets of your pet’s behaviour.

Why does my cat stare at me?

There are a number of reasons why your cat may sit and stare at you. Feline behaviour is a fascinating area, and we still have a lot to learn. While there are studies that explore the meaning behind certain behaviours, such as staring, there are limitations on the extent to which we can understand the feline mindset –because we can’t ask the cats themselves! This means that some of our interpretations are partly speculative, and as people we have a tendency to anthropomorphise and equate cat behaviours to our own.

cat staring

Here are 3 common reasons that cats are thought to stare:

  1. It’s feeding time

One of the more obvious reasons why your cat is staring at you is that they’ve decided it’s time for dinner! 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. They may also pair this stare with meows to really get your attention!

  1. Cats are curious creatures

Many 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!

  1. Showing you affection

If you spot your cat staring at you and giving long, slow blinks this is often interpreted as a sign that your cat feels safe and trusts you. This is sometimes thought of as the feline equivalent of showing you affection. How cute is that?

Body language is key

To decipher your cat’s behaviour and determine why your cat’s staring at you, you will often need to pay attention to their overall body language.

Relaxed and calm

If your cat looks relaxed and calm when staring at you, they’re probably just curious or showing you affection.

Stiff, puffed up body

A cat displaying a stiff, puffed up body is a sign that they are 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 warning you to leave them alone. Leave your cat unbothered, and avoid returning the eye contact – your cat may perceive staring back as threatening too!

relaxed cat staring

Crouched, tail tucked in

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. They may also be hiding underneath a coffee table or bed and their staring is because they’re keeping an eye on the potential ‘danger’. You might be able to identify the cause of their fright – such as a loud noise, or difficult social interaction with another household pet.

That’s our guide to why cats sit and stare at you! Want to understand more about your cat’s behaviour? Read our article on why cats hiss, next.