Have you awoken to find your cat giving you a long creepy stare? I’ve noticed that my cat can ignore me for hours, but when least expected, I’ll catch him gazing at me intently. If your cat does the same thing, there isn’t anything creepy about it, although it can feel that way. Cats have very good reasons for doing the things they do. It’s up to us to decipher their actions and figure out what they’re trying to tell us. According to Purina, staring is a form of nonverbal communication. When a cat stares at you he is trying to get your attention to let you know what’s on his mind.
What is your cat trying to tell you?
There are a few different things your cat may be trying to tell you when he stares. Your kitty may stare at you if he’s hungry and there is no food in his dish. He may also need water. Staring is one of the ways that a hungry kitty tries to get your attention to let you know that it’s feeding time. If you’re enjoying a snack at the time of the stare, this is probably the case. Making eye contact is one of the ways he communicates that he is hungry.
Reading your cat’s body language
There are other reasons why your cat stares at you. It’s easier to understand why he’s giving you the look when you pay attention to other cues that he gives through his body language. A long and engaging stare without blinking can also mean that your cat is communicating his affection for you. While it may look like he’s plotting your demise, he is likely just showing affection for his favorite person. When cats show the emotion of adoration for humans, they tend to stare with their eyelids half-closed and they may blink slowly. As a pet parent, you are the center of your cat’s world, so don’t be surprised if you catch him staring at you for long periods. When his body posture is happy and relaxed, it’s a good sign that he’s just showing some love.
When your cat’s body language is agitated
Signs of agitation in a cat include ears that are pinned back, a swishing tail, dilated pupils, or an arched back. If your cat exhibits any of these signs, the stare may be telling you something different than hunger or affection. When these signs are present, your cat is likely telling you that he needs some space. It’s best to redirect your cat’s attention by breaking eye contact and throwing a toy across the room to help diffuse the tension. Your cat may or may not respond, but it’s best to keep your distance when your kitty is giving you an angry stare.
When the stare means your cat is scared
According to Pet MD, cats also stare at you when they are frightened. If your cat’s body language shows a crouched-down position with his tail tucked beneath his body, or if he is hiding behind an object and peeking out, there is a high likelihood that he is scared. Cats can be frightened by a variety of things including a loud noise from a dropped object, sirens from emergency vehicles, a stray dog wandering through the yard, or from a loud conversation between their owners. If your cat assumes a body posture that indicates fear and he’s staring at you, he is likely looking for reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Cats can also sense emotions in humans and it could be a signal that it’s time for you to take a deep breath and calm down.
What you can infer from your cat’s stare
According to Rover, if your cat is staring at you, it’s because he is trying to communicate something to you. There is some reason why he’s doing it, and by understanding what his body language is telling you, it’s easier to figure out why. Cat stares have long been a topic of discussion and wonder from cat owners. It’s something they’ve always done and will continue to do. It’s a good thing to become familiar with your cat’s nonverbal cues. He may not feel particularly chatty, but your cat will still make attempts to let you know what he is feeling in his language.
Cats are big communicators. They’re not shy about letting us know what they’re feeling, but it’s often confusing, simply because we haven’t taken the time to learn the nonverbal language they speak. Cats provide nonverbal cues consistently, but it’s up to us to decipher their meaning. Once you know how to read a cat, it’s a lot easier to know the reasons why your cat is staring at you. He may be telling you that there is something that he needs. If he isn’t hungry or thirsty, he may need his litter box changed, or if he toilets outside, he may need to make a quick exit outdoors. He could be feeling frightened, and need your reassurance, or he may be signaling that he is in a bad mood and wants you to give him some space. If your cat is looking relaxed and giving you a stare with his eyelids slightly closed, he may be telling you that he loves you and he would welcome some snuggling time. Cats are amazing yet complicated creatures, but when we finally figure out the nature of their language and the clues they provide through their behaviors, it opens up a whole new world of communication between us and them.