Among humans, staring is rude. When your cat stares at you, you’re likely to either feel special or creeped out, especially if you’re a stranger. As it turns out, this is something that all cats do. They don’t just have one way of staring; it depends on the context. If you’re curious, read on to find the answer to the question why do cats stare at you.
Their Eyes Allows Them to Stare
The first reason they stare is that they can. The corneas allow them to keep their eyes wide open for long periods of time. That means that a cat isn’t necessarily staring at you, they are merely observing their environment without having to blink to lubricate their eyes and focus. The reason they are like this is so that they can watch and potentially pounce on their prey. Cats are not able to say ‘in the blink of an eye’ if something suddenly happens. They can watch prey, and you, uninterrupted for minutes on end.
Cats’ ability to stare also allows them to communicate. From long distances, they can send messages to one another. It can be in the form of a twitch, a small swish of the tail or other facial motions. Their heightened ability to detect motion means they note and act on potential threats faster than we ever could. That is especially the case if there’s another cat in their territory and they feel threatened by it.
They Love You
Another answer to the question why do cats stare at you is that it loves you. When it pays attention to you, coupled with wanting to be cuddled or pet by you, it means it wants to be with you. For cats, they are curious about your every move and are trying to interpret what you’re up to. Just as we find them fascinating, they feel the same way about us humans. Soft stares mean that they feel safe. They also tend to follow you around with their eyes because they are protective.
Sometimes they startle us by pouncing on us out of the blue. That is because they may have been staring at you for a long time. While in the wild they do so to pounce on prey, these domesticated animals will jump on you for fun. It surprises people at first, but it’s easy to get used to and even play along because they don’t scratch.
Exploring Your House
Cats are curious animals. You will have noticed how kitties love exploring every inch of your home. When they stare, they are merely taking in new information. They could also be staring if they’ve heard an unfamiliar sound or smelled something and want to go investigate it.
Staring For Attention And Food
Your feline buddy will stare at you when they want something. That is either attention or food. They are aware that you’re the source of their sustenance and play time. The staring is sometimes accompanied with meowing. Cats will stare at you to see if you’re going to give them what they want. Their cute eyes make it hard to resist after a while.
However, sometimes cat’s don’t always want to be fed or your attention. Sometimes they want something off your stove or plate. Being stared at by a cat when enjoying your meal can get quite uncomfortable, and most of us give in and share our meals with them. For those who don’t like cats, it may be tempting to shoo them away with your foot. You don’t have to; after ignoring them for a while, they lose interest and look for something else to do.
Your pet cat may stare at you when they are about to do something they know they shouldn’t. That could be reaching for your food to see your reaction or when it’s about to pee outside the litter box. Other times it stares before going seemingly crazy – you may have seen videos on how they react to cucumbers.
Staring When They’re Unwell
If you’ve had your cat for a long time, you’ll be able to tell that when something is off. Are they less playful? Do they sleep for longer or shorter periods than usual? A cat’s stare changes when they are unwell. One of the symptoms could be dilated pupils. Even if that’s not the case, when you sense that your cat is staring at you differently, take them to the vet. It could be a problem with their heart, thyroid or kidneys.
Staring In The Darkness
Cat’s pupils allow in more light into their eyes. That enables them to see better in low light and detect motion. It is a bit unnerving to have a cat stare at you in near total darkness. You don’t have to worry; they are not planning an attack. They are just observing you.
Staring Back At Your Cat
Cats reflect their environment. They will mirror your mood – whether you’re calm or on edge, they will mirror your attitude. When they are calm, their stares are accompanied with blinks to let you know that they feel safe around you. Cats are primarily non-verbal, and stares are how they communicate with us. Next time you have someone over and your cat aggressively stares at them it’s a sign that they might not like them.
Something else to note is that cats find staring back threatening. They will often stare back at you. If your behavior or movements don’t seem threatening, they will eventually stare away. Cat owners are advised to blink slowly when looking at their cat as a way to reassure them that they feel safe around the cat.
So if you’ve ever asked yourself the question, why do cats stare, this article should’ve have answered your question. We as humans have decided that they stare when it’s how they’ve been designed to behave. Their animal instincts are similar to other cat species in the wild. A stare, ultimately, indicates strong interest.