Do you ever notice feline eyes on you while relaxing on the couch or sitting at the dinner table? It can be a bit unsettling at times. So, why does my cat stare at me? We dive into the real reasons your cat can’t take its eyes off you. You might be surprised by some, including why felines stare without blinking.
Let’s take a look!
A Cat’s Intense Stare Can Be Unnerving
When a cat stares at you, it can be unnerving. If you’ve experienced this, you know what we’re talking about. It’s nice that your pet loves you unconditionally, but an intense stare-down can send chills up your spine! It may precede a pounce, a meow, an approach, or a mad dash, among other things. While we all love the mystery behind our beloved felines, you may find yourself wondering what it’s all about. So, what are cats thinking when their eyes are locked on their humans?
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me All the Time?
Cats eyes are specially designed to detect motion, so when a cat stares, they have a lot of focus on something moving in their eyesight. They have a wider field of view than we do. However, their visual acuity is worse. This means that things beyond around 6 meters aren’t very clear, and they need to keep their eyes open and focused to see what’s going on. They also just do not need to blink as often as we do, resulting in longer perceived stares.
So, with these biological differences in mind, there are several additional reasons why your cat stares at you all the time. Let’s look at three to help identify the science behind why felines do the things they do.
Why Does My Cat Stare at Me Without Blinking?
Experts suggest that when a cat stares without blinking it can mean it wants your attention, is curious or surprised, or feels threatened.
When your cat stares at you without blinking, it may seem like they’re caught off guard or in shock. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re upset. It’s likely because they’re intrigued or surprised by a sound you’re making or an action. Staring without blinking can be a curiosity over not wanting to miss something, or they could be concentrating intently on what you’re doing.
Many cats stare without blinking in the wind up for a pounce! This can be for play and attention or if they are hunting.
However, staring without blinking may also be triggered due to a feeling of threat. The cat could be trying to establish dominance. So, staring back into a cat’s eyes isn’t recommended since they may react to it as a threat. It’s better to avert your gaze, blink periodically, and relax so the cat senses the calm and feels safe.
If there’s no noise or physical change in the room to surprise the cat, it’s likely to be staring without blinking to get your attention. It may be bored or subtly begging you for a treat. Or it may be hungry or want to be petted.
In addition, senior cats may stare more due to declining eyesight. And if your cat is staring excessively, it could be sick. Talk with your vet if your cat stares for long periods of time and presents with symptoms of illness.
Observe what’s happening each time your cat stares without blinking. You’ll start to understand why it’s doing it and what it needs.
Suggested Reading: Learn why Siamese cats can have crossed eyes.
Why Does My Cat Slowly Blink When Looking at Me?
The slow blink some cats do can be a little creepy. Or you may view it as a little flirty. So, what’s the real reason cats blink slowly when looking at you? They mainly do it to let you know they want to be around you. If you’re coming in contact with an unfamiliar cat that slowly blinks at you, it likely means they’re welcoming interaction. But it’s always a good idea to first slowly approach them with your hand. Allow them to sniff you and feel safe.
Cats sometimes blink slowly at other cats as well. They’re letting them know everything is alright and let’s hang out.
Why Does My Cat Purr When Staring at Me?
When your cat purrs while staring at you, it can also feel like they’re flirting a little. And you’re probably right! If the cat is purring and kneading its paws, the likelihood of it being its way of showing its love and affection for you is pretty high.
Be careful; you’ll likely look forward to the staring and purring! It’s nice to feel adored. And cats have a way of making you feel like the most loved person in the world.
Pro Tip: Your cat may like its own couch to stare at whatever it likes and take great naps!
Why Does My Cat Stare At The Wall?
In this article, we’ve focused mainly on your cat’s sight. However, you may also want to consider their extreme sense of hearing. If your cat is staring, either at you or even at a wall, they may be looking for something that they are actually detecting with their ears.
If your cat is staring at the wall, stop and listen. Can you hear anything? Is there a room on the other side of the wall? Could there be rodents or insects in the wall? Is there a sound outside? Once something interesting sets off one sense, your cat will likely engage her other senses to figure out the mystery.
Additionally, she may see something smaller than you’re expecting, like a fly or a moving speck of light.
Should I Stare Back at My Cat?
Staring directly into your cat’s eyes is surprisingly not recommended. Cats prefer peripheral vision. If you stare back at your cat directly, it may feel threatened. So, giving your cat side eye instead of engaging in a staring contest is best.
You can also slowly blink your eyes at your cat, particularly if they’re staring at you because they’re afraid or think there’s a potential danger. Blinking your eyes slowly helps the cat calm down, especially if you are calm and quiet.
Suggested Reading: Why do some cats have orange eyes? Is it rare?
Why Should You Blink Slowly at Your Cat?
Researchers in England concluded that slow blinking at your cat could warm them up to you. It’s a way of communicating with the feline. The study also shows that slow blinking repeatedly can get a cat to blink back at you. You can try it with your cat or even cats you’re unfamiliar with. Unblinking stares can be misinterpreted as predatorial, so slow blinking
How Can You Decipher a Cat’s Body Language?
Cats are smart and they have a unique body language. Along with their staring, blinking, and purring, there are a few emotions you may be able to detect from their actions.
As we discussed previously, you can tell a cat is relaxed when it’s snuggling up to you or blinking slowly. They also exhibit happiness with an upright tail or rolling on their back. And if your cat hops up playfully to get your attention, that’s typically a sign of a happy and relaxed pet.
We’ve probably all seen an agitated cat. Some ways to recognize this is a tail swishing and ears turned to the side. Dilated pupils are another indicator the cat is upset about something.
When agitated, a cat might also put their ears flat against their head or crouch close to the floor. If they display this body language, you can let them work it out or offer toys to distract them. Try to think of anything new in the environment that may have them stressed, especially if it is a new cat or if you’ve introduced another cat into the family.
A scared cat will typically hide under something, like your bed. It’s their attempt to get away from whatever they perceive as dangerous. Other body languages that are signs of fear are a tense tail, an arched back, and fur and whiskers standing up straight. Cats may also hiss or swipe a paw at you if it’s you or something you’ve done that they’re afraid of.
Deciphering a cat’s body language will help you be prepared and react appropriately.
Pro Tip: Knowing your cat’s body language is one thing. It’s also important to know what cats prefer in terms of interaction. For example, read up on what you need to know before tickling a cat.
Pay Attention the Next Time Your Cat Stares at You
The next time your cat stares at you, pay attention to what’s happening around you. You’ll be able to start recognizing the meaning behind the stare. And remember, give your cat some side eye until you figure out its behavior patterns.
Does your cat stare or blink at you? Share your cat story in the comments below.
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