Why Does Your Cat Stare At You?

It is not that easy to understand your pet’s mood just by looking it in the eyes. The eyes of cats can be dilated or constricted. Cats’ pupils are always large at night, which makes them have good night vision.

However, if a cat’s pupils are fully dilated in full light settings and your cat is staring at you or at something else, it can be a sign of either aggression or health issues. Cats are naturally curious about their surroundings and they are known to have unique eyesight.

They have the ability to stare for long periods of time without blinking because they have third eyelids that will blink almost imperceptibly. This ability of cats, among others, enhances their hunting skills.

cute seated cat

11 Reasons Why Your Cat Keep Staring At You

Cats can be difficult to understand. Sometimes, owners misunderstand what cats are trying to convey. Seeing your cat’s staring eyes can give you lots of thoughts about what it might be thinking.

Seeing your cat watching your every movement and staring at you might be unsettling, of course. This is generally considered normal behavior, especially for a predator. Sometimes, however, staring can be a sign of an illness, especially if it is atypical behavior for your pet.

The following are possible reasons why your cat might be staring at you:

  • Curiosity

There is a saying, “curiosity killed the cat”. It’s an idiomatic expression warning that investigating things can be dangerous. When it comes to cats, it simply serves to describe their naturally inquisitive behavior. Staring may be nothing more than normal cat inquisitiveness and alertness to their environment. Which is a good thing!

Curiosity is a survival characteristic. Cats tend to observe their environment and watch everything they see. They are also a prey species, meaning that they have to be on the alert for predators in their environment. They have to look out for changes in the environment and locate potential hiding spots.

  • Communication

Cats communicate with us nonverbally and some of their most helpful communication tools are their eyes. Your cat might be staring at you to observe your movement and waiting for signals (i.e., “Are you moving towards the cabinet with my dinner in it?”) They can read your body language. Which means that our cats know us better than we know them!

Your cat might also be staring as a sign that she wants something or there is something in the environment you need to be aware of. In some cases, it can also be because he’s challenging you.

  • Learning

Cats are highly intelligent. There are different ways for them to learn and observing through staring is one of them. They tend to observe everything around them. If a cat is observing its owner, it is learning about the things that its owner does.

  • Hunger and Thirst

Your cat knows if it’s meal time. He can get pretty excited because like everyone, he loves food. When there is a delay with feeding, he might stare at you, effectively asking about his food and water.

She might also stare at you if she suddenly becomes hungry or thirsty. It’s hard to tell what your pet needs but you should be aware of your cat’s proper feeding time and make sure that you give her enough. Some cat stares might mean she’s wondering if you will feed her at any moment.

  • Physical Changes

Sometimes, cats can also notice physical changes in their owners. For example, your cat might notice that you got a new haircut and that’s why he’s staring at you.

Your cat can also stare at you if you have unusual things on your face like chocolate or any other food that got stuck on your face.

  • Attention

Although cats are often independent, they still love their owner’s attention. Your cat may call your attention by staring at you and showing you interesting things.

Cats can get super clingy. He might stare at you as a signal that he wants to bond with you or to be cuddled. Boredom can also make him stare. He might want to get your attention because he wants to go outside to get some exercise or to play.

  • Fear

Like us, some cats feel uncomfortable when being watched for a long time. If you are looking directly into a cat’s eyes and she’s staring at you, it can be a sign that she’s afraid of you or sees you as a threat. This, however, is more likely to occur with cats that are unknown to you.

  • Admiration

You are the one who feeds her, who serves as her companion, and the one who takes care of her. If you’re a responsible owner, you can develop a bond between you and your pet. In this context, staring can also be a sign of trust, faith, and respect.

  • Discomfort

Cats might stare at their owners if they are not comfortable. There are things which might make them feel uneasy, such as getting wet.

Pain is another obvious source of discomfort. Sometimes it is hard to determine if your cat is in pain or not because most cats tend to hide it. Any cat that is staring in a way that is different from his or her typical behavior should be examined by a veterinarian.

  • Unaware Staring

A cat can also stare at you without being aware that it is staring. You may be in its line of vision. It is possible that your cat would unintentionally stare at you while thinking or focusing on certain sounds that it hears.

  • Medical Causes

Some medical conditions that a cat can have can cause dilation of its eyes. Sometimes, it might seem like it is staring at you, but it doesn’t always mean what you think it does. Your cat’s eyes can be dilated and look like it is staring at you if it has medical issues, such as the following:

1) Heart disease

Heart diseases in cats such as cardiomyopathy are very difficult to diagnose until they become critical. A cat that suffers from cardiomyopathy has a high risk of developing heart failure, thromboembolism, and hypertension which can make a cat’s eyes dilated.

2) Kidney failure

Kidney failure is a condition where the kidneys stop working. Excessive drinking and peeing might be a sign that your cat is dealing with this. Many cats with kidney failure also have high blood pressure which causes their pupils to be dilated, making them look like they are staring at their owner or at something that is in their line of vision.

3) Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism (also known as “overactive thyroid”) is a medical condition wherein there is too much production of thyroxine. It accelerates the body’s metabolism causing rapid heartbeat, irritability, and sweating.

A cat with untreated hyperthyroidism typically has hypertension too. High blood pressure can cause dilation of the pupils.

In Summary

There can be so many reasons for your cat to stare at you! As an owner, you know your cat well, so you might be able to figure out what the real reason is behind your cat’s stare. It is not unusual for cats to display this kind of behavior; however it can on rare occasions be a sign of a health issue, so don’t delay taking a staring cat into the veterinarian immediately if this behavior is outside the norm for him or her.

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