ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Why Does My Cat Stare at Me While I Sleep? 6 Reasons for this Behavior

Most cat owners can recount waking up on at least one occasion with their cat staring straight at them. It can be uncomfortable—especially if you wake up to direct eye contact. But what is your cat trying to say? Possibly nothing. You might provide entertainment while you sleep. After all, they are probably asking themselves how their human snores so loudly.

To figure out why your cat is staring at you, you might want to pay attention to other bodily cues. We might never decipher exactly why they act the way they do, but we can try to fill in the blanks.cat face divider 2

A Little About Staring Cats

Cats have unusual quirks we all love and admire. They are some of the most outward creatures when it comes to showing how they feel. But some actions, like staring at you while you sleep, might make you feel not-so-warm and fuzzy inside.

No worries—your cat isn’t plotting your untimely death. But there are a few reasons that they might creep up on you to look at you while you sleep.

1. Your Cat Feels Bonded to You

Copper eyes
Image Credit: Zhalabkovich Yauheniya, Shutterstock

Your cat feels very connected to you. The staring could stem from them feeling bonded to you, safely looking at their human with affection. You might open your eyes to see your cat lowkey purring, eyes partially shut, looking at you calmly.

Your cat might just be trying to wind down for nap time to share the moment.


2. Your Cat is Protecting You

cat sleeping on bed
Adam Kuylenstierna, Unsplash

Many cats already feel humans aren’t very capable of taking care of themselves. That’s why you might see your cat bring you a dead bird or mouse—they think we can’t hunt to feed ourselves. The same could extend to protecting you while you sleep.

Your cat may feel like they’re on guard, watching out for threats as you visit dreamland.


3. Your Cat is Annoyed

Beautiful persian cream colorpoint cat whith blue eyes_Dorottya Mathe_shutterstock
Image Credit By: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock

Did you realize you’re making lots of offense noises while you sleep? Your cat could be watching you in disgust as you make loud snoring noises or toss and turn. They might wonder just what in the world you’re doing—and disapprove.

Instead of getting up and going to another room, they’d rather stare you down to let you know they aren’t amused.


4. Your Cat is Anxious

tabby cat big eyes closeup_Real Moment_shutterstock
Credit: Real Moment, Shutterstock

If your cat feels a bit of anxiety, they might be staring at you because you’re their comfort. An anxious kitty might even try to wake you up with nudges or meowing. They don’t like that you’re snoozing, and it makes them uncomfortable or insecure.

So, they might be anxiously awaiting to welcome you back to the land of the living.


5. Your Cat Wishes You’d Wake Up

cat sleeping on a woman's lap_Shutterstock_Alena Ozerova
Image Credit: Alena Ozerova, Shutterstock

Tick, tock—your cat might be waiting on you to wake up. How dare the two of you sleep on opposite schedules? They might be standing by patiently waiting to see your eyes open. Did you forget to feed them? Do they want attention? It could be any reason, but one thing is for sure—they don’t want you asleep.

So, once you awaken—you’ll likely be greeted by excitement and relief.


6. Your Cat is Just Bored

Grey tabby cat with intense golden eyes_Ysbrand Cosijn_shutterstock
Credit: Ysbrand Cosijn, Shutterstock

Cats are very observant creatures. They might just have nothing better to do for the time being—you’re just the most entertaining thing around. You might be making weird noises or movements—maybe they even think you’re trying to play.

Either way, you aren’t very much fun right now.3 cat divider

Cat-to-Cat Differences

All cats communicate and function differently. So, while one cat might stare out of boredom, another might be genuinely concerned or feeling protective. It just depends on the cat. You know your feline better than anyone.

There may be other physical cues, like meowing, nudging, or kneading, in addition to staring. If you’re having trouble sleeping because your cat won’t stop being such a peeper, it might be time to close them out of the room.3 cat face divider

Final Thoughts

If you’ve had some concerns or questions about your cat staring at you while you sleep, hopefully, we cleared it up for you. It might not solve the problem—we all know they’ll keep doing it anyway. But it’s nice to have an idea why our crazy kitties act the way they do.


Featured image credit: Nadezhda Zaitceva, Shutterstock