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Why Does My Cat Stare at Me? 7 Reasons for This Behavior

You’re alone in your home, just going about your business, and that’s when it hits you: the sinking feeling that you’re being stared at. You look out the window — nothing. You call out and ask if anyone’s there — no response. That’s when it hits you.

You are being stared at, and it’s your little cat who’s doing the staring.

Being stared at by your cat isn’t new to experienced cat owners, but do you know why our feline friends love to fixate on us?

There are many reasons that your cat might stare at you, and we’ll explore seven common ones below.

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It All Depends on the Body Language

Context is key when trying to figure out why your cat is staring at you. The same expression will likely mean one thing if your cat is happy, but a different thing entirely if your cat is angry or upset.

As a result, you can’t consider your cat’s stares in a vacuum. They’re just one piece of their behavioral puzzle, and you’ll need to look at all the pieces together to try to figure out what your pet is thinking.

It’s not surprising that your cat would stare at you regardless of how they’re feeling, though. Cats are visual creatures, and they rely on their eyes when hunting. You can’t really turn that behavior off.

Does that mean your cat is hunting you? Not necessarily — but they’ve probably thought about it a time or two. There are probably other reasons that they’re staring, however, so let’s take a look at those first.

1. Your Cat Is Curious

This is one of the most common reasons that cats stare at people. Let’s face it, you must seem especially strange to your cat. It’s no surprise that they’d want to gawk at you from time to time.

If you’re doing something that you don’t usually do, then your cat likely just wants to know what’s happening. They’ll stare until they get bored or someone more interesting comes along.

cat sitting while staring
Image Credit: Thomas Bormans, Unsplash
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2. They Want Something

Your cat may be trying to tell you that they want something from you, like attention or food. They may also be batting or mewing at you in a bid to catch your eye.

This may be a learned behavior rather than an innate one — which is a nice way of saying that your cat considers you an easy mark.

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3. They’re Bored

If your cat doesn’t have enough stimulation, they may look to you to provide some. The good news is that staring at you is preferable to other ways that your cat could deal with boredom, like by shredding your couch.

cat lying on couch
Image Credit: Caleb Woods, Unsplash
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4. They Need Reassurance

Cats get sad and anxious, just like humans — and just like humans, they seek outside sources of comfort. Your cat doesn’t have any other options in terms of finding a sympathetic shoulder, though, so they’ll look to you.

If there has been a great deal of change and upheaval in your home lately, your cat may be feeling stressed, which will lead to them staring at you more often.

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5. They’re Insecure

Despite your already well-established weirdness, you represent your cat’s entire world. They understand that they rely on you for food, shelter, entertainment, and more, and sometimes, they worry about losing you.

After all, you regularly leave them behind for hours at a time — what if you don’t come back? They may stare at you in order to appreciate your presence while you’re around. Cats also tend to mirror your emotional state, so if you’re calm and confident, your cat will eventually start to be as well.

cat peeking while staring
Image Credit: Manja Vitolic, Unsplash
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6. They’re Sleeping

We don’t want to burst your bubble, but you might not be as interesting as you think. Some cats sleep with their eyes partially open, so they may be catching a few z’s while pointed in your general direction.

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7. They’re Injured

Some ocular injuries cause cats to stare straight ahead blankly. These injuries can be caused by all sorts of conditions, but high blood pressure is the most likely culprit.

Take a look at your cat’s pupils. If they’re dilated, you might want to take your cat to the vet for a checkup.

suphalak cat resting
Image Credit: Yuttana Joe, Shutterstock

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How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Staring at Me?

If your cat’s staring bothers you, the only way to stop it is to figure out what’s causing it. Once you understand what’s behind the behavior, you can give your cat what they want and end the staring issue once and for all.

Of course, there might not be a single cause. Your cat may stare at you for one reason on one day, but then stare at you for a completely different reason the next day. You’ll just have to use context clues to figure out what your kitty wants.

Either that, or you can live with being gawked at like a common celebrity. It’s your choice.

Read about other odd cat behaviors with these interesting guides: 

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Featured Image Credit: Ysbrand Cosijn, Shutterstock

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