To help figure out why exactly our kitty counterparts like to just perch up and watch us (sometimes for what seems like forever) tapped two veterinarians to explain whether it’s normal.
One thing is for sure – cats are incredibly interesting creatures that like to make their own rules. Whether your cat loves to hang out in the bathtub, or chew on your hair to show affection (yes, it’s a thing!), if you have a cat you’re probably already familiar with some of their unique behavioral qualities.
However, as the proud mother of two furry felines, I am still perplexed by their prolonged staring. As I type this, my older cat, Alfredo, is glaring at me from across the room while standing perfectly still. Not even the piercing sounds of the traffic outside or the birds settled on our windowsill are enough to distract him from his staring. So. Much. Staring. But why?
Is it normal for my cat to stare at me?
Thankfully, if your cat stares at you then it is nothing to be alarmed about. In fact, it is totally normal. “Our furry friends are nonverbal communicators,” says Dr. Jessica Herman, DVM, and veterinarian at Fuzzy Pet Health. “Paying attention to their body language, daily habits, and behavior is very important in our communication with our pets, and cat staring is typically harmless and not worrisome.” However, Dr. Herman advises paying attention to their other body cues to make sure there is nothing else going on.
What are some reasons why my cat may be staring at me?
As it turns out, there are a few reasons why your cat may like to sit and stare at you. For example, Dr. Herman explains that sometimes a cat may do this because they are telling you it is feeding time, or perhaps you’re sitting in their favorite spot and they’d like you to move. “Oftentimes though, your cat may just be observing you,” says Dr. Herman. “They are curious creatures and are constantly interpreting the world around them and wondering what you might do next.”
Another reason your cat may be staring at you is because they are trying to communicate affection. “If your cat has relaxed loose muscles, a loose tail, and is staring at you [while] blinking slowly, they are just connecting with you and showing you affection,” says Dr. Liz Bales, VMD. “You can slow blink back to return the love.”
However, if a cat is staring at you and seems nervous or on edge, it may mean something very different. For instance, Dr. Bales explains that if a cat is staring at you in a hunting position and with tense muscles, then this may mean it is about to attack you. “This can be dangerous,” warns Dr. Bales. Thankfully if you are experiencing this with your own feline friend then it should be relatively easy to diffuse the situation. “In this circumstance, the best thing to do is slowly look away and distract your kitty by throwing something in the other direction,” adds Dr. Bales. “It’s best to give them time to decompress and leave them alone if you can.”