Cats are famous for doing some funny behaviors. Whether it is staring at their owners or getting the zoomies, cats will often do things that leave their owners scratching their heads. In reality, there are many possible reasons why your cat could be staring at you.
Most of the time cats will stare at their owners because they are being affectionate with them or are curious about what their owner is doing. Other times, cats will stare at their owners for attention. In some rarer cases, fear or anger could be the cause of the staring.
Here we will be laying out everything that cat owners need to know about the staring behavior in cats. We will be answering many commonly asked questions about staring cats as well. Let’s dive right in!
There are five main reasons why cats stare at their owners. When cats are feeling happy or content, they will likely stare out of affection or curiosity. In addition to this, some cats learn that staring at their owners gets them attention. On the other hand, cats that are on edge may be staring out of fear or anger. Here are the five reasons why cats stare at their owners.
1. Your Cat is Being Affectionate
Cats will often stare at their owners as a way of being affectionate. They may get really close to you or snuggle up while staring. Cats will also usually do some slow blinks when they are staring in this way. This is a completely normal and safe behavior in cats, and cat owners do not need to worry if their cat does this. In fact, it is a good thing! This is a sign that your cat loves and trusts you.
2. Your Cat Wants Your Attention
Some cats will learn that staring at their owners gets them the attention that they desire. Cats that do this may block their owner’s path or meow loudly when staring at their owners as well. This could also be a sign that your cat needs something from you as well such as food or water.
While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can become bothersome for some cat owners when it occurs frequently. The best way to stop your cat from staring at you for attention is by ignoring the behavior. This means avoiding giving your cat attention when they are doing the attention seeking behavior and only giving them attention when they are behaving how you would like them to. However, if this behavior doesn’t bother you then you do not really need to worry or do anything about it.
3. Your Cat is Curious
Cats will often stare at people and things when they are curious about them. They may be wondering what you are doing or be confused about a drastic change in appearance or behavior. Most of the time curious cats will not appear to be frightened or angry. Instead, they are content and curious. This is pretty normal in cats, and it is nothing to worry about.
4. Your Cat is Angry and About to Attack
Cats will sometimes stare when they are in fight or flight mode, and this could mean that they are about to attack. An angry cat may also show the following signs:
- Stiff and rigid body language
- hissing, growling, howling
- Erect ears
- Hair standing on end
- Constricted pupils in the eyes
- A straight and lowered tail
This could occur if a cat is overly defensive around people or is overstimulated during play. The best thing that you can do in this situation is slowly back away from your cat and distract them. You can distract a cat by gently tolling things like small balls and other small cat toys away from you.
If aggression like this is a frequent problem, then speaking with your vet and an animal behaviorist about this problem will likely be beneficial.
5. Your Cat is Frightened and is Looking Out for Danger
Cats will often stare when they are frightened, even if they are not about to attack as a result. Cats mainly do this because they are looking out for danger. Here are some other signs of fear in cats to look out for in addition to staring.
- Dilated pupils
- Ears pinned back
- Hair standing on end
- Crouching low to the ground
- Attempting to escape an area and hide
While this is not usually a danger to the cat’s owners, extreme fear and anxiety can cause a cat to be in distress, especially if it’s chronic. As a result, speaking with your vet or an animal behaviorist about this problem will likely help your cat live a higher quality life.
Other Cat Staring Behaviors
There are plenty of different situations in which a cat may be staring at you. Here are a few examples and the possible reasons behind them.
Why Does My Cat Stare and Purr at Me?
Cats will usually purr when they are feeling happy or content. So, if your cat is purring when they stare at you this is a good sign! It most likely means that your cat loves and trusts you and that you make them feel happy. This type of staring is definitely a sign of affection.
Usually dilated pupils mean that a cat is feeling nervous or frightened, and they may become defensive as a result. Be careful about engaging with your cat when they exhibit defensive body language like dilated pupils.
Most likely your cat is sitting at your feet and staring at you simply because they want your attention. This is not usually a serious problem, but you can carefully address it by moving them to a different location if the behavior bothers you.
The answer to this question differs depending on the situation. If your cat is staring out of affection, then staring and slowly blinking back at them is usually perfectly fine. However, you shouldn’t stare at a fearful or aggressive cat, as it will likely increase their anxiety.
Cat staring is completely normal behavior, regardless of the reasons. Of course, it helps to understand the “why” behind the stare if you notice this behavior more often than not. If you’ve noticed your cat’s behavior changing recently near Montgomery, AL, Montgomery Veterinary Associates is here for you. Book an appointment with us online today!