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Why Does My Cat Stare At Me? 2 Possible Reasons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

white persian cat lying in blue_Piqsels

For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated with the enthralling and captivating eyes of a cat. If you have ever noticed your cat staring at you, it might be a bit unnerving because of their bright eyes. Although a cat’s stare can look a bit like the eyes of death, it actually communicates quite the opposite most times.

If your cat stares at you, it likely means that the cat is hungry or that it is showing you affection. You need to consider the cat’s body language before making any conclusions about why your cat is staring, but the cat is most likely content and completely relaxed around you if it stares.

hepper cat paw divider

Should I Be Concerned About My Cat’s Staring?

Nine times out of 10, there is nothing to worry about if your cat is staring at you. Cats often stare when they want something, but cats also stare just to express how much they love you.

Unless your cat’s stare is accompanied by loud noises, hissing, and other signs of aggression, you don’t need to be concerned about your cat staring, but you should figure out why your cat is staring to make sure it doesn’t need anything.

cat meowing
Image Credit: Stanimir G.Stoev, Shutterstock

2 Main Reasons Your Cat Stares at You

Although there are more than two reasons why cats stare at people, two reasons are way more common than the others: either the cat is hungry or it’s trying to show you affection. Let’s take a closer look at both of these reasons.

1. It’s Hungry

Anybody who has a cat knows that these creatures are always hungry and acting like they are starving. If it’s getting close to dinner time and you notice your cat is staring at you much more than usual, it is likely trying to tell you to fill up its bowl.

As you likely know, cats are highly intelligent. They pick up on things very quickly. For example, they learn exactly how to get your attention, and most know that staring at you will get the job done. So, cats often stare when they want to get your attention for whatever reason, most often because it is hungry.

Often, a cat that is staring at you due to hunger will also meow, rub against you, and do anything to get your attention. In other words, they will do the cat version of begging. They will scream and stare and rub until you feed them.

American shorthair cat eating
Image Credit: Apicha Bas, Shutterstock

2. It’s Showing You Affection.

Oddly enough, cats also stare at people to show affection. Even though cats are considered vocal animals, they communicate in nonverbal ways too. One of the most common nonverbal signs that your cat loves you is win they stare at you without blinking.

When cats show their affection for you by staring, they will often stare with half closed eyelids. This half closed position shows relaxation, contentment, and affection. Occasionally, the cat may blink very slowly a couple of times. Some people like to call these blinks “cat eye kisses” because they are an extreme nonverbal cue that mean your cat loves you.

Similarly, cats sometimes stare at you even when you’re not giving them attention. This is still a form of affection and attachment. Because the cat’s entire world revolves around you, it’s likely staring at you just to see what you are doing. Just as children follow their parents around, cats are the same way with their owners.

hepper-single-cat-paw-divider-e1614923017121Don’t Forget About Body Language

If your cat is staring at you, there is likely nothing wrong, but you need to pay attention to body language. Body language is important for determining exactly why your cat is staring at you and if there is an issue that needs to be rectified.

If your cat is relaxed, napping, and generally acting at peace, the staring is definitely a form of contentment and affection. There are other forms of body language that express something else, though.

Signs Your Cat Needs Something

As we learned above, cats sometimes stare whenever they are hungry and need you to give them food. Occasionally, cats will stare to express other needs as well. For example, cats may stare at you whenever they want space or quiet.

Most often, these needs are associated with agitated or annoyed body language. Pupils may be dilated, the tail may be swishing, and ears may be turned to the side. If the staring is accompanied with these forms of body language, try to determine what is annoying the cat and stop it if able.

seal point siamese lying on a velvet clothe
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Signs Your Cat Is Scared

A lot of times, it’s not hard to know when you scare your cat. However, these finicky creatures can be scared without you ever realizing it. If you notice that your cat is staring at you while hiding, it is likely scared of something you did and is watching your movements as a result.

If you think you accidentally scared your cat, it’s a good idea to gently approach it with treats and a gentle voice. This will help calm the cat down so that it knows there is nothing to be afraid of.

hepper cat paw divider


The eyes are the windows of the soul, and that saying is especially true when it comes to cats. If you notice your cat staring at you for long periods of time, you should take it as a compliment. Most likely, your cat is showing affection towards you.

If the staring is accompanied with other language signals, take a look at why your cat could be staring. Maybe it’s hungry or maybe it hates the loud noise from the TV. Paying attention to its body language can determine if the cat is expressing some sort of annoyance, pain, or disturbance through its stare.

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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