Have you ever wondered “why does my cat just sit and stare at me?”

Is he is trying to tell you something important?

Maybe he’s trying to do the Vulcan mind meld with you!

Or is it just one of those strange cat habits with no real explanation?

Let’s unravel this mysterious feline behavior together.

Related: Why Does My Cat Lick My Hair?

Why does my cat just sit and stare at me?

While we love cats for their soft fur and gentle purring, they also baffle us every day with their unexplainable habits.

You know what I’m talking about – knocking things off the table, cat loafing, sleeping in weird places, and of course, sitting and staring with you.

Unfortunately, it can be quite unnerving when your cat’s unblinking eyes focus on you. 

You feel that your feline friend wants something, but you haven’t got the slightest idea what. And it’s driving you mad.

Is she trying to communicate telepathically, or is she planning world domination? Let’s find out.

#1 Don’t you see that I’m starving?

If your cat just sits and stares at you, it’s because you’re eating something and you’ve forgotten that you’re not allowed to eat alone.

cat about to get the treat on the hand

You are obliged to share food with your cat even if Nola will turn her nose at what you’re offering.

It’s the first move in a long game created to make you so uncomfortable that you would forfeit and give Nola a bite.

If by some miracle, you manage to resist the silent judgment, your cat will make her next move to force you to share your meal with them.

You can expect sudden bursts of endearment, such as rubbing against your legs and arms and acting as cute as possible.

The same tactic might be employed when you’ve forgotten to fill the cat bowl and your cat is getting impatient, just like in this video.

Nola is silently giving you the chance to remedy the situation before she starts yowling as loud as possible.

#2 I want attention

Besides food, cats might stare at you because they want attention.

That usually happens when you’re up to your neck at work or you’re doing something enjoyable, for example, reading a book.

cute cat staring at the lady

In these circumstances, you’ll often find your feline companion sitting close to you and watching what you’re doing without blinking.

It’s a brilliant tactic. You can’t blame Nola that she is interrupting you because she is just sitting there. But after a few minutes, you can’t take it anymore. You have to stop whatever you’re doing and ask, “What?”

READ MORE: Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere I Go?

#3 Don’t you see it?

Despite the age we live in, cats still retain their “witchy” vibe.

That’s why some people think that cats can see ghosts/demons/Death among other paranormal creatures.

The truth is far more ordinary than these old superstitions.

adult cat hiding under the bed

Since cats are predators by nature, they are capable of noticing movements and hearing sounds that are far outside our humble human abilities.

So, don’t freak out about ghosts if your cat glares at you all the time. Instead, check if something is not crawling up your arm.

#4 It’s just a game

For a creature that spends more than half of its life sleeping, a cat can get bored easily.

So, staring might be a silent command for you to get up and play games with kitty. And you’d better do it fast, or you will live to regret it.

It’s also possible that staring is a game whose rules are known only to the feline kingdom.

Its purpose might be to test the limits of your patience or see how long it takes before you run out of the room, screaming in frustration.

#5 I love you

Unlike dogs, cats are not big fans of showing emotions. Nevertheless, they have their ways of saying, “I love you.”

One of them is staring at the person they love and slowly blinking. While it might not seem much to you, it’s an exceptional sign of affection.

As cat experts from PetMd explain, “Closing the eyes in the presence of another animal (including humans) is considered the ultimate signal of trust. “

Moreover, one study discovered that cats are more likely to approach people who slow blink than one with neutral expressions.

Sometimes cats also stare at you and purr to communicate how much you mean to them. If you don’t believe me, watch this cute video. 

ALSO READ: What Does It Mean When a Cat Stands On Its Hind Legs?

#6 I’m pissed or stressed

Usually, a cat sitting and staring is nothing to worry about.

However, sometimes a starring cat might be mad about something and preparing to launch a full-blown attack.

If that’s the case, you’ll notice other signs of aggression such as:

  • Rapidly swishing tail
  • Pulled back ears
  • The I’m-about-to-jump-on-you look
  • Hissing or angry meowing
kitty lying on the bed with her eyes slightly open

In addition to this, a cat that stares at you for a long time might be trying to tell you that she is upset about something or that something has scared her. 

It’s worth checking it out if you notice that your furbaby looks uncomfortable. And sudden aggressive behavior can point to medical problems, so you shouldn’t ignore it.

#7 What are you doing?

Cats stare at you because cats are curious creatures and many of the things we do seem strange from the feline’s POV.

You might be doing something mundane and boring, but it has sparked the interest of your feisty feline.

So, Nola is not going to stop staring at you until she has satisfied her curiosity. You’ll have to bear the attention in silence.

#8 I’m Trying to Tell You Something

cute cat staring at the camera

When your cat maintains eye contact for long periods of time, she might be trying to communicate that something is wrong.

Cats can’t speak to tell you when they’re in pain, hungry, or depressed. They can only try to attract your attention by acting unusually.

So, a staring contest might be how your cat asks for help with something. You just have to pay attention to your cat’s body language to determine what’s wrong.

#9 It’s a Learned Behavior

Usually, direct eye contact means a challenge in the animal world. And when cats stare at each other, it’s a battle of wills – who will be the first to step back.

However, when it comes to humans, staring can be a learned behavior that you’ve encouraged without realizing it.

Cats are smart animals and quickly learn how to manipulate humans. For example, felines are likely to repeat behavior that gets them positive things, such as treats or petting.

So, if you’ve distracted your cat with food when they’re staring at you, it’s no wonder your cat keeps doing it.

#10 I’m Showing Dominance

As I already said, cats consider direct eye contact a challenge. So, when they are staring at you, some cats are showing dominance and establishing territory.

In these situations, the cat is saying, “This is mine! You should stay away!” New cats are also likely to stare until they get used to you and don’t feel threatened by your presence.

What Is My Cat Thinking When They Stare At Me?

Since cat staring can have so many meanings, it’s important to access your kitty’s body language to determine what your pet is thinking.

Otherwise, you might misinterpret what your cat is thinking and get hurt in the process if your pet is angry or scared.

I’m a Happy Cat

cat smiling wide but do cats smile when they're happy?

Pay attention to your cat’s posture whenever your kitty is staring stubbornly at you. Is your cat’s tail up, and is she slowly blinking at you?

When cats are happy and content, they have relaxed body language. Some also purr and knead blankets with their paws.

So, your cat is thinking about attracting your attention or expressing their deep affection for you. Your kitty might also be in a playful mood and want you to spend time with them.

If your cat seems happy, it’s safe to approach your pet or slowly blink back to express how much you love them.

I’m an Angry Cat

Sometimes cats are staring at you because they’re thinking, “I’m angry and upset, so I’m about to attack if you don’t get lost!”

Dilated pupils, stiff body, ears pulled back, and rapidly-moving tails are the common signs of an angry cat.

You should avoid direct eye contact to defuse the tension in this situation. Give your cat space to calm down or try to distract them with a toy.

And don’t run away because cats are attracted by moving targets, and the sudden movement might make them attack. Walk away slowly.

Since cats become aggressive when in pain, you should also talk with your vet if your cat is often angry and staring at you.

I’m a Scared Cat

scared kitty hiding under the bed

If your cat is hiding under the bed and staring at you, she thinks, “I’m scared, please don’t come near me!”

While cats are curious animals, loud noises, unfamiliar people, and strange scents can scare them. A scared cat is likely to run or attack, so it’s better to leave them alone.

To determine whether your cat is pissed off or scared, look at the body language. Scared cats usually tuck their tail close to the body, while angry ones swish it around.

FAQs

Conclusion

It’s hard to know what goes through a cat’s head when she fixates her unnerving glare on you. And while this staring behavior can creep you out, it’s usually nothing sinister.

You just have to learn to read your cat’s body language, and you’ll understand if she is hungry, bored, or simply lonely.

And remember to give your cat space if you think your pet is angry or scared. Otherwise, your kitty might hurt you in their frenzy to escape.

Have you ever wondered "why does my cat just sit and stare at me?" Let's unravel this mysterious cat behavior together! Read on for the answers!

What do you think about these reasons why your cat sits and stares at you? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Resources

  • 1. The 5 Stages of Deciding to Share Food With My Cats . Catster. 2014 . Available from: https://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-behavior-health-care-humor-5-stages-of-grief-sharing-food-cats
  • 2. A World Leader in Premium Cat Litter for 30 years . Intersand. . Available from: https://www.intersand.com/en/tips-and-tricks/do-cats-see-ghosts/
  • 3. ASPCA. Aggression in Cats . ASPCA. 2015. Available from: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-cats
Grigorina S
Grigorina S

I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.

I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.

Find her on Instagram. Read her latest articles..

Learn more about Grigorina here