Why Does my Cat Stare at Me?

I love my cat and can’t imagine a day going by without me seeing her. There’s just something about the bond you share with your cat that gives it a more mellow and relaxed quality. And yet, to be honest, I can’t help but wonder sometimes: why does my cat stare at me? Cats stare a lot, and the fact they blink a lot less than humans only serves to make us feel even more uneasy at their stare.

However, there really isn’t any malice around the fact that a cat likes to stare at its owner a lot more than the owner might like.


Why Does my Cat Follow Me Around?

One of the things you’ll notice long before you notice your cat staring at you is whether it follows you around. If your cat also follows you around while staring at you, there might be a bunch of particular reasons why.

One particular reason why your cat might be staring at you while you're reading a book is because they are hungry! If the question “why does my cat stare at me?” pops up in your mind around feeding time, and you notice a pattern where your cat also begins to follow you around this time, then it’s probably because your cat is hungry and doesn’t want to miss a meal.

Your cat recognizes your role as provider in the household and will typically follow you around during feeding time to avoid missing out when you pop into the kitchen and fill his or her bowl with food. You should be careful, however, as certain medical conditions may make your cat suddenly hungrier at odd times. These include hyperthyroidism and diabetes.

Cats are also typically curious creatures. They might begin to stare at you and decide to follow you around just before you go into uncharted territory. In most homes, certain rooms are out of bounds to the pets. For me, that would be my study. There’s a lot of paperwork lying around, and it definitely isn’t in the most well-arranged of conditions. I wouldn’t want my cat in there because her playful self will probably mix everything up and throw a lot of documents on the floor. However, despite my determination to keep her out, she’ll still follow me when she thinks I’m going into that room because she can’t resist the opportunity to explore some new territory.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me?

Cats are some of the cleanest pets in our households, if their grooming statistics are anything to go by. Adult cats will spend roughly 50% of their time grooming themselves. They also groom each other when they’re together and use it as a gesture of friendship and love.

If your cat likes to lick you, then it’s probably extending the same gesture toward you. A cat will try to mark family and friends with its scent by rubbing its body against them or licking them, just like it would mark its territory by scratching specific places (such as your poor curtains). If you see your cat trying to groom you by licking, sucking, and nibbling your fingers, for example, you should take it as a sign that your cat really likes you.

On the other hand, a cat that was taken from its mother too early might display infantile behavior by sucking on your finger. If your cat was orphaned or weaned a little too soon, you’re likely to see this behaviour. In some cases, the behaviour can be compulsive and you might want to take your friendly feline to the vet.

Why Does My Cat Meow at Me?

A special form of the staring phenomenon is when your cat seems to be staring at nothing. I guess the only question more unsettling than “why does my cat stare at me?” is “why does my cat stare at nothing?” Really, I think this is where the whole idea that cats can see ghosts came from.

The truth is, cats aren’t really staring at nothing. They are always staring at something. And no, I’m not talking about ghosts. Sure, maybe they can see ghosts, but that’s not something we can verify very easily. However, what we can verify is that they can see things that we should also be able to see if our sense were as keen as theirs.

Being the efficient predators they are, cats have some really good senses. Their sense of sight, particularly in the dark, is pretty great! Your cat can see light bouncing off of some really small objects at a distance. They can smell things you can’t, and they can hear things you’re deaf to. Because of this, your cat will probably be able to detect an intruder in your house long before you do. If you do notice your cat staring in a particular direction, try investigating what might have piqued its curiosity. You will almost always find something.

Your Cat is Always Communicating with You

When we ask questions like “why does my cat stare at me?” we tend to commit the sin of anthropomorphizing our cats, giving them human reasons for doing the things they do. What we should do instead is try and understand them from their own perspective.

Your cat sees you as a fellow pack member and will try to communicate with you the best way it knows how. The next time you see it staring, don’t get uncomfortable; think instead how wonderful it is that you get to witness the unique language of cats in action.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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