Cats are expressive and fascinating animals, but their ways of communicating dont always make sense to people. So why does your cat stare at you without blinking, and what does this behavior mean? Veterinary experts explain the reasons behind your cats super intense eye contact.
And as anyone who has lived with a feline knows, cats can be surprised by just about anything, from the sound of a cabinet door closing to the dishwasher turning on. The wide-eyed look can be down to curiosity and not wanting to miss anything, or fear and concentrating closely for the next move. Your cats big-eyed stare could simply mean that some sound or movement caught them by surprise.
Why does my cat just sit and stare at me?
Boredom. Yes, cats do get bored just as easily as humans do. This can often lead to destructive behavior, which is way worse than the stalker-ish staring. If your pet is bored, it will probably stare at you in hopes that you’ll provide entertainment.
Why does my cat intensely stare at me?
Your Cat Stares at You to Show Affection. Cats can use staring as a nonverbal way of communicating. Even though a long, unblinking stare may not be the best way for humans to show affection, when your fur baby does this, it may mean they’re showing love to their favourite owner.
Is it OK to stare into your cats eyes?
Cat owners are often encouraged to slowly blink or wink their eyes (e.g. sleepy eyes) when directly looking toward their cats. This sends a message that you are not a threat and they should not be alarmed. However, cats always prefer their owners using their peripheral vision to look at them rather than a direct gaze.
Why does my cat have a blank stare?
Your cat may be staring at something you can’t see, such as a small insect. She may be looking in the direction of a sound or a smell. Cats sometimes stare fixedly as a result of vision loss or neurological issues.
For as much as we might try to meow back and forth with our cats in an attempt to communicate, our efforts are inevitably futile. However, there are ways for your cat to let you know how they are feeling or what they want from you: body language.
Credit: KDdesignphoto, ShutterstockIf your cat exhibits any strange behavior or a variant of how they naturally act, it is best to assume that they need a trip to the vet. Take notice of any other symptoms or strange behaviors that might have started happening around the same time as your cats odd staring contests.
Image Credit By: lowpower225, ShutterstockCuriosity might have killed some cats, but for others, it will only give them dry eyes. If you stare straight back into your cats eyes, they might take it as a sign of hostility instead of humor. Challenging this balance is not a good idea for the continuation of friendship between you and your feline friend.
If you have already challenged your cat, you might notice that beyond the staring, you also get scratched or bit by them if you dont meet their expectations quickly. This behavior will require fine management because this is not a relationship that most people want with their house cats. If you have done something that has led to pain for them in the past, or something negative happened with their previous owner, they might shy away from you.
If your cat kisses you on the lips, it’s showing affection for you. Cats are not always fulsome about expressing their feelings. For a cat to show this level of
Perhaps you have missed subtle cues for feeding, cleaning its litter box, grooming, or petting. Observe your cats body language closely, and a plausible explanation will quickly emerge.
It has noticed that your breathing has grown shallower and youre about to awaken, meaning that youll be available to provide it with food and attention. If you move toward the kitchen or a known food source, you should expect to be followed, most likely with the cat rubbing against your legs . If your cat leads you to the back door, it may want to go outside or could be alerting you to the possibility of intruders.
If your cat leads you to a wall and stops, it may have heard rodents or insects inside the structure. Human hearing isnt good enough to detect insects like bed bugs and cockroaches inside of walls. Most anxious cats, especially those that are nervous by nature, prefer to hide in secluded places .
If your cat has started bumping into furniture or is reluctant to jump or climb, it may be struggling to see well. As explained by the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery , dysautonomia occurs when the autonomic ganglia degenerate.
– Sometimes it is possible to notice your feline friend staring at you, a prey he has been stalking, or another cat without blinking. It is the kind of direct intense stare that might scare or make you apprehensive. Does my kitty want to attack me or not? Should I be worried?
The Cat Wants Your Attention
“Your cat may be staring at you because they are bored, or because they are used to making eye contact before good things happen, like getting pets and treats,” Dr. Mikel (Maria) Delgado, Cat Behavior Expert with Rover, tells Romper. To get a better read, pay attention to what your cat is doing in addition to staring. “If you begin to walk, they may take the lead and show you to an empty food bowl, or the door to be let out, for example,” Lucie Wilkins, Registered Vet Nurse & Cat Blogger at Kitty Cat Tree, tells Romper. Sometimes staring is just part of the cat’s overall attempt to communicate with you.
The Cat Is Curious Or Surprised
“It doesn’t mean that cats are upset, but if they’re staring at you without blinking they’re likely very interested or surprised by a sound you’re making or something you’re doing,” as Dr. Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM at Better With Cats, tells Romper. And as anyone who has lived with a feline knows, cats can be surprised by just about anything, from the sound of a cabinet door closing to the dishwasher turning on. “Sometimes an unfamiliar noise or movement can startle your cat and they can be afraid or curious as to what will happen next,” says Wilkins. “The wide-eyed look can be down to curiosity and not wanting to miss anything, or fear and concentrating closely for the next move.” Your cat’s big-eyed stare could simply mean that some sound or movement caught them by surprise.
Cats stare because they’re curious about peoples’ actions and want to know what will happen next. Cats see humans as clumsy and noisy. So, a cat will watch carefully, trying to understand what will happen next.Your cat will definitely want to know if you are about to prepare food. The hungrier a cat is, the most attentive it will be to your movements. If you move toward the kitchen or a known food source, you should expect to be followed, most likely with the cat rubbing against your legs.
Consider how your cat behaved before the staring began. Did it rub itself against you, jump into your lap, or verbalize (meow)?If so, the cat was trying to communicate a message to you. It feels that you are ignoring its cues and wants you to respond in some way. It will keep staring until you acknowledge its needs and take immediate action.Address your cat verbally and see how it reacts. The cat may jump back into your lap. This means that the cat wanted physical attention. If so, offer petting and grooming until your cat starts to purr.If the cat continues staring, the cat may lead you to an empty food or water bowl. The inference is that you forgot to provide nourishment or hydration. Alternatively, the cat would like you to clean out its dirty litter tray.
Sounds in the Home
Perhaps your cat is not staring at you at all. Rather, it is staring past you. Hearing Research has said that cats have better hearing than most mammals. So, a sudden noise may have captured your cat’s attention. You need to identify what has piqued your cat’s interest.Ordinarily, a cat will lead you to its area of focus. If your cat leads you to a window, it may have heard another animal outside and be feeling a little anxious. If your cat leads you to the back door, it may want to go outside or could be alerting you to the possibility of intruders.If your cat leads you to a wall and stops, it may have heard rodents or insects inside the structure. Human hearing isn’t good enough to detect insects like bed bugs and cockroaches inside of walls.
Some cats will also stare due to fear. A nervous cat will not take its eyes away from a source of anxiety. Your cat may be seeking reassurance from you, or your actions may be the reason for your cat’s anxiety.Cats have a strong fight-or-flight reflex. Most anxious cats, especially those that are nervous by nature, prefer to hide in secluded places. If the cat is standing its ground, it may be preparing to defend itself from a predator.
If your cat is staring at you, it can be a sign of dominance. If you stare straight into a cat’s eyes, it may be seen as a hostile gesture. Your cat may then become aggressive to assert its alpha status.Dominance toward humans from felines is uncommon. Only the bravest cat would pick a fight with somebody so much larger than itself. However, if this is the cause, it will manifest in other problematic behaviors.Perhaps the cat will block your path when you attempt to enter or leave a room. It will refuse to use a cat flap, expecting you to let it in or out of the home. A dominant cat will scratch and claw if not fed or petted on demand.
Loss of Eyesight
The vision of cats starts to deteriorate with age. Consequently, the cat will likely remain still, relying on its hearing and scent to understand the world around it. This may result in abnormal staring behaviors.If your cat has started bumping into furniture or is reluctant to jump or climb, it may be struggling to see well. A blind cat will also keep its nose to the ground while walking. It will likely use scent to follow a specific path and perhaps feel its way around using its whiskers.
Staring usually has a behavioral explanation. However, you still need to be aware of the following health concerns that can lead to staring:
Dysautonomia (Key-Gaskell Syndrome)
Dysautonomia, or Key-Gaskell Syndrome, is a condition that impacts the automatic nervous system. This can lead to wide, staring eyes. Not surprisingly, it is sometimes referred to as Dilated Pupil Syndrome.As explained by the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, dysautonomia occurs when the autonomic ganglia degenerate. The autonomic ganglia are clusters of nerve cells. Eyes are not the only body part impacted, though.The digestive tract will suffer, leading to constipation, inappetence, and dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been linked to dysautonomia. Most cats develop dysautonomia as kittens.
Wide, staring eyes are sometimes associated with toxicity. This is one of the warning signs that your cat has consumed something unsafe. Labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and discolored gums are also common.Intravenous fluids will be required to flush out any toxins. If the toxin was solid, surgery might be needed to remove it. If action is taken early enough, most cats will recover from the ingestion of toxins.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
A symptom of hypertension is staring eyes that don’t constrict in light. It’s common among older cats that are overweight. A cat with systolic blood pressure above 160mm Hg will be diagnosed with high blood pressure.