Why do cats stare? Have you ever wondered what is running through their mischievous little brain?

Are they planning their next meal? Or maybe they are plotting to attack you in your sleep? Or perhaps world domination. Can you imagine a world full of cats? As a cat person, I'd like that, to be honest.

Our furry babies are known to stare at people from time to time. You might see them gazing at you with those big eyes as you finish your meal. So why does my cat stare at me? Does that mean they're hungry?

Sometimes you'll also see them staring blankly at the wall. Does that mean they're bored? Let's find out!

Below, we'll discuss not just the cat's stare but also the cat's body language. Body language is a significant factor in determining their mood, from joy to sadness.

Cat staring at you for Food

Why Cats Stare

Generally speaking, the two main reasons cats stare are that they want something or are scared. It depends on their personality and what they need at that time.

Here are a few reasons why your cats stare at you:

The Hunger Stare

If you see your cat staring at you after a long day at work, it can be their way of saying that they are hungry. Usually, they will stare back and forth between you and their food bowl.

They were starving if you noticed that they had finished their meal faster than usual.

Curiosity Stare

As a cat owner, you should know by now that they are curious beings. If their eyes or nose catch something new, they're on it.

Cats can stare and be intrigued for a long time. Sometimes it can take hours! If they see a spider or a lizard crawling around the walls or inside the window. Their focus is in there.

Cats' sight and hearing are so much better than humans. So cats can also be intrigued by tiny dust particles that we cannot see.

Cats can also be curious if they see you moving around more than usual. Or maybe they're curious about what you are cooking for tonight's meal.

Cat's Territorial Stare

Cats, both male and female, are territorial animals. They want to protect their favorite spaces. It could be their cozy bed or by the window. They stare because they want you to keep your distance.

They are staring at you as a warning. Keep away and off their space.

Possible Illness or Pain

Cat stares can also mean trying to tell you that they're sick. Since cats can't tell us directly that they feel unwell, they stare at us.

A sick cat will usually show signs of sickness through their energy level, sociability, coat appearance, appetite, litterbox usage, breathing, etc.


Yes, cats can show love and affection too! When you see your cat staring at you, slowly blinking their eyes, they are showing adoration.

Cats show love through purring, grooming, bunting, rolling, and meowing.

Cat Staring

Cat Stare Meaning

Staring for cats is one of many forms of communication they use. For instance, a cat may stare at a new or unfamiliar cat (or other pets) as an intimidation tactic.

Since cats are visual hunters, the focus is critical. They stare to keep a close eye on potential prey.

But that doesn't mean they see you as prey. Or does it?

On the other hand, cats also stare when they are feeling territorial. It can also mean that they are showing dominance or challenging other cats.

Kitten Stare Meaning

If you're a new cat parent, you might notice that your kitten is always staring at you. This could mean that your kitten is learning their new environment. It can also be their way of communicating with their mother about nursing.

This is also the same technique they'll use to get their adult companions' attention. When cats stare, they may also purr, groom themselves, or knead.

What Is My Cat Thinking When They Stare At Me?

At some point in your life with your cat, you have probably asked yourself, “why does my cat always stare at me?”. Cat staring is one of the nonverbal ways a cat communicates.

The meaning of their stare can change depending on the circumstances. For example, if your cat is staring at you while purring, it can mean that they are communicating their love and affection for you.

Another example is when your cat is staring at you while following you, it can be their way of telling you that they are bored. Take the time and play with them! Give them their favorite toy or other activities to get some mental stimulation.

Most cats don't require expensive toys. With just a ball of yarn or a simple box, they'll find enjoyment in these things.

Cat's posture can also be vital in determining what they are trying to communicate to us. Look if their ears are pulled back, tails are swaying, or their heads are titled.

Cat staring is not something you should be alarmed about. Staring for cats is normal and part of their mysterious or weird behavior.

Cat staring at me

Cat Staring At The Wall

Since cats are curious beings, typically, cats staring at the wall is harmless. A few reasons why your cat is staring at the wall is that they can hear something that we cannot hear.

That doesn't mean ghosts, but it can mean a mouse inside your wall making noise. It can also be the noise of a rusty pipe behind the wall.

But keep in mind that when you see your cat pressing his head against the wall, it can mean different things. Head pressing can be a symptom of problems with the nervous system.

Other symptoms of nervous system issues are visual problems, behavioral changes, and when they are circling too much.

Cat's Body Language

If you're worried that your cat is planning a mischievous event in your home, you should know that the eyes are not the only body part that you should look into.

Cat communication involves more than just the eyes. It goes from the eyes to the tip of their tails.

Is your Cat Happy?

If you see your cat staring at you with a relaxed body gesture and blinking slowly, they are showing signs of affection.

A cat's relaxed body is when he is standing tall with a stiff stance and tail down. Blinking in cats is a friendly gesture.

This means that they are trying to tell you that they care for you, want to be close to you, and want to spend time with you.

But this could also be their way of waking you up to get some breakfast. Overall, this is their way of seeking your attention.

Is Your Cat Scared?

On the other hand, if you see your cat staring at you while crouching down with his tail tucked under his body, this is their way of saying they are scared.

When this happens, you'll see your cat hiding behind a piece of furniture most of the time. For instance, my cat's favorite hiding spot when there are fireworks is under my bed.

Cats stare at whoever is closest to them or the one making noise. They're just keeping an eye out for possible danger.

If you want to help your cat feel calm, try tossing them their favorite cat treats but at a safe distance. Maintaining a reasonable distance can help not to scare them more.

Is Your Cat Angry?

The body gesture of an angry cat is the opposite of a happy cat. You will not see a relaxed body on a cat about to attack.

The signs of an angry cat are pupil dilation, an agitated tail that's moving side to side, ears turned to the side and a stiffer body than usual.

If you see these kinds of body gestures from your cat, it's their way of telling you that they need some space.

It would be best for you to turn away or distract your cat with other activities. You can make some slight noise or throw a piece of paper or a toy across the room for them to chase.

Even if they do not chase the toy, it can help break the tension and make eye contact.

After that, if you see them in a more relaxed state, confront them with activities that they love. Give them their favorite treats or play with a fishing pole toy for them to chase around.

Is Your Cat Sad?

There are a few factors to know if your cat is sad. And yes, cats can get depressed too.

For instance, you'll be able to tell if your cat is sad when there are changes in their vocalization. If you notice that your cat is meowing more or less than usual, this could indicate that they are unhappy.

These sad meow noises are usually low-pitched. And take note that purring is not always a sign of happiness. Sad cats also purr to comfort themselves.

The body language of a sad cat can be ears held back, tucked tail, and hair standing on end. In addition, sad cats can also be a bit more aggressive. Monitor your cat and find ways to cheer them up.

Scared cat staring

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I stare back at my cat?

It is advised to not initiate a staring contest with your cat. Trust me. You're not going to win. And the more you stare back at them, the less at ease your cat will be.

But the main reason why you shouldn't stare back at your cat is that they can interpret it as a sign of hostility.

It can cause them to be more scared if they are already are. It can cause them to be more furious and distrustful.

Do cats know their names?

Yes, cats know their names. A study took place at the University of Tokyo in Japan, where they investigated 78 cats and if they could distinguish their names from other random words.

Cats are just as good as dogs when it comes to learning. But they are not as eager as dogs to show their owners what they learned.

So yes, cats recognize their names even if they choose to ignore us when we call them.

Do cats sleep with you to protect you?

There are plenty of reasons why your cat loves to sleep beside you. Since cats feel vulnerable when they sleep, they sleep beside you because of security.

Cats can also sleep with you for warmth and companionship. Cats love to sleep in warm places, and they see you as a companion where they feel safe and trust you.

Stressed Cat

Why Cats Stare Summary

Why does my cat stare at me? At the wall? Should I be worried? No, cat staring is entirely normal.

So why do cats stare in general? A few reasons for a cat staring are hunger, curiosity, territorial, possible sickness, and love.

Typically, cats stare to get your attention. In my experience, my cats usually stare at me when they're hungry.

But I think I speak for all the cat parents out there. Our favorite staring is when they show affection. When cats are staring at you with a relaxed body and with the magic of slow blinking, this is their way of saying they love us.

Cat's body language is key to determining what the cat is feeling at the moment. This can help you know if they're happy, scared, angry, or sad.

Please take note of their eyes, ears, body, and tail. This can be a great technique to know whether you have to give them space or cuddles.

As a cat owner, you need to learn these things as they can help you communicate with them.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.