Vets Explain Why Cats Stare At Us, You Might Be Surprised

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on September 17, 2020

You know that feeling you get when someone is watching you?

Some uncanny sense whispers in the back of your mind that you’ve become the object of someone’s attention. And then all you can feel is the weight of an unwavering stare.

If you have a cat, then you most certainly know this feeling!

As the world’s ultimate creepers, felines take the staring game to an elevated level.


And if you’ve ever wondered why your cat is obsessed with your every move, two veterinarians have revealed the reasons behind the cat stare.

No Need for Concern

The first thing to know about your cat’s creeper tendencies: they’re completely normal.

As a veterinarian at Fuzzy Pet Health, Dr. Jessica Herman, DVM, sees a lot of cats and she has great information offer when it comes to feline behavior. When it comes to staring, she explains, “Our furry friends are nonverbal communicators.”

Which means our kitties ‘talk’ in other ways and as they aren’t fluent in human speak, they learn all about us by watching how we behave. They see our moods written allover us from the way we sit to the way we speak.


“Paying attention to their body language, daily habits, and behavior is very important in our communication with our pets, and cat staring is typically harmless and not worrisome.”

But the stare can mean many things and by observing other cues, we can figure what cats are trying to say by pinning us under their gaze.

Reasons Behind the Stare

Dr. Liz Bales, VMD, offers the most adorable reason behind the cat stare, reporting, “If your cat has relaxed loose muscles, a loose tail, and is staring at you [while] blinking slowly, they are just connecting with you and showing you affection.”

The best way to respond? “You can slow blink back to return the love.”


But sometimes the stare isn’t about love. If a staring cat is showing signs of anger or fear, like flattened ears or a lashing tail, then beware. Dr. Bales recommends, “The best thing to do is slowly look away and distract your kitty by throwing something in the other direction.”

After such an interaction, “It’s best to give them time to decompress and leave them alone if you can.”


Sometimes a kitty stares because she’s hungry or perhaps he’s telling you its time to play, but the main reason behind the staring remains the famous cat curiosity. Dr. Herman shares, “They are curious creatures and are constantly interpreting the world around them and wondering what you might do next.”

Sounds a lot like our main reason for staring at them! After all, is there anything better than watching your kitty just be themselves?

Feature Image: @morristheredcat/Instagram & @daily_banse/Instagram

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