Why does my cat stare at me and purr?

This article gives a quick overview of feline body language. If you're interested in learning more about the non-vocal communications of felines, then this post is for you!
why does my cat stare at me and purr

Does your cat sometimes stare at you and purr? Are those cat eyes trying to tell you something? It’s adorable but what does it mean? 

Your cat isn’t engaging in a staring contest.  But when your furry feline friend stares at you and purrs there is a meaning behind the behavior. It is a form of communication. Here’s how you can translate the meaning behind all the staring and purring and probably a bit of meowing too.

So, Why Do Cats Stare At You and Purr?

why does my cat stare at me and purr

They’re Happy and Content!

Cats will stare and purr at their owners or other loved members of the family as an expression of happiness and contentment. It is their way of making a connection with the one they care about which is you. Cats are very wise and smart and realize who feeds them, gives them water, snuggles and attention. We all want to know our pets are happy so this action of staring and purring is exactly that good news you want to know.

They’re Showing You Affection

Cats are very social and affectionate creatures. They have many ways to show their love and staring and purring is one of those ways. Read those kitty cat eyes. They are saying, “You are mine and I love it.”

They Might Be Hungry

If you are in the kitchen preparing your dinner and you see your pawed companion jump up on the bench to eye you up and start purring you can take the clue that it might be hungry. Consider it a charming hint and if the staring continues you might want to serve up your furry highnesses food before you make your own. If the purring is accompanied by a meow you can be sure it’s your cat’s way of saying, “where’s my dinner?”

They Want Some Attention From You

why do cats stare at you

If you have spend any time around children you will know not many minutes go by before they are asking you a question or seeing what you are up to.

You can compare a cat to a child in this way. They will sometimes just be curious about what you are doing or bored and looking for some stimulation. Curious by nature and always putting their paws into anything new – does it sound like your cat? 

They’re Just Being Sociable

Cats love company and companionship. In fact they will be unhappy if you don’t devote enough of your time to being with them. So staring and purring is a way for them to socialize and be friendly towards their owner. A social cat is a happy cat!

They’re Feeling Scared

If a cat is staring at you but not purring it can mean it is trying to gain your attention but isn’t happy. If a cat is scared or threatened it may stare at its owner to communicate its fear. It may be seeking out comfort from you by communicating with its eyes.

They’re Not Feeling Well

In a similar way to being fearful, a cat may stare but not purr if it feels unwell or is hurt. If the stare looks pleading or wide-eyed it may be an important sign and you should check your cat for other signs of pain or discomfort. If your precious cat usually doesn’t stare so much and isn’t purring it is more likely the case that it’s calling out for help.

Now, along with each reason listed above there might be other signs to confirm how your cat is feeling. If its tail is pointing high or twitching it shows a sign of being irritated.

If it’s meowing at the same time it is really trying to tell you something (or is just a feisty cat). If it is growling or hissing instead of purring then that is the serious stare of a grumpy cat. It may be unhappy, angry or in pain. 

Should I stare back at my cat?

what does it mean when your cat stares at you

If you feel like staring back at your cute cat it’s fine but make sure you blink as well. If you don’t blink your cat might feel like you are being aggressive. Most cats will not react much if you stare at them. 

More important than staring back is trying to know what your cat is trying to say. Does it need something from you? If so, try to give it what it wants whether it is food or water, fun play time or a little cuddle.

Why Do Cats Stare At Other Cats?

Cats also stare at other cats and animals. Usually this will be a situation of the cat being territorial. They are basically trying to show they are more powerful and dominant in this situation.

why do cats stare at each other

One cat usually gives in and looks away, but if not the staring may turn into a cat fight with hissing, scratching and fur flying around. This can happen if you have a cat and introduce a new cat into your home. Or outside it may happen when they come in contact with a neighbor’s pets or street cats.

While it takes some practice to learn to read your cat’s body language, over time you will learn to read the meanings behind different stares, meows and actions. Be patient and use your intuition.

Just like you can’t learn a foreign language overnight, the same can be said for learning the language of your pet kitten or cat. It takes time to become fluent in cat language, but you’ll get there eventually!

Cats are very intelligent and are clever communicators. As you notice their behavior and react in a positive way the bond between you and your beloved pet will grow, and you’ll learn how to understand problems that your cat is having, or even to curb undesirable behavior.

Gina whilelm
Gina whilelm
Gina is a lover of quiet fall evenings, copious amounts of coffee, time spent with her cats, and a good book.
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