Why Does My Cat Stare At Me While I Sleep?

Why Does My Cat Stare At Me While I Sleep

The way a cat looks at you can feel cute and warm at day time but can also feel creepy at night, especially when you are sleeping. Lets look at some reasons why your cat is staring at you while you sleep, how to prevent this in case you find it creepy and also what keeps a cat awake at night in the first place.

Why your cat is staring at you while you sleep

Here are the most common reasons why your cat is staring at you while you sleep: 

1. Your cat feels closely bonded to you

Cats are naturally attuned to non-verbal communication and staring at you could be its way of saying you are family. Frequently, cats try to protect their pet parents from people or other animals that they consider to be dangerous. It is also instinctual for a cat to defend their territory and yours. It could be that your cat is staring at you while you sleep because it watches over you. 

2. The way you behave when you sleep might bother your cat

If you are the type of person who keeps on tossing and turning while you sleep, your behavior may catch your cat’s attention. Strange noises such as loud snores, groans, and teeth grinding can also make your cat curious. There are also sleep disorders such as restless legs or hypnic jerks that can make your cat think something is running around under your blanket that it wants to catch.

3. Your cat is hungry

Your cat may be staring at you while you sleep because he’s hungry and waits for you to get up and feed it. It could be your cat’s way of getting attention along with its meow. A hungry cat is great at meowing, crying, and staring at you until you put food in its bowl.

4. Your cat is anxious

There could be other things that might stress your cat and need to stay with you all night. Physical changes in your house, loud noises, a new pet or baby or illness can scare your cat. Staring at you or staying beside you can make your pet feel safer. 

5. Your cat is bored.

It could just be that your cat is bored. Cats like observing and sometimes they look at things for no apparent reason. They may stare into space, and walls and sometimes, you can be their object of interest. 

Your cat is bored.
Image: istockphoto.com / Francisco Zeledon

How to keep your cat from staring at you while you sleep?

Since cats can be very active at night and may lead to staring at you while you sleep for the above reasons, the only thing you can do is to keep them rested or asleep at night also.

Do everything possible to keep your cat stimulated during the daytime so boredom doesn’t result in oversleeping and then immoderate activity during inappropriate times. Since cats are natural hunters, you have to make sure they have mental stimulation. You can provide toys such as scratchers, feather wands, cat trees, and interactive cat feeders. 

If you are too busy during the day to play with your cat, do active and vigorous play before you get ready to head to bed. Try using toys that mimic the movement of mice and birds like balls and mice toys. Play until your cat seems tired.

Changing your cat’s meal time may help. Try feeding the cat before you go to bed rather than before you leave in the morning. Cats tend to sleep after a big meal so this could save you from being bothered by your cat’s stare. A timed cat feeder used to feed the cat even wet food while you are away can also help you schedule your cat’s meal at night. This could help if the problem is that your cat is hungry and it may learn to wait by the feeder rather than wait for you. 

What keeps your cat wide awake at night

Cats are normally awake at night time because they are crepuscular animals. This means that they are more active at dusk and dawn. These active times are their prime time to hunt rodents and other small prey so it’s not a surprise that they spend a lot of time roaming around at night. 

Aside from that, cats are more active at night because they often spend the daytime resting and relaxing. This happens usually for felines who are alone at home and have nothing to keep themselves busy with toys and activities. 

The eyes of the cats also have something to do that makes them wide awake at night. They have good night vision because their eyes have six to eight times more rod cells, which are more sensitive to low light than humans do. Cat’s elliptical eye shape and larger corneas and tapetum, help gather more light as well. It makes prey or other objects silhouetted against a night sky more prominent. Their extra rod cells also allow them to sense motion in the dark.