Cats are playful animals, but they can also be mysterious and hard to fathom. Their piercing, unblinking eyes tend to freak some cat owners out. But what do felines want to convey when they stare at you without blinking? In this article, we’ll get to know some interesting facts about a cat’s intense, unblinking gaze.
Why does my cat stare at me without blinking?
1. Your cat wants to demonstrate her dominance over you.
Cat experts note that felines make eye contact to establish dominance. In the animal kingdom, staring without blinking is a universal sign of dominance, aggression and threatening behavior. If you turn your eyes away from your cat’s stare, she will assume that she is the dominant one. Ideally, you should not stare at your cat too much as it could make her feel threatened or nervous.
2. Your cat is showing her protectiveness.
If you notice your cat staring at you with unblinking and dilated pupils, be wary. She could be asserting feelings of protectiveness or self-defense. If this happens, just let her be and avoid any conflict. This will maintain a cordial relationship between the two of you.
3. Your cat could be feeling aggressive or in pain.
Cats that stare with constricted pupils are generally feeling relaxed, but if they stare with dilated pupils they could be in pain or wanting to escape from something. If her pupils are dilated despite being in bright light, your cat could be feeling aggressive and it is best to avoid her for a while.
4. Your cat is hungry and wants food.
If your cat is staring at you without blinking, think about whether you have forgotten to do something. That cold, hard stare could mean that you forgot her meal time. This is the classic “Where’s my food?” look, intended to admonish to her owner. If this is the case, hopefully you will get the message before your cat takes more drastic action!
5. Your cat is curious about what you are doing.
Have you noticed your cat stalking you around the kitchen while you prepare your family’s meal? She may also be staring at you unblinkingly as she does so. This may indicate that your cat is very curious about what you are doing. If so, let her be and do not reprimand her, as this kind of curiosity is normal for cats.
6. Your cat could be suffering from a health issue.
If your usually affectionate and friendly cat suddenly starts acting strange and staring at you with unblinking eyes, it could be that something is not right with her health. She may have, among other issues, a hearing-related impairment, kidney problems, high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism.
7. Your cat is demanding your attention.
If you are watching Netflix with your cat beside you and she suddenly turns and stares at you, you’d better reach for the remote. Your cat could be doing this to seek your attention – and she’ll want full attention. She may want you to cuddle and pet her, or to play with her for a while.
So, the next time you are alone at home with your cat and she starts exhibiting this kind of body language, you will know how to handle it. Do not feel afraid or worried; it is just your cat trying to convey a message.
Why do cats not blink very often?
Cats do blink, but not very often, and their blink is not easily noticeable. They have a nictitating membrane that enables them to blink without closing their eyelids. Often called the third eyelid, this membrane is common among desert animals and helps clear the eyes of dirt without obstructing the animal’s vision. It may seem like felines hardly blink, but they are actually using their nictitating membranes to blink.
You may want to check out this earlier article, Why does my cat stare at me while I sleep? for related information.
Cats are playful and affectionate, but they can appear rather menacing when they stare at you without blinking. They may do this to assert their dominance and supremacy, or to show defensiveness. They may also stare unblinkingly if they are in pain, curious, or if they are hungry and want your attention.
Image: istockphoto.com / Chaidira