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Why Does My Cat Stare at Me While I Sleep? 6 Vet-Reviewed Possible Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Adorable furry cat of seal lynx point color with blue eyes_Nadezhda Zaitceva_shutterstock

Why Does My Cat Stare at Me While I Sleep? 6 Vet-Reviewed Possible Reasons

VET APPROVED

Dr. Maja Platisa Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Maja Platisa

DVM MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Most cat owners can recount waking up on at least one occasion with their cat staring straight at them. It can be uncomfortable, especially if you wake up to direct eye contact. But what is your cat trying to say? Possibly nothing. You might provide entertainment while you sleep. After all, they probably ask themselves why humans snore so loudly.

To figure out why your cat is staring at you, you can pay attention to other bodily cues. We might never decipher precisely why they act the way they do, but we can try to fill in the blanks. Of course, these assumptions are anecdotal, and science still hasn’t examined the reasons behind this behavior.

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The 6 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Stares at You While You Sleep

Cats have unusual quirks we all love and admire. However, some actions, like staring at you while you sleep, might make you feel not-so-warm and fuzzy inside.

No worries—your cat isn’t plotting your untimely death. But there are a few reasons that they might creep up on you to look at you while you sleep.

1. Your Cat Feels Bonded to You

Your cat feels very connected to you. The staring could stem from them feeling bonded to you, and they stare at you with affection. You might open your eyes to see your cat purring with their eyes partially shut, looking at you calmly.

Your cat might be trying to wind down for nap time to share the moment.


2. Your Cat Is Being Cautious

Russian blue cat relaxing on bed
Image Credit: Camel Case, Shutterstock

Many cats already think humans aren’t very capable of taking care of themselves. That may be part of why your cat brings you a dead bird or mouse; they may think we can’t hunt to feed ourselves. The same could extend to protecting you while you sleep.

Your cat may feel like they’re on guard, watching out for threats as you visit dreamland. But really, it may also be that they are not feeling 100% comfortable or safe, or they have heard a strange noise and are keeping an eye on their surroundings, which happens to be your bed.


3. Your Cat Is Annoyed

Did you realize you’re making lots of offensive noises while you sleep? Your cat could be watching you in disgust or surprise as you make loud snoring noises or toss and turn. They might wonder just what in the world you’re doing and disapprove.

Instead of getting up and going to another room, they’d rather stare you down to let you know they aren’t amused.


4. Your Cat Is Anxious

Scared Tabby cat trying to hide
Image Credit: Elena Rozhenok, Shutterstock

If your cat feels anxious, they might be staring at you because you’re their comfort. An anxious kitty might even try to wake you with nudges or meowing. They don’t like that you’re snoozing, and it makes them uncomfortable or insecure.

So, they might be anxiously awaiting to welcome you back to the land of the living.

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5. Your Cat Wishes You’d Wake Up

Your cat might be waiting for you to wake up. How dare the two of you sleep on opposite schedules? They might be standing by, patiently waiting to see your eyes open. Did you forget to feed them? Do they want attention?

It could be any reason, but one thing is for sure: they don’t want you asleep. So, once you awaken—you’ll likely be greeted by excitement and relief.


6. Your Cat Is Just Bored

female calico manx cat yawning
Image Credit: Karen Sanders Studio, Shutterstock

Cats are very observant creatures. They might have nothing better to do for the time being, and you’re just the most entertaining thing around. You might be making weird noises or movements, and they even think you’re trying to play.

Either way, you aren’t very much fun right now.

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Cat-to-Cat Differences

All cats communicate and function differently. So, while one cat might stare out of boredom, another might be genuinely concerned or feeling protective. It just depends on the cat. You know your feline better than anyone. There may be other physical cues, like meowing, nudging, or kneading, in addition to staring.

If you’re having trouble sleeping because your cat won’t stop being such a peeper, it might be time to close them out of the room. But also, if they have suddenly started doing it or they seem anxious or clingy, it’s important to get them checked by your vet to ensure there isn’t an underlying health issue causing their uncertainty.

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Final Thoughts

If you’ve had concerns or questions about your cat staring at you while you sleep, hopefully, we cleared it up for you. It might not solve the problem; we all know they’ll keep doing it anyway. But it’s nice to know why our crazy kitties act like they do.

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Featured Image Credit: Nadezhda Zaitceva, Shutterstock

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