HomeCat BehaviorMaking Eye Contact with Your Cat

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Making Eye Contact with Your Cat — 19 Comments

  1. Interesting article and I’ve never really thought about it with cats; dogs yes but not cats.
    I don’t seek my cats out to stare at them but when they look at me I don’t look away they seem to like me making eye contact especially when I talk to them 🙂

  2. When I call out the name of one of my cats, they most always make eye contact with me.
    On the outside and between male cats, eye contact is always a challenge and a fight inevitable.
    It makes sense to me that big wild cats should be stared down, because that is what is recommended when confronted by a vicious dog. Never turn and run.

  3. I always make eye contact with my cats and they know when I am looking at them. With Barney my boy, all I have to do is look at him and he talks to me. I don’t even have to utter a sound. They say the eyes speak a million words and I believe 100% that cats can read our expression just like other humans can therefore I think it is a good way to communicate with a cat about how you feel.

  4. It can be intimidating. Shy cats won’t look you in the eye. They need to watch our feet ad our faces to know what’s going on and thats not so easy. Some cats like Gigi will look you in the eye and speak to you. Others like Molly communicate by rubbing against you or leading you places. Molly used to never look anybody in the eye but now she does. Now she will look right back at me. It’s so nice to see her properly – not scuttling around looking at your feet the whole time.

    Of course there’s the slow blink. And also cats can’t point with their legs so they point with their eyes and nose. Mine do. If I want something from them I can also point to it by looking them in the eye and then looking right at the thing I am pointing towards and they follow where my eyes are pointing to get what I’m talking about. It works! Kind of blew my mind when I first discovered that.

    Also I was reading that aborigines in Australia and bush people in Africa point with their chins. When you think about pointing with your finger with a cat involved and you just know that right away the cat is going to look at your darn finger and not where it’s pointing. In my view the only thing they will follow as pointing towards something is your eyes. In that sense the eyes are useful to communicate and looking directly at a cat in the eyes does have a noticeable effect. However there will be some cats for whom it’s true that you shouldn’t look them in the eye because it would be aggressive.

    When Molly first came she was exactly a good example of that. I wouldn’t bother her with staring for a long time until she got better.

  5. My cat has no problems at all with me looking her right in the eyes. She looks into mine too. She’s a feisty vocal little girl too. 😉

  6. Yea the cats always seem to have no problems with eye contact. Sometimes they look straight at us with loving intent, Jasmine does this a lot she will stare at me with a cute loving look. She really is amazing. As are the others.

      • Yea its wonderful, its like I love you so much, or in my case thanks for looking after me. I get so much Joy from that.

      • It is one of the best things when you look into your cat’s eyes and you speak lovingly to him and he returns with that slow loving blink which you know means that you are communicating with him and him with you and the communication is: we are together, we are with each other and we are close friends and from our point of view is an expression of deep affection. I also believe that from the cat’s point of view it is also an expression of affection.

        • Exactly Michael its the best thing it sure gives me a feeling of total love. What also helps with me, especially if I’ve been sad or upset when they automatically come up and lick my eyelids and cuddle right in. I hope this is the same with everyone else. We get a lot of slow blinks, head bumps, etc.

      • Exactly its like they just really know deep inside how we feel, that’s why I get so annoyed and distressed when people say cats have no feelings. Even the shyist cat & Timid show their feelings.

  7. I have always stared at my cats when i talk to them or pet them and never ever found them threatened by my stare.I don’t think that pet cats find their owners a threat to their dominance but might definitely not tolerate strangers.My tomcat “Matata” is mortally afraid of strangers and hides as soon as the door-bell is rung or a stranger enters the house.He is also one of the most ferocious cats i have come across having a “JAW-BITE” of a “Crocodile” !Never ever be afraid of your pet cat nor think that your cat is afraid of you as far as staring or eye to eye contact is concerned.

    • Love your comment about your crocodile cat! And I’m glad that you agree with me that it is perfectly okay to look into your cat’s eyes as I do. I look at my cat’s eyes for a long time and he looks right back at me for a long time as well. It is a great way to connect with your cat. I can look into my cat’s eyes very comfortably but I find it much harder to look into the eyes of a person.

  8. I think avoiding eye contact is a bit different to staring a cat in the eye, which they do see as a challenge.
    A cat who loves and trusts his caretaker still likes to be the one to initiate eye contact. Both our cats look up at us with love and trust but I would never go deliberately to stare in their eyes because I wouldn’t like someone staring into mine. Cats love the slow blinking exchange, Charlie obviously loves and trusts you Michael.
    I’d never look a strange cat in the eye until he/she trusted me, I’m thrilled that two of the four little ones in a bad home here are starting to trust me now, one looked me fully in the eyes yesterday! Such beautiful eyes she has too. She’s asking for help and we are working towards that.

    • Yea Ours are like that too Jasmin sometimes gives me lots of loving looks. I struggle myself looking at other peoples eyes for a long period of time. I tend to just look to the side it hurts sometimes to look directly.

    • Nice point. Perhaps there is a difference in staring at a cat and gently looking at your cat in a loving way speaking with a friendly voice. Perhaps it is also about attitude and there is the question as mentioned in my post about the circumstances under which it happens.

      Personally though I think the potential problems are overplayed somewhat. The bottom line is that if a cat does not like you looking into his or her eyes they simply avert their gaze and look somewhere else.

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