Why Does My Cat Stare At Me When I’m Sleeping?

First, how do we know our cats are staring at us if we are sleeping? Even though we are asleep, our brains are still active.

If we are in the sleep stage known as light sleep, we can still sense slight noise and movement and can be jolted awake. And waking up to your cat staring at you will either be comforting to you or creepy. 

However, have you ever wondered why they like to stare at us like that? Let’s find out today to know your cutie better.

What Happens in Your Body and Brain While You Sleep (nbcnews.com)

Reasons Your Cat May Be Staring

I can’t say I’ve ever had the experience of waking up to my cat staring at me, but I’ve heard stories from friends.

I picture my cat sitting on my nightstand, eyes glowing, his little furry torso silhouetted by the light coming from my alarm clock. I think I’d have a heart attack if I awoke to that image.

I guess it’s a good thing I don’t allow my cat in my room at night. There are many reasons your cat might stare at you while you’re sleeping, and here are a few listed below.

Cat Is Worried

Cats don’t worry the same way humans do, but they can exhibit behaviors consistent with anxiety and concern.

They show concern for their owners by meowing when they can’t see them behind a closed door and crawl into their owners’ lap when they sense they are depressed and feeling unwell.

Perhaps your cat is anxious about something and is following you everywhere throughout the house, and now you’re lying awake at night worrying about your cat.

Seriously though, if your cat has become clingy, and is suddenly wanting to sleep next to you, watching you while you sleep, it could be a sign of anxiety.

Try comforting your cat by cuddling and consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health issues. 

Cat Wants Your Sleeping Spot

Most cats get used to their daily routine and spot, which they dislike to change.

Possibly, you have changed the position of his bed, have bought him a new comforter, but he hasn’t adapted yet. Or,  you thought you’d try sleeping on the opposite side of your cat’s bed.

In that case, if he is staring at you, he might be waiting for you to move over. Otherwise, your cat is trying to tell you it wants its own bed.

Cat Is Protecting You

Throughout time, there have been cases in which cats have protected their owners.

Some of these documented cases have involved cats attacking intruders and snakes. Most people would think of guard animals as being a dog, but that is not always the case.

A cat will usually form an everlasting bond to the person they deem as their owner and sometimes will do just about anything to protect them.

They show their protective side through love by rubbing up against you, purring, and bringing you those unwanted gifts of prey.

Not all cats show protection in the same way. Some cats may display aggression towards other animals and people if they get too close or friendly with their owners. They can show this by hissing and growling.

In these cases you may want to contact your veterinarian for advice, otherwise, if you wake up to your cat staring at you, it may just be a feeling that it has to protect you. 

3 Ways in Which Some Cats Are Protecting Humans (petful.com)

Cat Is Annoyed With You

You’re sound asleep, only to be woken up to find your cat staring directly at you, its tail swishing in the shadowy room.

Obviously, you’ve annoyed your kitty. While sleeping, your habit such as snoring too loudly or moving around might bother him. Hmm,  who knows?.. your cat does.

Cat Wants Affection

In my case, when my cat wants to cuddle, he will jump up on my desk and stare at me until I offer him some.  Once received enough “love”, my kitty will happily walk away until the next time.

Therefore, keep in mind that if you wake up to a staring cat, especially if it is purring and kneading, it’s most likely looking for some cuddle time.

Are There Ways To Stop My Cat From Staring?

As mentioned above, there are reasons for your cat to be staring at you during sleep. If the staring has now become a habit, it may be hard to break. However, here are a few ideas you can attempt.

Close your bedroom door at night

This may be a hard one, especially if your cat has been sleeping with you for a long period.

Try for a night or two and if your cat seems too distraught about being shut out, try training it to sleep in a bed of its own in your room. 

Make Sure They Are Not Hungry

We all know what it’s like to get the midnight munchies. Keep their food and water bowls full to avoid late-night meowing. 

Daytime Activity

Cat’s need excitement and stimulation during the day to fuel their energy. It’s important for their wellbeing and mental health, and will hopefully make them more restful at night.

Moving toys and puzzle food bowls are significant forms of entertainment that will keep them busy and out of trouble. 

Why Isn’t My Cat Sleeping At Night?

Cats are prone to sleeping throughout the day and are most active at dawn and dusk. They are otherwise known as crepuscular animals because of their activity at these hours.

This explains the reason they want to play when you are winding down for the evening, and why they are up at the crack of dawn when all you want to do is sleep for two more hours.

If your cat’s sleeping schedule has changed, it might just be because it slept too much during the day and now its internal clock is off. There could be a few other factors why your cat isn’t sleeping at night listed below.

  • Lack of exercise during the day
  • Hungry
  • In heat
  • They are experiencing pain
  • Feeling anxious

Final Thought

Cats have such quirky personalities, but I couldn’t imagine my life without one. Sleeping with your feline companion should be a wonderful bonding experience.

However, it would be best if we could sleep well without any “uncomfortable” eye contact from your kitten at midnight.

Hopefully, you have found this article informative. Wish you and your cutie would have a sweet night together.

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