Why do cats stare at you when you sleep? You may have been asking yourself this question if you have opened your eyes and seen your cat standing there, near your face staring at you. Creepy? Disturbing? Cute? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Is there a reason why your cat may be intensively staring at you while you sleep?

Cats may be staring at you for a variety of reasons. Here some of the most common: they are hungry and wait for you to wake up and feed them, your cat wants to cuddle, or he is curious about you. He is watching over you, or want to play, or he sees movements they wish to investigate.

Let’s investigate.

Why do cats stare at you when you sleep?


You may have experienced this scary situation: you are sleeping, suddenly you open your eyes to see in front of you two pair of eyes, looking right back. What about if the room is still dark, and a dark black silhouette is surrounding those eyes?

What about if you decide to continue sleeping, despite the disturbing figure staring? And after thirty minutes or so, opening the eyes again, to see the same scenario again, which means your cat is still standing and looking at you intensively, without blinking and without moving.

How do cats can stand still for so long is something incredible, but besides this point, the most crucial question is: why they keep staring? What do they want? Don’t they have a mouse or a bug to chase?

The best part of this is that cats can be so patients to stand there staring for a very long time, uncaring if you are sleeping or not.

But why are they doing it? Here are the most common reasons why cats stare at you while you sleep:


This is the primary reason my cat stares at me when I sleep. One morning he tried to pock me several times, but I decided to ignore him. He kept staying near my pillow, looking down toward me for a very long time. I think I opened my eyes several times, and he was still standing there. In the end, I realized that he was waiting patiently for me to wake up and feed him. I had to admire his persistence, and, believe it or not.

It made me stand up. I thought he was funny, cute, and creepy. In the end, I was not too fond of the thought that he would stand there all night—poor thing. Cats are effective in getting what they want.

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For sure, cats know how to get something from their humans. They may be staring at you because they want you to do something; it can be playing with them, opening a door, pet them, and more. Since you do not move, they are there waiting for you to give in and fulfill their desires finally.


Curiosity killed the cat. Or better, curiosity makes your cat staring. If you are snoring, moving, or doing something in your sleep, he can come close to investigate the matter. He is curious to find out what is going on.


Some cats want to protect their owners. When you sleep, you are vulnerable. Some cats show up next to a sleeping owner during the night and sleep next to them, even though through the day prefer to keep their independence. Therefore the starting while you are sleeping is coming from their inner sense of protection for you.


It is not uncommon to wake up with a cat lying near your face and staring right at you. He is ready to cuddle and give you a lot of affection. One of my cats used to do it. She would climb on me or come near my face and stare until I open my eyes, then she would stop staring and start kissing me.

It is funny how cats believe that you can see them even with the eye closed; they think that if they stare long enough, you would wake up and start moving.


At times cats do not know what to do; you are an entertainment source when there is nothing else to do. Cats may just be staring at you out of boredom. Who can tell why cats do what they do. Cats staring at you in your sleep may be one of those cat things that no one can understand.


Let’s open a small parenthesis about cats staring at you before they sleep. Have you seen cats lying down, ready to sleep? They are slowly closing their eyes, and in doing so, they keep staring at you? They even leave the eyes a little bit open while sleeping.

It happens when cats want to be sure they are secure to sleep in that spot and that you will not jump on them suddenly. It is like they want your approval to sleep and want to be sure you are ok with it.

Cats do it out of instinct, they do not like to fall asleep in places that may be dangerous, and if you are in the room and if you are moving, they may want to make sure that you are not moving toward them.


This is another common situation. A cat on high alert usually stares in the direction of the danger, and he stares without blinking.

Therefore, if your cat stares at you without blinking, he is on alert, and he is watching you closely to see what is your next move.

If you move too quickly or make many noises, cats may think something unusual is going on. Therefore they stare.

Indeed if you see your cat staring without blinking, it is because he senses some danger. Try to make your cat relax, individuating what could have made him stare.

Sometimes he can stare in a more threatening way. You can see that he looks upset. Cats may prepare to jump or attack—time for you to be on high alert.


Some people are convinced that cats are out to get them or plotting against them. Therefore they think that cats would take advantage of them while they are sleeping, or worse, cats will eat them if they die.

Those are extreme points of view, sometimes funny. Sometimes they seem to be geared toward conspiracy. I am amused that people can give cats all those powers.

Some cats may be eviler than others, but it is unlike that they are out to get their owners.

Cats may be educated in the wrong way and growing up. They can have behavior problems; it doesn’t mean that they are trying to kill anyone.


Here some related questions and answers:

  • Why does my cat check if i’m breathing?

Some cats owner have the impression that their cats are coming close to their face at night, and not only do they stare at them, they are also checking if their owner is breathing.

After cats are coming close to the owner’s face, they are smelling their mouse and near their nose, giving the impression that they are checking if there is any sign of breath.

Cats would do this when their owners are in bed and not moving for a while. They do come to check up and eventually wake up their owner. I remember my cat would come and do this if I took unscheduled naps or slept longer. He would come to smell my face and pock me to make me move.

  • Do cats protect you while you sleep?

There are instances of cats that have alerted their owner to immediate dangers while they were sleeping. There are stories of cats saving their owner’s life at night. I could say that cats are protective of their owners and can show astonishing intelligence in the presence of danger.

  • Should I stare back at my cat?

If you have a bond with your cat, you could stare back with no consequences. Cats could think you are staring at them as a sign of threat or that you are preparing to attack them. Therefore, if you stare a cat in the eyes, he may try to attack you.

If you have a good bond with your cat, you can get away with staring at your cat’s eyes. I do it all the time with my cat. He knows that I am not attacking him. I am allowed to do it!


I hope you have more information about your cat staring at you at night. If you have any questions or want to add anything, leave it in the comments below.

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