Ever got a feeling that somebody is watching you? It doesn’t have to be a blatant stare but you can just feel those eyes on you.
When it comes to the art of staring, my cat has gotten it pat down. He can also vary the intensity of his stare to make me more or less uncomfortable.
I have noticed on a couple of occasions that my feline friend likes to watch me eat. He seems very interested in my actions and what’s on my plate. But why do some cats stare at their owners eat?
Your cat could be staring at you eat as it finds your actions fascinating. The smell that is coming from your food could also be very intriguing to your cat. A combination of other factors can make your cat’s staring seem unrelenting.
If you think that it’s just your human food that is making your cat stare, this article might surprise you.
Your Cat Thinks You’re Fascinating
You might not believe this but your cat does find you fascinating. Despite all the defiance and lack of apathy that your cat has shown over the years, watching you is like watching the ‘Discovery channel’ on TV.
John Bradshaw, a cat behavior expert at the University of Bristol, claims that cats do not understand us the way a dog would.
Dogs interact differently with humans as they would with other dogs. But cats regard us not as humans but as a bigger version of themselves, just a lot clumsier.
This is where the fascination kicks in.
Even though we are regarded as cats, our behaviors are nowhere close to cat-like. Even if you tried meowing back at your cat, it wouldn’t understand what you are trying to say.
Cats have great observational skills. Out in the wild, they are always on the lookout for predators and prey. At home, they are more keen on observing your body language.
When your cat is staring at you while you eat, it is trying to piece together information about:
- those loud noises when you chew
- how different your food smells from its cat food
- why do you use your hairless paws to bring food to your mouth
- how air violently escapes from your mouth after you eat
In order to process such an abundance of information, your cat has to pay very close attention while you’re eating food.
Your Cat Is After Your Food
As fascinating as we can be to our cats, there are times when we aren’t the main attraction. What your cat is more keen on is whatever you are shoving into your mouth.
The way to your cat’s stomach is through its nose. Cats do not have such elaborate tastebuds as we do hence enjoying their food through taste isn’t a top priority.
However, if your cat wants whatever you are eating in its food bowl as well, then Houston, we are going to have a staring problem.
Be careful when it comes to eating food that your cat has licked as it is possible to get an infection from your cat’s saliva.
You could be eating something that might seem totally unappetizing but your cat has smelt an odor that it likes.
A cat’s sense of smell is 40 times more acute than ours. All you are smelling is just microwaved meatloaf but your cat’s nose can smell the individual ingredients that went into making your dinner.
Should You Feed Your Cat Human Food?
Before you succumb to all that uncomfortable cat staring and feed what’s on your plate, you should know that many types of human food can be toxic to cats.
How many cat owners actually know all the ingredients that went into making the human food?
Unless you have the ingredients label, it would be possible unless you made it yourself.
There are a couple of things that you should never let your cat eat:
- Garlic and oni0ns
- Grapes and raisins
- Artificial sweeteners
- Raw eggs
- Caffeinated drinks
If your cat has eaten any of the above, please take it to the vet for a check. It can be fatal if left untreated.
Your Cat Just Wants To Be Involved
Remember that as kids, we were always happy to hang out with our older siblings and other adults?
It made us feel important and involved in whatever was happening.
The same thing goes for most cats.
Many studies have shown that our cats do build a bond with us. Just like how we would grow attached to our loved ones over time, the same relationship happens with our cats. As aloof as your cat is, it depends on you for security and comfort.
I’ve heard stories of cat owners whose cats would just sit in a circle around them and stared while they ate.
The cats weren’t even keen on the food.
All they wanted was to be near their owners.
I experienced this firsthand as well when I was volunteering at my local shelter. Every time I entered a cage, a good 70-80% of the cats in there will surround me. Some wanted affection but the majority were just happy to lie around me as I sat on the floor with them.
It was always a bittersweet moment as I always wondered how many could eventually find a loving forever home.
You Are Officially An Affection Eater
Don’t be too alarmed if you have never heard of this term before, I doubt many cat owners have.
An affection eater is a cat that eats better if its owner is around. The cat will want the owner to sit there and watch it eat. Giving the cat pets together with gentle words of encouragement works well too.
Some affection eaters love it when being hand fed too. These affection eaters will stop eating the moment you step away.
This is called affection eating.
Now back to you.
You might be some the prefers eating alone but your cat doesn’t see it that way.
Your cat might not be able to paw feed you or stroke your head while you eat. But it will give your some loving with its cute stare and encouraging meows.
Your Cat Wants You To Hurry Up
This is going to be the reason 80% of the time that your cat stares while you eat.
It wants you to eat faster.
You had a long day at work and hadn’t had a bite to eat since breakfast but your cat can’t afford to go hungry for more than 36 minutes after its last nap.
Or it has been more than an hour since you last gave your cat a chin scratch.
All these issues are a matter of life and death to your kitty.
So chew and swallow faster, human!
Don’t be surprised if your cat watches you clean its litter box if you are taking your own sweet time.
Is It Ok If My Cat Watches Me Eat?
Definite not an issue if your cat loves watching you eat. They do tend to lose interest after a while given their short attention span.
The one thing that you need to take note of is whether your cats aren’t afraid to eat off your plate.
Some cats will put anything edible in its mouth first and bear with the consequences later. If you have such a cat, you need to make sure that your plate is covered.
You do not want your cat to ingest something that can be toxic to it.
Why Does My Cat Watch Me Pee?
I say this with as straight a face as possible that this isn’t a laughing matter for me. There’s nothing quite as scary as trying to do a number 1 in the middle of the night and seeing your cat’s reflection in the mirror staring right deep into your soul.
Yes, I know that closing the door can solve the problem.
But if you are at home alone, you can afford to leave the door open once in a while.
Maybe it’s the sound of my pee hitting the toilet bowl that makes my cat think that there is a giant fountain somewhere in the bathroom.