Why Do Cats Stare at You While You Sleep?

You know you’re being watched, even though your eyes are closed. You smell a little bit of fishy breath and maybe hear a purr next to you. Instinctively, you open your eyes to discover your cat has been staring at you the whole time. 

Why do cats stare at you while you sleep? Cats stare at their human owners for several reasons. They find security and a bonding friendship in you and stare at you out of love or they sense you are about to wake up and want to know what your next move is. They could be hungry, anxious, or just checking on you to make sure you’re okay. 

Cats are more alert and perceptive than most people realize. Read the rest of the article to find out what they might be thinking when they stare at you while you sleep. 

How to Decipher a Cat’s Reasoning?

Since there could be many reasons for a cat staring at you while you are getting some shut-eye, it’s important to note the rest of the feline’s body language to figure out what they’re thinking. 

It’s Love

A cat that has a relaxed body language with his face near yours while he looks at you is probably happy and he’s just showing some love. You will know this is true if you see your kitty blink slowly at you. 

The slow blink is a cat’s way of saying how much they love you. They feel totally secure. 

Read: Are Bengal Cats High Maintenance?

He’s Angry

A cat who’s got a stiff body language, his tail moving and ears turned more to the side is a bit miffed at you. Did you change his litter box? Did you feed and water him? It’s best to check those things first. 

Read: Are Bengal Cats Social?

He’s Scared

A cat that lays low with his tail under his body, accompanied by that stare, means he’s frightened or anxious about something. Maybe there was a storm or he heard a noise and he’s looking to you for comfort. Pet and reassure him everything is okay. 

It’s a good idea in this situation to pay attention to your environment. Is there an ongoing storm or one predicted in the weather forecast? Your cat may sense one coming. 

Sometimes, they can predict storms or earthquakes a couple of hours ahead of when they occur. 

Your cat may have heard a noise in the house. Are his ears perked or does he move his head suddenly in a certain direction? If the answer is yes, that means he isn’t liking the situation and is trying to alert you. 

Read: Are Bengal Cats Active?

Cats Want Attention

A cat will find ways to get your attention. He’ll rub up against you or meow. Staring is another way to get your attention for whatever his needs are. 

The most obvious need after you wake up is feeding and most of the time, your cat is simply waiting for you to wake up to feed him. 

Cats can sense when we are ready to wake up so by our breathing, habits, and sunlight, so they wake up before us and just sit there waiting, staring, not wanting to force us up. 

While cats can’t tell time, they do understand the time of day and routine well. So, they know when you are supposed to get up and what is supposed to happen next. That could be feeding or playtime but they are ready for it.

Cats may also try to subtly wake you up with their eyes because they know you are about to oversleep. This is common for naps. They are done with the nap so they want you up. 

It may start with a stare and end up with a lick on the eyeball and a brush up against your head.

Read: Are Bengal Cats Aggressive With Other Cats?

Your Cat is Annoyed

However, there could be some other reasons for the stare. You could be invading their spot. Cats are habitual creatures and become annoyed if you start to cross over into their sleeping area.

A cat may try to expand to cover his spot so you can’t invade further and may be staring at you to notify you of your infraction. 

The cat may also be bored. Cats are night creatures and maybe your cat is having trouble sleeping so he stares at you.

Read: Bengal vs Savannah Cats: Everything You Should Know

You’re Cat Is Guarding You

Cats make great bed buddies but sometimes can cross boundaries. They may sense you aren’t sleeping well so they stare to make sure you’re okay. They may even get close to your nose and sniff to make sure you’re breathing and smelling normal!


Why do cats sleep at my feet?

Cats know they are more vulnerable while they sleep so they may sleep at the foot of the bed for safety so they can alert you if they feel there is a threat. 

Why do cats seem preoccupied with the bedroom door?

Cats do feel they need to protect you while you are sleeping and often tend to sleep where they can watch the bedroom door. This is to keep any prey away from you. You are part of their pride and this is their instinct. 

Read: Do Cats Need a Bed?

Do cats like sleeping with their owners?

Cats love sleeping in a place or with someone they can trust. Cats who choose to sleep with their owners are showing they trust them. Plus, you are a way to keep warm and cats love warmth. 

How do cats choose who to sleep with?

Cats like to sleep in places where they can get away quickly to hide if there’s a threat. They also pick people by smells, sounds and pick those whose nighttime sounds and scent comforts them. 

Do cats like sleeping under blankets?

Some cats like to sleep under blankets because it makes them feel safe. He may like the enclosed hidden space where he can relax. 

Other cats may feel contained if under a blanket and prefer to sleep in the open where they can easily leave if they want to.