Have you ever woken up to find your cat staring at you? If so, you are not alone. Many pet parents say their cat watches them sleep. Some owners find it cute and think their cat is protecting them, while others are a bit worried. One of the most common questions veterinarians receive is why does my cat watch me sleep?
Cat owners worldwide are interested and curious to find out why their cats are watching them sleep. The truth is there are several reasons your cat is staring at you at night. It’s up to you to determine the cause since you know your cat best.
Before you begin your investigation into why your cat is watching you sleep, consider they are crepuscular animals. This means they naturally are awake and active at dawn and dusk. There’s a chance they are just awake before you and are watching you sleep or not.
Continue reading to find out more information about why your cat is staring at you while you sleep.
Why Does My Cat Watch Me Sleep?
As mentioned earlier, there are various reasons your cat is staring at you while you sleep.
The following reasons are the most common:
Your cat is bonded with you – Your cat has emotions too, and there’s a big chance they feel connected to you. Cats that care for their pet parents often protect them from other animals.
This means your adorable fluffy cat loves you so much they stay awake at night to guard you against predators they feel are dangerous to you. It’s an instinct for cats to defend their territory, and that includes you.
Your sleep behavior: Do you toss and turn at night? Are you mumbling in your sleep? You might be making noises caused by teeth grinding, groans, and snoring that capture your cat’s attention. There’s a possibility you might be the one waking them up, and they are staring at you to try to figure out why you are making so many noises.
Another possibility is if your legs and arms twitch under the blankets, your cat might think prey such as a mouse or lizard is running around underneath the blanket, and it encourages them to catch the prey.
Your cat wants food – Your cat could be hungry and is waiting for you to get up and make them their breakfast. If your cat cries and meows while staring at you, there is a chance they are trying to get your attention for a reason. Most cats know their owners provide their food, and they just want you to wake up and feed them immediately. Consider and automatic cat feeder if you think this is the case.
Your cat feels anxious – Cats are sensitive little creatures that feel anxiety for a variety of reasons. Common causes of stress in cats include illness, a new addition to the family, loud noises, or changes to the house’s physical appearance. This means if you just got new furniture, welcomed a baby or new pet into the household, your cat might be feeling nervous about the changes.
Boredom – Cats tend to stare at objects of interest when they are bored. Your cat might find you to be interesting while you sleep for no apparent reason. You might be a sound sleeper that provides plenty of room for your cat to cuddle up with you and sleep side by side, but your cat stays wide awake to watch you.
What keeps my cat awake at night?
When cats live in the wild, they are up all night hunting and sleeping all day. As domestic pets, they have the opportunity to sleep day or night as much as they desire.
The following are reasons your cat is awake at night:
- Your cat might have a lot of energy left over from the day. This means they lack enrichment, exercise, and stimulation from their daily life. Your cat is most likely awake at night because they want to play and have fun to burn off their energy.
- Your cat is home alone too much and is looking for companionship from you.
- They might be thirsty or hungry and want a snack. Think about how awful it feels to fall to sleep with an empty stomach. Your cat experiences the same thing from time to time.
- Your schedules don’t match anymore. Did you start going to work earlier than usual? Or, did you start a new daily regimen that has changed your sleep pattern? If so, your cat could still be operating on your old schedule and can’t seem to fall to sleep at the same time you do now.
- Your cat’s litter pan or bedding is different, and your cat doesn’t like it. Did you just buy your sweet kitty a new bed? Well, they might not select the new option and need time to adjust to their new bedding.
- Sometimes your cat is upset because their litter box is so full they can’t use it anymore. Disruption of their daily life and necessities causes stress that keeps them awake all night.
- There is a hidden illness your cat is trying to tell you about. Cats have excellent skills at hiding their feelings. Your cat could be awake at night because they don’t feel good and they can’t sleep.
- Has your cat displayed any symptoms of illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, dilated pupils, mood changes, using their voice more often than usual, changes in appetite, sudden weight loss or gain, and trouble breathing?
- A veterinarian visit is recommended to rule out any serious health issues such as hyperthyroidism, arthritis, and high blood pressure.
As a pet parent, you know your cat the best. Consider all of the possibilities and reasons your cat is awake at night and watching you sleep. Your first task is to rule out illness. A visit to the veterinarian’s office for an exam will rule out any possible health issues causing the issue.
Next, you need to consider if your cat is hungry, bored, or lacks exercise. Make sure your cat has plenty of mental stimulation during their active hours of the day. Provide plenty of toys, food, water, and snacks to help keep them busy.
Consider the fact that it might be you. This is difficult to accept, but your loud snoring, mumbling, and teeth grinding could be the reason your cat is awake and hovering over you at night.
As you check off each possibility from the list, make sure you provide a healthy and safe environment for your cat. Provide a cozy warm place to sleep and a healthy lifestyle to help your cat sleep at night. Visit the PetStruggles homepage for more expert information & advice.