Cats and Eye Contact

Why do cats avoid direct eye contact?
I have been asked this many times, during my time watching other people’s cats or while helping with hand raising kittens. Direct eye contact with any cat as I learned from veterinarians and cat specialists, is a dominance or sense of threat issue. Most cats if not all dislike direct eye contact.

Cats in some aspect are a solitary species, in most cases they are the dominant thinking animal in a household. There are techniques that can be used to win over your cat, one of which, many know since the show “My Cat From Hell” came out on Animal Planet. Is blinking very slowly, if the cat should return your stare with the exact same slow blink, then they love you.

However, as I have written previously – Cats show their affection in other ways, such as head bunting or nibbling your nose, ears and or toes. Avoiding direct eye contact is a normal behaviour for many cats.

Yet, there are other quirky things about cats. You ever notice when a friend or family member who dislikes cats is staying over and your cat automatically seems attracted to this. Generally, it is because those that dislike cats will not make eye contact, so the cats see this as non-threatening and non-dominant behaviour.

Cats love being dominant in their own way.

Yet cats, like with any companion animal are there as a friend. They may not be as loyal as a dog, yet they can sense when things are going awry in your life and will comfort you. When many people take cats for granted by disregarding them as nothing but pests, it breaks my heart to see or even hear how some humans just abandoned them at shelters.

Companions or any animal are not something you give as a “present” during holidays or birthdays. Remember this next time you go out to buy or even adopt a companion animal for someone else.

However, as an advocate I am more for ADOPTING than buying a companion, especially when there are shelter animals dying on a daily basis.

Adopt don’t shop.


Published by

The Guardian - Gwen Cho

Vocal and Active for animal rights and welfare. I work with the animal welfare community offline and I am new to journalism. I'm also a volunteer at NYC no-kill shelters as well as humanitarian shelters.

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