Does your Maine Coon cat often stare at you or other household cats? The answer is probably, “Yes,” because staring is an integral part of a cat’s communication repertoire. We explain how to understand this particular form of cat body language.
Maine Coons stare for a whole variety of reasons, such as keeping alert for danger. However, when your Maine Coon stares at you it’s often trying to will you to feed it or is simply fascinated by what you’re doing. So the first thing to do if your cat is staring at you is check it has some food!
If you’ve ever tried to beat your Maine Coon in a staring contest you’ll know it’s impossible to. When your cat stares at you, is it trying to convey the same message as when it stares at another cat?
Why your Maine Coon cat stares at you
It wants you to feed it
When a Maine Coon is hungry it will usually emit a clear meow and then stare intently at you, without blinking. This stare will continue until you take the hint. As soon as you move towards the kitchen, your cat will follow and you’ll probably be able to sense a pair of almond eyes burning into your back as you prepare it a meal. It won’t take its eyes off you in case you fail in your mission. It’s almost as if your cat believes it is using stare-power to control your actions.
It’s just fascinated by what you’re doing
You are the center of your Maine Coon’s universe and it is naturally interested in everything you do. Therefore it will often watch you closely as you go about your activities. Your cat would hate to miss out on anything, such as a treat or a chance to be nosey.
Have you noticed how you can’t pop into your kitchen without a four-legged chaperone? Your cat could probably make you a coffee due to the number of times it has watched your every move as you prepare a cup.
If you visit the bathroom I bet your Maine Coon has to come too and then just stares silently at you all the while you’re in there. Our red tabby Maine Coon, Harry, can’t bear it if we don’t allow him in. He meows pitifully at the door. We now make sure we don’t shut him out as it’s unbearable. He just sits in the basin and stares at us until we’ve finished whatever we went in for. Then we have to wash our hands in the bathtub because he won’t move from his spot in the basin until we leave the room.
Staring is one of the key methods a Maine Coon uses to silently communicate with people. We all know how vocal this cat can be, but staring is a more subtle way in which one tells us that it wants something.
It loves and trusts you
A cat staring and then slowly blinking is a sign of affection. You should blink back to let it know the feeling is mutual. For a cat to blink shows great trust in you as it is momentarily letting down its guard and giving a sign that it feels totally safe in your presence.
Other reasons for staring
Maine Coons, like all cats, are territorial creatures and they dislike strange cats entering their space. When a cat stares at another cat it is behaving in a domineering manner. It’s conveying a silent message to the intruder to leave the area. If the dominant cat doesn’t succeed in seeing the other cat off with a stare, a short spat or full-on fight can result.
Maine Coons can stare for a very long time without blinking. It’s a useful ability that allows them to keep a close eye on any prey they are hunting. Our eyes need the regular lubrication that results from blinking and for this reason, we are no match in a staring contest with a cat!
This is something you may notice in older cats. When he was about 14 years old, our Maine Coon, Charlie used to sit on the coffee table and seemingly stare at us. When we slow blinked at him, he didn’t slow-blink back. At first, we thought, “How rude,” but then realized he wasn’t focussing on us but was sort of daydreaming.
Maine Coons are great at staring. Whether its because they want food, attention or are just interested in what you are doing is something you will learn to decipher with time.
If you’ve ever wondered why Maine Coons are so vocal, we explain why in Why Do Maine Coons Talk So Much?