Why Your Cat Is Avoiding Eye Contact

A cat’s eyes can tell a lot about its emotional and mental state, so a cat that’s avoiding eye contact definitely has something to say.

Sure, cats are known for being independent creatures that do their own thing most of the time but avoiding eye contact isn’t a regular part of a cat’s aloofness routine.

Your cat is avoiding eye contact because it wants you to leave it alone. Cats also avoid eye contact since, in their feline world, direct eye contact is seen as a threat. Since cats cannot communicate verbally as humans do, they rely a lot on body language and facial expressions to communicate with their human partners.  

So what have you done to make your cat mad enough that he or she wants you to leave him or her alone? Or are they just needing some independence?

Our own cats typically avoid eye contact with us when they know that they’ve done something naughty (that we would tell them off for).

Read on to find out all you need to know about why your cat is avoiding eye contact.

What Is My Cat Telling Me When It Avoids Eye Contact?

Now you know that your cat either wants to be left alone, or they’re avoiding eye contact with you because they’re not in a threatening mood.

But how do you know which of these pertains to your cats’ mood? Let’s dive in and find out.

Cat Is Uneasy And Wants To Be Left Alone

Perhaps one of the most important reasons cats are great pets is that they are cute, with their round face and enormous eyes. Maybe a little too cute since they incite owners to cuddle and play with them all the time.

But have you ever considered that your cat might not be in the mood, or do you automatically assume that they should be willing and ready to play every time you are?

This may be hard to believe, but despite their fluffy and furry appearance, cats aren’t the biggest snuggle bugs. They only like a good cuddle on their own terms. Although some of you might already know that if you have a cat with a bold personality.

When they’re in this solitary mood, they let you know via behavior and facial expressions since they can’t communicate verbally.

So when your cat refuses to look you in the eye, it simply means that your pet wants to be left alone.

Most cat owners, engrossed in a playful attitude, usually miss this sign, causing the feline to get even more aggravated. In a more desperate attempt to be left alone, your cat companion may scratch your hand as a second warning sign. If this happens, stop moving altogether for a while, then give your cat some space.

Other actions by cats that want to be left alone:

  • Crouching
  • Sudden grooming
  • Turning ears back
  • Dilating pupils
  • Tail flicking

Instead of cuddling with your favorite pet, try showing your affection in different ways.

For instance, when a cat slows blinks in your direction, that means that it trusts you, so if you blink slowly at your cat, it will interpret it the same way.

Since cats love to be in control, they would most likely want to establish the first contact with you. In this case, all you have to do is hang back, relax and let your cat come to you. You get cuddles, and the cat gets to feel in control, so it is a win-win situation.

Direct Eye Contact Is Threatening

When cats avoid staring into your eyes, it is not necessarily a bad thing or something to be concerned about.

To your feline companion, staring into one’s eyes is a sign of aggression and dominance and basically means that the one staring is trying to control the other.

This unblinking stare that humans desperately long for is usually used by our feline friends to fight for dominance when it comes to essential resources such as food, access to the litter box, and territorial rights. A cat’s unwavering stare will notify its neighboring cats that it is in control and to keep its distance. Knowing this, it is better if your family pet strays away from your eyes.

If your cat displays aggression towards you, your options are the same as if it is uneasy and wants to be left alone: try slow blinking to win over your cat.

You may also want to reinforce positive behaviors for your cat by rewarding your family pet for non-aggressive behaviors. Also, to rid your cat of its aggressive behavior, you can try to put its attention on something like its favorite treat or toy.

Punishing your pet can cause more harm since it can cause the cat to become more aggressive and also damage your owner/pet relationship. This includes spritzing your friend with water or the silent treatment. If your cat’s aggression is beyond your control, the best solution to this problem is to contact a vet.

Cats Body Language

Cats’ means of communicating with their human companions are unique, as like many other animals.

They sometimes use sounds to speak for them. Other times they use their entire bodies to convey what they want to say. It is up to their human companion to interpret and address this behavior accordingly.

Other ways your cat shows displeasure, besides eye contact:

  • If your cat growls, hisses, or spits at another cat or animal, your cat is upset.
  • A slit eye means that it is frightened, which you should hope for over aggression. At least if it is frightened, you can comfort it.
  • A long and whiny meow usually means that your cat is hungry. In this case, you should immediately feed your pet friend.
  • Cats are sometimes known to be a little mischievous. Stealing to get attention and knocking things over out of curiosity is natural behaviors of your feline friend. It might seem a little counterproductive to reward destructive behavior, but a little attention wouldn’t hurt.
  • I bet you thought humans were the only ones that hum, right? Cats hum to get attention when they are anxious and hungry. So if you hear this musical sound from your companion, try to figure out which one of these it is trying to convey.
  • During the mating season, you may also hear loud rhythmic sounds from your feline friend. If your cat is female, it is most likely offering itself to a male nearby. The males use these calls, however, to fight with each other over females.

How your cat displays affection or contentment:

  • If your cat makes a short meow, one that sounds happy, then it is saying hello to you. Respond by greeting it with a hello as well. Feel privileged to know that cats don’t meow to other cats, only to their human owners. 
  • If you notice your cat relax its whiskers and move ears forward before. This is a sign that your cat is relaxed. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done if this is normal behavior for your cat.
  • If you hear purring, then most of the time, your companion is contented. Although purring can also mean that your cat is ill, in pain, or in the most extreme case, dying.
  • Your favorite little feline shows affection with their sleepy eyes and blinking.
  • Some cat owners dread the infamous kneading where cats sometimes extend their claws, causing owners to interpret this as negative behavior. This is not true as your cat is simply happy and comfortable with you. Cats knead as kittens and associate kneading with this happy time in their lives.
  • When your cat sniffs your face, do not be alarmed because it is simply verifying your identity as its owner. Don’t be surprised either if it rubs itself on you. Your feline companion sometimes uses its scent glands to mark you as part of its territory since your scent may have altered while you were out for the day.

Why Is My Cat Breaking Eye Contact?

When your cat avoids eye contact, it is simply using its behavior to let you know it needs some space. Respect your feline companion’s wishes by showing it affection in other ways and letting it come to you. This should improve your owner-pet relationship.