Why do cats stare into people's souls?

Cats seem to like staring people down. Why do they do this?

Because they want to explore our souls before they taste our flesh.

Because they can.

There are two things cats do that confuse people visually.

The first thing is when cats seem to startle or not recognize their people right away, like from across a room or down the hall. Sometimes they don’t seem to realize it’s their person until we talk to them. Cat vision has more rods than cones, so they see better in low light and see movement better than people do, but their acuity is not as good at people’s. So they see you, a human figure, but don’t recognize your face from a distance as well as another person would. Sometimes they might not realize it’s you until you talk to them or they recognize your footsteps.

The second thing cats do is communicate with their eyes. It’s part of kitty “language” to look at each other, and in sequence you, and blink at each other slowly. This slow blink is a communication that they are comfortable, content, and you should be too. If you slow-blink back at them, they will return the blink, close their eyes, or look away while remaining relaxed, or even relax more by laying down if they were sitting. Around here, we call it “giving lovey eyes.”

Because they find human masturbation disgusting.

Yes, indeed.

Aren’t domestic cats basically “infantilized”? Meaning they retain the behavior that in other feline species disappears by adulthood?

Like purring, rubbing, etc? Couldn’t this just be another bonding behavior between mother and kitten?

My daughter tells me that in the wild, cats do not meow. Meowing is what kittens do to communicate with their mothers. They do it to humans because we do not understand their body language.

I always thought it was because it got them a response. My youngest feline didn’t start to meow until he caught on that the others got attention when they meowed.

One of my previous cats (RIP, Shaney) would meow in response to me speaking. We’d have conversations like this…

Me: What’s that girl?
S: Meow!
Me: Timmy’s in the well?
S: Mrrrrow!
Me: And he needs our help?

She’d also weigh in when I was on conference calls from home.

Oh, yes. We have a talker, too. She will have nice extended conversations with me that make my daughter laugh and laugh…

The boycat isn’t so chatty, but he does say “Water?” when he wants a drink from the sink. Okay, it’s more like “Mrawe-owr?” but you can’t expect a cat to master the Chicago dialect all at once.

Because they do not approve.

Since we have no idea if cats are staring into people’s souls, let’s move this one from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, moderator

Translation: “Screw the little brat, he doesn’t share his ice cream.”

They’re trying to decide if tonight is the night they kill you in your sleep and devour you…or if that’s too much of a bother just right now.

I believe that it is interior decorating.
“You painted the kitchen beige? God G-d, man, the appliances are arctic white!”