All cat owners have felt it at some point. You’re doing some work around the house or cooking dinner when you suddenly feel like you’re being watched. You turn and there’s your cat, glaring at you. And there’s always a whiff of judgment in their eyes.
Reddit user u/johnny_d_92 has been experiencing just this recently, to the point whereby he took to reddit to express his disquiet.
His post on r/cats, which has been upvoted more than 12,000 times, states: “Advice needed: how do I stop my cat from looking at me like she is judging my every move?” The responses he received were as entertaining as they were enlightening.
“Do better at whatever it is that you’re doing,” u/Fanky_Spamble wrote, prompting the OP (original poster) to respond: “Lol. Nothing is working.”
U/johnny_d_92, whose real name is John DelSignore, lives north of Pittsburgh and told Newsweek that he has three cats. Comet, the cat in the post, is 9-years-old.
“This has been somewhat wild. I just thought it was a funny picture and I was jokingly asking for ‘advice’ on how I can make my cat stop judging me,” he said. “There are so many posts on r/cats that ask ‘why does my cat do X’ when ‘X’ is a very normal cat behavior. So I thought my post was humorous and it just blew up.”
Some users suggest a problem-solving approach to the cat’s behavior. For example, u/NeitherTouch951 opined: “Either you’re not providing her a lap OR you are sitting where she wants to sleep. You’re either her bed or you’re blocking her bed. Those are the likely issues.”
Another user, u/reddogleader, asked: “Are you out of ‘Temptations’ cat treats by any chance? You DO have them with arms reach, right?”
“In this image is a cat who wants attention,” u/Phylar chimed in.
Among the less helpful responses were those of u/annie_bean, who wrote “The problem is that cats think you suck at being a cat, and they’re right,” and u/sweetalkersweetalker, who wrote “Or get a dog instead.”
Of course, reddit’s cat lovers also came out in droves, with comments more amenable to the cat in question. They include u/ThepowerofTen, who wrote “Pay tribute with many, many treats. And toys,” and u/Medical-One9202, who added, “And numerous cat towers!”
OP isn’t alone in feeling bewildered by his cat’s glaring, according to a study published in 2019 in the journal animal welfare. Researchers examined the ability of over 6,300 individuals to identify emotions in the expressions of cats. They found that the vast majority of people scored very poorly in the test, with most getting just under 60 percent correct. However, 13 percent of participants were “significantly successful at identifying the valence of cats’ states,” with scores of higher than 75 percent correct.
These individuals may be better suited to become veterinarians or work with animals in other ways. But it appears that none of them tuned in to r/cats the day that u/johnny_d_92 posted his query.
“Congratulations, you have a cat! This is their primary function,” commented u/DystopianNightmare.
User u/seijeezy suggested that OP “Kiss on forehead and tell her she is baby.”
Update 4/29/22, 3:30 am EDT: This article has been updated to include comments from the OP U/johnny_d_92 and a photo of Comet the cat.