Why Do Cows Stare at You? (7 Reasons)

Why Do Cows Stare at You

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Have you ever caught a cow staring right in your eyes? Have you ever wondered why cows stare a lot? Or tired to win a staring contest from a cow that you ended up losing? Well, cows keep their stare game on point all the time.

Cow’s stare seems funny in the beginning but when it keeps going on for minutes, it starts bothering us.

We begin questioning if there’s an issue. If there’s an issue or not, that can only be judged when we know why cows stare in the first place.

Why Do Cows Stare at You?

Whether it’s domestic or wild animals, animals simply have a reason to stare. The animals do not stare just because they have got nothing to do, there is always one or more legitimate reasons.

Most of the time, these animals stare to judge if the human or the fellow animal poses a threat or not.

The powerful wild animals stare might be different but 90% of the time prey animals are staring to judge whether the animal or human is a threat or not?

Cows are categorized as prey animals, most of the time they are starting to judge if the human or animal poses a threat or not.

Moreover, they can also stare for the following other reasons as well:

  • They stare to get attention: Domestic animals like cats, dogs, horses, and cows need your undivided love and attention. They can not tell how much they adore you but express it through a million ways; licking your face or hands, communicating with moos and lowing, sprinting around, and staring directly in the eyes cutely.
  • They stare to recognize: Cows have a really good memory and they recognize familiar faces quite fast. Cows often stare when they notice a group of humans hanging out nearby. They stare to recognize the familiar faces and to judge if the unfamiliar ones pose a threat or not.
  • They stare because cows are naturally inquisitive: One legitimate reason why cows might stare at you is “curiosity”. Cows are naturally curious, exploratory, and inquisitive, they often stare to analyze the social and physical environment.
  • They stare to express love and appreciation: It’s not just the dogs or the cats that show love and appreciation. The few farm animals, even those who can not be kept as a pet, have a habit of showing love and appreciation as well. Making noises, licking, jumping, and sprinting around are not the only ways of getting attention or expressing love. Cows also stare at their keepers sometimes to admire the bond they share.
  • They stare for food: Cows do stare at humans, they give undivided attention to every unusual thing around them. They stare at the unusual objects to confirm whether it’s food or a threat. They are trying to decide whether they should maintain distance or not? Moreover, when cows get hungry and their feeders are empty they often stare at the livestock keeper. When a hungry cow stares at livestock keepers endlessly she is trying to figure out if he has got the grass in their hands or if the food is about to be served or not?
  • They stare to keep an eye on predators: Before being domesticated, cows lived on the plains of Africa and the Eurasian Steppe. There they were never out of the danger zone even for a few seconds of the day. These domestic animals can not defend themselves against predators at all. So, they prefer staying alert and getting themselves out of the danger zone before things get out of control. Since humans can be cows’ biggest predators that’s one of the reasons why cows keep the stare game on point.
  • They stare to attack: This gentle farm animal can not only stare to express love, analyze the environment, recognize, or get attention. They stare to attack as well. Cows are super protective of their babies if someone tries to mess around with their calves, they stare, analyze the situation, and run to attack.

So, these were the few reasons why a cow can stare at you. This staring contest does not just happen between a cow and a human.

They happen to stare at their fellow cows and other farm animals as well. The said animal stare cows and fellow animals to

  • Communicate: It’s not only humans that can communicate. The animals have been blessed with communication ability. It’s just that they communicate a little differently; by staring at each other, moving heads, and making weird sounds. Cows happen to communicate with fellow animals as well, especially cows. They stare to communicate and understand the emotions of their fellow animals.
  • Attack: It’s not just the humans that can pose a threat to the cow’s calves. Moreover, an animal can also be a threat to the cow as well. If an animal appears as a threat, they start to gear up for the attack.
  • Disapprove: Cows do not mind having multiple animals in the herd. They appreciate grazing with other farm animals. It must be kept in mind that if cows can approve animals in the herd, they can disapprove as well. The disapproved animal always gets a deadly stare.


Animals stare a lot and cows are one of them. The cow’s stare seems funny in the beginning but it gets creepy in a minute. Cows can stare for a variety of good and some alarming reasons.

Cows stare to get attention, recognize, express love and appreciation, search for food, and to keep an eye on predators.

These were some good reasons why this poor animal stare, they can stare to attack(if the human pose a threat to the calf or cow herself) as well. Cows stare at fellow animals as well mostly to communicate, attack, or disapprove.

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