I get this question a lot. Why is my cat slowly blinking at me.
Why is my cat squinting her eyes at me.
So once and for all let me answer the question to what does a cat’s slow blink mean?
In order to understand why do cats slow blink at you first-hand need to understand the basics of how cats communicate.
I have created an elaborate post for this but let me iterate the key points as to what are the basic framework of cat communication.
I created an elaborate post here that sheds light on how cats might have learnt our ways and even developed a tendency that can be used to enhance our relationship with them.
So, the best way I think I can help you explain how cats communicate is by telling how they don’t.
Never do the mistake of thinking cats communicate the same way as dogs.
As a matter of fact, just the other day I was watching a video by Jackson Galaxy.
A couple called them for help to try and fix their cat.
When Jackson arrives and asks them to tell them how they communicate with their cat, the man started playing with the cat by playing with her roughly.
You know how you would play with your dog.
You dog likes it rough.
If you be gently rough to him, he responds playfully and you can kinda push him around and you know make him run here and there.
Please don’t try to rough up your cat you will have scratches all over your arms and legs.
And what’s worse is you will inculcate bad behaviours in her.
Here are a few pointers that you need to have in mind,
- A cat’s tail is a big indicator of what is going through a cat’s mind.
- Cat’s are incredibly moody; you have to feel the energy before you approach them.
- Just because a cat doesn’t show her affection like a dog doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you.
- Learn different cat sounds and how they use it for communication.
- Showing you her belly is the highest form of affection a cat will probably show to you.
- Cats bringing dead mouse or a dead bird to you means she sees you as her own family who is a bit clumsy and incapable of taking care of yourselves. How lovely is that.
- Never force anything on cats, if they wish to communicate let them do it in their own terms.
I just felt I need to put out some of these basic communication situations every cat owners or anyone fascinated by cats must be aware of.
Because when you know the basic ground of how cats are how they communicate then you can have that ahaa moment when you learn what is it that cats are trying to say when they slow blink at you and why say dogs don’t do that.
When a cat slow blinks at you or slowly squints her eyes at you, it means they are comfortable around you.
But not all slow blinks are the same.
Cats also blink to clear dirt on the surface of their eyes by spreading their tears. However, this action is relatively quick and is very different from the relaxed slow blinks your cat often gives you.
The kind of slow blink we are talking about here usually happens when a cat is relaxed, possibly well fed, not excited or agitated.
When a cat slow blinks at you like that it means that she is happy and relaxed in your presence.
While cats are predators in the animal kingdom, that doesn’t mean they are not victims in the wild.
And a combination of both of these instincts I think is the reason why cats are masters of subtle body language and movements.
However, an act of slow blinking is as loud as it gets from a cat trying to communicate that she is feeling very content in your presence.
Jackson Galaxy, I know you must be familiar with him, he is a cat behaviour expert and host of the hit show my cat from hell, actually says that a cat that is slow blinking at you is saying I Love You.
On many occasions if you watch his episodes on YouTube, he uses this technique to befriend them and actually try and train the cats to come out of the developed bad behaviours.
Jackson says, when a cat is slowly blinking or squinting her eyes at you, she is wholly opening up to you in affection and expressing her love by being vulnerable in front of you.
Cats slow blink not only at their humans but also at their feline friends.
A slow blink therefore is a sure sign that your cat loves and trusts you whole heartedly.
Every cat parent wants that hear that now isn’t it.
So the automatic next question that comes is
Well, you don’t.
You don’t want someone to forcefully love you now do you?
Just care for her. See what she needs and ensure she is felling safe around you.
When you do that she will automatically give the I Love You blink to you.
Now if you try and forcefully try to get the slow blink these are the things you may most likely do.
Try and approach her with overly amounts of affection. Looking at how unbelievably cute and adorable they are you may want to pick them up, hug them or even try to kiss them in quick succession.
This is the worst thing that you can do to get the slow blink out of your cat.
On the contrary, you will freak her out.
See, that is why I had to lay out all those communication pointers before we discussed why do cats slow blink at you.
Because you must never try to force anything out of your cats. They don’t like that at all.
Plus, cats are very perceptive of when your eyes have a compassionate expression to them or a confrontational aspect to them.
Trying to get them to slow blink by incessantly just looking at them can be perceived as a threat.
So never ever try and force a slow blink out of them.
Just let her relax, feed her well, remove any aspects from her ecosystem that may try to make her nervous or excited and before you know it.
There is the slow blink of love being thrown at your way.
So, I share a common compassionate love for all animals and cats were no different for me.
I love them, adored them, occasionally pet them if I could and if I could find a friendly cat around me.
You know but something changes when you actually get a cat.
And my oh my without me asking I got 3.
For some reason mama cat left her three kittens at my door step and didn’t return.
At the time they were kittens and maybe I didn’t observe but I think kittens don’t slow blink or blink very less.
But one day after getting fed one of them just comes and sits beside me giving me a soft content stare.
And she started slowly blinking at me.
I saw her and didn’t think much about it. I thought she is just sleepy given the fact that cats sleep like all the time.
At that time, I didn’t know that was her way of saying thank you.
Why am I telling you is because I think the most important thing here is to ensure that our pets are properly taken care of with love and compassion.
And maybe this will sound a little weird to you but the best care happens when we are not expecting any kind of love back from our pets or even humans.
And living beings are very capable of sensing this unconditional love and have their unique ways of expressing it back.
Humans do that by smiling back at you.
Dogs start wagging their tails.
And cats as unique as they are slow blink at you.
To each their own I guess.
Take great care of yourselves and your cat and I will see you in the next one.