Stare at a cat long enough and you will likely catch her blinking longer and closing her eyes for a moment before opening it. Blinking slowly is a confusing habit, even for cat standards. Is it a form of communication? Are cats trying to express total contempt for humans? Do you have something in mind?
While animal experts cannot say conclusively, the slow flashing is probably a good thing. Speaking to Inverse, Mikel Delgado, a cat researcher at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, says that cats often express negative emotions by avoiding eye contact. If you are afraid or feel threatened, you will not stare. If they focus on something without blinking, they are likely to feel aggressive. Therefore, one way that cats can keep eye contact without signaling they are under attack is to blink.
It is also not a reflexive movement. Cats have been observed to blink in different ways, to close their eyes quickly, and to open slowly, while also deliberately closing and opening. In other words, the cat blinks the way it wants.
While it may not be an expression of love, it is probably a sign of satisfaction. If a cat feels comfortable near a person, closing your eyes is an indication that it does not have to monitor you as a possible threat.
But do cats care if we blink back? It̵
Theories about blinking are a process of elimination rather than a conclusive science, but in the absence of a cat’s certificate, this must be done.
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