Cat Body Language: Eyes
Our cats are constantly sending us signals through body language. To the untrained eye, certain movements and expressions seem to contain no hidden message. But if you look carefully, you’ll see your kitty has so much to say to you! A cat’s body language speaks volumes– sometimes far louder than any meow or hiss could. Cat owners can learn to interpret their kitty’s nonverbal communication. Here at And My Cat, we’re going to decode the feline mind by zeroing in on a few types of cat body language. Today we’re focusing on the eyes. What can you learn by looking into your kitty’s beautiful, expressive irises? Read on!
Slow Blinking: When your cat feels safe and comfortable, she’ll blink slowly, explains pet expert Tracie Hotcher, author of The Cat Bible. It’s a sign of trust. Who knew!
Constricted Pupils: If your cat is feeling tense or angry, his pupils may constrict, according to Cat Behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett.
Dilated Pupils: On the other end of the spectrum, if your cat’s pupils start to look like saucers, he’s probably feeling surprised, stimulated, or a little frightened.
Half-Closed Eyes: You know the look– when your cat’s feeling super content, those eyelids start to droop and he drifts off into a reverie. Half-closed eyes mean your kitty is feeling relaxed and trusting!
Staring: Does your kitty have an intense gaze? If you notice him locking eyes with another cat (or you) and barely blinking, it’s a sort of threat. Prolonged eye contact in felines is a way of demonstrating assertiveness and inspiring fear.
Avoiding Eye Contact: If your cat shies away from eye contact, there’s no need for concern. This is fairly typical feline behavior, explains veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker. Eye contact can feel like an invasion of personal space for some kitties, and while many become comfortable with gazing into their owners’ eyes, they’re less comfortable doing so with strangers.
What’s the best way to communicate with your kitty using your own eyes? Dr. Becker suggests mimicking your kitty’s body language! Instead of looking straight at your kitty with eyes wide open, start by blinking slowly, looking at your cat with eyes unfocused, half-closed. Most cats will be appreciative of the gesture and interpret your blinking and eye contact as a sign of trust.
*From our wonderful feline friends from AND MY CAT*