I’ve seen a lot of people talk about this particular cat behavioural phenomenon. Actually, I’ve spoken about it quite a lot on this blog before: what I call the “slow blink.”
It’s that cute little stare-for-a-second, catch-eyes with you, essentially recognition-of-your-existence and then a slow shutting of the cats eyelids, usually settled on a tiny bit of their eyes remaining open with their cute pudgy cheeks just sort of sticking out ever so much from the tension of them not closing their eyes the whole way.
Sometimes they look like they’re almost falling asleep, other times they sit there with one eye squinted more than the other.
No matter how it goes, it’s a heart melt, and I’m not sure many would see this look and not realize it’s got a connection with calmness and happiness.
But honestly there’s more to it than that, and I’ve been slow blinked at by cats I know aren’t the most fond of me before, ones who won’t let me near them, or let me pet them, and are really not all that fond of humans in general, but will slow blink at me while they hang out in my garden.
Okay, but what’s it mean? I’m going to cut to the chase here and not bury the lead because if you’re wondering if it could be a cat’s way of saying “I love you” – yup, one of the top ways a cat uses to say they’re happy with you.
What it Means When Cats Close Their Eyes When They Look at You
If you see a cat doing a slow blink at you, here’s a few different things it means, although there are more, and if you’d like to share a story or a few more explanations, please be sure to do so in the comments below!
Oh and, if you’ve ever had this done to you and you’re wondering what the right way to respond is, it’s to slow blink back at that cat.
Not quickly blink, slowly… so the cat knows that blink was done on purpose.
Now, let’s get into what this all means!
Reason 1: The cat’s telling you they’re not a threat to you. That they come in peace.
Cats communicate with each other with slow blinks all the time.
See, staring at a cat isn’t the most ideal thing to do because a staring contest in the cat world is like a challenge for dominance, a fist-fight on steroids to see who the leader is.
Blink first or look away and you lose.
If a cat slow blinks at another cat, stares at that cat for a moment, but then slowly closes their eyes at the other cat, it’s to say, “Don’t worry, I’m not a threat to you.”
Same goes for slow blinking at you. The cat is saying they’re not challenging your dominance. They’re kinda tipping their hat to you in a, “We’re good” sort of way.
Reason 2: A cat closing their eyes when looking at you is communicating he or she is relaxed in your presence.
Now you gotta understand – cats aren’t calm and collected as a baseline around other cats or around humans or anything that might be construed as their potential enemy or predator or anything along those lines.
That calmness takes work for them cause their baseline is anxious and hyper vigilant, just in case something goes down.
There are cats that are stupendously calm and collected, but these aren’t the norm, and they’ve usually been socialized heavily, given a lot of attention from other cats and/or humans for most of their life.
But when a cat slow blinks at you, you know this cat is calm.
It doesn’t matter if that cat is not normally calm, if a cat is normally super suspicious of others, or if the cat is normally your best friend.
Any cat that’s staring at you then slowly closing their eyes is telling you they’re currently relaxed in your presence, and this means…
Reason 3: A cat slowly closing their eyes when looking at you is a cat that trusts you enough to be calm in your presence.
Again, cats are not like this as a baseline.
If a cat is doing the whole slow-blink thing, if they are slowly closing their eyes at you, it’s because they’re able to be calm enough to even nap in your presence.
That’s saying you’re A-OK in their books. Maybe even better than okay. Because there’s no way a cat’s going to be calm and chill enough around you unless you’ve passed their test of trust.
Your Thoughts on Cats Closing Their Eyes?
Have you experienced this cat behaviour a lot before? Do you experience it with only your cats or with other cats as well?
What do you think cats closing their eyes means? Do you think there are any meanings I should’ve included in my article?
Why do you think cats most commonly blink at humans? Do you think the meaning is different from cat to cat?
Would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any stories about this common cat behaviour in the comments down below!