Slow blinks

Pandora trying to fit inside a small cardboard box…Okay, no blinking, but it’s a cute photo, hehe.

Have you ever tried blinking at your cat? I imagine you have, even without really knowing why.

Anyone who lives with cats cannot help but notice that sometimes they tend to narrow their eyes and blink at you. Or, if you blink at them, they will blink back. It’s impossible not to mimick the gesture. I myself have spent several minutes playing the blinking game with my cats, as follows: you blink (slowly) at cat. Cat blinks back at you. You blink again at cat. Cat blinks back. This game could go on for a while, until (usually) the cat gets bored, climbs into your lap, or wanders off to check out the food bowl. I have blinked at unfamiliar cats, too, and have at times received interesting reactions, all positive, of course.

Ah, I should explain that this “blinking” post was inspired by a very informative study I read today on cat-human blinking, a study carried out by a team of psychologists at the University of Sussex. You can read about it here:

It turns out that “slow blinks” is a way you can communicate with your cat on many levels…and even establish a bond with an unfamiliar cat. For a cat, apparently, blinking is like smiling. That, I did not know…

The University of Sussex study also shows that cats can tell if you are unhappy, and they will rub against you to make you feel better. I would add that cats become very loyal nurses when you are ill.

So much for the myth that cats are insensitive creatures! Hah!