How Do Cats Know to Make Eye Contact?

by Leslie Carver, Demand Media
    These gorgeous eyes can communicate with other cats and even with you.

    These gorgeous eyes can communicate with other cats and even with you.

    Eye contact and eye movement are ways of communication for cats. Staring and blinking even help cats claim territory. They also use their gaze to communicate their feelings for their human parents. If you know what to look for, you can see your furbaby saying, "I love you."

    Submission

    Rival cats stare each other down as intimidation. If one of them blinks, it signals that he's giving in. If neither blinks, the confrontation can escalate into swatting at each other or wrestling, all while maintaining eye contact.

    Watching for Predators

    Cats sometimes open and close one eye sequentially while drifting in or out of sleep. This is a means of watching for predators, probably an instinct that begain with their wild ancestors.

    Communicating They're Not a Threat

    If a cat makes eye contact without meaning it as a threat, he blinks and narrows his eyes. This is because he made eye contact accidentally and is not being aggressive.

    Affection

    Cats often blink when they look at their human parents. They're communicating affection. Slow, lingering blinks are their way of saying, "I love you." According to WebMD Pets, "In the feline world, closing one’s eyes in the presence of another is the ultimate sign of trust."

    About the Author

    Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.

    Photo Credits

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