Our furry feline friends seem to say a lot without saying anything at all. It’s all in the
subtleties and body language. So how do cats communicate with their eyes?
It seems our cats are little enigmas — just when we think we have them figured out, they turn the tables and leave us confused.
By now, we’ve figured out that when they expose their belly and look imploringly at you, they’re not asking for tummy rubs — they’re testing you.
We also understand that they may occasionally transform into furry little boomerangs of destruction for no apparent reason during a time we like to call their ‘mad half hour’.
But have you yet to decipher the mysteries of cat eye language? Short of actually talking, there’s only so much cats can do to communicate with you, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that they say an awful lot just through their expressive eyes. But how do cats communicate with their eyes? How can you tell the difference between “I love you, human” and “put your hand near me and I’ll fight it”?
We’re glad you asked! Let’s delve into the beautiful world of cat eyes.
Interested in cat body language? Discover why cats knead.
Why Cats Stare at You
When your cat is staring, unblinking, at you from a distance, this is a clear sign of dominance or control. At times, it might even be a sign of aggression. You’ll most likely notice this stare if your cat interacts with a new pet, particularly a dog. It’ll be accompanied by a large, bushy tail and slow, deliberate movements. With this unblinking stare, a cat can warn off people and pets, protect their territory and guard their food bowl.
Kitty Kisses — The Slow Blink
These slow eye blinks are our favourite. They’re a sure sign that your cat loves you and trusts you. In fact, they’ve become known as ‘kitty kisses‘, and if you get a series of slow, lazy eye blinks, consider it an honour from your beloved pet! Keep an eye out for partially-closed lids, a sleepy expression, and languid eye blinks. Try reciprocating with a slow blink of your own to share the love!
The Slit Pupil
If you see your cat’s pupils suddenly shrink to tiny slivers, take note! It’s a sign that something has caught their attention and they’re very interested. It might be prey; it might be a cat toy; it might be your hand. It may be something as simple as seeing their favourite pouch of cat food, or they may have found a stray bit of catnip. You’ll more than likely notice your cat is very alert at this time, its movements sharp and quick.
Most of the time, our furry companions are the cutest, sweetest things — and sometimes they’re downright scary. Your cat will use their eyes and body language to tell you whether it’s comfortable or irritated, playful or angry. If you notice your cat narrowing its eyes, flattening its ears and backing away, it’s a clear signal that they are on the defence. They are likely scared or intimidated, and at times like this, they need their space. Respect that and back away until they’re comfortable and ready to come to you.
While we have you — check out why cats purr
Eyes Wide Open
Wide, alert and open eyes are a sign of trust for cats. You’ll notice their pupils are still wide and undilated. When your cat is in a mood like this, they might even come to you for fuss or a head butt.
The Lazy Eye Squint
There is nothing lovelier than the lazy eye squint. Not quite a blink, not quite asleep, the squint is a content middle-ground between snoozing and awake. Your cat is at ease, comfortable and at peace with the world. Enjoy the company, the purring and the calm energy — before they start on their next manic energy spree.
Looking for ways to entertain your cat? Catipilla furniture is the way to go. To stay in the loop, sign up to our mailing list and be notified of new products and special offers straight to your inbox.