What Does it Mean When a Cat Winks at You?
For a creature known for its aloof indifference to humanity in general, cats are among the most popular animals in videos, memes, and photos.
Their faces reflect a plethora of moods, expressions, and attitudes, ranging from cool apathy, goofy playfulness, or intense concentration, to snarling rage or excessive affection.
In reality, cat behavior and facial expressions actually have meaning beyond a desire to exhibit the obvious superiority of the feline species.
Is there something in your cat’s eye, or is she flirting with you?
Everyone knows that if a cat hisses or snarls, one should get out of the way! And of course, purring or rubbing against human legs is taken as a sign of acceptance or even love. But what does it mean if a cat winks at a human?
Actually, a slow wink is a sign of affection from your cat. In a 2015 article for CBS News, Dr. Gary Weitzman, author of the National Geographic book, How to Speak Cat, explains that a cat’s wink is a sign of friendship and trust.
A winking kitty is showing affection and feels comfortable and safe in your presence.
Cats are aloof because they are wondering if they can trust you.
In the wild, cats show aggression through direct eye contact. When cats have friendly intentions towards one another, they avoid looking at each other directly in the eyes, because cats regard eye contact as threatening and hostile.
Myrna Milani, DVM, an animal behaviorist, tells Pets.webMD that wide pupil and a direct stare reveals a cat who is visually trying to take in as much information as possible.
A cat who is staring at you may be deciding whether or not you are hostile. Or, she may be deciding whether or not to eat you. You’ll find out in a minute.
Why do cats seem to shower affection on anyone in the room who hates cats?
It is a well-known fact that a cat will head for the person in the room who likes cats the least. This is usually because that person is the most likely to avoid eye-contact with the cat!
By not looking at the feline, he or she wrongly thinks the cat will know she is not wanted and stay away.
Because someone is ignoring the feline, however, she feels that there is no threat involved and is comfortable.
This is why so many people who are allergic to cats or who dislike them have observed that cats tend to seek them out first.
Thus a cat will harass, play with, and generally annoy whomever least wants the attention!
So, a cat’s attitude towards a person staring at her may be similar to the way she would regard another cat.
According to John Bradshaw, a cat-behavior expert out of the University of Bristol, cats treat people the same way they treat other cats.
Thus, they show hostility, fear, trust, or affection to us the same way they would show it to another cat.
You really need to stop staring at me right now!
Since an intense, wide-eyed stare denotes fear or hostility, the larger the cat’s pupils, the more alarmed or afraid she may be.
If you are staring into her eyes, she believes that you, like another cat, are asserting your dominance and hostility.
She will either meet your gaze with haughty defiance and be ready to defend herself, or she will accept your dominance and try to avoid eye contact by running away.
A cat who stares, unblinking, at another creature may also be hunting it. Cats are therefore uneasy if you stare at them for too long. The cat will probably avoid you and try to get away in this situation.
No, really, you are my friend, and I love you!
By the same token, a cat who is willing to close her eyes in your presence feels safe and secure in your company.
Cats signal friendship and affection by offering a slow, definite wink or blink. You can return kitty’s affection by winking back!
Some cats offer a simple wink, while others will demonstrate a flurry of blinking eye movement. Either way, the cat is conveying affection. It is almost like a kiss!
A cat’s slow blink is a sign of ultimate affection! This is an important aspect of kitty Love Language.
This video, featuring cat-expert Jackson Galaxy, explains how you can express your love and affection to a cat in a variety of ways.
Does a cat’s wink ever mean anything else?
Of course, every cat’s wink or blink is not necessarily a sign of affection. The tell-tale sign of affection is the slow, deliberate wink or blink.
Anything else may mean that the cat has something in her eye, or that she has an infection or an eye injury.
Tell a cat that you love her, and maybe she’ll let you live.
So when confronted by your imperious cat, with all of her haughty indifference, try telling her that you really love her. Sit her down, gaze into her eyes, and blink slowly. Usually, a cat will blink back at you!
Some cat experts suggest that you only try this in a calm, serene environment. Loud noises or numerous distractions may prevent you from getting the desired result! Find a quiet place where your cat feels comfortable, and let her know your true feelings.
Baby, I love you, but I just can’t smile.
If your cat is not comfortable, there may be many explanations. Perhaps you have added something new to the environment or have introduced an alarming change to your usual routine.
When a cat is feeling wary, she may not respond to your affection.
It can be difficult to calm a cat who is new to her surroundings, as well. If you have just acquired Kitty, she doesn’t know you yet, and she is on the alert for enemies and danger. It may take time to get her acclimated.
How can you win friends and influence kitties?
Cats need stimulation, and they love to play. Win over your cat by playing with her. Try a toy that lets her practice her amazing hunting skills!
Another option is making sure that kitty has safe places to hide. A kitty tower provides both a scratching post to help protect your furniture and a small place to hide and feel safe. Cats are notorious for squeezing themselves into tiny spaces, such as a box or a drawer.
Approach her without sudden movements and let her sniff your hand. Offer her a treat. It may take time and patience, but you will win the kitty’s affection.
Once she is used to you, try the slow eye-blink. Close your eyes slowly and keep them closed for a few seconds. Then, slowly open your eyes.
With any luck, the cat will respond with feline affection. She will close either one or two eyes. Then she will slowly open them.
Why is it important to learn to communicate with your cat?
By learning how to communicate with your cat, you can enjoy her antics even more. Cats are not as aloof and indifferent as many portray them to be. Unlike dogs, they do not change their behavior for humans, however.
Cats will treat you as though you are another cat. So a wide stare means your cat is afraid or is considering whether or not to attack! The slow blink is a sign of trust and affection.
Don’t worry if your cat hasn’t blinked at you yet. Take the time to understand what your cat is thinking. Learn how to communicate with the feline presence in your life, and soon you will be getting cat “eye-kisses.”
It just takes a little time and effort to win her over. Treats, safe places to hide, and toys that allow her to exercise all of her feline skills can help a cat to become more comfortable in your home.
Once you have won her trust, you will discover the delight of having a cat in your life. You will have her winking at you in no time!