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Do You Speak Cat?

Just like pups talking with their tails, kitties also use nonverbal signals to communicate with us and each other. In fact, one common cue happens in the blink of an eye! According to researchers at Indiana University, you can understand (and answer) your cats by using little eye movements. To learn how,


Next time your kitty enters the room, watch to see if she stops and blinks with both eyes one or more times before approaching. The blinking shows that she recognizes the presence of another (cat or human), and that she is saying a friendly hello. This signifies that she is not threatened or threatening, and not going to fight for territory. Try imitating your pet's winks right back at her to tell her the same thing when she walks in or while you are petting her. See if you can get her to blink back!


Join The Conversation
CanadianInVA CanadianInVA 9 years
I'll have to watch for the blinking. I have three kitties. I've noticed the one will blink when I get down to her level.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
My Persian boy winks quite a bit, as well. But I'm reasonably sure that this is because he's got an extreme Peke-face, the appetite of a small elephant, and he gets his moist treats all over his cheeks and into his nose and eyeballs all at once. He's multi-talented! ;)
anmoonen anmoonen 9 years
Fuzzles, that's hysterical! My cats wink too occasionally, don't really think it means anything, but I think holding your eyelids halfway closed and smiling signals relaxation to them. Mine seem to mimic that a lot. If I drop my eyelids, so do they. (I haven't gotten them to smile just yet.) I've read somewhere that staring is a sign of aggression in the cat world, so that could explain it.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years second Himilayan did that too! My mother was visiting me once and it went on for so long that she told both of us to put a sock in it!
smcose smcose 9 years
my cat and I have "meow" conversations. My husband cracks up at it, she'll meow at me, and I'll carry on like she's talking. it's cute, it goes like "meow" me, ""Hi stink, how are you" Stink "meow meow" me "really, waht a stress ful day, andthing elese happen" Stink "meoe meow" this can go on for at least 10 minutes, I guess she mimiks me.
LoLa-The-Great LoLa-The-Great 9 years
I like to meow/wink at my cat...if I'm lucky my cat will meow/wink back and rub his head near my face.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
My Persian boy is not usually a fan of getting his belly combed, but blinking at him slowly while I groom him seems to soothe him!
cherie2 cherie2 9 years
My cat also winks all the time
Swangeese Swangeese 9 years
My cat also winks at us with one eye. I wonder what that means!
thewavingcat thewavingcat 9 years
haha thats kinda cute
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
I've never heard that.. I'll have to try that!
keiraz keiraz 9 years
Ok my cat "winks" at me a lot of times and even at friends and cousins other times.. Does she really wink or does it mean something else for them?? lol
KittensRkute KittensRkute 9 years
when u bump ur head onto cats head it means hello
andiself andiself 9 years
i just got my girl cat to blink back and my boy cat got up and came toward me meowing with his head down.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I've heard this before. It's in my book Cat vs Cat
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
My cats do this all the time, especially my girl. She is a total bucket o' blink.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
Gadget and I do this ALL the time when we're snuggling. :D
robynfromdahood robynfromdahood 9 years
Im gonna have to try that, though my cat seems to notice other things first more than me...
emalove emalove 9 years
I will have to notice this next time my kitties walk into the room...
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Whenever either cat enters the room and we look at each other and say "hello" we are too busy watching for stealth attacks from the other cat to watch each other's eyes for blinks. It's about survival and self-protection with us. I do make a point of getting down on their level and looking them straight in the eyes and talking to them or petting them. They blink lot then. Start purring very loudly and doing what I call a "love rub" a hard rub against my face smearing their scent all over me. I always get the feeling when we are staring in each other's eyes that they are trying to read me.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Hahaha that's awesome! My boyfriend just stares at her and when he does that she just freezes ans stares back! Now I will tell him to blink at her haha!
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