Cats show their emotions through their eyes, using pupil size and eyelid position to show what they are feeling. If they are afraid, happy, excited or aggressive, they will communicate with you. Here's how to decipher what they are feeling:
Alert, wide-open eyes signal trust. In friendly greetings, pupils are at normal dilation. The eyelids may be squinty, brows are soft, and the cat may offer cheek rubs. Accept this as a sign of love and trust.
When a cat starts to show interest, the eyes look more directly with an unblinking stare at the object, person, or animal of interest, and the pupils dilate slightly. The general message is “I know you’re there and I don’t want a fight.” But the unblinking stare is also a communication megaphone for wanna-be aggressive cats to adversaries. This is an important control message in multi-cat households with limited resources such as food, water, litter box, toys, and territory. People often miss the cue because of the subtlety.
A direct stare in cat language is threatening and confrontational. An offensively aggressive cat’s pupils may be slits or dilated. Squinty eyelids protect the eyes from potential injury. In defensive aggression, pupils are dilated and brow furrowed. Avoid interacting with this cat. If you’re not familiar with a particular cat, avoid risk of injury by not making direct eye contact.
When a cat is experiencing body pain, pupils are dilated. A cat experiencing eye pain may have pupils that are dilated or constricted, depending on the injury or underlying disease. Squinting also indicates pain in the body or eye. Bloodshot eyes may also signal pain.
Slow Eye Blinks
This is the best look to get from your cat. Slow eye blinks express love and trust. The eyes, lids partially closed, have a sleepy, dreamy appearance. If you get a blink like this, do one right back to show you love them too.
Or it may be that they don't want you to know!
My sassy, grumpy cat Toffee is also taking part in the A to Z Challenge. Take a look here: www.notsosweettoffee.com
* * * * * * *If you are a cat lover - especially a lover of the grumpier members of the species, this is the book for you. Written by Toffee who, despite her name, is the least sweet cat you can imagine. The world according to Toffee exists to serve her and woe betide anyone who forgets it. Paperback on left, Kindle version on right.
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