Want To Really Connect To Your Cat?
A new study is showing that this can all change with just a blink of an eye.
Look Into My Eyes:
Normally, a gaze can be construed as a challenge to a pet. When you gaze into the eyes of a cat, they perceive it as a threat or see it as a way of picking a fight. Cat lovers have since long suspected that slow movements when a cat is purring excessively or is sussing are a better way of communication to show that you are letting your guard down. This shows them that you are not interested in striking and thus they will also remain level-headed. Known as the “Slow Blink”, this type of gesture is now scientifically proven to work in calming your fur baby.
Scientists from the University of Sussex in the U.K. have confirmed that the effect of the slow blink on a cat has a massive effect on cat-human communication. A study published in Scientific Reports stated “This is something that many cat owners had already suspected, so it’s exciting to found evidence for it”. – Karen McComb, Study Author. McComb and her colleagues were also able to draw two important findings from the study. The first, Cats often offered a slow blink back at their human counterparts when the owner blinked slowly first. Secondly, the study showed that cats were more likely to come near-strangers after a slow-blink, than that when the researcher had a neutral expression.
A Deeper Understanding
The experiment consisted of two different variable testings. The first of twenty-one at-home cats and the second with twenty-four cats brought to a location outside of their homes. All of which proved that the slow-blink does work. However, the study also found out some other helpful information for cat owners near and far. It showed that your “purrfect” companion recognizes their name when you call it. Whether they choose to respond, that is another question. The research also found that your cat purrs because they are seeking human attention and connection. If you often find your precious kitten rubbing up to you when you are emotional, that is their response to help you feel better.
What does this all mean for you? That your clawtastic companion might be more emotional than you think.
The next time you approach your cat, make sure to blink twice! “This is something you can try yourself with your own cat at home,” says McComb. By providing them with initial slow blink communication, you will be allowing them a more comfortable environment to be a part of.