Have you ever blinked slowly in front of your cat?
Do you know the slow blink in fact means a smile?
This study provides the first systematic investigation of the role of slow blink behaviour in cat–human communication.
A slow blink may be a way of expressing goodwill between cats and humans – “a cat’s smile,” according to a study published in scientific reports on October 5 by a research team from the University of Sussex. And when you blink slowly at the meow, you’ll be more likely to get close to the cat, and the cat will wink at you as well.
Twenty one cats from 14 families participated in the study, and the actual effective experimental group was 18. The researchers asked the experimenters to blink their eyes slowly and record the expressions of the cat and the experimenter with a camera.
The results showed that the cat was more likely to blink slowly at the experimenter when the experimenter blinked slowly at the cat. This was true even when the experimenter was a stranger rather than a cat owner. And cats are more likely to approach an experimenter after receiving a slow blink signal than maintaining a normal expression. In other words, slow blinking is likely to be a positive way of communication for cats and humans.
Professor Karen McComb, who conducted the research, was very excited by the results. “This is the cat language that many cat owners have suspected. As a person who has studied animal behavior and has cats, it is very exciting to find this evidence.”
This is the first experimental study of slow blinking in human cat communication. You can also try blinking at your cat at home or on the road. It’s a good way to improve your relationship with the cat. Squint at them as relaxed as you smile, then close your eyes for a few seconds, and you’ll see that they respond in the same way to you, and your communication begins.
How exciting guys! Find a cat, let’s have a try!