Dear Doctor: What’s with the blinking?


Q. Why does my cat stare at me and then slowly blink and look away? Is she showing disdain, or boredom with me?

Judah Jensen

Cleveland, Ohio

A. Dear Mr. Jensen,

Quite the opposite. The languid blinking and turning away is a signal that your cat trusts you and feels comfortable in your presence. While looking directly at someone is respectful in the human world, for cats and many other animal species it’s considered an aggressive gesture; they see a direct stare as something of a threat, or challenge. By being willing to be with you but not constantly keep you in her gaze, your pet is indicating that she knows you’re safe, someone she can relax around.


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