Home Cat Behavior Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them?

Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them?

by Modi Ramos
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Our cats are intriguing little beings. While all cats are individuals, many cats seem to close their eyes when you go to pet them. Your cat’s sense of touch is much more heightened than yours, which explains why they are so quick to react should you touch them in a region which they do not approve of. Like their belly or the base of their tail, as these zones of their bodies hold many super-sensitive nerve endings and can instantly result in overstimulation.

But when cats are relaxed and at ease, like when you give them those perfect little strokes on the head, you will often notice that they close their eyes when you pet them.

why cats close their eyes when you pet them

Curious why cats close their eyes when you pet them? Just keep reading!

Ah, That Feels Nice!

As you already know, cats are not naturally trusting. While there are certainly some cats who are naturally less on guard than others, many cats take a bit to feel comfortable around someone they don’t know. Think of your surroundings when you are petting your cat. Usually you are doing this inside your home and on their terms. When cats trust you, they don’t feel the need to be on high alert. And for them, closing their eyes around you is the ultimate sign of trust. If you watch closely, you will likely notice your feline friend slow blinking, too. This is their way of giving you a kitty kiss! 😘

why cats close their eyes when you pet them

I Like You

Cats are finicky beings who are highly selective with those they choose to be around. Much unlike canines, cats do not seek praise or need to be told that they’re a good boy or doing a good job. For a cat to choose you as a person they’d like to befriend, this speaks volumes about who you are as a person. Cats are great at sensing the energy of people. When a cat chooses to allow you to pet them, you’ve already mastered the hard part. When you pet a cat for the first time, they generally observe you as you do so. And we all know like I mentioned above that there are a few spots felines prefer not to be pet. Cats usually favor being pet on their heads and around their necks. Wonder why this is? Well, because they can easily see your hands and can rely on those ninja-like cat reflexes should those hands move to a spot not of their choosing.

When you pet your cat, and you see their eyes start to close, do you ever notice that they start to rub against your hand, too?

They are doing this as their way to “claim” you as theirs. Your cat has facial feline pheromones they use to mark their territories with on their cheeks, as well as the top of their head. (That’s why they love to bunt you with their foreheads, too.) So, essentially, you are their territory now, too.

My two ginger cats do this to me daily, so if I were to meet a cat out on the street this strange cat would know it upon greeting me. And that Flehmen response would likely trigger in the foreign cat’s facial expression.

Does your cat close their eyes when you pet them? Well, you’re A-okay in their book. And if you feel happy right along with them, go ahead and give them a slow blink back in return so the two of you can speak the same language.

Did you learn anything new and fun about our feline friends? Share this article with other cat lovers out there so they can learn something too!

Want to learn more about cat body language? Find out what your cat’s tail is saying to you—aside from “I’m always hungry”…

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