Do cats blink?

Cats, especially black ones are often portrayed in suspense or horror movies. The fixed stare of a cat and the eerie music would make the hair stand on end. The staring eyes of a cat would mesmerize a prey into immobility. The non-blinking eyes are one of the reasons why cats are branded as aloof and haughty animals. Do cats ever blink? Cats don’t really need to blink unlike humans that need to blink every so often to keep the eyes lubricated with tears. Cats though blink. Blinking is in fact a very powerful tool cats use to communicate with other animals and with humans.

Cat’s have excellent vision. Compared to humans, cats have greater vision at night. This improved ability to see in darkness makes these animals highly efficient predators. Cats have excellent peripheral vision as well. The eyes of cats would follow the movement of the prey furtively and would only stare when it is ready to attack. Unblinking eyes give cats an advantage when hunting as it has an effect of causing the prey to lose its ability to move because of fear. Staring is used by cats to resolve territorial conflicts between cats and other animals. A cat that is anticipating an attack would hold the other animal’s stare. While cats are always seen staring, not many people would notice when cats blink. This gives rise to the notion that cats do not blink.

Meowing, yowling, purring and growling are auditory signals cats use to communicate. Cats though communicate mainly through body language. A cat with an arch back signifies either aggression or fear. Blinking is another efficient communication tool. Contrary to the common belief that cats do not blink, cats are capable of batting an eyelid. A cat’s blink though is rather slower as compared to the blink of humans. When cats blink, they would appear as if they are winking or squinting. Typically, a cat in a sphinx position would blink when the owner enters the room. Experts on cat behavior have explained the cat’s blinking as a show of affection to the owner. Cats that have noticed the owner would at first stare and then slowly blink both eyes. Dogs typically lick the face of its favorite person. Cats are not as affectionate as dogs. Lapping the face of humans is a dog’s unique way of kissing. Cats kiss their favorite people with their eyes. A cat that slowly blinks at the owner is in effect showing its love for the person. The blinking of a cat tells the owner that it is happy and contented.

A blink is used by cats to communicate with other pets. A cat that blinks after seeing another cat in its territory is actually telling another cat that it’s OK. The blink gets the message across to the other cat that the intrusion will not be challenged. A stare gives an opposite message. The staring cat is protecting its territory against the intrusion of other animals. A stare often leads to confrontation between the animals.

A direct eye to eye contact makes these animals self conscious. This is why a cat that enters a room full of people would typically approach a non-cat lover that is not giving him attention instead of the cat lovers that would normally stare at the cat. This is because a cat that is stared at would feel threatened and intimidated. This kind of knowledge would be important for a new cat owner that wants to make the new pet at home. By blinking slowly at the cat, the owner can reassure the new pet that all is well and that there is nothing to be feared of.