Skip to content

Learn To Speak Cat: “I Love You”

The slow blink

Cats say “I love you” to each other and to us all the time – so how do you say it back?

Look into your cats eyes and slowly blink at them.  Its that easy!

A cats slow blink says that they trust you enough to lower their guard.  Eye contact is very important in cat language.  Staring into a cats eyes intensely is interpreted as a threat – its what enemy cats would do to your puss just before a fight.  By relaxing your gaze and blinking ultra slowly, you are saying “I trust you, I love you”.

Humans who don’t know about the slow blink can often interpret it as a cat being disinterested, annoyed, bored or unimpressed.  Things a human would be thinking if another person slow blinked at them.  Funny how one action can mean opposite things from species to species!

 

In Practice:

The slow blink can be used to tell a very anxious cat that everything is ok and tell a neighbours cat that you aren’t a nasty neighbour.  The uses are nearly endless.

Meeting a friends cat for the first time?
Slow blink

Cat scared by a loud noise outside?
Slow blink

Stressed out in a cat carrier?
Slow blink

Cat looking at you from across the room?
Slow blink

This tiny action is one of the most useful tools in your cat-language tool kit and one of the first you should learn if you want to understand what your cat is trying to tell you.  In my work with re-homing shelter cats, the slow blink is invaluable.  I use it to help new cats know I mean them no harm, that they are safe now and  that I would like to be their friend.  If you are familiar with the “East Coast Wave” – that uniquely New Zealand way of greeting each other, I use the slow blink as the cat version of the East Coast Wave quite a lot.

Subscribe to NZCats Blog,
Rescources for NZ Cats

Subscribe to the NZCats blog to receive new posts by email.  Stay up to date with the latest in kitty news across New Zealand.