Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them? (Find Out Now!)

Why do cats close their eyes when you pet them

If you own a cat, you will notice the many quirky and cute things your cat does. They love to play with a tassel or string and love to sit in your lap. You’ll also see that they love to have you pet them and give them the attention they crave.

When you pet your cat, they may close their eyes because they trust you, are relaxed, or because they appreciate you. They also close their eyes simply because you’re touching their face. You can tell a lot by looking into your cat’s eyes; their eyes can communicate a lot, even when they’re closed.

Cats have different ways of expressing themselves and their feelings to their owners. Some of it is just as simple as purring in contentment during a long nap. They are very expressive, and their eyes are just as expressive as their body language.

Do Cats Like To Have You Pet Them?

There is a broad view from a variety of people that say cats do not like to have any attention. Cats have a reputation for being loners and aloof, preferring to hide under your bed as you walk by. However, in actuality, cats form strong bonds with their owners.

They love the attention of their beloved owner with whom they have formed a bond. Your cat will come up to you and beg to be scratched as they rub against your leg. Your cat loves to have your attention and particularly loves to have their head scratched.

Cats may seem to be loners and prefer to sit at the window than with you. However, your cat will not be opposed to a good scratch under their chin, and this serves to build a bond. Petting your cat and finding what they like is an excellent start to getting to know one another. 

Additionally, petting your cat is a perfect way to show your love and affection to them. In return, they give you companionship and comfort. When your cat closes their eyes when you pet them, it has many meanings.

Your Cat Closes Their Eyes When You Pet Them Because They Trust You

Many cats love the company of their owners, but in nature, your cat is a fierce predator. Cats are usually vigilant in watching their surroundings. Even while sleeping, wild cats are on high alert.

If your cat closes their eyes while you stroke them, it is because they trust you. Feeling safe is an essential aspect for your cat to achieve in their own home. You are not only their owner but a protector. 

Do not mistake their eyes closing for being sleepy; closing their eyes is a sign of pure trust. They don’t have to watch your every move or suspect that you will hurt them. It is a compliment to your relationship and bond. 

Cats Close Their Eyes Because They Are Relaxed

It is no surprise that we close our eyes for a brief moment of peace when we relax. Your cat can close their eyes while you stroke them on your lap because they are purely relaxed. Cats are sensitive and can feel and sense you all over their body.

Their body has many nerve receptors, and their head and back are the most sensitive along with their feet. When you stroke and scratch their favorite spots, this helps them to relax. They close their eyes and prepare for a good cuddle.

It can be difficult for your cat to relax sometimes. Since they are always on alert and cat senses are very sensitive, it might be difficult for your cat to rest. They need to have a reason to relax.

Every animal and person deserves to relax. Relaxation is a sign of contentment and pleasure. When your cat closes their eyes, they are comfortable with you. They long to have a secure and relaxed home life, and your companionship is important.

Your Cat Just Appreciates You

In owning a pet, you are responsible for their care and well-being. You might assume cats can’t (or simply don’t care enough to) show appreciation to you, but that is not true. Cats have various ways to show their gratitude.

Your cat can bring you dead outdoor critters, mark their territory, and rub themselves all over your clothes. But closing their eyes while you stroke them on a warm night is a sign they appreciate you.

Cats may not always show their appreciation in the way you want them to. However, they are grateful for you nonetheless, even if they only show it occasionally. Cats might not wag their tail as a dog does, but closing their eyes is a sure sign.

Cats have an excellent appreciation for affection, and if you give them love, they will show it in return. Your cat will revel in the constant attention you lavish upon them when they want it. Therefore, typically a cat with closed eyes is a happy cat.

Just Touching A Cat’s Face Causes Their Eyes To Close

It is not uncommon when things come toward your face that you may flinch or blink. Your reflexes are a common reaction to a behavior that is sudden or surprising. Your cat has the same reflexes, plus their reflex is also hereditary.

When touching a cat’s face, it causes them to pull their whiskers back, flatten their ears, and close their eyes. Closed eyes are a common reaction to objects coming toward their face. Petting and stroking their face forces them to protect their eyes, so they close them.

It is common as your hand raises to pet them or comes close to their face, their eyes instinctually closed. Eyes closing is also a sign they are ready to be touched and snuggled. Closing their eyes is not a sign they are afraid; it is just a natural protection mechanism.

Facts About Your Cat’s Eyes

You can look into your cat’s eyes before a nap to see how your cat is feeling. Eyes are the window to the soul, and this is no different for your cat. In understanding their eyes, while you pet them, you can read them better.

As you pet a cat’s face and look into their eyes, you can tell a lot by their pupils. If the pupil is enlarged, it tells you they are aroused and excited. If the pupils are narrow, it can tell you they are agitated or fearful.

Cats’ eyes can tell you how they may react to you and your touch. By understanding and studying your feline, you can learn a lot about what they like or dislike. Slow blinking as you stroke their head is a sign of love and trust.

None of this should come as a surprise, and most signs come with others; ears down and twitching tail. By reading your cat, you can bond more and learn more about taking care of them. When you take the time to genuinely get to know your cat, you will have a life companion.

Related Questions

Why is my cat staring?

A cat’s vision might lead them to follow the path of a minuscule insect or a floating speck of dust. Their eyesight is so in tune with their surroundings that they seem to see things we cant see. They can spend what seems like hours watching the wall or looking out the window.

They stare to keep their eyes on certain objects or to observe the world around them. They are protectors and watch for any potential threat. They have such an acute sense of sight and can see all things around the yard.

Unlike our eyes, cats have a third eyelid that keeps their eyes hydrated, so staring is easier for them. This third eyelid keeps their eyes clean of debris. It gives them the ability to not blink as often and lets them stare away.

Does my cat like to be petted?

Unlike dogs, cats are more apt to be loners, perfectly content to lounge solo. That is not to say that your cat does not like a bit of attention here and there. It is a good sign if they roll over and show you their belly or rub your legs.

Although they like to lay in the sun alone, it does not mean they do not like a friendly scratch. Cats love a good scratch on their head, back and chin. So although they may not always be cuddly, you can bet they love attention from you.

Should I keep eye contact with my cat?

Some animals love a good stare-down. Cats do it preferably before they pounce and during a good game of cat and mouse. Staring and eye contact is an instinctual hunting technique, so a cat never loses sight of prey.

One should be careful of keeping eye contact with your pet for too long because it can lead to tension. Cats and other animals use eye contact to establish dominance. So if you engage in a staring contest with your cat, your feline might misconstrue the gesture as a challenge. 

Stacy Randall

Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.

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