Cats are curious creatures. They have so many quirks and interesting behaviors that there are people who spend their lives studying the feline breed, trying to understand them and discover why they do what they do. Some things have definite answers, while other behaviors cats exhibit, are still unknown and there are no solid answers as to why they do what they do. One thing about cats that has been studied over the years, is the facial expressions they make. Like humans, cats do make facial expressions when they are trying to communicate with you, so, if you have ever looked at your cat and wondered what they meant by their little facial expressions, we may have the answer for you. Here are five facial expressions from your cat, and what they mean.
1. Excessive blinking
If you have ever looked at your cat and seen it start to blink excessively, over and over again, this is a typical sign that your cat is fearful. If you happen to be doing something that has your cat on edge, afraid, or nervous, your cat will start to blink excessively. It is an autonomous reaction to fear, telling you they are scared and don’t like what you are doing.
A cat who is doing a half-blinking maneuver with its eyes, where his eyelids seem to be pulled half-shade, this is an expression of un-impressiveness. He is simply not impressed with whatever it is his human is doing. We can relate this expression to the look that has often been seen on the sarcastic feline, Garfield. He is often characterized with the unimpressed, half-blink look on his face, because he is always unimpressed with what his owner, Jon is doing. The look is real, and real cats make the same facial expression when they, too, are unimpressed with their human’s antics.
3. Head tilt
When your cat is chilling, he’s content with his surroundings and just relaxing on the couch, on the porch, or anywhere he can just “be,” he will hold his head in a tilted position, but you will notice that he will hold it tilted to the right to gaze out on his surroundings, never to the left.
4. Head tilt to the left
As opposed to the head tilt to the right, where your cat is content and gazing off into the distance or surroundings around him, if a cat holds his head tilted to the left, this often suggests that he is fearful of something and on the lookout. His eyes will more than likely be a bit more wide-eyed as he holds his head, looking, searching for anything that may be lurking about him.
5. Flattening of the ears
Cats are known to get frustrated easily. They are creatures of habit and they like what they like. If anything in the routine changes at all, or you do something to annoy, them – it can be as simple as petting them in the wrong place on their body, they can get frustrated. When cats get frustrated, you will see their facial expression change from pleasant, to suddenly licking their nose a lot, meowing loudly and flattening out their ears on their head as if they’ve suddenly been pinned back. Look out for this expression because cats tend to react to frustration, which may mean lashing out in the swiping of their claw, a bit, a hiss, or just running off to get away from the situation.
If you own a cat, then you’ve probably seen a lot of different facial expressions, but try to pay attention to them to see if you can figure out what typical behaviors go along with their expressions, and remember, these expressions mean something and they use them to communicate with their humans.