Why do CAT’s eyes change?
by Pamela Johnson
Just like dogs, cats use their body language and their eyes to communicate… Although we may not always be able to determine what a cat is “saying” with her eyes, we can see that her eyes are always changing. I am not going to attempt to try to decode what a cat is thinking by the shape and look of her eyes. I am merely only suggesting that the eyes have different meanings. For this blog entry, I am only focusing on the cat’s eyes, but cats are a very interesting species. Keep in mind that the shape of a cats eyes and the expressions a cat makes will depend on the situation, triggers, environment, and in order to really understand what the cat is feeling, you would need to look at the entire scenario.
This is not much different in dogs as body language can mean many things depending on the situation. By observing my cat “Sabrina” as well as cats that have passed on, but will forever be in my heart, I have decided on the following categories from what I have personally witnessed. It is always fun to speculate what our animals are trying to tell us. If we pay close attention, we can start to see patterns. We can tell when they are worried, happy, terrified, sleepy and so much more, just by observing the cat as well as the situation.
Here are some examples:
Wide open eyes…
Surprised, anxious, excited, interested, intense, alert, unsure, shocked, bewildered, and possibly anticipating.
I see this one when my cat sees a bird that just might be within reach. Her eyes get wide and I am sure she is on high alert. I also see wide eyes when one of my Border Collies start to stalk her and she seems excited and ready to pounce on the dog.
Half closed eyes…
Studying, surveying, solving, relaxed, sleepy, wondering, content, bored, pretending to be bored, or suspicious.
At bed time when the dogs and cat are snuggled up with us in bed while we watch TV, Sabrina will be curled up in a ball next to us or a dog. She will be purring with half closed eyes and it is my opinion that she is content and very sleepy. Sometimes when we are playing with one of her favorite toys, she will get this half closed eye and act like she is ignoring or pretending to be bored and then WHAM she attacks the toy.
Eyes that are squinting…
Extra sleepy, extra extra bored, super suspicious, or really relaxed.
Eyes that are open but keep blinking or closing half way…
Adoring, hoping, pleading, wishing, yearning, or imagining.
Every morning when I wake up, Sabrina is in the rest room waiting and looking at me with her blinking eyes waiting for me to turn on the water faucet. It is almost as if she is wishing and pleading with me to hurry up and turn on the water.
I am sure that every eye shape or eye change could have multiple meanings. Do not take my word for it. Observe your cat and see what you find out!