Maine Coon demonstrates the eye narrowing technique (credit: Prof Karen McComb, University of Sussex)
- Cats were more likely to slow blink at their owners if their owners had slowed blinked at them, compared to when the owner was present in the room but not delivering a slow blink stimulus.
- Cats were more likely to slow blink when an unfamiliar experimenter slow blinked at them, compared to when they had maintained a neutral expression.
- Cats preferred to approach an experimenter after they had slow blinked at the cat than if they had maintained a neutral expression.
- That cats have been shown to attract and manipulate human attention effectively through ‘solicitation purring’.
- That cats can discriminate their name from other words, even when unfamiliar humans are calling.
- That cats may be sensitive to human emotional cues, and will rub or butt their head against a an owner who feels sad.
‘The role of cat eye narrowing movements in cat-human communication’ by Tasmin Humphrey, Leanne Proops, Jemma Forman, Rebecca Spooner and Karen McComb, published in Scientific Reports, is open access.