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Old 10-02-2005, 03:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do cats smile?

The corners of cats mouths are turned up, giving them a sort of a permanent "smile." However, yesterday when I was giving Tommy some intense scratchies, I swear I saw the corners of his mouth turn up a little bit higher in a real smile.

So, what do you think? Can cats really smile?
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It isn't known for cats to actually copy the human smile. When they stretch the corners of their mouths back, it can look like they are smiling. They might do this is they feel something good. One of our cats stretches the corners of her mouth back when I rub her spine and often meows too without any sound, lol.

Some dogs do learn to smile by copying humans. I've known three of our dogs do it and one does it regularly. They look quite strange when they do it. I suppose dogs might learn to do these things because they are pack animals and more apt to copying the expressions of others. Some dogs do look like they are smiling too even when they aren't. Dogs stretch the back corners of their mouths up when submissive and this can look like a closed smile. One breed, the Samoyed, has a mouth that curves up and they look like they are smiling when they pant and often called laughing dogs.
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Old 10-02-2005, 07:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When Collies have their mouths open, they also look as if they are smiling. It happens only when they are happy, so it's possible that this is not a coincidence.
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes

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Old 10-03-2005, 05:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My willis looks like he is smiling sometimes.

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Old 10-03-2005, 09:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, it's Border collies that we have but many dogs can look like they are smiling when panting and they don't only pant when happy, many dogs might pant heavily when stressed. They can look that way but then so do parrots, they always look like they are smiling and eagles always look like they are frowning. Chimps always look like they are smiling and they do actually have a facial expression that looks like a big open grin to us but it is actually the total opposite. They do that when they feel threatened. They say you shouldn't smile with open mouth to chimps because it means to them the total opposite. To a wild wolf, it might be mistaken for showing teeth in aggression. I guy on tv was told not to do it when he went into an enclosure with some wolves. He was told to yawn, avert his eyes and hold himself in a submissive posture instead, sort of moving sideways. The wolves greeted it by jumping all over him, lol.

There is definitely a difference between a smile copied from a human and another expression that just looks that way. Our Mist has actually smiled and her daughter does it regularly but then you see wild wolves in photos or programmes who don't have anything to do with people and they show the expressions that can also be mistaken for a smile in pet dogs, the pulling back of the mouth corners when submissive. These can't obviously be smiling because that is a human expression and these are wild animals that haven't had the opportunity to learn how to smile by copying a human.
There are many more dogs that don't copy the human smile than those who do and, when they do, they tend to show their teeth like we do in an open smile.
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Old 10-03-2005, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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cat smiles by blinking their eyes and slightly lifting their heads.

try it with yours by doing it to them while they are looking at you.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, I do that back at mine. Our Gizmo often does it, sits there looking through what I call her bambi eyes, partially closed, lol.
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