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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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eye contact

I was wondering if eye contact has any significance for a cat. Sometimes I do these "stare-downs" with my cats, and I'm just wondering what kind of a signal that sends to them. Like with a dog?

Thanks...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 02:26 PM
 
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If you look into your cats eyes lovingly, open and close your eyes slowy (a slow blinking!), your cat should start doing it as well. This is a show of contentment and love.

Oh, and the whole eye-contact, staring-down-dominance theory in dogs is not really true in most cases.

Ems x
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Oh? OK. Don't know much about dogs, just a collection of misconceptions, I guess. I did try the blinking thing several times, and my cats just look at me like I'm nuts.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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LOL! I'm not in a conspiracy with your cats to make you look odd, honest! I read it somewhere...it worlks with most of my lot
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 05:45 PM
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Me and Kahlua make alot of eye contact..... sometimes i'll give her a look like 'dont do that' and she stops ....when I first got her, there'd be nights where she'd lay on me in bed and just stare into my eyes forever... I think their smart in the way they can read you by the expression in your eyes too

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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absolutely....I don't know if they have ESP, or are just especially good at reading tone of voice and body language, but when it's something to do with them, they seem to know what I'm thinking about a half a second after I think of it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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Thunder (my teenage-cat at my grandmothers) and I used to have a game with this! I'd sit on my bed, and look my cat in the eye.. Then the game was on. He'd run under the bed.. Then randomly jump out at me to see if he could get me before I figured out where he was If I knew where he was coming from, I'd pounce at him as soon as he popped out from under the bed lol It was really fun
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 10:38 PM
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Depends on the cat and the kind of eye contact. Slow blinks are great for calming an unsure cat and turning a relaxed cat into Jell-O. Assumpta is to the point where she often reacts to my facial expression and eyebrow movement (if she's paying attention).

Shy, timid, and fearful cats can be threatened by extended direct eye contact, and aggressive cats can take it as an invitation/challenge to escalate (not unlike people). I turn to the side and yawn a lot with scared and aggressive cats so that there's no mistaking that I'm not a threat. It's not a dominance thing as much as it's just threatening and icky to be stared at, KWIM? It's why cats always ignore the "cat people" in a roomful and go straight for the ONE person who's allergic...that's the person who's not staring at them, the one who is trying to be invisible to cats...and thus, the most nonthreatening person in the room.

I'll look Assumpta in the eye all day long, and it's just fine with her (she seems to enjoy kneading on my chest while gazing into my eyes and drooling on my face...but with cats I don't know and shelter cats, I don't do prolonged eye contact.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Gudewife, that's a good analysis. Good information.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 10:49 AM
 
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So yawning is also calming for cats....interesting!
That is very true for dogs...if you are ever a little in fear of a certain dog,
you can avoid direct eye contact, lick your lips and yawn alot.
This sends friendship signals to dogs.
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