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Nugget of Knowledge: Connecting with your cat

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You're using a technique that mimics what is known as a cat smile

(WYTV) – Want to build a rapport with your cat? This comes to us from animal behavior studies at the University of Sussex in England.

Scientists have discovered that narrowing your eyes, kind of squinting, is the best way to make friends with a cat.

You’re using a technique that mimics what is known as a cat smile, a ‘slow blink’ and it builds a bond between animal and human.

Cat owners may already have suspected this.

Try it yourself with your own cat at home. Try narrowing your eyes at them as you would in a relaxed smile, then close your eyes for a couple of seconds and slowly open them.

The cat should respond the same way and you can start a sort of conversation.

Cats are more likely to slow blink at their owners after their owners have slow blinked at them, compared to when their owners do not interact at all.

Also, cats are more likely to walk up to your outstretched hand after you have slow blinked than if you had a neutral expression.

Scientists believe cats began slow blinking as a way to interrupt a stare in a human, which can seem threatening.

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