Why Do Cats Wink?

Cats are never short of surprises. It is one of the factors that make them such great pets. Did you ever notice your cat winking at you? Yes, I mean that kind of wink you might get out in the streets from a guy (or a girl) interested in you. I never thought of cats as being corny. Loving? Yes! Cute? Definitely but never corny in a million years. Yet, they wink. Why do cats wink exactly?

Well, just like me, you might need to clean up your mind as you read this. Just like you have found out with every post before, our feline friends have a good reason for doing everything they do.

Kitty Kiss!

In the cat lovers’ circles, there is something we call a kitty kiss. It is when your fur ball slowly blinks at you with one eye. It is a moment of emotional confusion, love-filled with a skin rush and a feeling that only you and your cat can explain. The one-eyed blink is usually a sign of how happy and relaxed the kitty is to be in your presence probably after munching on some ripe tomatoes. Let’s just call it the best gift your cat can give you for all the times you have to change the litter, wipe the vomit and fill out the feeding bowl.


To keep in touch with us and their surroundings, cats use different communication cues. They can use verbal by chattering and purring, physical by rubbing themselves against you and they can also use the blink. Each cue communicates something different and the blink has largely been associated with the cat saying the three magic words in the human world – “I Love You” all summed up in one blink.

The slow blink as it is also known is also a sign that your cat is ready for some of you. Here are a few pointers of how you can approach your cat after she gives you a green light with the slow blink.

  • Slowly extend your hand towards the fur ball. No quick movements unless you want to tip the tables and make things ugly.
  • Give the cat some time. If she is interested, she will most likely sniff your finger sometimes with some look of pride (they love playing hard to get too).
  • If she is really into some playing time, she will rub her face and head on your finger. That should tell you it’s time to pet some more.

Even if she doesn’t take you up on your offer for some petting, at least you can take comfort knowing that everything is fine.

If the cat is blinking to another cat, it is usually a sign of non-aggressiveness and letting the other cat that they mean no harm and they’re not looking for trouble. In the cat-world, the one-eyed blink is equal to handshake or hug which makes for a pretty good explanation on why cats blink.

Just the eye getting dry

Away from the all the love, cats can also blink out of nature. Cats have a third eyelid which is also called the Nictitating membrane. It usually closes from the side every time the cat blinks. With this membrane, the cat does not need to blink as much because their eyes don’t dry out as fast. Considering cats are casual blinkers, there’s a chance one of the eyes might get dry and being the nifty creatures they are, they will only blink the eye that needs moisturizing. So it is not all about love with that blink.


Sometimes, your cat blinking is not all glory and glamour. It could also mean that your cat has an infection or it might have been injured on one eye. If this is the case, there are some tell-tale signs that can help you isolate the situation. Normally, kittens and cats blinking because of trauma or infection will blink more frequently and the eye might also have some discharge. It is important that you get her checked as quickly as possible to resolve the situation and prevent it from getting any worse. This might also happen when your cat has symptoms similar to autism and they have sensory abnormalities. However in this case, the discharge will not be there.

Round Up 

Other than wondering why do cats blink, the other commonly asked question is if the winking is intentional. Well, save for trauma and infection, cats are fully aware of the winking and how emotional it gets you. It is their way of letting you know that everything is fine and sometimes, just trying to mess with your emotions and get your little heart all mushy which is why we love them anyway. Unlike dogs, cats are selective but once they love you, they will definitely let you know.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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