If you are lucky enough to be owned by a cat, then you are used to their odd behavior and quirks. But what does it mean when they give you the slow blink? Read on to find out.

cats give the slow blink
Shadow is the queen of the slow blink.
Photo by Beth Anne Freely Rauch.

We know that cats head butt and knead when they feel secure. But why do cats give us that slow blink? You’ve seen them do it. You think your cat is about to fall asleep, their eyes closing slowly and then opening back up. What is this blink all about?

The Slow Blink Is Cat Code For “I Accept You, Hooman”

Cats have their own language and the slow blink is another way of telling their human staff that they accept them as part of their clowder (that’s a group of cats…FYI, a group of kittens is a kindle). Like the head butt and the biscuit making, the slow blink is their way of saying they love you. That they feel comfortable with you. The slow blink is the cat version of giving a butterfly kiss.

Okay, maybe it’s also cat code for “I’m plotting world domination,” but until they start speaking English, we’ll go with the other option.

It’s Okay To Slow Blink Back

Cats can be aloof, and there is a myth that they are not affectionate. When a cat is truly comfortable in their environment, their body language speaks volumes. Cats love to be loved and they show you they love you back. You just have to pay attention to what they are telling you. Cats really are quite expressive.

Two cats snuggling close
Have you ever noticed your cats giving you the slow blink?
Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

If you want to show your cat you love them, slow blink back at them. Yes, it may seem weird at first, but they will see the gesture and understand it. Cats slow blink at each other. They slow blink at you. Return the favor and see how your kitty reacts to it.

Cats Facial Expressions Really Do Have Meaning

Take some time to watch your cat and observe the expressions they make, especially when they blink. When a cat blinks normally to clear their eyes, the eyelid closes quickly and then opens at a slower pace. Think about how you blink. You probably don’t even realize when you do it.

A cat’s slow blink is very intentional behavior. The eye closes slowly and then opens slowly. They know that they are doing it. I’ve seen my own cats do it, usually when they are sitting at the top of their cat tree gazing down over their domain. I’ll call one of them and they usually turn their head and give me the slow blink. She’s usually laying in a cat loaf and purring. I know she’s comfortable.


Next time you and your cat face-off, watch what your cat is doing with their eyes. See if your cat gives you the slow blink. Consider giving one back and letting them know that you love them just as much.