How To Get A Cat To Like You, According To Scientific Study

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little girl and a cat

I have always been a dog person for one important reason only: cats don’t like me. However, according to a new study, there's a specific technique for how to get a cat to like you. 

I know it might seem impossible because these feline friends are hard to trust (especially if they've clawed or injured you in the past, as is the case for me).

But there are people who love cats, so there must be some sort of trick to it, right?

I know I love kittens, and cats are just older kittens, but for some reason, I’m scared of them — and that might be the problem.

Domestic animals can sense your fear and then they will be afraid of you just as much as you are of them.

According to a study from Nature journal Scientific Reports, cats are sensitive to human cues that facilitate competition between different species of the same ecological area, including cues to the emotional state.

Knowing this is key to getting a cat to like you.

How to get a cat to like you

RELATED: 12 Reasons (Totally Not Crazy) Cat Ladies Make The Best Wives

It all comes down to the slow blink.

“The eyes are important in signaling emotions, with the act of narrowing the eyes appearing to be associated with positive emotional communication in a range of species," says Professor Karen Mccomb from the University of Sussex, England. 

According to these psychologists, slow blinking “involves a series of half-blinks (where the eyelids move towards each other without ever fully closing the eye) followed by either prolonged narrowing of the eye aperture or a full eye closure.” 

First, you start with a neutral face then close your eyes to a half blink, then fully clue your eyes, and when you open have a sort of eye narrow expression.

The team, led by Doctor Tasmin Humphrey and Mccomb, conducted this study about the role of cat-eye narrowing movements in cat-human communication. The team also included Doctor Leanne Proops from the University of Portsmouth, Doctor Jemma Forman from the University of Sussex, and Doctor Rebecca Spooner from the University of Portsmouth. 

The study aimed to examine how you’re able to build a harmonious relationship with a cat by using the widely reported cat behavior technique called eye narrowing, a.k.a the slow blink sequence.

Essentially the eye narrowing technique performed by humans generates a cat smile, that makes the human more attractive to the cat.

Want to connect with a cat? You gotta be the cat.

RELATED: What It Means When You Dream About Cats (Or See One)

In order to figure this out, the group of psychologists performed two different experiments. 

In the first experiment, they used a sample size of 21 cats that were from 14 different owners. The cat's age ranged from half a year to 16 years old and ten of the cats were male and eleven were female. The experiment was explored in each household where the cat lived. The owner had to wait till the cat was settled and then try the slow blink one meter away from their cat. 

The second experiment was composed of 24 cats from eight different houses. The cats' ages ranged from one-seventeen and there were exactly twelve males and females.

In this case, a researcher, from the psychologists' team, tried the slow blink on the cats or posed a neutral face with no direct eye contact. This experiment also tested the context the cats preferred to approach someone they didn’t know, by the researcher laying a flat hand with the palm faced upwards white sitting next to the cat. 

After watching the recorded results, using behavioral coding, and using statistical analysis, while looking at their findings, the first experiment revealed that when slow blinking at your cat, they do it back.

The second experiment revealed that when meeting an unfamiliar person, cats are more likely to approach a stranger's outstretched hand after they’d slow blinked, compared to if they had a neutral expression.

So, for the final results, by using the slow blinking technique on your cat, or an unfamiliar cat, they will be more receptive to greeting you kindly and prefer the slow blink because they will be more willing to get to know you.

At the end of the study Professor Karen Mccomb stated, “In summary, our study provides the first systematic investigation of the role of slow blink behavior in cat-human communication. We show that slow blink interactions appear to be a positive experience for cats, and maybe an indicator of positive emotions.”

RELATED: This Old Grumpy Feral Cat Met Some Kittens And Proved How Powerful Love Is

Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers pop-culture news, love and relationships, and zodiac. 

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