Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them?

Making an emotional connection with a cat is not an easy job for any cat owner. You have to put long hours in taking care of the cat, feed them every day at appropriate times, play with them daily, pet them when they want it, and love them at all times.

Some cats openly express their love. Cats like Maine Coon, Siamese, or Ragdoll can show affection in the sweetest way possible.

But some cats subtly show their love. So, you might have observed that your cat sometimes closes their eyes when you pet them. Have you ever wondered why they close their eyes like that?

The primary reason why cats show such behavior is that they trust you.

They are incredibly comfortable in your presence, and they can even be vulnerable when you are around. It is the ultimate level of trust that you can gain from your cat.

In this article, we are going to explain this behavior using all the possible reasons.

When you are comfortable with the reasonings, we will answer some frequently asked questions to help you further. Let us start by delving into the matter at hand.

Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them?

Cats can have several types of reactions when you are trying to pet them. Some cats can snuggle with you as you touch their belly, and some cats can close their eyes when you are about to pet them.

We can never know what is going on in their cute little head. However, we can speculate about their reaction and try to decipher the cute gestures that they show.

In this part of the article, we will try to explain the cute behavior when they close their eyes as you are petting them. Let us look at the following plausible reasons:

A Relaxing Time

Cats love the feeling when you pet them. Cats may not be comfortable with everyone, but they love when their favorite human plays with them.

When the cat is comfortable with you, they will feel extreme pleasure and relaxation. It is human nature to close their eyes when they are relaxed.

So, you might expect similar behavior from our beloved furballs as well. Petting their belly or the head is a form of immense pleasure to them, and they may be enjoying it most by closing their eyes.

A Sign Of Trust

Trust does not come easily to the cats. You have to be patient with them until you gain their complete trust.

It is possible that they feel like this for only one person in the house. If you are that person, they will behave differently with you.

While cats do not trust easily, they also don’t like to make themselves vulnerable around anyone. Closing their eyes can be considered a vulnerability as they cannot see what is coming to them.

So, when a cat shuts its eyes when you are petting, it means that the cat completely trusts you, and it is comfortable in your presence. It is a great honor for a cat owner, and you should respond by petting them well.


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A Sign Of Affection

While trust is hard to achieve when dealing with cats, earning the cat’s affection can also prove to be complicated.

It is a tedious process to form an emotional connection with the cat. Sometimes it comes through years of love, care, and affection.

At the same time, it is also possible that the cat never grows fond of you. However, the affection of your cat will truly feel amazing when you have reached that phase.

Closing their eyes when you are petting them indicates the level of adoration they have for you.

Not only that the cats are allowing you to pet them, but they are also closing their eyes to make you feel better. So, gaining the love of your cat is the best gift that it can give.

Slow Blinking

Cats have several ways to show their affection towards you. One of the most common methods is when they slowly blink at you and meow.

It is a sign that your cat loves you and likes to spend time with you. When you rub its belly or petting its head, cats love the gestures and slowly blink at you.

It might seem that the cat is closing their eyes, but actually, they are just slowly blinking towards you.

In this situation, your best course of action would be to blink at them slowly. The cat will appreciate your efforts and love you more.

It Likes The Way You Are Petting

If you have ever owned a cat, you must know that there are some clear do’s and don’ts for cats. For example, you cannot touch specific areas of their bodies.

Another example is that you have to appoint when you will be petting and playing with the cat. So, touching the cat for petting might be more trivial than you can imagine.

Touching it at the wrong place will scare the cat, and it will be harmful to your relationship with the cat.

When cats close their eyes when you are petting them, it only means that they are satisfied with the method and place.

They consider the petting time to be a pleasurable experience, and you should know that you are doing it perfectly. So, closing your eyes might be a way of saying, “Yes, do it more, human.”

These are all the possible reasons why your cat closes its eyes when you are petting them. It must be evident that closing their eyes means that you are doing it perfectly, and it is improving your relationship with the cat.


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Do Cats Like To Be Petted?


Cats are highly individualistic, and the opinions of a specific action can vary from one cat to another. There is no assurance that a particular cat likes a specific action until you try to do it.

The same ideology holds for petting as well. While some cat breeds love to be touched and cared for by you, some may prefer to keep their distance from you.

The latter kind generally takes time to get habituated with you, and they will lose this preconceived idea at one point in time. But you have to be diligent with your actions while being extremely patient about them.

Another thing that determines whether a particular cat likes to be petted or not is how you touch them. You might think that you cannot go wrong with petting a cat, but you can.

There are specific areas on a cat’s body that are off-limits to humans. You also have to be very gentle when you are holding and petting the cat.

If you know how to pet a cat properly, cats will not have any problem letting you pet it. It is alright if you make a few mistakes along the way. Cats will also learn to love you as you learn to take care of it.

Let us take an example of how you can go wrong with petting your cat. It is typical behavior for your cat to expose its belly when it is trying to be adorable.

It is one of the cat’s unique ways of saying that they trust you. You can also observe this behavior in dogs. If you rub a dog’s tummy when they expose it, the dog will react reassuringly.

However, cats are not okay with belly rubs. It is a vulnerable part of their body, and they do not like it to be touched. If you do so, they may react violently as well. It does not mean that they hate you.

So, be right about the petting, and your cat will love it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Do Cats Like When You Pet Their Head?

When you are petting correctly, it is always a relaxing feeling for the cats. The Head is one of the parts of their bodies where they cannot groom themselves.

So, you are doing them a favor by scratching or petting their heads.

There are also pheromone glands on their head, and you are covering your hands with the undetectable smell. Both of these two contribute to their liking to a good head petting.

Why Do Cats Squint Their Eyes At You?

Generally, cats squint their eyes at you to show that they trust you and adore you. It is content in your presence, and you can pet them if you want.

However, some medical conditions can cause squinting as well—for example, conjunctivitis, herpes, or glaucoma. So, if you suspect that something is wrong, take your cat to a vet.


When cats close their eyes, it is primarily due to the fact they are content with you.

The gestures can be pretty difficult to interpret for a cat, but this behavior truly means that the connection is solid between you and your cat. Petting a cat comes with a lot of surprises, and it is one of them.

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