Why Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them

While cats are generally known for being elusive, they do enjoy human interaction to some extent. Despite their reputation for aloofness, any cat lover would attest to their affectionate nature. Cats are funny, intelligent, intuitive, and adorable. They are incredibly loyal and hardly bothered by someone not liking them. They willingly lean into human affection, leaving us pondering the question: why do cats close their eyes when you pet them?

If You’ve Ever Wondered Why Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them

If you’ve had a cat or spent a significant amount of time with one, you’ve probably noticed that once they trust you and grow affectionate, they tend to close their eyes when you pet them. This is their way of showing trust and complete relaxation.

Reasons Your Cat Closes Their Eyes When You Pet Them

When your cat closes their eyes as you pet them, it is a sign of trust. They feel safe in your presence, and it’s quite an honorable gesture to witness their affection. There are multiple reasons why cats close their eyes during a petting session.

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Cats appreciate human company, and it’s common for them to close their eyes in gratitude when showered with cuddles and pets. Their closed eyes symbolize their trust in you, as they don’t feel the need to watch your every move. It signifies a deep connection and a strong bond.


Cats have an excellent appreciation for various things in their world. Besides chasing mice and birds, bounding after noisy balls, and dozing off in boxes or on top of tall armoires, cats also appreciate affection. When your cat closes their eyes as you stroke their fur, they are truly savoring the moment and may even start purring. It shows that they are relaxed and content, enjoying quality time with their favorite person.


Just like humans, cats close their eyes when they are relaxed. Whether they are settling in for a cozy nap or being petted by you, their eyes will droop shut. When your cat’s eyes close while you’re petting them, it’s a reliable indication that they are incredibly relaxed and at ease.

You’re Petting Their Face

Sometimes, cats instinctively close their eyes when you pet their head and your hand comes close to their eyes. It’s a natural reflex to protect their eyes, but it also shows that they are fully engaged in the moment and enjoying your touch. While they may not intend to fall asleep, don’t be surprised if they doze off during a snuggle session.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them

If my cat closes their eyes when I pet them, does that mean they’re happy?

Absolutely! If your cat closes their eyes and leaves them shut while you spend time together, it means they trust you and are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Let them zone out and revel in the joy, while you do the same.

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Why does my cat watch me when I pet them?

If your cat hasn’t closed their eyes while you’re petting them, give them time. They may be warming up to you or naturally more aloof. It’s especially true for rescued cats; allow them to settle in before expecting complete relaxation around you.

Is my cat falling asleep if their eyes are closed?

It’s possible, but not always the case. Many cats close their eyes because they feel relaxed, and from this state, they often transition into a peaceful nap. So, be considerate and let them enjoy their moment of tranquility.

Knowing Your Cat Trusts You

When your cat lets their eyes close as you pet them, it’s a reassuring sign of an unbreakable bond and unwavering trust. As humans, we should consider ourselves fortunate to connect with such intuitive and intelligent animals. Cherish every moment of affection you receive from your cat because, let’s face it, you’ve likely earned it!


To learn more about cats and other fascinating topics, visit 5 WS.

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