Researchers prove that the trick that cats like is 'blink slowly'
Many people want to get along with cute cats, but cats have the image of being harder to get along with humans than dogs. A team of psychologists at the University of Portsmouth and the University of Sussex have demonstrated that the act of 'blinking slowly' has the effect of making friends with the cats they meet for the first time.
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If you've taken a closer look at a cat, you may have seen it squint as if it were blinking slowly. This expression, which makes you feel as if you are smiling, is what you see when your cat is relaxed and satisfied. The research team conducted two experiments, thinking that humans could improve communication between humans and cats by directing this 'slow blinking facial expression' to cats.
The first experiment was conducted on 21 cats that had been kept in 14 different households for at least 3 months and 14 of their respective owners. The owner enters the same room as the cat in his own house, and tries to 'sit at a distance of about 1 meter from the cat and blink slowly when the cat makes eye contact with himself' and the control group 'cat'. I'm in the same room as the cat, but it doesn't interact with anything. '
Then, it turned out that if the owner blinks slowly toward the cat, the cat is likely to blink slowly toward the owner. On the other hand, if they did not interact with the cat, it was significantly less likely that the cat would blink slowly.
The second experiment involved 24 cats that had been kept in 8 different households for at least 3 months and researchers who met the cats for the first time. In this experiment, in all trials, the researcher entered the room where the cat normally lives, sat or bent in front of the cat, extended his palm with his palm up, and withdrew after a few seconds. As a result of the act, 'the degree of friendship with the cat' was measured.
After withdrawing the hand, the researcher tried 'this time, while making eye contact with the cat, blinking slowly and then holding out the hand with the palm facing up again', and as a control group, 'looking at the cat He said that he kept a neutral expression without matching, and then extended his hand with his palm facing up again. '
As a result of analyzing two types of trials, it was found that the trials that 'blinked slowly' to the cat were significantly more likely to react to the extended hand than the trials that did not look at the cat. It was.
Karen McComb, a professor of psychology at the University of Sussex, said, 'It's great to be able to show that cats and humans can communicate as human beings, both researchers and owners of cats. This is something that many cat owners have already felt, and I'm thrilled to find evidence of it. '
McComb argues that the technique of 'blinking slowly toward the cat' can be tried not only on your own cat but also on cats you see in the city. 'This is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Squint like a relaxed smile and close your eyes for a few seconds. The cat reacts in the same way and begins a kind of conversation. You can, 'said McComb.
Tasmin Humphrey, the lead author of the paper, points out that the findings can be useful for veterinary practice and shelter care, improving cat welfare. He also argued that the reason why cats respond to slow blinking facial expressions may have been developed by interacting with humans or as a way to interrupt 'staring' that threatens social interaction. Did.