Skip to Content

4 Reasons Why Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them

4 Reasons Why Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them

While cats can most certainly be an elusive species, most of them enjoy human interaction, at least to an extent.

They may not have a reputation for being overly friendly or even agreeable, but any cat lover will be quick to tell you otherwise.

Cats are funny, intelligent, intuitive, and adorable. They’re incredibly loyal, and they rarely care if someone doesn’t like them.

They lean into human affection boundlessly, leaving many of us wondering why do cats close their eyes when you pet them?


Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them?

If you’ve ever had a cat or spent a great deal of time with one, you’ve probably noticed that once you gain their affection, they will close their eyes when you pet them. If your cat is thoroughly enjoying the attention, she is closing her eyes because she trusts you, and she feels extremely relaxed. 


Reasons Your Cat is Closing Her Eyes When You Pet Her

If your cat is closing her eyes when you pet her, she shows you that she trusts you.

She feels safe in your presence, and receiving that show of affection from any animal, cats, in particular, is honorable.

In short, there are many reasons that your cats’ eyes grow heavy when you sit down to pet, cuddle, and spend some time with them!



Many cats appreciate the human company, and it’s pretty standard for them to close their eyes in gratitude when cuddles and pets come their way.

Don’t mistake closed eyes for sleepiness or nap time. If you’re petting your cat and their eyes shut, they’re enjoying that time with you!

The closing of the eyes symbolizes your cat trusting you to pet her without having to watch your every move.

This gesture is a sign of connection and the expression of an intense bond between you.

Because cats can be finicky at times, it’s a great connection to have. Never take it for granted.



Cats appreciate quite a few things in the world they’re living in.

They love bounding through the house after balls that make noise, chasing mice and birds outside, dozing off in boxes and on top of tall armoires.

They also have an excellent appreciation for affection.

When your cat closes her eyes as your stroke her fur, she’s reveling in the feeling and might even begin to purr.

She is relaxed and happy, spending time lounging with her favorite person and receiving the reward of pets at the same time.

A cat with closed eyes during a snuggle session is a happy cat.

Take pride in the ability you have to please your cat, knowing that she feels comfortable with you, and you’ve built a companionship based on trust and loyalty.



When humans are relaxing, whether it be a spa day or in a hammock in the backyard, we tend to close our eyes. Cats are no different in that respect.

A relaxed cat will close their eyes as soon as they settle in, regardless if you’re close by to pet them or not.

When you’re petting your cat, and her eyes droop shut, you can be confident that she is incredibly relaxed.


You’re Petting Her Face

Cats sometimes close their eyes based on instinct. For example, if you’re petting your cat’s head, and your hand is coming close to her eyes, she’ll likely to close them.

If they open when you lift your hand, you’ll know that the reason her eyes are closing is that your hand is coming close to them.

For the most part, your cat will close her eyes and leave them that way during a snuggle session.

Though she probably doesn’t have any intention of dozing off, don’t be surprised when she does!


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


If my cat closes his eyes when I pet him, does that mean he’s happy?

If your cat closes his eyes and leaves them that way while you two are spending time together, he trusts you and is thoroughly enjoying himself. Let him zone out and feel the joy, and you do the same!


My cat watches me when I pet him. Why?

If your cat hasn’t let his eyes close when you’re petting him, give it time. He may just be warming up to you, or he could be a naturally aloof cat. When it comes to rescued cats, make sure you give them time to settle in before you expect them to be completely relaxed with you.


Is my cat falling asleep if her eyes are closed?

It’s possible, but sometimes it doesn’t mean they’re asleep. Many cats let their eyes fall shut because they feel relaxed. They often go from this relaxed state into a nice nap, so make sure you tip-toe around to let them enjoy it.


Knowing Your Cat Trusts You

Having a cat that lets its eyes close when you pet them is an indication of an unbreakable bond and unwavering trust.

As humans, we should feel fortunate to connect with an animal as intuitive and intelligent as a cat.

Soak up every moment of affection you receive from your cat because, let’s face it, you probably had to earn it!