Some time ago the trend was for people to try the notion that you can tell whether a smile is genuine or fake by looking at the eyes. Eyes that were wrinkled and squinty indicated that the smile was genuine those with eyes that were not wrinkled could indicate that the smile wasn’t genuine. The Duchenne smile was described as a smile that involves the muscles around the eyes and the upward inclination of lips as per the American Psychological Association. “Duchenne smiles are believed to be authentic smiles, as opposed to posed, voluntary non-Duchenne smiles that lack the orbicularis oculi component.”
However, before you judge an un-Duchenne smile to be insincere an investigation conducted in 2021 of Carnegie Mellon University tested the hypothesis and concluded that the appearance of wrinkles in the eyes could have more to do with the strength of emotions in the background of the smile and not necessarily the authenticity that the person smiles.
It is said that the Duchenne smile has become a renowned research study on human psychology, but it’s been discovered that cats too have their ways of smiling. it involves reading and expressing emotions with the eyes.
A Kitty Smile
Cats are extremely communicative and can use many different methods of communication. They use their voices to communicate and mostly to their human. They communicate using their ears and tails, as well as by pressing their pheromones against objects. They communicate through their eyes and also with other people.
In the world of cats who shut their eyes when they are in another cat’s presence are a signal of trust and a sign that they are trustworthy. They’re expressing their confidence in the other individual and also indicating that they aren’t a threat.
When your cat is able to close his eyes in a slow, deliberate manner toward you it is a sign of satisfaction, security, and a state of relaxation. It’s the closest thing to a Duchenne-like smile from a cat. If you then return an icy smile to your pet you’re smiling in return.
A pioneering study was published in October. 5th, 2020 edition of Scientific Reports, revealed that slow blinking can be an effective form of positive interaction between humans and cats.
Researchers conducted two tests with the 21 cats as well as their caregivers of 14 families in the initial, and 24 pets from 8 households as well as complete strangers during the second. The participants in the second study did not have any prior interaction with the cats. When they blinked slowly toward the cat, they offered a hand to them.
The researchers found that cats gave more blinks that were slow to their caregivers if the caretakers were slow to blink at them. However, this was not the case if their caretakers were in the room, and not blinking. When the strangers slowly blinked at the animals, they were able to respond with eye-closing motions. Also, when strangers extended their hands and the cats sat up, they would be more inclined to come closer to strangers after slow blinking rather than if the people maintained a neutral expression and avoided eye contact.
The research results proved how cats’ blinks are believed to be a sign of positive emotion however further research is required to draw firm conclusions. It is possibly the first research of its kind to study the significance that the blinks slowly make in the feline-human relationship The results are positive that this behavior is a sign of positive emotions.
“Such findings could potentially be used to assess the welfare of cats in a variety of settings, including veterinary practices and shelter environments as well as enhancing cat-human communication in the human home,” researchers wrote. They also noted that this is unstudied in the field of research.
People who have been living with cats for a long period are familiar with the expressions we get when our pets take a moment to shut their eyes and give us a look of complete happiness. This expression evokes our hearts with joy and reminds us that we all should be able to relax and enjoy ourselves more.