Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When They Eat?

Have you ever wondered why cats close their eyes when they eat? It may seem peculiar at first, but this behavior is actually quite common among feline friends. Cats have various reasons for closing their eyes while enjoying a meal, and it reveals fascinating insights into their instincts and behavior.

The Comforting Sensation of Eating

One possible explanation for a cat closing its eyes while eating is the sense of relaxation and contentment that comes with a satisfying meal. Just like humans, cats experience pleasure and comfort when consuming their favorite food. Closing their eyes could be a way for them to fully immerse themselves in the pleasurable experience, shutting out distractions and focusing solely on the sensation of eating.

Additionally, closing their eyes may help cats concentrate on the flavors and aromas of their food. By eliminating visual stimuli, they can better savor the taste and fully enjoy their meal.

A Display of Trust and Vulnerability

Another reason why cats close their eyes while eating could be related to trust and vulnerability. In the wild, eating is a vulnerable activity that requires complete focus and attention. By closing their eyes, cats may feel more secure and comfortable, trusting their environment to keep them safe while they indulge in their meal.

When cats close their eyes while eating, it may also serve as a signal to others that they are not a threat. By demonstrating vulnerability, they communicate to other animals—whether they’re part of the same social group or a potential predator—that they are not a danger. This displays their confidence and trust in their surroundings.

The Importance of Gestation Periods

Closing their eyes while eating can also be traced back to a cat’s early development. Kittens, while nursing, need to close their eyes to protect them from any potential harm. This instinctual behavior might carry over into adulthood, as it develops into a comforting and familiar habit during mealtime.

Cats are known for their routine-oriented nature, and behaviors acquired during their developmental stages often persist throughout their lives. Closing their eyes while eating may simply be a habit that stems from the early days of nursing and finding comfort in closed eyes during feeding.

The Role of Trust in Relationships

For cats living in a household, closing their eyes while eating can represent trust and comfort within their environment. It demonstrates their confidence in their human caregivers and their ability to provide a safe and secure space for mealtime.

Cats are highly attuned to their surroundings and the people they interact with, and they rely on trust to establish and nurture their relationships. Closing their eyes while eating can be a sign that they feel secure and content in their home, trusting their human companions to provide for their needs.

An Innate Instinct to Reduce Stress

Lastly, closing their eyes while eating may be a way for cats to reduce stress and create a calming environment. Many cats are sensitive to external stimuli and may be easily overwhelmed by noise, movement, or other distractions. By closing their eyes, they can block out these stress-inducing factors and create a serene atmosphere in which they can enjoy their meal.

This behavior aligns with their innate instincts as solitary predators. In the wild, eliminating potential distractions while hunting or eating can increase their chances of success and survival. By closing their eyes, domestic cats may be tapping into this natural instinct and creating a stress-free environment during mealtime.


There are various reasons why cats close their eyes when they eat, ranging from comfort and relaxation to trust, vulnerability, and reducing stress. This behavior is a fascinating glimpse into the instincts and behaviors of our feline friends. So the next time you see your cat closing its eyes during mealtime, remember that it’s a natural and instinctual behavior that adds to their enjoyment and overall well-being.