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Around a week ago, a stray cat transferred her kittens to my backyard. Since then I've been like feeding her max 4-5 biscuits (since my parents don't want her to grow too attached) and I just go stare at them for a while in the afternoons. When she's with her kittens, I've been allowed to be within a palm length, then she'd hiss (I accidentally came close while drying clothes), but she doesn't mind if I come close when she's alone. Today, I went close after sitting directly beside her for a while and stroked her head with a finger a couple of times. She kept her eyes closed, but didn't hiss or anything, nor did she try to evade (I was near the door while she had ample open space to run away). Is she too tired and is thus not reacting, or is she okay with it?

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Closing her eyes is an indication the cat trusts you.

When a cat is feeling wary of its surroundings, its natural instinct is to stay alert. A cat will only relax enough to close its eyes or sleep if it feels safe enough to. Cats even communicate a certain level of friendliness by using body language that indicates its feeling relaxed and secure in its surroundings despite, or maybe because of, your presence. Closing its eyes, slowly blinking as if it's drowsy, assuming a vulnerable position such as lying in its back are some of the ways a cat expresses it is relaxed and trusts you.

It's likely she still hisses at you when with her kittens because she is still extra protective of them, which of course is perfectly natural. At the same time, she still allows you to come quite close to them before she warns you to stay away.

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  • Thanks for answering! She sits on her belly with her hind legs partially tucked in. I wanted to ask one more thing: I've read it somewhere just now that directly looking into their eyes is considered aggression, but damn, that's what I've been doing while whispering "hello" and grinning like an idiot when I open the doors and sit. For a minute or two she'll stare then she's probably uninterested. Did I come off as weird? May 24 at 15:20
  • Looking directly into a cat's eyes is aggressive, but if she doesn't show any signs of being intimidated, she probably is not. It's sort of similar to how a person can glare at another person, and some will be intimidated by it, while others will not.
    – Kai
    May 24 at 16:04

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