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Want To Read Your Cat's Thoughts? The Tech Is On Its Way

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By Ben Bowman - June 30, 2017

Your roommate Quimby is petite, furry, and you never know what she's thinking. But, that could soon change. A team of scientists are using a computer program called Cat Facial Action Coding System (CatFACS) to decode cats' facial expressions. Their findings may reveal your feline flatmate's innermost thoughts.

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Blink, Blink, Blink

Researchers analyzed the expressions of 29 cats in a Canadian animal shelter. By studying the changes in their facial expressions when the cats were both near and removed from humans, they discovered three categories of emotions: frustration, fear, and relaxed engagement. If you've done something to annoy Quimby, chances are, her face will show it.

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The most obvious sign that your cat is irritated is when she flattens her ears, wrinkles her nose, hisses, or growls. But, according to Nature World News, this study showed a few more indicators: "licking their noses, dropping their jaws, opening their mouths wide or meowing loudly." Cats will show fear by blinking more frequently, as well as meowing loudly, freezing up, and/or hiding (duh).

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Watch The Head Tilt

Obviously, your preferred emotion for Quimby is "relaxed engagement." She'll show this to you by adjusting her ears forward, as well as tilting her head and gazing to the right. (Conversely, if she tilts her head left, she might be fearful.) Scientists acknowledge that further research must be done before we can call ourselves cat mind readers, but you can sleep happy knowing that Quimby probably likes you—a lot.

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