Why do cats "flirt?"

Cats respond to “baby talk” by closing/batting their eyes and often rolling around on the ground. Why? Is it simply a learned behavior in response to centuries of human interaction?

I don’t know, but when I make kissy noises at mine he licks my chin. It’s kinda gross, because I know where his tongue has been. I think he’s trying to groom me.

When a cat closes its eyes it’s saying “I trust you. I don’t have to keep an eye on you.” Rolling over at the same time is saying “I trust you so much I will even expose my most vulnerable parts to you.”

OTOH, a cat rolling over on its back while staring at you intently and possibly exposing claws means, “I am gonna rip you open, you #@$*&!”

The “slow blink” is not merely a cat/human interaction. I’ve had cats that did that to each other, when one would enter the room.

Absolutely, if they trust each other. If they don’t the intense glare of “I hate you/don’t trust you/get out of here” is exchanged.

My wife read somewhere (no cite, sorry) that mother cats do the slow blink to their kittens, so it’s an early-learned social response. We do it to our cats to show we are relaxed with them, and they do it right back to us.