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What Does It Mean When A Cat’s Eyes Are Big

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What Is Unequal Pupil Size

Why does my CAT have DILATED PUPILS? – Common Causes

Normally, the pupils expand and contract in unison. When unequal pupils occur, the abnormal eye can be either be the smaller pupil or the larger pupil. There may or may not be other symptoms present. If unequal pupils occur suddenly, bring your cat to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital immediately as eyesight can be permanently damaged if the problem is not rectified. Certain underlying causes of unequal pupils can be life threatening.

Unequal pupils, or anisocoria as it is called in the medical community, occurs when one of a cats pupils is either too far open or too far closed in relation to the other pupil. This gives the appearance of a small black dot in the center of one eye and a larger black dot in the center of the other. This condition is often the result of a more serious complication within the cat.

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  • Medication

Why Does My Cat Have Slanted Eyes

Have you ever wondered why your cat’s eyes have those creepy vertical slits for pupils? A new study suggests the reason may lie in cats’ preferred mode of hunting. Vertical-slit pupils are most common among nocturnal predators that ambush their prey, according to the new research, published today (Aug.

If The Pupil Remains Dilated For An Extended Period Of Time It Is Important To Rule Out Any Underlying Problems

Persistently dilated pupils could be a clue that your cat is experiencing pain somewhere in its body. If the eye itself is painful it would usually only be the affected eye that is different. The pupil would likely be constricted rather than dilated.;

If your cats eyes are persistently dilated and there doesnt appear to be an obvious cause, then it would be prudent to arrange a check-up with your veterinary surgeon. Your vet will perform a physical examination of your cat. They will look not only at the eye but looking to rule out any other potential causes of large pupils.

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Diseases And Conditions Of The Eye

Cats are subject to a number of the same conditions we sometimes have, including cataracts, glaucoma, and conjunctivitis . The latter, if caused by the chlamydia bacteria, can be contagious to humans.

Since cats’ eyes are so important to their general welfare, it is crucial that you take your cat to a veterinarian at the first sign of trouble. Many conditions can be treated easily if caught in time but can lead to months of veterinary expense and possibly even blindness, if ignored.

Third Eyelid Showing In One Eye

What Does It Mean When A Cat

As a note, if a cat’s inner eyelid is showing in one eye and not the other, it is still a cause for concern. It may imply a problem on one side of the body, but it still means there is an issue which needs resolving. It might be that you see a cat’s third eyelid showing in one eye which progresses to both. This implies the progression of one of the causes listed above.

If a cat third eyelid showing in one eye is observed, it could be some direct damage to this membrane. This would explain why it is visible in one eye and not the other. It could be a piece of dust which has lodged within or even something hitting it. As we have stated above, cancer is a possible cause of protrusion in the third eyelid, but this is relatively rare. Regardless if a cat’s nictitating membrane is observed in one eye or two, you should take them to the vet for evaluation.

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What If The Cat Pupils Are Different Sizes

When one of the pupils is larger than the other, your cat has a condition called anisocoria. Anisocoria is a symptom, not a disease itself. Sometimes, its an emergency.

If anisocoria occurs suddenly, you should consider this an emergency situation and seek veterinary care immediately to lessen the chance that your cats vision will be permanently affected, Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH, writes in an article on anisocoria in cats for the VCA.

When pupils are different sizes, it can indicate that your cat is suffering from one of the following issues: a brain injury due to trauma ; an injury to the surface of the eye; a problem with the nerves running to the affected eye; glaucoma, a very painful pressure buildup in the eye; inflammation of the interior of the eye; retinal disease; or even cancer. Cats may also develop anisocoria due to spastic pupil syndrome, which is associated with the feline leukemia virus.

Treatment Of Unequal Pupil Size In Cats

As unequal pupils are often the sign of an underlying issue, treatment depends on the issue and not the condition of the pupils themselves. Severity of underlying issues range from harmless to life-threatening. Common issues and their recommended treatments are listed below.


In some cases, a medication will be found to cause unequal pupils. If this is the situation, the removal of the medication should stop the pupil issue.;


Often medication will be prescribed for this condition, reducing the intra ocular pressure and fixing the unequal pupils in the process.


If eye infections are found, the responsible bacteria will be identified and the appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed. The average time needed for antibiotics is 2-4 weeks.


If tumors are found, surgery may be an option. The cat would be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Recovery time will depend on the location of the tumors. Radiation or chemotherapy may also be treatment options to fight against cancer. Both have side effects and treatment time can be lengthy.

High Blood Pressure;

This can be alleviated with ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and a low sodium diet. This treatment may be ongoing.;

Horners Syndrome;

This issue will generally resolve on its own, but eye drops may be prescribed to help with symptoms.;

Feline Leukemia Virus;

No cure is currently known, so care designed to ensure the cats comfort would be advised.

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What Changes Would I See In Overall Appearance

Cats that are not feeling well may just look a little off. The cat might sit in a hunched position, might not move as gracefully as before, might not lift its head properly, might have a head tilt, or might carry its tail in a different way than normal. Sometimes there is not any one thing that stands out, but instead a variety of subtle changes.

Dehydration is a common problem in cats that are not well. To see if your cat is dehydrated, gently grasp her skin near her shoulder blades, pull it up and away from her body, then let go. The skin should snap back into place right away skin that does not snap back into place, but stays tented up usually indicates dehydration, a condition that needs to be treated right away.

Cats that have some sort of chronic illness may develop slow and subtle weight loss that is only obvious when you actually run your hands along the ribs and spine. Cats that suddenly lose weight, particularly if they were previously overweight, are usually suffering from some sort of metabolic disease such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.

What Changes Should I Look For In Appetite Or Thirst

Why Cat Eyes are Slits and Vertical

Since sick cats may eat less or eat more, or may have more or less thirst than usual, any change in appetite or thirst may be of concern. Cats with dental disease may seem to be picky about their food. Cats that have some metabolic diseases such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus may have a hearty appetite and increased thirst. Cats with liver or kidney problems often lose their appetite, but usually have increased thirst.

“If your cat has not eaten properly for 24 hours, seek immediate veterinary attention.”

If your cat has not eaten properly for 24 hours, seek immediate veterinary attention. Cats that have not eaten are prone to developing a condition called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease , in which the cats appetite becomes completely suppressed for weeks. If fatty liver syndrome develops, your cat will require extensive medical management for several weeks to months before things get back to normal.

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Why Do Cats Sit And Stare At You

Some cats have learned, just like some dogs have, to sit in front of their owners and stare to get their owners to feed them or play with them. Staring may be rude in human society, but in the animal world, it conveys many different messages. Learn what your cat has to say to you to strengthen your bond with your cat.

Ear Signals Every Cat Owner Should Know

Your cat has 32 muscles in each of her ears. Thats more than five times the amount of muscles you have in your own! All of those muscles give your cats ears an amazing range of motion, including the ability to swivel up to 180 degrees. That incredible range of motion is part of the reason you cat has such a strong sense of hearing.

In addition to helping her hear the slightest shuffle from prey or a potential predator, the range of motion also allows her ears to be very expressive, and paying attention to the position of her ears can give you clues about her mood.

Once you know what to look for, youll see that her ears give you a lot of information. Theyll tell you whether shes angry, content, feeling playful, or even whether or not she wants to be picked up.

Being able to understand the signals will ensure that her emotional needs are being met and will strengthen the bond you have with each other. Heres what to look for.

Image:;Sarah Hopewell : Flickr

1. If your cat is RELAXEDHer ears will face forward. They may be also slightly tilted to the back or swiveled slightly to to the side. Youll notice your cats ears are in this position when shes content to be lounging in your lap.

Image: A.Davey : Flickr

Image: steve lyon : Flickr

Image: Christopher Marin: Flickr

Image: Chris Erwin : Flickr

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The Orange Tabby Will Usually Have One Of Five Varying Kinds Of Coat Patterns

There are five basic types of this pattern: classic tabby, spotted tabby, ticked tabby, patched tabby and mackerel tabby.

The classic tabby will have a butterfly pattern on his back or a bulls eye pattern on his sides, appearing as if the cat was tie dyed.

A spotted tabby will look more like a leopard or a jaguar with rosette or oval markings rather than stripes. Ticked tabbies have most of the tabby markings on their face.

Patched tabbies will have large swathes of color as well as stripes. The mackerel tabby will have stripes just like a tiger.

The Final Word On Cat Pupils

What Does It Mean When Your Cats Eyes Are Dilated?

Cat pupils are an amazingly expressive part of your feline friends body language repertoire. By studying your cats eyes along with her body language, youll be able to understand your cat better and avoid unwanted aggression or fear. The pupils are also a reflection of your cats health. Dont hesitate to get your cat to the vet if you notice that her pupils are different sizes.

Tell us:;Have you;noticed your cats pupils changing different shapes and sizes?

This piece was originally published in 2018.;

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Why Are My Cats Eyes Dilated

Cats have very distinctive eyes; the iris or coloured part of the eye. It can range in colour from blue to greens or hazel or copper appearance. The pupil is the black part of the eye seen centrally which controls how much light is let into the eye. The pupil can appear as a vertical slit to almost fully round when it is dilated. A cats pupil will respond to the amount of light available, so in dim or dark settings the pupil will be dilated to allow the maximum amount of light into the eye. In bright light the pupil will be much smaller and slit like. This can mean the appearance of a cats eye varies depending on the conditions.

Cultural Reactions And Folklore

Odd-eyed cats are popular within several breeds, including Van cat, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, Sphynx, Persian, Oriental Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail and Khao Manee.

In Turkey, Ankara Zoo has a breeding program to preserve pure white Turkish Angora cats with blue and amber eyes. The zoo specifically prized the odd-eyed Angoras who had one blue eye and one amber eye, as the Turkish folklore suggests that “the eyes must be as green as the lake and as blue as the sky”. The mascot of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was an anthropomorphized odd-eyed Van Cat named “Bascat”.

Muhammad‘s pet Angora, Muezza, was reputed to be an odd-eyed cat. In the Japanese Bobtail, odd-eyed cats are most frequently found in calico individuals.

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What To Do If Your Cats Pupils Are Different Sizes

Go to the emergency vet if you notice that one of your cats pupils is wider than the other.

Although chances are good that the underlying cause is not a true emergency, in this situation, its better safe than sorry. Some causes of anisocoria can progress rapidly, so its important to have your cat examined by a veterinarian as soon as you notice the abnormal pupil size.

Take pictures of your cats eyes in the abnormal state for the veterinarian, because occasionally, their eyes can go back to looking normal by the time a vet can examine them.

Symptoms Of Common Cat Cancers

Why Do Cat Eyes Shine in Photos?
Type of Cancer What to Look for


Lethargy, progressive loss of appetite, weight loss. Other signs depend on which organ is affected, but you may notice diarrhea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Detected as a firm lump or mass. Symptoms depend on the location and degree of the tumor. If in the mouth: Bad breath, loss of appetite, weight loss. If in the gastrointestinal tract: Diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Suspicious sore on a hairless area of the body ; excessive salivation , bad breath, appetite loss, weight loss, swelling of the jaw.

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What Is The Third Eyelid

The scientific name of this membrane located in the eyes of most mammals, including cats, is the nictitating membrane . More commonly it is known as the third eyelid. It is a tissue located around the cornea, conjunctiva and mucous membrane.

Although you may not notice, you can often see secretions between the eye and the outer eyelids when your cat is half asleep. As they wake up, a cat’s third eyelid showing as they begin to open their eyes is normal. However, it should not be visible once open, awake and alert.

One role of the third eyelid is to protect the eyeballs from any foreign object and from traumas as a result of a hit or knock. Their action is instinctive and automatic. It is also responsible for releasing a liquid with antiseptic properties to fight bacteria and microorganisms that could cause disease. However, these protective uses of the third eyelid should not lead to the feline nictitating membrane to show all the time.

Nictitating membranes are also sometimes known as a ‘haw’. In other animals, including many birds, it can be used to moisten the eyeball while open. As it is transparent or translucent, it means the animal can still see. Some mammals have a full third eyelid which can do this, but the cat does not. It is believed that some species have evolved away from using this membrane. Even humans have a vestigial part of their conjunctiva known as the plica semilunaris which is thought to have once been a third eyelid.

What Changes Should I Look For In Breathing

Breathing difficulty such as shallow breathing, mouth breathing, or panting may indicate a problem with the airways or lungs. Cats with breathing problems often will have their head and neck extended or may be unable to sleep in a normal position. Repeated bouts of sneezing or coughing are signs of health issues.

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Getting To Know Your Cat

As you can see, there are biological explanations for changes in your cats pupils. It is important that you understand these when trying to figure out what your cat is thinking. When looking at their pupils, ask yourself:

  • Is it dusk or nighttime?
  • Could your cat have been hunting very recently?
  • Have you been playing, allowing them to flex their pouncing muscles?

There are, however, also many emotional explanations for your cats pupil dilation or constriction. They may well be trying to tell you something, so you should try and listen. Understanding their subtle emotional tells can be difficult, so here is a guide to your cats pupils and their emotions.

My Cat Seems Fine Could There Be A Problem

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Although cats are predators, in nature larger predators will prey upon them. Since sick or old animals make an easy target, any obvious sign of illness will alert other predators that the animal is ill. Therefore, cats have evolved to hide signs of illness and pain. This means that in the early stages of illness, often the only thing that a cat owner may notice is that the cat has become quiet and withdrawn. Unfortunately, this also means a cat may be very sick before the owner realizes something is wrong.

Through training and experience, veterinarians may pick up subtle signs that a;cat is developing a health problem, which is one of the main reasons why the American Veterinary Medical Association and other veterinary experts recommend twice yearly wellness examinations for the average adult cat. Delaying your cats veterinary visit until there are obvious signs of illness may mean that heroic measures will be required to treat the problem. With some understanding of how cats show symptoms of illness, you will be able to recognize early warning signs and know what information you need to provide your veterinarian.

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