Your cat’s eyes are incredibly important. The health of her eyes is a measure of her overall health, and persistent eye problems can cause her pain, discomfort, and vision distortion. Cats don’t typically suffer from as many eye problems as dogs, but there are plenty of reasons your cat might have a problem with squinting.
If you’ve noticed your furry friend squinting – either once in a while or continuously – there are several of causes to consider. If your cat’s squinting has you worried, call a local veterinarian to schedule an exam. In the meantime, take a look at some of these common causes for cat squinting:
Obstruction in the Eye: If your cat’s squinting appears all of a sudden, and especially if it’s just happening to one eye, there’s a good chance she’s just got something in it! Try to hold her eyelid open to see if you can see any dirt, plant matter, or fur; if you find something, try to flush the eye with water to see if she’ll blink it out. Never use an implement to try and remove an obstruction yourself!
Abrasion on the Eye: Has your cat been involved in any kind of traumatic incident that could have resulted in a scratched eye? A fight, fall, or rough play session may have caused an abrasion; if you suspect this is the case, your cat may need an eye patch to allow the scratch to heal.
Conjunctivitis: This condition is actually an inflammation of the pink membrane of the eye; it usually occurs in one eye but can happen in both. It can occur in tandem with a host of other eye problems such as an ulcer on the cornea or corneal inflammation. In some cases, conjunctivitis also results in discharge from the eye. If you can tell that your cat’s eye’s membranes are swollen, make a vet appointment as soon as possible.
FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a slow-acting virus that makes cats susceptible to other, secondary viruses. Some cat owners don’t know their cat has FIV until symptoms like eye problems pop up; corneal problems and/or uveitis can indicate FIV and cause your cat to squint.
Upper Respiratory Infection: When your cat’s respiratory system is compromised, you may notice her squinting frequently in both eyes. This is because the sinuses are so closely-linked to the eyes. Your vet can help you diagnose and treat your cat’s respiratory infection.
Loss of Vision: Just like humans, animals squint when they’re trying to see better. If you notice your cat squinting when you get her attention or when she’s looking closely at something, she may be losing her sight. Take her to the vet for a thorough examination to ensure her vision problems aren’t a symptom of a bigger issue.
There are lots of reasons your cat could be squinting! Harsh lights, sleepiness…many of the most common causes are totally innocuous. If your cat’s squinting has you worried, reach out for professional help. You know your cat best and if you think something’s up, having a thorough examination performed will give you both some peace of mind.
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