Cats are the cutest and the craziest pets. With their curious nature, a cat can be found exploring all the time.
Being a cat owner, you must know how often does it happen that your cat returns dirty or injured. And very often, they get something stuck in their eyes.
For an animal, it is a very uncomfortable experience. Besides, cat eye care is critical in the health of your pet.
Cats show several signs of having something in the eye. But how would you know what is it? How worse can it get? And what should be done? At what point should you consult a vet?
How Do I Know That My Cat Has Something In The Eye?
Look for any of the following symptoms:
- Your cat is continuously pawing at its eyes
- Its eyelid is swollen, and the eye looks smaller and shut
- Your cat is rubbing its face on the ground or carpet very often
- Excessive tears
- It has suddenly started squinting its eyes
What Is It?
If your cat shows signs of having something in the eye, it can be just a tiny object. Or it may also be an indication of a minor or major eye problem.
Here we have five most common eye conditions in cats that a cat owner must be aware of. If you suspect that your cat has something in the eye, consider ruling out these conditions too.
Let’s see what these are and how you should deal with them?
1. Conjunctivitis Or The ‘Pink Eye’
When the mucous membrane that lines the eyeball and inner eyelid gets inflamed, your furry fellow is said to have conjunctivitis.
It is highly contagious, but only from cat to cat. You will see that the eye is getting red and swollen. That’s why it is called ‘pink eye.’
- The pink or reddish color
- Sticky eye discharge
- Photophobia (reluctant from bright light)
- Frequent squinting can also occur
If your cat’s eye shows any of these signs, do consult your cat’s vet before you take any decision. Conjunctivitis can have bacterial or viral causes.
It may also be caused by allergens such as pollen, grass, dirt, or cigarette smoke. And only the vet can advise appropriate medication.
Conjunctivitis, although treatable, can worsen if you don’t pay timely attention.
2. Blepharitis Or Inflammation Of The Eyelids
The most common and major cause of blepharitis is entropion. A cat is said to have entropion when the edges of the eyelid fold inward, and the eyelashes rub and irritate the cornea.
Cat breeds with flat faces and prominent skin folds on their faces are more prone to developing entropion and hence blepharitis.
For instance, the Persian, Burmese, and Himalayan cat breeds are more prone to blepharitis due to their flattened faces and permanent skin folds.
- Red, swollen, but also itchy eyes
- You see your cat blink or squint spasmodically
- Your cat scratches or rubs its eyes. It may cause injury due to trauma to the cornea.
Blepharitis can progress to corneal rupture and ulceration if left untreated for a long time. It begins as a minor condition, and with cats, it easily gets ignored.
If you see your cat reaching for the eye repeatedly as if it has something in the eye, check for blepharitis.
3. Corneal Ulcers
Corneal ulceration is the result of acute injury. It can be an accident where the innocent animal got something sharp stuck in the eye. And the cornea developed a break or tear.
- Watery eyes
- Redness and swelling
- Sticky discharge
Not necessarily injury, it may also be the result of some infection.
Corneal ulceration can be mild or severe. Milder forms respond to antibiotics, eye drops, and pain-relieving medications. While for the severe ones, the vet may have to perform surgery.
If you suspect that your cat has something in the eye, it may be an allergy. Allergies are prevalent among cats.
- Watery eyes
- Reddish, swollen eyes
- Your cat is pawing or rubbing its eyes
Allergies that exhibit through the cat’s eyes include pollen, household cleaning products, mold and mildew dust, perfumes, dust, and drugs.
Even dust, your beddings, a particular plant in your house, cleaning products, or perfume can precipitate allergic reactions in your cat.
This mostly happens when your pet is new to your home. You suspect that it has something in the eye, while in fact, the cat could be having an allergic reaction.
Only observation can help you rule out the allergen from its environment.
Sometimes cat owners report to the vet that their cat has something in the eye. The cat constantly rubs its eyes, squints, and you can see tears coming out of it continuously.
The eye gets swollen and red too. On examination, the vet finds a cloudy white patch and a dilated pupil. It indicates that the cat has contracted glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a condition that develops when the eye pressure is drastically increased. It is a consequence of inflammation of the drainage system of the eye.
The aqueous humor (fluid inside the eye) accumulates in the absence of adequate drainage.
Glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness. Consult your vet when you suspect any of the related symptoms. He may advise medication for milder cases. In some cases, surgery may be required.
My Cat Has Something In The Eye – What to do?
Let’s see what you should do when your cat shows the symptoms mentioned above:
- Use a torch to see it clearly.
- Use a saline solution or clean, fresh water to rinse it off. If there is some tiny object or debris, it will be washed away there and then.
- Consult your cat’s veterinarian if eye irritation, redness, and tears only increase despite every maneuver.
Do not use tweezers or any object at all to take out the stuck debris. Not even fingers!
This maneuver can cause traumatic injury to your cat’s eye. Trust me; you don’t want that! Particularly when you can never be sure what is it exactly?
Dust, tiny objects, allergy, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, or traumatic injury?
If your cat comes to you with symptoms that tell it has got something in the eye, you need to look at its various possibilities.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as some object stuck in the eye and causing redness, swelling, and tears. You wash it off, and the discomfort of your pet goes away.
At other times, there are chances that the eye swelling, redness, inflammation, and discharge indicate something else. And it could get worse if not attended to on time.
Cats are on top of the list of domesticated animals who have developed allergies. Some conditions relate to age, such as glaucoma, and others relate to breeding, such as blepharitis. So, at times, it is better to consult a vet.
We hope this article was of help to you and your little furry animal!
A passionate content creator on pet behavior, nutrition choices, and health, Mike is an experienced pet expert. He has been writing on multiple websites to compensate for his passion for cats. Mike grieves around plenty of pets in his parents’ house. At the start of his career, he had a sturdy intention to be a part of pet care by any means.
With his affiliation to Purrfect n’ Pawesome, he found a way to satiate his craving to participate in pet health, wellness, and behavior analysis. He has been a significant part of our team and a major contributor in equipping our site with useful, authentic, and research-backed articles.
“I love pets as much as I love to travel to explore multiple places and lifestyles. I have been attached to this pawsome platform for many years, and my experience regarding pets has enhanced significantly by using various devices to write articles. I believe in writing my thoughts and experiences, so I try to write down the experience and learnings for my readers no matter where I am and what my mood is.”