You can be able to tell a lot by simply observing your kitty’s behavior, and especially his eyes. There are several reasons why your cat squints their eyes at you. It could simply be a means of communication or as a result of an illness. In this article, we are going to outline the reasons why cats squint their eyes at their owners.
What is your cat trying to tell you when he squints?
As we have mentioned above, your cat might be trying to communicate with you when he squints. He will narrow his eyes as if he is focused on you. It is your cat’s way of smiling at you. Your cat will squint his eyes only when he trusts you. If at all your cat has no medical reason for squinting, then it means that he is at peace. Below, we are going to look at some medical reasons why cats squint their eyes.
Medical reasons why cats squint their eyes
In most cases, when your cat is squinting his eyes at you, it is usually as a result of a medical reason. This is especially if he keeps doing so throughout the day. Below we are going to discuss some of the medical illnesses that may cause cats to squint his eyes at you:
Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids as well as the surrounding skin. This leaves your cat’s eye squinting. If your cat’s eyes are producing a discharge that may contain mucus or even pus, he might have blepharitis. Well, you will also need to observe other signs and symptoms of the disease. These may include redness of the eyes, watery eyes as well thickening of the eyelids and squinting.
In addition, your cat will try to rub his eyes using his paws. It is difficult to determine the exact cause of blepharitis in cats. In most cases, cats develop blepharitis as a secondary infection. If your cat has any condition that irritates his eyes is a likely cause of this condition.
Some cats are more prone to developing blepharitis than others. For instance, the Persian and Burmese cats are more exposed due to the confirmation of their faces. We are talking about the wrinkles in their flattened faces. White cats are also predisposed to this condition already.
For your vet to diagnose blepharitis, he will have to conduct an eye examination. The samples are sent to the lab for testing before the vet can make a conclusive diagnosis. Thereafter, your vet is going to recommend the best form of treatment. Note that the treatment method is going to depend on the actual cause of this illness.
However, it is a treatable disease and you will have your cat back to normal within no time. You can ease the process by giving your kitty a warm compress a few times a day. This will help get rid of the crusts in his eyes.
Although it is a rare condition in cats, it is possible for a cat to contract this illness. Well, it is characterized by pressure building up in the eye and thus leading to partial blindness. In normal circumstances, the eye should have constant eye fluid production as well as drainage. However, cats with glaucoma are unable to drain the aqueous humor. As a result, pressure builds up and it may result in bulging of the eyes due to the damage of his optic nerves. Understand that glaucoma in felines is a very painful condition.
Symptoms of glaucoma
It is important to spend a relative amount of time with your kitty every day. This way, you can be able to observe any changes in his behavior as well as physical aspects. Usually, glaucoma will start on one eye and progress to the other, causing a lot of pain for your cat.
As a result, your cat might appear quite irritable as well as aggressive especially when you try to touch him. He will also avoid sunlight and may sleep for more hours than usual. One again. Your cat will squint his eyes at you as a result of the cloudy eyes. Eventually, glaucoma may lead to blindness, especially if left untreated.
Causes of glaucoma
There are several causes of glaucoma in felines. For instance, if your cat has recently suffered trauma or injury in the eye, it is possible to progress to glaucoma. However, other underlying illnesses such as diabetes and eye tumors may lead to this condition. Your vet will have to conduct an examination to determine the cause of this illness before treatment.
Treating feline glaucoma
Treatment of feline glaucoma can be complex, based on the severity as well as the cause. For instance, If your cat suffers glaucoma as a result of an underlying condition such as diabetes, your vet will start from there. Other forms of treatment may include the following:
- Use of osmotic agents to reduce the eye pressure rapidly#
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors to help with the creation of the eye fluid
- Steroids will help minimize the inflammation of the eye.
This is a common and sadly a very painful eye disorder in cats. When the uveal tract of the cat swells up, causing blindness, especially if left untreated. Note that the uvea is comprised of the ciliary body, iris as well as the choroid.
The cause of this illness can be ocular or systematic. Systematic uveitis is caused by viral, fungal or bacterial infections. Other times, it can be as a result of internal parasites infestations. On the other hand, ocular uveitis may be as a result of trauma. If your cat has faced any penetration or blunt trauma, there is a high chance that he has uveitis.
It can also be as a result of corneal ulceration or even ocular tumors. You should get your cat to vet should you observe any signs or symptoms of this illness. Your cat may develop a redeye or cloudy eye that usually leads to partial blindness. You may also observe increased sensitivity to light.
Should you observe any of these signs, rush your kitty to your vet for a clinical examination. The vet will offer the treatment depending on the cause of the uveitis. For instance, if your cat suffers from systematic uveitis, your vet will treat the underlying infection leading to this condition.
On the other hand, ocular uveitis will be treated using anti-inflammatory steroids.in severe cases, your cat may lose his eye in order to remove any tumors. Therefore, do not ignore the signs and symptoms of uveitis as it may lead to complete blindness.
This is an eye disorder characterized by the pinkness of the conjunctiva. Well, this is a membrane that covers the eyeball. It could affect one eye or both of them, depending on the severity and cause. This condition will make your cat squint his eyes at you and they could also appear teary.
There are different types of conjunctivitis, based on the causal agent. These are, infectious, or non-infectious. Infectious conjunctivitis may be viral or bacterial. For instance, it could be a result of the feline herpesvirus or calicivirus both of which are responsible for most of the feline respiratory issues.
This can be a common problem especially if you are running a multicat home. On the other hand, bacterial infections such as feline Chlamydophila or Bartonella may also lead to this illness.
Some of the symptoms that you should look out for if you suspect that your cat might have conjunctivitis include excessive eye discharge from the infected eye. He will also have a redeye with a meaty appearance, squinting and blinking over and over again. He will also have a protruded third eyelid, which you should not see in the first place. Your cat might also rub his eyes using his paws, which will lead to irritation of the eye.
The treatment of conjunctivitis will depend on the real cause of the disease. Should it be bacterial, your vet will prescribe antibiotic medications. He might also use steroids in order to reduce the inflammation and irritation of the eyes.
Foreign Material in the eye
In some cases, your cat will squint when something gets in his eyes. This is actually the most common eye disorder in cats because they are already predisposed. Cats are already near the ground which means dust or other foreign material could get in their eyes. This eye problem should go away in just a few hours
However, if it takes more than a few days, consider taking him to your vet. The vet will be able to flush out the foreign material immediately.
Another main reason for your cat to squint his eyes is the corneal ulcers. The cornea is the transparent membrane that covers the eye, including pupils. If your cat has corneal ulcers, it means that there is an open wound on this membrane.
These are mainly as a result of scratches or trauma. For instance, your kitty might be itching or rubbing his eyes when he accidentally bruised his eyes. In other cases, your cat might have developed a fungal infection causing him the sores in his cornea.
Some of the symptoms of the corneal ulcers may include consistent squinting, increased sensitivity to light as well as excessive eye discharge. Your cat might also have cloudy eyes.
You should take your cat to the vet for a check-up and treatment. Treatment may involve antibiotics and the use of a collar to keep your cat from pawing his eye too much until the ulcer heals.
In most scenarios, when a cat squints consistently, it is usually a sign of an infection, trauma or injury of the eye. However, some cats will squint their eyes at you casually to acknowledge that they trust you. It could be random blinking but a cat will not close his eyes when he feels threatened.
If your cat has other symptoms of the infection causing them to squint their eyes, you must take him to the vet care for a close examination. Treatment of these illnesses will vary based on the causal agent of individual illnesses. Do not ignore any of the above-discussed illnesses as they may result in blindness and in sever cased complete loss of the eye.