Why is my Cat Squinting One Eye?

cat squinting one eye

Is your kitty regularly winks at you? Is your cat’s eye partially closed? And have you noticed the kitty is rubbing one eye again and again? Are you asking, “Why is my cat squinting one eye?” If you are observing all these symptoms daily, then your cat might be suffering from allergies, or there are more serious problems with that eye.

If you are a cat owner, you should know that cat eye care is an essential part of your pet’s life because it will impact its whole, healthy life. You can avoid so many dangerous vision problems by noticing cat eye irritation. Your cat might face these difficulties, and thus you are here. Hence, don’t waste your time searching everywhere. Don’t be panic; now you are in the right place as I have cats like you, I can understand the worries. Let’s know what causes cat one eye squinting within the prevention and treatment of this problem.

Reasons for cat one eye squinting

There is a coating on cat’s eyes which plays a significant role in keeping them salutary. Usually, it’s known as tear film that helps to removes dust and moist the eyes. Also, it provides nutrients that help to fight with bacteria. If the eyes discharge noticeable water, it means they are struggling to keep the eye healthy. Sometimes it can occur for some specific illness, and sometimes it can happen for your cat’s allergy. We will discuss both of them.

Cats can be allergic to the same things that human are:

  • Dust
  • Mould
  • Dust
  • Drugs
  • Teak and Flea-control products
  • Fragrances
  • Cleaning products

A cat can suffer eye squinting problem for some specific disease. We have listed down some of them.

#Blepharospasm

It’s known as the automatic closure of the eyelids which we say squinting. Blepharospasm isn’t a disease. Actually, it’s a sign that defines your cat is facing some health issue which affects the free nerve endings in conjunctival membranes and cornea.

Symptoms of Blepharospasm

  • Eyelid will look red and swollen
  • The cat will blink or squint continuously
  • Sometimes the pet will scratch or rub at the eyelids
  • Water discharging

Causes of Blepharospasm

Commonly any eyelid irritation can cause blepharitis. I have listed some causes below.

  • Sometimes eyelashes grow towards the eye and create irritation
  • Allergies to insect bites and allergic objects that are breathed or inhaled can also cause blepharitis.
  • Blepharospasm can develop in little flat faces cats. For instance, Persian cats.
  • Bacterial or fungal infections like staph, sores of glands in the eyelids can cause blepharospasm.
  • Tumours in the edge of the eyelids can also cause blepharitis.
  • External injury to the eyelids
  • Imbalance of nutrition

Treatment of Blepharitis to stop cat squinting one eye

For reducing the infection, you can wet a towel with hot water and apply it in the affected eye. Continue it twice or thrice per day. You can also use saline eye drops. If you don’t see any improvement after doing all these, then please consult with your vet soon, because it can lead to a dangerous health problem. Also feed healthy food and good supplements.

cat one eye squinting

#Symblepharon

Symblepharon means the adhesion of conjunctiva tissue to another conjunctiva surface or the cornea. Typically it happens for feline herpesvirus that infected ten to 3 weeks old kitten eyes. This virus causes Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and attacks the eyelids. In this case, the affected eye swelled and got almost glued together, and it seems like the cat is squinting at you.

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Symptoms of Symblepharon

  • At the first stage, eye discharges watery, and later it becomes like pus
  • Eyes become red and bloodshot
  • Burning sensation
  • Eyelid Swelling

Causes of Symblepharon

  • Feline Herpesvirus causes Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis or Symblepharon which attacks the conjunctiva.
  • Sometimes the viruses hide in the eye tissue and appear again when the cat is passing stress time.

Treatment of Symblepharon to recover cat eye squinting

  • Antibiotic Therapy
  • Antiviral Therapy
  • Anti-Inflammatory Therapy
  • Lysine Supplementation

#Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

It is quite different from the above two cat eye problem. Because after this infection eyes decrease tear production, and they become dry. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a chronic inflammation of the cornea and surrounding conjunctival tissues. As we know the importance of tear for the eyes. Tear help to remove any dust or infectious element.

Symptoms of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

  • Excessive squinting or blinking
  • Swollen blood vessels in the eye
  • Eyelid and eye surface swelling
  • Eye discharges pus
  • Discharge of mucus or pus from the eye
  • Severe infection can lead to complete loss of vision
  • Corneal Ulceration

Cause of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

There are several reasons for Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Be aware if you have a female cat because they are in the highest risk of having this eye disease.

  • Feline herpesvirus or cat flu
  • Bacterium infection in the respiratory system
  • Low immune defences
  • Nerve problem in the tear gland
  • Injury in the central nervous system
  • Using Atropine or toxins for muscle relaxation
  • Using Anesthesia for pain insensitivity
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication

Treatment of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

  • Using eye lubricant can keep the cat’s eye hydrate (Consult with your vet, he may prescribe liquid drops)
  • Use Antibiotic eye ointment to treat bacterial infections.
  • Topical corticosteroid cream to reduce inflammation on the swollen tissue or around the cat’s eyes.
  • Parotid duct transposition (A surgery by which the vet can reroute the aqueous ducts) .

All these treatments are for dry eye syndrome. Most of the case cats recover this problem within 90 days. To advance the recovery, you can clean the cat eye with some specific medicine.  All the antibiotics should be applied till the recommended time which will ensure the full recovery of the eye. Don’t forget about the repeat medical test. Your cat can suffer pain while doing all this treatment so give him/her extra treat and toy to move their mind from strain and pain. 

#Anisocoria

In Anisocoria the pupils of cat’s eyes don’t remain the same size. And it can occur suddenly. It indicates corneal injury, a problem in the central nervous system, glaucoma, or inflammation in the internal sector of the eye. Cat also squints at this situation. 

Symptoms of Anisocoria

  • One pupil becomes larger than the other one
  • Eye discharges water
  • Redness of the eye
  • Cloudy and blush cornea
  • Pain or irritation in the eye
  • Squinting again and again
  • Activity decrease
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Confusion in movement
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Causes of Anisocoria

  • A corneal injury like an ulcer
  • Damage in the brain or in the nerves that run to the affected eye
  • Glaucoma which is diseases that increase pressure within the eye
  • Retinal problem
  • Posterior Synechia   
  • If the Irish tissue doesn’t develop properly
  • Cancer

Treatment of Anisocoria

  • If your cat has hypoplasia or iris atrophy, your vet may not prescribe any treatment or medicine because it’s not life-threatening for the cat.
  • In some cases, the vet may recommend antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications will. These drugs can be used for stopping bacterial infections and inflammation which develop Anisocoria later.
  • We have already told you that glaucoma is a reason of Anisocoria. So, your vet may prescribe medicine to treat glaucoma which can help to fix the pupil of your cat’s eye.
  • You should know high blood pressure can cause unequal pupil or Anisocoria. So, please do check your cat’s pressure and take proper medications.
  • Some drugs can cause Anisocoria. It’s not possible for you to detect this problem, hence consult with your vet.
  • Surgery is a critical but effective treatment for your baby. If there is a tumour in the eye and which is related to the unequal pupil, then your vet may suggest about the operation. Don’t worry; it’s not that risky, and the doctor will use anaesthesia while doing surgery.
  • In some underlying conditions, this problem can be treated with just eye drop. 

#Corneal Ulcers

If there is cloudiness in your cat’s eye, you should concern about it. It may cause a corneal ulcer. And this eye problem can be responsible for the unequal pupil.

Symptoms of Corneal Ulcers

  • Squinting and sensitive in light
  • Cloudy Eyes
  • Redness in eye
  • Pain
  • Discharging of water
  • Rubbing at head or eye
  • Infection in eye
  • Vision problem

Causes of Corneal Ulcers

  • Infected by bacteria or virus
  • Having eye illness for many days
  • Inability to close the eye fully
  • Chemical burns
  • Facial nerve paralysis
  • Not producing tear (Dry eye)
  • Got injured during playing or fighting with another cat or dog

Treatment of Corneal Ulcers

It’s hard to say, but it’s true that corneal ulcer can damage your cat’s vision and most of the time natural treatment can’t repair it properly.

Antibiotic Therapy

Antibiotics are applied in cases of partial corneal ulcers. They can reduce the cat’s suffering from pain and protect the eye from infection. But there is a complication, and that is for including atropine in antibiotics which can reduce the tear production of cat’s eye. As we have told before that herpes virus can hide in eyelid so, you shouldn’t stop putting medicine even the eye looks okay. Use the prescribed medication until the doctor’s advising time.

Surgical Therapy

If the ulcer goes deeper, it may be necessary to transplant of corneal, conjunctival flaps or adding contact lens. In this case, eye surgery is essential to repair the cornea, or your dog can be blind for a lifetime. You have to use some ointment after ten days of the operation. After 14-16 days the cornea should recover.

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#Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a common eye problem in cats, and it also helps to develop different diseases. It occurs when the eye gets pressure through the build-up of excess fluid. In this situation, the pupil can’t remain in the same size and the cat starts squinting or rubbing the eye again and again.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

  • Blinking or squinting
  • Redness of the blood vessels
  • Cloudiness
  • The pupil will not respond to light
  • Vision loss
  • Eyeball enlargement
  • Infection in the eye
  • Irish, cornea or lens may stick together
  • Feeling headache and the cat may rub his/her head all the time to release the pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in attitude
  • Remain inactive day by day
  • May avoid being touched

Causes of Glaucoma

In medical, Glaucoma is caused by inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid. There are two types of Glaucoma; primary and secondary.

Cause of Primary Glaucoma

  • Anatomical abnormality in the eye (Specifically in the drainage angle)
  • Increase of intra-ocular pressure

Primary Glaucoma is rarely found in cats.

Cause of Secondary Glaucoma

  • Increase of intraocular pressure due to some other eye illness
  • Long term injury
  • Infection in the interior of the eye
  • Blocking the drainage angle within dust and scar tissue
  • Anterior dislocation of the lens
  • Tumor in the eye
  • Damage in the eye lens

Most of the secondary Glaucoma occurs with old cats. Please take more care if you have a cat that is now old.

Treatment of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a harrowing condition, and its most common sign is swelling eyes. It can gradually start on the other eye as well.

Medical Therapy

With different eye drop and pills, you can decrease the fluid production or increase the drainage of fluid. Please be noted, the price of these drugs can be high in cost. This medication can’t help with glaucoma fully but can relieve the cat from pain and save the eye till operation date.

Surgical Therapy

There are different types of surgical therapy according to the level of glaucoma. The vet can choose several options for the eye such as:

For visual eyes:

  • The pressure of intraocular can be reduced by doing cycloablation and make a drainage implant.

For enduringly blind eyes:

  • The eye can be removed if there is no hope for bringing the visualization and implant an artificial eye.
  • Injecting a drug that will stop fluid production by killing its cells which will reduce the pressure in the eye.

Final Verdict

I have done a lot of research before writing this article. So, you can trust the information 100%. It’s not a good sign if your cat squinting one eye or rubbing eyes and the head most of the time in a day. Don’t ignore those symptoms. If you can’t figure out the problem, go to the vet, and your baby should be checked by the vet regularly. Hope you got answers that ‘why is your cat squinting one eye’. If you have any question, please let us know in the comment section.

Have a good time with your cat!