Why Is My Cat Squinting One Eye?

Why Is My Cat Squinting One Eye
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Last Updated on May 20, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Your cat could be squinting one eye due to an injury, infection or foreign object stuck in their eye. If your cat’s eye is red or swollen, seek veterinary care immediately.

As a cat owner, observing unusual behaviors and symptoms from your pet can be concerning, especially when it comes to their eyes. Your cat may seem to be squinting one eye, and as a pet parent, you’re probably trying to figure out what’s going on.

Squinting is a symptom of a problem, an attempt to reduce pain or protect the eye by reducing exposure to light and air. Cats are prone to eye problems that can be caused by various factors, such as injuries, infections, or allergies. This article will explore some common causes of squinty eyes in cats and what you should do if your furry friend is experiencing this issue.

Why Is My Cat Squinting One Eye?

Credit: www.berkeleydogandcat.com

Understanding Squinting In Cats

Definition Of Squinting

Have you ever noticed your cat squinting one eye? Cat squinting refers to the partial closure of one or both eyes. It is often a sign that something is irritating or hurting your cat’s eyes. Squinting can range from occasional and brief squints to constant narrowing of the eyes.

Behavioral Cues To Look For

It can be tricky to spot squinting in cats, especially if they only do it occasionally. However, there are some obvious behavioral cues that you can look for to identify squinting, such as:

  • Partial closure of one or both eyes
  • Blinking excessively
  • Rubbing their eyes with their paws or against objects
  • Avoiding bright light

Possible Causes Of Squinting

Cat squinting can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Eye infections
  • Allergies
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Foreign bodies
  • Glaucoma
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation
  • Trauma to the eye or head

Determining the cause of your cat’s squinting is essential for identifying the appropriate treatment. Therefore, it’s crucial to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible, to rule out any underlying eye conditions.

Importance Of Veterinary Attention

Squinting in cats should never be ignored, as it can sometimes be a sign of a severe underlying condition that poses a significant risk to your cat’s vision. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to reduce the risk of permanent eye damage.

Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you take your cat to the veterinarian if you notice any behavioral cues of squinting.

If your cat is squinting one eye, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can help you identify the underlying cause of the squinting and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate your cat’s discomfort and prevent any further eye damage.

Common Reasons For Squinting In Cats

Squinting is a common characteristic of cats, which is seen whenever they focus on something. However, squinting in cats can also be an indication of an underlying health problem. In this blog post, we will uncover the common reasons why cats squint one eye.

Eye Infections

Eye infection is a common cause of squinting in cats. The following symptoms point to an eye infection:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Swelling around the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

Antibiotic eye drops can help to clear up the infection.

Foreign Objects In The Eye

If you suspect that something is lodged in your cat’s eye, then it’s best to seek immediate veterinary attention. The following signs denote a foreign object in the eye:

  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling and redness around the eye
  • Blinking or inability to open the eye
  • Cloudy or hazy pupil

Allergies And Irritants

Similar to humans, cats can also get allergies. Allergies can cause squinting in cats, especially when accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Itchiness around the eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

Veterinary prescribed allergy medications or anti-inflammatory eye drops can help alleviate the itchiness or discomfort in the eye.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is caused by decreased tear production in the eyes, which leads to dry and irritated eyes. Following symptoms indicated affected eyes:

  • Thick discharge or mucus in the eye
  • Redness in the eye
  • Increased blinking or rubbing the eye
  • Cloudy cornea

Artificial tear eye drops can be an effective treatment, but more severe cases of dry eye may require prescription medication.


Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure in the eye increases beyond the normal range and damages the optic nerve. The following symptoms may indicate the presence of glaucoma:

  • Pain and discomfort in the affected eye
  • Redness in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupil

Treatment may involve prescription medication or surgery.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers in cats are caused by bacterial or fungal infections, and if left untreated can lead to blindness in the affected eye. The following symptoms may be indicative of a corneal ulcer:

  • Squinting and sensitivity to light
  • Watery eyes
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Cloudy or hazy eye

Treatment typically involves antibiotic eye drops or ointments to clear up the infection.

Trauma To The Eye Or Surrounding Area

Eye trauma can include scratches, cuts or foreign objects in the eye. Symptoms of eye trauma can be similar to other eye problems, including:

  • Squinting and sensitivity to light
  • Excessive blinking or rubbing the eye
  • Swollen or red eyelids
  • Discharge from the eye

If you suspect your cat has sustained such injuries, then a visit to the vet is imperative.

Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders can affect the brain, eyes, and surrounding nerves, related to squinting. Symptoms indicating neurological problems are from the following:

  • Changes in behavior, confusion, or disorientation
  • Slow reflexes, weakness, or muscle tremors
  • Unbalanced gait, lack of coordination, or disorientation
  • Head tilt, nystagmus, or droopy eyelids

Treatment of neurological conditions can vary depending on severity and diagnosis; treatment may include surgery, medication, or physical therapy.

How To Treat And Prevent Squinting In Cats

Why Is My Cat Squinting One Eye?

Seeing your furry friend squinting one eye can be worrying, especially if you notice it more than once. For cats, there are various reasons why they might squint, and the way to treat and prevent it depends on the underlying cause.

We’ll explore some of the methods you can use to treat and prevent squinting in your feline friend.

Visiting The Vet For Proper Diagnosis And Treatment

If your cat is squinting one eye repeatedly, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your veterinary doctor. This will ensure you can rule out any serious eye condition that could be causing the squinting.

During the examination, the vet will assess your cat’s eye health and determine the underlying cause of the squint by conducting various tests. Once they make a diagnosis, they may prescribe medication or suggest further tests.

Topical And Oral Medications

In some cases, squinting is caused by an infection or inflammation in the eye. If this is the case, the vet may prescribe either oral or topical medication to treat the underlying issue.

Topical medications are eye drops or ointments applied directly to the eye. Usually, the cat will need to have its eyes cleaned before the medication can be applied. Oral medications, on the other hand, come in the form of pills or capsules that the cat will swallow.


If the squinting is caused by a more serious issue, such as a corneal ulcer or tumor, surgery may be required. This is usually a last resort and will only be considered if all other treatments fail. In some cases, the squint may not be permanently fixed, even with surgery.

Prevention Methods

Prevention is always better than cure. There are several things you can do to prevent your cat from squinting one eye:

  • Regular eye exams: Schedule regular eye exams with your vet to detect any eye issues early on.
  • Avoiding known irritants and allergens: Keep your cat away from things that can irritate their eyes, such as chemicals, smoke, and dust. Additionally, avoid any known allergens that could cause an allergic reaction.
  • Keeping your cat’s face clean: Clean your cat’s face regularly, especially around the eyes, to prevent any dirt or debris from causing irritation.
  • A balanced diet: Ensure your cat gets a balanced diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep their immune system strong.
  • Plenty of water: Make sure your cat has access to clean water at all times to keep their body hydrated.

Squinting in cats can be caused by various factors, including infections, allergies, and serious eye conditions. Visit the vet as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the underlying cause, topical or oral medication, surgery, or prevention methods may be required.

Remember to schedule regular eye exams and keep your cat away from any known irritants or allergens.

Frequently Asked Questions For Why Is My Cat Squinting One Eye?

Why Is My Cat Squinting One Eye?

Possible faqs and their respective answers in markdown format:

Can A Cat’S Eye Injury Cause Squinting?

Yes, a scratch, foreign body, or infection can make a cat squint one eye.

Does Squinting One Eye Indicate Pain In Cats?

Yes, it may mean the cat is in discomfort or experiencing eye pain.

What Are Some Other Signs Of An Eye Problem In Cats?

Redness, discharge, swelling, tearing, cloudiness, or changes in eye color.

Should I Bring My Cat To The Vet If It Squints One Eye?

Yes, it’s best to have a veterinarian check if there’s an underlying issue.

How Do Vets Diagnose And Treat Eye Problems In Cats?

Examination, tests, and medication such as antibiotics, drops, or ointment.


Now that you understand why your kitty is squinting one eye, you can take action to help them. If your cat is experiencing discharge, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. In this case, it’s best to take them to the vet to get checked out.

If it’s simply an irritation or injury, keep your cat’s eye clean with a warm, damp cloth. Be gentle and avoid rubbing the eye, as this could cause further damage. If you notice your cat squinting frequently, it’s important to address the issue promptly to avoid any long-term damage.

Additionally, providing your cat with proper nutrition and grooming can help prevent eye infections and injuries. With proper care and attention, your cat’s eye should be back to normal soon. Keep an eye on your furry friend’s health to ensure they stay happy and healthy.

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