The Detroit Post
Monday, 29 November, 2021

Why Are My Cats Eyes Really Big

Bob Roberts
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 22 min read

If you're frustrated by the fact that you'll never be able to get a handle on your cat's emotions through hearing words out of her mouth, look no farther than her eyes. According to the Arizona Humane Society, a cat's pupils can widen out of pure surprise.

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Perhaps your cat is stealthily walking around your home at night, thinking she has the whole place to herself, and all of a sudden you show up right behind her. Perhaps your cat spots your neighbor's large and imposing dog through the windows, and she's worried about her life that he's going to somehow get to her and attack -- yikes.

If your cat's pupils are especially large, pay attention to other key signs of anxiety, including a rounded and hunched body, a tense tail and a lowered head. You might notice your cat's pupils gradually widening as she sees you take her carrier out from hiding in the basement -- uh oh.

Don't be surprised if defensiveness quickly turns into aggression -- biting, scratching, the whole nine yards. Bites and scratches from cats sometimes lead to dangerous infections, so play it safe.

According to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, wide pupils can also mean that a cat is feeling enthusiastic and excited about something. They allow a cat to see in near-darkness and provide her with a great ability to detect motion in order to hunt prey.

Even the smell of catnip itself can cause arousal in a cat that likes the stuff. You may also see the pupils contract suddenly if she’s about to “kill” her favorite toy (or your toes moving around under the blankets).

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Yes, it’s true: wide cat eyes can mean both excitement and fear, so you’ll have to suss out the meaning of your cat’s wide eyes by looking at what’s going on around her and her other body language cues. When you pull out your cat’s favorite treats, her pupils may get wide in anticipation.

If your cat is sitting there, looking tense (with a hunched back and her tail close to her side), and her pupils are also wide, you can assume that she’s anxious about something. Cats may also develop anisocoria due to spastic pupil syndrome, which is associated with the feline leukemia virus.

Cat pupils are an amazingly expressive part of your feline friend’s body language repertoire. The pupil is the black slit/circular shape in the middle of the cat’s iris (the colored part of the eye).

Pupils control the amount of light which enters the eye by dilating (becoming large) and constricting (becoming small/slit-like). Emotions: When a cat is angry or aggravated, the pupils constrict when it is happy, excited or scared, they dilate.

Certain medications: (A atropine, tropic amide, morphine, clonidine, amphetamine) and plants (such as catnip) can cause dilated pupils in cats. If your cat is on medication and has dilated pupils, contact your veterinary surgery who will be able to advise if this is a common side effect.

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Other treatment options include radiation and or chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and slow down its progress. Supportive care to manage symptoms can include medications to control seizures and nausea.

Retinal detachment (RD) is a common, serious and sight-threatening disorder which occurs when the retina (a thin, transparent layer of light-sensitive tissue which lines the rear of the eye) detaches from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium layer. Other causes include trauma, infection, inflammation, cancers, glaucoma, toxins, and autoimmune disease.

Dilated pupils Sudden blindness Other symptoms will vary depending on the underlying cause Any head trauma can potentially damage the brain and affect the autonomic nervous system, which as we noted above, is responsible for specific functions cat has no direct control over such as heartbeat, digestive system, and papillary response.

A fall from a height, trauma from a car accident or intentional hit to the head can all potentially cause injury to the brain. The most common cause is a blockage to the drainage system within the eye, leading to a build-up of fluid, which may be due to inflammation or infection, trauma, displacement of the lens, cataract surgery or tumors.

Dilated pupil Pain One eye which appears larger than the other Squinting Loss of vision There are several causes of hypocalcemia which include: Hyperparathyroidism : Low parathyroid hormone levels in the blood, most commonly due to the accidental removal of the parathyroid gland during surgery to remove the thyroid gland in cats with hyperthyroidism.

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The kidneys are responsible for the production of vitamin D, and when levels drop, there is a decrease in gastrointestinal absorption of calcium from the food. Milk fever : This condition occurs in female cats who are nursing kittens.

The goal of treatment is to find and manage the underlying cause as well as treat symptoms of hypocalcemia. Thiamine (B1) is a water-soluble vitamin which plays a vital role in many bodily functions including metabolizing carbohydrates, maintaining a healthy heart and nervous system.

Dilated pupils Drooling Loss of appetite Ataxia (wobbly gait) Loss of righting reflexes Slow heartbeat Behavior changes Twitching Cervical introflexion (necks flexed/rigid, which causes an inability to raise the head, the chin rests near the chest) Venom is a form of poison secreted by several animals in defense or to kill their prey.

But that's body language, and parts of his eyes can be affected by physical factors, too, like the widening or narrowing of his pupils. His pupils are those dark spots at the center of his eyes, technically in the middle of his irises.

It's a perfectly normal biological response, though other things can cause changes to your feline's pupils as well. Occasional dilation can be prompted by a number of emotional or environmental factors, or even by age.

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Keep in mind that cats can see in a light one-fifth of the level that humans need for clear perception. It can be a bit like putting together a puzzle, so take stock of her surroundings and what's going on at the time.

Technically, this could be a cat monster, something not to be trusted until it's been completely and warily investigated and, if necessary, rendered dead. Her pupils might dilate at the new, interesting, possibly dangerous intrusion, then narrow again after she's sized up the situation.

Pain also can be indicated either by a constricting or dilating of your cat's pupils. Also, squinting behavior and bloodshot eyes are indicators of pain in cats.

If a cat's eyes are dilated all the time, the situation might require a visit to the vet. Your veterinarian might shine a light into your cat's eyes to see how his pupils react as a preliminary step toward arriving at a diagnosis.

Your cat will probably exhibit other symptoms as well if he's suffering from high blood pressure. It can be caused by retinal disease, feline leukemia, cancer, or an injury or eye ulcer.

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Cats with round pupils might also suffer from dysautonomia, sometimes called Key-Gaskell Syndrome. This involves your cat's automatic nervous system, or ANS, which is responsible for prompting all those physiological things your cat doesn't willfully control: hunger or lack of it, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and pupil dilation.

You might notice other symptoms of dysautonomia, too, if this is the cause of her dilated pupils. For cats with round pupils, you'll want to visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Blood and urine samples can tell your veterinarian a lot, no matter the physiological cause of your cat's wide pupils. If its hypertension caused by another issue, your vet will treat the underlying condition, no doubt extending your feline's life, and all because you noticed something strange was going on with her eyes.

Not acting quickly enough can mean your cat loses his vision or worse. Even if your feline isn't exhibiting any other symptoms, but he just walks around with dilated eyes all the time, you'll want to have the situation checked out.

In virtually all cases, constant dilation indicates an underlying medical condition. Occasional dilation is normally just the result of a cat's interesting life.

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I, too, was concerned but the vet checked her out thoroughly and there is nothing wrong with her eyes or vision. The only time I see them contract to pinpoints is when she is in direct bright sunlight.

Location: the wrong side of the tracks Richmond, VA I, too, was concerned but the vet checked her out thoroughly and there is nothing wrong with her eyes or vision.

The only time I see them contract to pinpoints is when she is in direct bright sunlight. Whew, thanks, as long as I am not the only one. I know humans get big pupils” when we are interested in something or someone, thinking maybe the little guy just loves life and is excited about any and everything.

One vet theorized he may have had a nutritional deficiency as a small kitten that affected his eyes. I wondered if he might have been in a dark place when he was little, so that the muscles never got a chance to develop and “learn their job”.

We know his vision is excellent because he can catch gnats and small moths in mid-air. As for the pupils never “slitting” in bright light, I don't think that matters much in a cat living indoors.

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His vets over the years have never been concerned, there is nothing “handicapped” about him except Is, and I just accept that as part of who he is. My sister always thought Ralph “rode the short bus” into this life and is a little slow but I disagree (she suspected brain injury when he was little but there are no signs of anything like that).

Gus has the more “normal” cat looking eyes and is at least 10 years old... Betty is not quite 4. I wasn't very conscious of her dilated pupils until recently, and now, like a newly learned vocabulary word, I notice them all the time.

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Watery eyes, known as perform in the veterinary world, is defined as an abnormal overflow of tears. Veterinarians commonly see perform in brachiocephalic breeds, such as Himalayan's and Persians, whose congenital abnormalities cause an over exposure of the eyeball to the outside world.

Watery eyes are also connected to two other congenital abnormalities including distichiasis and entropic, conditions in which the eyelids or eyelashes turn inward causing irritation to the eyeball. If your cat has allergies, a foreign object trapped in the eye, or a viral infection similar to the common cold, her eyes could become excessively watery for a temporary period of time.

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However, if your cat’s eyes have been abnormally watery since birth or for an extended period of time, the problem could be the symptom of a condition that requires veterinary attention. Glaucoma: eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve commonly seen in older felines.

Trauma Scratches (elements or other animals) Facial bone fractures (hit-by-car accidents) Trapped foreign elements in the eye Parasites Distemper FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) Fell (Feline Leukemia Virus) Tear duct blockage due to a structural deformity of the tear duct or inflammation caused by a secondary condition. Any information regarding your cat’s medical history and behavior that you can provide the veterinarian can aid him or her in the diagnosis.

To better pinpoint the cause of your cat’s watery eyes, the veterinarian may also perform: The veterinarian simply stains the eyeball and shines a blue light into the eye for viewing purposes.

A geometry test, performed to evaluate the intraocular pressure or fluid within the eye. Radiographs, an MRI, or a CT to check for internal abnormalities within the skull.

Distichiasis can be treated by removing the hairs using a process called cryosurgery. Eyelid tumors will require aggressive treatment and if caught early, can be surgically removed.

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Recovery and management of watery eyes in your cat is dependent of the severity of the condition. If your cat has been prescribed medication to alleviate pain due to a foreign object obstruction or antihistamines to relieve allergy symptoms, recovery should begin within a few days.

Management will mainly take place at home with occasional trips to the veterinarian. However, if your cat has undergone a surgical procedure, recovery and management will take longer, requiring more veterinarian attention.

Your veterinarian will want to reevaluate your cat and check on the progress of the treatment. He has just had a bath in this photo to and I cleaned his eyes with warm water to see if it was just old but it still has done the same thing again.

His eyes appear healthy otherwise in the picture that you sent, and he may just need to have his face cleaned frequently. Can’t see any scratches or any foreign objects in it, but he is squinting a lot or keeping it closed.

I’ve been wiping it clean with just water and tissue regularly but should I seek veterinary advice? Viral disease is common in cats, and can sometimes be seen as a squinty, watery eye.

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If he is holding the eye open for the most part and not pawing at it or bothering with it, you should be okay to keep it clean and monitor him. If he starts pawing at the eye, or it is not getting better over a few days, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them and see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

But before jumping into conclusions, I prefer taking a vet's advice. In a young kitten it is much more common to have a viral upper respiratory infection than allergies, unless your kitchen is in a very dusty environment.

My cat has been having watery eyes and today there was a little of discharge and I've noticed him squinting a little lately Hello From what you are describing, it sounds like your pet could have an upper respiratory infection (URI) or conjunctivitis.

My cat Shakespeare has watery eyes that came out of the blue, but he has been sneezing for some time due to allergies. We adopted two kittens (a boy and a girl) from the same litter about two months ago.

We continued them on the wet food that the foster family had been giving them and had no problems. Just a couple of days ago, the boy's right eye started watering after eating wet food.

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I have 3 stray cats the I got from a nearby barn, 1 of which has watery eyes problems... His eyes water brown unlike his siblings I just wiped it away not knowing what caused. I asked My mother Why is His eyes doing that” She responded with “It's because you mess with them too much” I so, did not believe her and moved on.

We'll both be chilling, I'm sitting or lying around, and she'll be napping or grooming herself. Then out of nowhere she'll stare at me, her pupils will get really big and black, she'll tilt her head, and sometimes creep toward me.

My cat also grabs me with her claws AND bites so it's even worse, :p. And she will hide then jump out at me and do this. The fishing rod type toy idea is a good one.

Have you gotten an another cat or did you add another animal in the home cats can become aggressive if you bring another animal in the home and that's the way they act? Your cat doesn't like a change that has happened in the house.

But if you don't want to get red of the cat and want to try to work through this. The spray bottles won't cost no more than a dollar but get two and put the other up in case something happens to the first one.

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But Put ice-cold water in the spray bottle and when you think the cat is going to bite or stretch you spray the cat with the water it sounds mean but that's the only way to break that habit if you want to keep the cat. When you see her getting ready to bite you, use a loud noise or a squirt bottle to show her that's not acceptable.

I used to play with her a lot, and she learned how to wait on the stairs and bite me as I passed. She would get the big black eyes, tilt her head and bite me HARD.

Oreo outgrew it as I grew up and got calmer, so maybe it is a stress situation. When light reflects its eyes it turns a different color.

Try putting no bite or bitter apple on your hand. “Feline skin lesions have many possible causes including allergy, infections and parasites.

For example, a human could carry fleas into a house, which in turns causes a cat skin reaction. The second leading cause is atop, which is an allergy to inhaled substances such as tree and grass pollen.

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A visit to a veterinarian is required for a specific diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Anytime your cat has a sore that doesn’t heal in a few days or that oozes yellow or green-colored puss, see your vet as this is a sign of infection.

Start by suspecting the leading cause which is fleas, even if you have trouble locating any on your cat's body. There are several factors that could provide clues as to the cause of the cat skin disorder.

Middle age cats tend to have a problem with hormones or some type of allergy. Medications: New products that you might be using with your cat such as flea collars or spot ONS might cause the problem.

Red Eyes (conjunctivitis) and Swelling : could indicate allergy to food or something in the environment. Weight Loss, stomach or breathing problems : These are associated with yeast or fungus infection.

Passing allergy, food reaction, blisters, skin injuryClawsBacterial infection, immune system reactions of Tail, Hair loss along the spine Acute moist dermatitis, or “hot spots,” are round, raw lesions that occur most often on the head, hips, and sides of the chest.

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They are most common on cats with long, dense hair, and occur most often during times of hot weather. Hot spots can be caused by a number of things, including flea bites, mites, poor grooming, and allergies.

Treatment will be prescribed for fleas or other parasites, and your vet can instruct you on proper grooming techniques. To diagnose demodicosis, your vet will do a scraping of the affected skin and examine it under a microscope.

Picture of Cat Skin Problem Mange (also called scabies and demodicosis) In order to avoid re infestation, a cats' environment should be cleaned with a quality disinfectant such as Benz arid.

Blastomycosis is a fungal infection that causes cat skin sores. It is a systemic infection that causes respiratory problems, generalized weakness, a poor appetite, and even blindness.

One of the first signs of the illness, however, is round, oozing sores on the skin. To diagnosis blastomycosis, your vet will examine secretions from the sores under a microscope.

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Blastomycosis is treated with an oral anti-fungal medication using fluconazole (It) therapy. Like blastomycosis, it is a systemic infection and causes weight loss, cough, fever and diarrhea.

Allergies can be caused by a change in season, if a cat comes in contact with an allergen or from food. Experimentation is used to determine the exact cause by changing what is a cat is exposed to, or in the case of food, limiting the number of ingredients.

In addition to any specific therapies recommended by a veterinarian, homeopathic products can provide added support. Please include information such as breed, age, sex, history, changes in behavior, products used etc.

If you have an urgent question we suggest using this online veterinary cat answer service that is staffed by vets and available 24 hours a day. My cat is approximately 9-10 years old, female, spayed and till six weeks ago never had problems other than occasional fleas.

About 4 months ago I noticed a small pimple like sore over her eye. In a book called Cat Sense, which the New York Times kindly reviewed last week, Bradshaw insists that despite being happy lying over your warm laptop keyboard and starring in any number of YouTube videos, cats are essentially still wild.

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He's been studying cats for 30 years, and he insists that because they were never bred to play some specific role in the domestic life of humans, they didn't go through some radical evolutionary change. Yes, many have been domesticated in their way, but equally, many go out and breed with wild cats out there in the trees and bushes.

All that rubbing up against you with their tails up is apparently no more than a hopeful check that you really are just another big, fat, slovenly cat who doesn't intend to eat them with their Welsh Rarebit. No, they have absolutely no idea about nuclear war and apparently no clear sense that we might be some other species, despite not quite having the probably hairy torsos they enjoy.

We also don't have their technical ability to turn our bodies into parachutes when falling from a tall building -- something Bradshaw explains cats are rather good at. They watch us wander around, hunt purposelessly and bring home a ton of KFC.

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