Why Is My Cat Keeping One Eye Closed or Squinting One Eye?

Have you ever noticed your cat’s one eye shut or squinting? If so, you may be wondering why this is happening and if it is something to worry about.

Cats can have one eye closed or squint for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor irritations to serious medical issues.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential causes of cats keeping one eye closed or squinting, as well as what steps you should take if you see this behavior in your pet. It’s important to consider whether there is an underlying medical condition causing the behavior.

Eye infections, glaucoma, and other conditions can cause pain and result in squinting. Additionally, foreign objects or accidents may cause pain when the eyelid is opened.

Irritants such as smoke or pollen could also lead to a defensive reflex where cats close their eyes. If you suspect a medical issue, it’s essential to visit a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

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Tests like blood work, urinalysis, and imaging scans will help determine the cause of the disease and guide treatment options such as antibiotics for infection, steroids for inflammation, or surgery if necessary. Behavioral problems can also cause cats to keep one eye closed or squint out of fear or anxiety when faced with loud noises or unfamiliar people.

Furthermore, cats may close their eyes when they are hungry or relaxed in order to save energy and get comfortable. Regardless of the reason behind your cat’s behavior, it’s important to monitor any changes in their health and wellbeing closely.

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If your cat has one eye closed or squints consistently over time without any apparent environmental triggers, it could be indicative of a more serious problem that requires professional attention right away.

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Injury or Infection

If you notice your cat keeping one eye shut or squinting, it could be an indication of an injury or infection.

Scratches and cuts, as well as foreign objects in the eye, are some of the possible eye injuries cats can experience. Infectious diseases such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) can also cause redness, inflammation and pain that may make the cat squint or hold one eye shut.

Other possible causes of eye infections in cats include feline herpes, feline leukemia virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus. If you suspect your cat has an injury or infection, it’s best to take them to the vet for a check-up right away.

Your vet will examine the cat’s eye and run diagnostic tests such as a culture, stain, or biopsy to identify the cause of the issue. Without proper treatment, these issues can lead to permanent damage or even loss of sight – especially in older or immunocompromised cats.

Your vet may prescribe medication to treat the underlying condition – antibiotics, antifungal medications or antiviral drugs depending on what type of infection is detected. Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers may also be necessary to reduce swelling and discomfort caused by the injury or infection.

To sum up, if you observe your cat keeping one eye closed for an extended period of time or squinting frequently, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention right away.

Foreign Object in the Eye

If your cat is keeping one eye closed or squinting, it could be a sign of something more serious than just being sleepy.

It could be due to a foreign object stuck in their eye. Cats are naturally curious and can easily get debris or an object trapped in their eye, leading to discomfort and pain.

Common foreign items that cats may pick up include dust, sand, grass, or even a piece of hair. If your cat has a foreign object in the eye, you may notice excessive tearing, redness and blinking.

To try to relieve the discomfort, your cat may paw at the affected eye or rub it against furniture. If you suspect that your cat has something stuck in their eye, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately for an examination.

By using a special dye called fluorescein, any scratches or foreign bodies in the eye can be revealed by the vet. If there is a foreign object present, they will carefully remove it and your cat should recover within a few days.

However, if the foreign body has caused damage to the cornea or inner eye, your cat may need antibiotics or other treatments. It’s best not to attempt to remove any foreign object from your cat’s eye without professional help as rubbing or poking the area can cause further damage and make it more difficult to remove.

Therefore, if you notice that your beloved feline friend is keeping one eye closed or squinting one eye, seek help from a veterinarian right away.


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Cats are just as susceptible to environmental allergens such as pollen, smoke, mold, and certain foods as humans are. When exposed to an allergen, the body’s immune system can overreact, resulting in itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, and sometimes even vomiting or diarrhea.

If you suspect that your cat’s eye irritation is due to allergies, it is essential to identify and eliminate the allergen from their environment. Keep their surroundings clean and dust-free as much as possible.

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Your veterinarian may also recommend antihistamines or other medications to help relieve allergic symptoms. Unfortunately, in some cases allergies can lead to secondary bacterial or viral infections if your cat has been scratching their eyes excessively.

If your cat does not improve after eliminating potential allergens and administering medication, it is essential to consult your veterinarian for further tests and exams.

Neurological Condition

If your beloved feline companion is keeping one eye closed or squinting, it could be a sign of a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention.

Although it may be something as simple as allergies or a foreign object in their eye, it could also be the result of a neurological disorder. The muscles in the eye can weaken due to neurological issues such as Horner’s syndrome, which affects the nerves in the face and eyes.

It can also be caused by strokes or head injuries. Additionally, other medical signs may accompany squinting or closing one eye, such as loss of balance, tilting of the head, seizures, or changes in behavior.

If these symptoms are present together, veterinary care should be sought immediately to ensure prompt and effective treatment for any underlying issues. It may require a thorough examination and diagnostic tests to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

In some cases, neurological conditions may be accompanied by secondary eye infections or injuries that can further worsen the problem. Given its complexity and potential seriousness, pet owners should never attempt to diagnose or treat neurological conditions on their own.

Seeking veterinary help is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

Symptoms to Look Out For

If your cat has been keeping one eye closed or squinting, it’s essential to be aware of any other symptoms that may accompany this.

These can help you determine the underlying cause and whether medical attention is required. Look out for any discharge or tears from the affected eye, as this could indicate an infection, injury, or allergies.

The consistency of the discharge can give you more clues about the cause. Furthermore, redness, swelling, or inflammation around the eye could be a sign of a more severe medical condition and requires prompt veterinary care.

Additionally, if your cat develops a fever or shows other signs of illness such as lack of appetite or vomiting, it could be indicative of a much more serious disease that needs to be treated right away.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

The sight of your cat keeping one eye closed or squinting can be worrying, so it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately.

With a thorough eye examination, your veterinarian will be able to identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options. Infection, injury, allergies, and foreign objects in the eye are all possible causes of squinting.

Depending on the diagnosis, your vet may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications, antihistamines or suggest surgery. For example, if an infection is causing the issue, antibiotics may be needed; if entropion (eyelid rolling inward) is an issue, surgery may be required; and if allergies are causing irritation in the eyes, antihistamines may help reduce symptoms.

It’s important to remember that early intervention can make all the difference in ensuring a full recovery for your feline companion.

Prevention Tips

Caring for your cat’s eyes is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. Unfortunately, cats can suffer from eye disorders that cause them to keep one eye closed or squinted. To help prevent this, here are five prevention tips you should follow:

Regular Check-ups

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To ensure optimal eye health, it’s important to take your cat to the vet once or twice a year for regular check-ups. During these visits, the vet will examine your cat’s eyes and prescribe medication if needed.

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Keep the Eyes Clean

To remove any dirt or debris from your cat’s eyes, use a damp cloth at least once a week. This will help prevent any irritation or infection that could lead to further problems.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Make sure not to use harsh chemicals near your cat’s eyes as they can be very irritating and cause more harm than good. If your cat comes into contact with any sharp chemicals or foreign objects in its eyes, flush them out immediately with sterile saline solution or water.

Watch Out for Flu-Like Symptoms

If your cat has flu-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, take them to the vet for treatment right away as these could be signs of more serious health issues that require immediate attention.

Keep Your Cat Indoors

Outdoor cats are more exposed to dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens that may trigger eye problems so it’s best to keep them indoors where they are safe from these irritants.


When To Seek Immediate Veterinary Attention

No pet owner wants to see their beloved feline companion keeping one eye closed or squinting.

While it may seem like a minor issue, in some cases, it could be a sign of a more serious health problem. That’s why it’s so important to know when to seek immediate veterinary care for your cat’s one-eyed behavior.

If you notice any swelling, discharge, or redness around your cat’s eye, you should contact your veterinarian right away. These symptoms can indicate an infection or injury that requires urgent medical attention.

Moreover, if the one-eyed behavior persists for more than a day or two and seems to cause your cat discomfort, it is essential to take them in for an examination. It’s also essential to remember that even seemingly minor eye issues can quickly become serious health concerns if left untreated.

So, if you’re ever uncertain about your cat’s wellbeing, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet.


If your cat is squinting one eye or keeping it closed, it could be a sign of something larger.

While minor irritations may be the cause, underlying medical conditions such as infections, glaucoma, or neurological disorders should not be ruled out. To diagnose the issue, your veterinarian will perform diagnostic procedures and prescribe antibiotics for infection, steroids for inflammation, or surgery if necessary.

In addition, antihistamines can help reduce allergic reactions and anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers can alleviate pain caused by injury or infection. It’s important to remember that early intervention is key in keeping your cat healthy and happy.

Regular check-ups at least once or twice a year are essential along with keeping their house clean and dust-free. If you suspect something is stuck in their eye, don’t try to fix it without professional assistance; doing so would make it more difficult to remove later on.

In conclusion, if you notice your feline friend squinting one eye over time without any apparent environmental causes, seek veterinary advice right away for diagnosis and treatment options.