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Felinexpress.com home > Cat Care > Cats and the Third Eyelid

Cats and the Third Eyelid

Your cat can see with only a sixth of the light that your own eyes need to find their way. This aids them greatly when they are on the prowl for prey and find themselves in semi-darkness. This excellent vison can be impeded however with the appearance of the third eyelid. Although the lids and the third eyelid (also known as the haw) exist to protect the eyes, those eyes can sometimes become cloudy, show discharge, inflammation or redness. If for example, the third eyelid becomes pronounced and moves over to cover the eye; your cat could have a disease or gastrointestinal infection. If there are no other symptoms of illness; fever, lack of appetite, lethargy or vomiting, your cat could have an irritant lodged in her eye which often can cause the tear ducts to block forcing the fluids out of the eye.

You can see the third eyelid which is found between the lower lid and the eyeball. During a fever or illness, the third eyelid will often creep up from the inner corner of the eye and start surrounding the eye. The effect can be quite startling. The appearance of the third eyelid is a good indication that something is wrong with your cat.

Some reasons why the third eyelid appears:

  • Poisoning
  • Dehydration
  • Poor nutrition
  • High fever
  • Trauma or injury to the eye
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Horner’s Syndrome
  • Cherry Eye
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation of the cornea
  • Keratitis
  • Eye ulcers
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Glaucoma
  • FIP
  • FeLV
  • Genetic defect

Just as you keep careful watch over your litter pan activity to determine the health of your cat, so should you also check kitty’s eyes periodically for abnormalities. When the third eyelid appears, the first thing you should do is take kitty’s temperature. If the temp is normal, watch the eye carefully and see if it might resolve on its own. If it persists, the prudent course of action is to consult your vet to find the underlying cause.

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  2. Balinese
  3. Javanese
  4. Japanese Bobtail
  5. Somali
  6. Abyssinian
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  8. Siamese
  9. Egyptian Mau
  10. Oriental Shorthair
  11. Tonkinese
  12. Bengal
  13. Norwegian Forest Cat
  14. Cornish Rex
  15. Siberian

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