Why Is My Cat Keeping One Eye Closed? 5 Possible Reasons

As innate hunters, felines always keep their eyes wide open to take down prey. But why is my cat keeping one eye closed?

One squint eye is common among cats, especially with a very active personality. However, if your pet’s eye is fully closed and isn’t improving for days, it could be a cause of concern.

why is my cat keeping one eye closed

In this post, I discuss the possible reasons behind this problem. Just remember that this doesn’t replace the expertise of a veterinarian.

Why is my cat holding one eye closed?

cat closes one eye

If your cat is squinting or keeping one eye closed, the following might be the possible reasons:

1. Your cat has a scratched eye.

It’s pretty common for cats to have their eyes scratched from time to time. This happens a lot with our cat Watson whenever he roughhouses our dog, Sherlock.

If you have more than one cat or pet at home, it’s possible that your kitty’s eye got scratched during playtime. Most of the time, this minor injury will clear up on its own within a day or two.

Take note that a cat’s dewclaw can accidentally scratch its eye during grooming. In this case, you should bandage your pet’s dewclaw in the meantime as you wait for its eye to heal.

In case the affected eye develops an infection, the vet can provide a saline solution or eye drop to help clear it up.

2. Your cat got irritants on its eye.

If it’s scratched, another reason why your cat is closing one eye is dirt in the surroundings. Dust, smoke, and other irritants can be the culprit here.

Take note that even perfume can irritate your cat’s eye. With this, you should apply any perfume or grooming products away from your kitty.

Also, if you’re cleaning the house, you should always keep your cat away. This is to prevent exposure to cleaning agents like Fabuloso, which can trigger more than just a closed eye in felines.

3. Your cat has conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis or pink eye in cats happens when the mucous membrane lining the feline’s eyes becomes swollen. This can affect one or both eyes at the same time.

Take note that pink eye is common and most cats will suffer from mild to moderate symptoms at least once in their lives. Still, you should monitor your cat in case secondary infections occur.

Most causes of conjunctivitis in felines can be prevented by limiting your pet’s exposure to irritants. Airborne chemicals and dust are some of the common culprits to this.

While conjunctivitis will cause one or both of your cat’s eyes to close, it usually clears up on its own. However, if a discharge or bad odor forms, it’s best to consult your pet’s veterinarian immediately.

4. Your cat has blepharitis

Blepharitis is a condition that causes your cat’s eyelids to blink, squint, or shut close spasmodically. To ease the discomfort, your cat will rub and scratch the affected eye, leading to further problems. Please read here: Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On Things

Moreover, this condition in cats is often triggered by allergies, tumors, inborn defects, and inflammatory disorders. Also, anything that can irritate the eyelids can cause blepharitis.

Also, breeds like Burmese, Persian, and Himalayan are more susceptible to blepharitis. This is due to their facial anatomy, which includes bulging eyes and flattened faces.

Most of the time, blepharitis can be managed at home by applying a warm compress to the cat’s affected eye. In some cases, the vet will also recommend an eye drop solution or antibiotics to combat infection.

5. Your cat has glaucoma.

Glaucoma can also be a reason why one of your cat’s eyes is closed. This condition occurs when there’s heightened pressure at the back of a feline’s eye, which disrupts its natural drainage system.

In the long run, this pressure will damage the optic disk and retina of your cat. This will make the affected eye close partially or fully.

Aside from that, other glaucoma symptoms include dilated pupils, cloudiness of the eye, bulging eyeball, and bloodshot eye.

The earlier feline glaucoma gets caught on, the higher will be your cat’s chances of achieving full recovery. Most of the time, the best solution is a surgical operation to fix the damage.

Take note that feline glaucoma will start in one eye, but it will soon affect both eyes if not treated immediately.

Can a cat’s eye heal on its own?

Minor eye irritations on your cat will usually go away on their own. In a matter of days, your kitty’s eyes will be fully open and it will resume its usual activities.

However, if your pet’s closed eye starts to have a discharge, you should bring it to the vet. Such discharge is a sign that your cat’s eye is infected and requires veterinary care.

Aside from that, if your cat’s closed eye is accompanied by other symptoms, you should have it checked right away. Lethargy, aggression, blindness, and poor appetite can be indicative of a more serious health problem.

Can a human get an eye infection from a cat?

It’s not common for humans to contract eye infections from cats. Still, it’s not 100% impossible.

Cats carry with them a slew of harmful germs transmissible to humans. Some of it can trigger eye infections among other health problems.

Most of the time, infections contracted from cats are dermal in nature. Also, if you keep your clean and up-to-date with its vaccinations, there’s nothing to be worried about.

Are there eye drops for cats?

eye drops for cats

There are eye drops formulated specifically for felines. With this, you should never use your over-the-counter drops or even those made for canines.

Also, you should consult your cat’s veterinarian before using any eye drops. This is to ensure that the solution matches the condition of your pet.

How much does an eye infection cost for a cat?

The cost of treating eye infections in cats is on a sliding scale. It can be as humble as $50 or as expensive as $3,000+

Overall, the cost of treatment depends on the condition of your cat. For example, a glaucoma operation will set you back for thousands of dollars while a simple prescription of eye drop will only cost you $20.

Also, getting the eye infection treated as early as possible will help lower the cost of treatment. It’s best to seek immediate veterinary care than to wait for your feline’s condition to worsen.


Why is my cat keeping one eye closed? It can be anything from a minor scratch, irritants, pink eye, or a more serious eye problem.

When in doubt, you should always consult your cat’s veterinarian. You should do this especially if your cat’s affected eye seems to be worsening by the day.

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