Health & Wellness

What your cat's eyes can tell you about their health

There’s so much more than just a twinkle

Cats eyes are like windows to their souls — but they also offer a front-row view into their health. Fetch pet expert Dr. Aliya McCullough shares a few key signs to look out for in your cat’s eyes. 

Color

Eye color can be linked to breed — blue eyes, for example, are common in Siamese cats. But in general, cat-eye color varies from shades of blue, green, brown and copper. 

Copper-colored eyes are beautiful, but they also could signal that they have a liver shunt, which can be a life-threatening condition impacting their behavior, blood and health. Not all cats with copper-colored eyes have a liver shunt (for many cat breeds, copper-colored eyes are a normal trait), but many cats with liver shunts do have copper-colored eyes. Watch for changes in color and check in with your vet to make sure your cat is healthy. 

Typically, both eyes will be the same color but sometimes, cats are born with different colored eyes. This trait is generally nothing to worry about (also it’s normal and adorable!), but if you notice your cat’s eyes begin to change colors, contact your vet as this could be a sign of inflammation, infection or cancer. 

Pupils 

Cats’ pupils are vertical, while dogs’ and pet parents’ are round. Most of the time cats’ pupils are shaped like slits, meaning they are content and relaxed. But if they get excited and are on the verge of pouncing, their pupils become round and large. Pupil size is determined by light and emotion. 

If you notice an irregularity in your cat’s pupil shape you should contact your vet. Whether it’s unequal pupil sizes in both eyes, if one pupil is shaped like a “D,” or their pupils are constantly dilated (even in bright light) — it could be a sign of an underlying condition like infectious disease, trauma or cancer. 

With these tips you'll have another great reason to gaze into your cat’s eyes — besides love.

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Dr. Aliya McCullough

Cats

Pet Health

Eyes

Photo by Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

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