Why Is My Cat Only Opening One Eye? [ Answered ]

Pets are an integral part of our lives, and as parents, it can be a lot to take in when sickness comes into play. Like any other animal, cats, too, fall sick at times, and eye problems are pretty common. There can be a lot of factors determining the overall eye health of your feline friends and the complexities that can arise as a result of the same.

The best way to combat any eye problem is by going to the bottom of it and finding a concrete treatment that works. So if the question, ‘why is my cat only opening one eye,’ bothers you – this article is for you.

Why is my cat only opening one eye?

The anatomy of a cat’s eye is different from that of humans. Cat eye problems can be complicated if not treated on time and can lead to life-threatening situations. But the enjoyable part is the symptoms surface at the earliest, making it easier to treat and not let things escalate to the point of no return.

An important thing to note is that an indoor cat is less likely to develop eye infections than a wild cat. Exposure to the outside world ensures that you interact with feral cats, who,  in turn, carry a lot of diseases and infections. Cats can develop infections from minor injuries and often try to get rid of them with the help of squinting.

The best way to detect an eye infection, whether viral or bacterial, is when a greenish or yellowish discharge comes out of the feline’s eyes. The discharge can also be colorless and may come along with runny eyes.

However, the eye problem needs immediate attention if the infection leads to respiratory issues or redness. Hurry to your nearest vet and get your cat checked. The longer you keep your cat from getting treatment, the more severe the complications.

The most common eye problems include conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers, which you can treat with a simple dose of antibiotics.

On rare occasions, the vet may prescribe eye drops to reduce the redness or inflammation. There will also be instances wherein the vet will not give your cat any medication and will want to wait and let it heal on its own.

Unlike dogs, cats do not develop eye problems half as much. But as a fellow cat parent and someone who likes to study feline behavior, here are some reasons why your cat may be squinting.

The presence of a foreign body

Cats are sensitive creatures, and the eyes are one important organ that governs overall functionality. If you notice your cat suddenly squinting and it is only limited to the same eye – chances are that there is a foreign body stuck inside the premises of your eye.

To get the obstruction out, hold your eyelids open and try to look out for the foreign particle. It can be its fur, dust, or even dirt that the eye traps inside.

Your cat has an abrasion in the eye

Traumatic experiences can cause lifelong injuries in the eye. Such incidents may give rise to an eye that is affected by an infection and has undergone scratches. Cats can undergo trauma in cases where it is living in the wild and is in a constant mode of hustling to survive.

Or even when it gets hit by the furniture lying around the household. If you notice closely, you will find that domestic cats do not end up in a violent brawls often. But when they do, the injuries are pretty severe.

Your cat has a loss of vision

When there is a loss of vision, cats tend to squint, too, like humans. In this way, they try to focus more on an object and fight the partial lack of eyesight.

Your cat is suffering from FIV

FIV is a slow-spreading virus known as the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, which makes cats sensitive to other secondary viruses. Many cat parents do not realize that their cat has FIV until much later when the symptoms come through.

Your cat has conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis comes with an inflammation of the eyes and running fluids. It is when the pink membrane in the eye undergoes an inflammation, causing one or both of the eyes to squint.

The worst part is that conjunctivitis can come with various other eye complications. These include corneal ulcers or swollen eyes, which, when left untreated, will trigger further health issues.

Your cat has respiratory issues

Like humans, the eyes of cats connect with the result of the body and directly affect the functionality and quality of life. Sinuses are near the eyes, which is why the respiratory levels suffer a detour when there is an infection.

Your cat has Uveitis

In cats, an inflammation between the cornea and the iris is Uveitis. When a cat suffers from Uveitis, you may often find residues of red, white, and yellow pus in the lower section of the eye.

A vital thing to note is that Uveitis mostly occurs due to an underlying disease elsewhere in the body. These diseases include cancer, auto-immune infections, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Your cat has Entropion

Entropion is when one of the two eyelids of your feline, mostly the lower one, folds itself inwards. It will cause the hairy skin to poke the eye’s surface, which will cause immense pain to your cat.

Continuous exposure to the outside world results in the accumulation of dirt on the skin surface, and when this surface comes in contact with the cat’s sensitive eyes, it gives rise to infections. The easiest detection of Entropion is through sore eyes and discharges. A cat suffering from Entropion is less likely to want to keep its eyes open.

Should I worry if my cat is squinting one eye?

Squinting one eye or both in cats is pretty normal, especially when the cat suffers from an eye infection. Excessive blinking, watery eyes, redness, squinting, and pawing are some symptoms that confirm an infection’s existence.

There is usually nothing to worry about as most of these eye problems are treatable and easily detected. Another important way to detect infection is when your cat is sensitive to light and kept only in dark, chilly places.

While normal squinting involves both eyes, squinting happens with one in case of infection. If you like treating your cat first, give it a gentle bath. Warm water ensures that the cat does not have a residue of discharge in the eye and makes it temporarily comfortable.


Eye problems in cats are not unnatural, but if untreated, they can cause havoc in your feline’s life. The pain grows unbearable, and the infections may lead to severe diseases. The good news is accurate detection of the root cause results in complete curing of your cat and helps retain its overall health.

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