Why is My Cat Keeping One Eye Closed?

Why is My Cat Keeping One Eye Closed?

As cat parents, we've all had moments when we noticed our feline friends behaving oddly or showing signs of discomfort. One such puzzling behavior is when a cat keeps one eye closed or half-closed.

If you're wondering why your cat might be doing this, you're in the right place.

Let's delve into some possible reasons:

  1. Conjunctivitis: Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. Common signs include redness, swelling, discharge, and, of course, squinting or keeping the eye shut. This can be due to various causes, including bacterial, viral, fungal infections or allergies.
  2. Trauma: Cats are naturally curious creatures and may injure themselves while playing, fighting, or exploring. An injury, no matter how small, to the eye can lead to discomfort and swelling, making them keep it closed.
  3. Corneal Ulcers or Abrasions: The cornea is the transparent front surface of the eye. Any scratch or ulcer on it can be quite painful for your cat. Symptoms, other than squinting, might include excessive tearing or a cloudy appearance to the eye.
  4. Foreign Bodies: Just like how we might get something stuck in our eyes, cats can too. Dust, tiny pieces of litter, or other debris might find its way into your cat's eye. This can cause discomfort and the instinctual response would be to keep the eye closed.
  5. Uveitis: This is an inflammation of the inner parts of the eye. It can be due to various reasons like infections, diseases, or trauma. Along with a closed eye, you might also notice the eye's color changing to a more cloudy or bluish hue.
  6. Tumors or Growth: Although less common, tumors or growths in the eye or eyelid can lead to discomfort and squinting.
  7. Behavioral Reasons: Sometimes cats might squint or blink slowly at their owners as a sign of affection or trust. It's like their version of a kiss. However, if it's prolonged or you notice any signs of discomfort, it's best to rule out medical reasons.

What Should I Do?

If your cat is keeping one eye closed, it's essential to act promptly:

  • Inspect the Eye: Start by looking for any visible debris, redness, swelling, or discharge. However, always ensure you handle your cat gently to avoid causing any further injury.
  • Avoid Home Remedies: It might be tempting to use human eye drops or other solutions, but it's best to avoid them unless prescribed by a vet. They could aggravate the condition.
  • Consult a Veterinarian: If you notice any of the symptoms or if the condition doesn't improve in a day, it's time to visit the vet. They can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


In conclusion, while there are various reasons why your cat might be keeping one eye closed, it's always best to be on the side of caution. Prioritize your feline's health and well-being, and when in doubt, consult with a professional. After all, our cats rely on us to look out for them.