Cat Pupils: Here’s What Your Cat’s Eyes Are Telling You
Dogs are great in expressing their mood and emotions. They are very easy to read and they have expressive body postures that we can easily decode – unlike cats. Cats are difficult to decipher, and they have a great capacity to conceal their pain. However, every little action of your feline friend is a channel of communication, and it is for you to read what they are trying to tell you. With our cats, those tail whipping acts, the meows, and the direction of their eyes convey a lot of information. Cats communicate with their pupils. The direction of your kitten’s eyes could either be an invitation for a cuddle or your cat saying ‘leave me alone, I need some me-time.’ If you care to figure out what the little feline has on his mind, focus on your cat’s eyes, particularly your cat’s pupils. Here’s a guide on how to read what your cat’s eyes are telling you.
Why Do Cats Pupils Get Big?
Many cat owners often wonder why their furry buddies have big round pupils. Well, your cat’s pupils are not solely for hunting down mice. Felines at any time of the day can enlarge their pupils. If the light in the environment is standard and your cat’s pupils enlarge, then it is an indication that your cat is thrilled about something, aggressive or afraid. In all these scenarios, an enlarged pupil is a warning not to approach your feline’s territory or zone. Find below a few reasons why your cat’s pupils can suddenly enlarge.
Just like cats, our pupils also dilate at night or in dark places. It is how our bodies have been made to be able to regulate the quantity of light that enters our eyes. In a well-lit environment, your cat’s pupils become smaller; hence your cat’s pupils are not inundated with the light entering their eyes. Likewise, in dark environs, your cat’s pupils widen – by so doing, it allows enough light to enter.
- Hunting at Night
Your cat is a natural predator and this is demonstrated in how big their eyes look. Big eyes are an obvious trait of every nocturnal predator. Felines have big pupils that enable them to gather relevant data about their environs. In the dark, these characteristics swing into immediate action, broadening their pupils to enable them to see in poorly lit areas.
Your feline’s impressive trait of seeing in the dark is primarily due to their tapetum. The tapetum is beneath their retina, which holds cells. These cells absorb the light and convert it into data that can be processed by the brain. When the light gets to the tapetum, the tapetum throws back the light to the cells. As such, felines have dual light kind of exposure.
- Contracting Iris
The iris of a cat’s eyes has a sophisticated system of muscles that shuts and opens the pupil. Your feline’s iris responds to the level of lights and emotions. Also, certain illnesses and medicines have an impact on the way the iris works. Your cat’s pupils enlarge when his iris contracts and enlarges.
Different Types of Cat’s Eyes And Their Meaning
Cats communicate to us in various ways, and one of the most important body parts that they use to express themselves is their eyes. Read on to find out what the focus of your feline’s gaze means.
- Slit Pupil In Your Cat’s Eye
An unexpected shrinking of your kitten’s pupils often into a slender slit is an indication of an intense emotional feeling or arousal such as anger, elation, fright, and joy. Your cat’s pupils will shrink when the cat is served with a tasty treat and also when introduced to a new member of the cat family. A cat’s pupils will also contract when the cat is preparing to attack a mouse or his best-loved toy. Also, the scent of a catnip causes intense emotional feelings or arousal in the kitten that enjoys having a catnip. Additionally, if your feline’s pupils are slender and her eyes are narrow, then it is a signal that your cat is aggressive at the moment. However, if your feline’s pupils are slender and she is resting on your body, then it means she is excited and enjoying her time with you.
- Cat’s Eyes Are Wide Open
Your kitten will open his eyes when something has attracted his attention, and when he is vigilant. Your cat’s broad pupil is an indication that something is happening in his environment and, therefore, he is watchful or alert. Moreover, extensive feline pupils can also mean that your cat is anxious and scared about something.
- Cat Has Unblinking Eyes?
When your feline’s eyes gaze unblinkingly at a distance, then it is an indication that your cat is in control. Cats often gaze unblinkingly to control or to ward off other cats or pets from getting access to food in the household. They also use this technique to mark their territories.
- Why Is Your Cat is Staring at You?
When your feline stares at you, it is an indication of affection as cats enjoy caring for the people they love. Cats use eye contact to decide status and ranking. A feline who interrupts their eye contact with their owner is cozy around the owner and recognizes the owner as his boss. However, a feline who stares the owner off is nervous around the owner and is also scared. Many cat owners try to be victorious in the staring war with their cats and, as a result, end up making them more nervous and afraid.
- Cat Closes His Eyes To You
When your feline greets a neighborhood feline, it is an indication of affection for that cat. This is because in the cat world, shutting your eyes amid other cats is seen as the best way of expressing your trust in another feline. When the fur owner also blinks gradually at his feline, the owner is conveying a message to the cat that he poses no threat.
- Cat’s Eyes – One Pupil Is Bigger Than The Other
You might have observed your cat at one time or the other having one big pupil and another small pupil. Well, this condition is not an indication of their complex emotions or mood. But rather, it is a signal of a health issue known as anisocoria, which must be addressed immediately. Anisocoria in cats happens due to several factors, and anisocoria in your feline is a medical emergency. Anisocoria if not treated early, could result in your feline losing his eyesight indefinitely. Therefore, consult your vet immediately you notice anisocoria in your cat. Cancer, glaucoma, eye injury, brain injury, inflamed eye, and many others are health conditions that might cause anisocoria in your cat.
Are Your Cats Eyes Always Dilated?
Now that we know what your cat’s eyes are telling you, let’s take a look at why their eyes dilate. The operative word to look out for is ‘’always’’. Periodic dilation is caused by several emotional factors as well as your cat’s age. As such, you have to eliminate these before getting worried. Longer-term or extended dilation requires a visit to the vet to ensure that all is well. If you switch your lights on, your cat’s pupils should become narrow. If your cat’s pupils are not constricted, then maybe your feline is just in a relaxation state. Here are some reasons why your cat’s eyes dilate.
- Your Cat’s Mood
Is your feline aroused due to several reasons, such as getting excited or angry? If that is the case, then your kitten’s pupils may dilate. When your cat sees an unknown person or something that scares him, your cat’s pupils may dilate upon seeing the unknown person or the scary object.
- General Temperament
A cat who is naturally hyper will have a dilated pupil very often. Youthful cats are more susceptible to having dilated pupils as a result of elation than much older cats and calmer cats. The crucial thing here is the timing, and you should look out for changes to your cat’s pupils. If your feline’s pupils are dilated frequently, then you might want to consult your Vet.
Hypertension also causes dilated pupils in your cat’s eyes. Your vet will make a diagnosis to check if the hypertension is a primary condition or might be a secondary state. Your Vet will also check to see blood traces in your feline’s eyes; this is also one of the signs to look out for when your cat is diagnosed with hypertension. Low appetite can also be a sign. With regards to treatment, your vet will carry out a urine and blood laboratory test. If your cat is diagnosed with hypertension and it is a secondary one, then the vet will begin treatment for the underlying problem. If hypertension is found to be the primary cause, your vet will prescribe medication for treatment.
When your cat feels pain, it is either his pupils constrict or dilates. Pain in your cat eyes normally occurs with the narrowing of your feline’s pupils. On the contrary, pain in other parts of your cat’s body coincides with the dilating of your cat’s pupils.
Why Do Cats Eyes Change? – Medical Concerns
Another issue affecting your feline’s eyes is the change of his eyes. Eyes are the opening to your cat’s soul, and sadly, it can also be an opening to a lot of health conditions affecting your feline. Changes in your feline’s eyes might be a signal of serious issues. Cats have different eye colors. Most kittens at birth have blue eyes, but as they grow, the color of their eyes starts to turn to green, orange, or even brown. Some felines also have varied colored pupils, referred to as heterochromia. However, it is not uncommon and it is usually associated with white felines. It can also be seen in tuxedo cats or any cat that has the white gene. Felines who have blue eyes do have a high probability of developing hearing problems, particularly cats who have a unique white pattern. There are several causes for your cat’s eyes to change. Let’s find out together.
The uveitis is when a certain part of the eye known as the uveal tract is inflamed, and usually, uveitis may be a sign of other health conditions such as eye trauma, herpes, diabetes, and hypertension. The signs to look out for are red-eye, squinting, an eye that becomes sensitive to light and cloudy eyes. If you observe one of the above signs in your cat’s eyes, then consult your vet immediately.
Glaucoma is a serious health condition of intense pressure in the cat’s eyes. It will result in loss of sight if not treated immediately. The symptoms include cloudy eyes, white eyes, and the eyes of the feline turn into a milky color.
- Liver Dysfunction in Cats
A change in the color of your cat’s eyes into a copper color is normal in certain types of cats and also highly sort after by cat lovers. However, it could also be a signal of a much serious health issue known as portosystemic shunts, and this affects the liver of the cat. It should also be noted that not every cat with a portosystemic dysfunction has a copper color covering his eyes.
Overall, even though cats are not expressive as dogs, they surely do leave us clues on what is going on in that beautiful mind of theirs through either wagging their tail or staring directly at us. By getting to know what your feline’s eyes are communicating, you can offer him cuddling when he needs it most or stay clear of his territory when he is unwinding. It is, therefore, incumbent on us to study our cat’s pupils’ expressions to be able to treat them like the royalty they are.