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My Cat's Weird Eyes

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by CoraLee, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. CoraLee

    CoraLee Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 7, 2019
    Hello all,

    This is my first post on here. This isn't a serious medical emergency, but I've always wondered about this and I never got a straight-forward response or diagnosis from the vet (Vet: "He's just weird" [end quote]). I guess I kind of want to see what you all might think about it or if any of you know of another cat with it, because I've never seen it in another. To start, I have a cat named Capone and he is about seven-years-old. I lived near a farm and we would end up feeding a ton of runaway barn cats, and Capone stole my heart. So, we brought him in the house and he became my baby. An interesting thing he's always had are extended third eyelids. It might fluctuate from day-to-day, but it's always there. I've tried researching why this might happen, but I can't find many non-illness related causes. I read about Haws Syndrome and he does have some gastrointestinal issues on and off again, but according to my research the eyelid thing is usually temporary. I guess the biggest cause may be genetics. He was born in a barn, so I've always thought maybe inbreeding but I haven't been able to find a specific correlation between the two. It's always been an adorable character trait of his, in my opinion, and anyone who sees him for the first time asks me about his eyes. So, what are your takes on it? And have you seen this in another cat? Thanks in advance! Screenshot_20190107-234922.png Screenshot_20190107-232324.png Screenshot_20190107-232410.png
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  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi! Welcome!!
    I've not seen it to this degree, my goodness. I don't have any strong thoughts as to why...
    tarasgirl06 and CoraLee purraised this.

  3. CoraLee

    CoraLee Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 7, 2019
    Hi, thanks! It's pretty extreme! Sometimes I worry about vision problems, but he hasn't had any incidents that would indicate blindness or anything.
    tarasgirl06 and Furballsmom purraised this.

  4. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Top Cat

    Apr 4, 2018
    Littleton, CO
    Hi and welcome! Those are some interesting eyes! I don’t have any knowledge about it, but our kitty Olive seems to show her third eyelid more often than our two boys do ... usually when she is getting extra sleepy. I wonder if it’s related at all?
    Furballsmom and CoraLee purraised this.

  5. jen

    jen TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 27, 2001
    Hudson, OH
    I want to know what on EARTH the vet was thinking saying "the cat is weird". WHAT?? You need a new vet. Get another look, maybe a referral to an eye specialist and get to the bottom of it. The 3rd eyelids should NOT be showing. This usually sinals illness. If not I wonder something else might be going on. Please get your baby to the vet, a new one, asap.

  6. Maria Bayote

    Maria Bayote Mama of 4 Cats, 3 Dogs , 2 Budgies & 2 Humans Super Cat

    Jan 15, 2018
    Not trying to sound negative, but for your (and ours) peace of mind better to bring him to another vet for a second opinion as it could be serious given the age that he is now.

    He is a goodlooking fella, and I can understand why your heart is smitten.

    Please keep us informed. Hope all is well and good.
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  7. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    If he was born with it, it most likely is something that happened to the mother before birth. Since he has lived with it all his life and doesn't seem to be bothered about it you will have to make a decision on how to proceed. The third eyelid id very important for protection and lubrication so it is not something to just 'take care of'. Cats and a few other mammals are very fortunate to have them, ours have evolved over time to tiny nubs in the lower corner of our eyes because we do not hunt or graze and they are not needed. To bring peace of mind and if you can afford it, you might try to contact a feline ophthalmologist, or even send them those photos and see if they can tell you that the cat is not in pain or has the vision severely compromised. They may be interested since it appears to be a birth defect or genetic in nature and is rarely seen. Good luck and keep us posted!

  8. CoraLee

    CoraLee Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 7, 2019
    Hello! I guess in some instances it appears a bit more extended when he's being lazy or squinting in the sun. Although, he was pretty feisty and playful in the top photo and it's still very pronounced.
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  9. CoraLee

    CoraLee Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 7, 2019
    Ironically, the vet has a certain show on NatGeo... they told me and my parents this during a regular check-up and they sort of gave us reassurance that it was fine, because his check-up went well. It wasn't until recently when Capone and I moved that I started researching it and found that it's usually not a good thing...thank you for the input, I greatly appreciate it!
    tarasgirl06, KarenKat and Furballsmom purraised this.

  10. amethyst

    amethyst TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 25, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I agree with others, I would get a second opinion, that is not normal. The 3rd eyelid showing is a sign something is wrong. It could be illness, but I would think the vet would pick up on that and you would notice. It could also be genetic, the muscles controlling them are not working properly, it can often be corrected with surgery and/or medication if that is the issue. It could also be from injury, either something damaged the muscles controlling the eyelids (like during a fight or accidental scratching of the eyes by the mother or litter mate) or something poked of scratched his eyes and the 3rd eye lids are covering and protecting the injury. In that case you do want to make sure he is not in pain, and get an eye stain done. Basically they drop a harmless dye into the eyes that will highlight any defects and look at it with a special light.

    One of my dogs got scratched in the eye by one of my cats when he was a pup and now has the 3rd eyelid partly showing (some days more then others). He is not in any pain anymore and their isn't much we can do about it, he just looks weird, but we also know for sure what is wrong.
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  11. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    I would guess he had a URI as a kitten and his eyes were somewhat damaged. There's probably nothing to be done about it, and he's obviously adapted well. I don't think he NEEDS to see an eye specialist, but it wouldn't hurt, even if just to make you feel better. I think the vet could have explained it better than "he's just weird" but, really, in medicine, sometimes you do just have to leave well enough alone :D.
    bluepine, 8kitties and Furballsmom purraised this.

  12. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    Hello @CoraLee and Capone and welcome to TCS! Capone is quite a handsome guy! Thanks for posting the pix of him (we love pix here at TCS!) and I agree with other posters that a consult with another vet or feline opthalmologist would be really good, for your peace of mind and to make sure he is okay. Please let us know what the vet says, won't you?
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  13. FelisCatus

    FelisCatus RIP </3 Alpha Cat

    Dec 27, 2018
    I have nothing else to add besides;
    He doesn't look weird at all, looks very handsome actually.
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  14. SeventhHeaven

    SeventhHeaven TCS Member Top Cat

    Oct 18, 2015
    BC Canada
    He's a beautiful kitty, Cherry eye crossed my mind(?) inflammation it's very pronounced, Not a Dr. but this looks more serious. Hope you are successful with another Vet to find the real cause of whats going on with your baby asap.
    :wave3: Welcome to the site
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  15. bluepine

    bluepine TCS Member Kitten

    Nov 15, 2018
    No insight or advise. Just what a beautiful baby you have !
    tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  16. mazie

    mazie TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 11, 2015
    south Georgia
    I agree with the others, you need to get answers as to what is going on or has happened to your boy's eyes. He is a beautiful cat though, no doubt about it.;) Please do let us know what a competent vet has to say. As mentioned above somewhere, if you can get him to a specialist, so much the better!:)
    tarasgirl06 purraised this.

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