Why is My Cat Keeping One Eye Closed?

why is my cat keeping one eye closed

If your cat is keeping one eye closed on a constant basis or is always squinting, it’s a sign that there are some problems with their eyes. Visual and eye-related problems with cats are fairly common, or at least not uncommon. These issues can range in severity from barely a problem to life threatening.

One way or another, if your cat has one eye closed or is always squinting, you’ll want to get to the bottom of it right away and find a solution. There are a variety of issues which can be causing this. So, why is my cat keeping one eye closed?


Allergies are one cause behind a cat squinting or keeping one eye closed all of the time. Just like humans, cats also sometimes suffer from allergies. The allergies are usually related to pollen and dander, but may be caused by other allergens.

If your cat is squinting, keeps one or both eyes closed, has very red eyes, they are watering, and your cat is always pawing at its eyes (probably because they are itchy), it’s a clear indication that your cat is suffering from allergies. If this is the case, you’ll want to take the cat to the vet to find the best solution.

A Foreign Contaminant

Ok, so “foreign contaminant” is a fancy way of saying that your cat has something in its eye. If you have ever had anything stuck in your eye, you know how uncomfortable and painful it can be, and it will cause you to close that eye.

This is something that can also happen in cats. They can get dirt, dust, hair, and other small objects stuck in their eyes.

Not only does the foreign object itself cause eye closing and squinting, but if left there, it can cause severe itchiness and irritation, or worse. If you notice your cat has its eye closed or is squinting, you can always try washing its eyes out to see if the problem goes away.


This is a condition which often affects cats, although it won’t happen to every cat. Entropion is a condition where the eyelashes of the cat are turned inwards instead of outwards.

More or less, the eyelashes are on the inside of the eyelids instead of the outside like they would usually be. Eyelashes are hair and they will cause redness, itchiness, pain, general irritation, and more.

If this is not treated rather quickly, it can cause serious infections and, in some cases, lead to a loss of vision or even death. If you notice that your cat has inward turned eyelashes, you’ll want to take it to the vet right away.

A Scratched Cornea

One of the more serious conditions which may cause a cat to close one eye or to squint is a scratched cornea. A cornea can get scratched in various ways. Foreign contaminants, like bits of dirt, when left in the eyes and not washed out, can result in a scratched cornea.

Cats may also suffer from scratched corneas when they play or get into confrontations with other cats. This is a pretty serious condition which in some cases can lead to corneal ulcers, infections, and blindness. If you suspect that your cat may have a scratched cornea, you’ll want to seek medical attention ASAP.


Glaucoma is a condition characterized by an increase of pressure in the eye itself. This may be present in one eye, but it can easily spread to both eyes if left untreated.

Glaucoma is very painful, it can cause irritability in cats, a lack of appetite, increased time sleeping, and more. Glaucoma can result in damage to the optic nerve, which will then lead to a loss of vision.

Glaucoma can be caused by severe trauma or other underlying conditions. If you notice any of the above symptoms, seek medical treatment right away as this is by far one of the most serious causes of cats keeping their eyes closed.


The most common reason why your cat might be squinting, keeping an eye closed, or suffering from general eye discomfort is conjunctivitis. This is characterized by the inflammation of the eyes, swelling, redness, itchiness, and overall discomfort.

Allergies, bacteria, and viruses can all cause this inflammation of the mucus membrane. It’s usually not overly serious, as most causes are quite basic, but you will still want to seek medical attention. If left untreated, conjunctivitis can lead to some more serious issues down the road.


As you can see, there are various reasons as to why your cat is keeping one eye closed. Some causes are more serious than others. Eyes are quite fragile in general, so if you notice any eye related issues with your cats, it’s best to take care of them as soon as humanly possible.

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