It’s not rare for a cat to born with or develop lazy eyes. Congenital lazy eyes are not much of a problem for cats. On the other hand, if a cat develops a lazy eye in the later stages of its life, it could be due to an underlying issue.
Lazy eyes affect cats and humans the same way, and the causes are similar too. Sometimes, it’s nothing to worry about. Although it can be a symptom of a much bigger issue.
When it comes to day to day life, there’s not much of a change for a cat that has a lazy eye. If they don’t suffer from an underlying condition, they’ll live a normal, healthy life.
Why does my cat have a lazy eye?
There are several possible reasons why your cat has a lazy eye. It could be strabismus, exophthalmos, enophthalmos, or Horner’s syndrome. Depending on what your cat has, it could range from harmless to a severe condition.
- Strabismus: It’s an imbalance of the eye muscles. The least harmful reason behind lazy eye. It’s quite common in certain cat breeds. (1)
- Exophthalmos: It’s a mass located behind the eye globe that causes several problems, lazy eye being one of them. (1)
- Enophthalmos: Similar to exophthalmos, it’s a mass located in front of the eye. It can also cause lazy eye. (1)
- Horner’s syndrome: An umbrella term for different underlying reasons that can cause eye problems, lazy eye included. (2)
Are lazy eyes common in cats?
Lazy eyes are common in certain cat breeds and rather uncommon in others. Siamese cats are famous for having lazy eyes (among other things). The Siamese cat isn’t the only one, though! Other cat breeds such as the Russian Blue cat and the Persian cat tend to share that problem.
If you adopted a cat belonging to these cat breeds or any similar, don’t worry! Congenital lazy eyes are not that serious health-wise, and it won’t be that much of a problem for your cat to deal with. Your vet will be able to tell you if there’s something to worry about.
Several sources claim strabismus can be fixed by being in total darkness for ten days. It has worked pretty well for cats in the past – and it has promising results for humans! (3) (4)
What should I do if my cat has a lazy eye?
If you notice your cat has a lazy eye, the best thing you can do is go to the vet. Sometimes, a cat having a lazy eye isn’t that serious – but in other, more unfortunate times your cat could have a dangerous condition. Better safe than sorry!
As you know, your cat can develop a lazy eye due to something benign like strabismus or something more serious, like a tumor. Hopefully, it’s nothing to be worried about. The only way you can find out the truth is by checking with a vet.
Don’t wait until you do, though! It’s normal to be nervous if something happens to your pets, but the worst you can do is delay a diagnosis. The sooner you know what’s wrong, the sooner your cat will get the treatment it needs!