Cat Eye
October 2, 2011 7:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm in love with my cat. Quick question for cat owners about her eye.

This morning I noticed her left eye was slightly closed. I've tried to exam what's going on but, well, she's a Bengal and trying to get her to hold still so I can exam it is like holding a live fish with Vaseline on your hands.

I can't see anything 'in' it, and there's no drainage like you see sometimes with cats that have 'runny eyes', she never has that problem. I'll have to take her to vet -- this I know, but I'm curious: best and worse case scenario?

She's healthy otherwise: great appetite, cold nose, bathroom routine the same, con-tactful, normal behavior, loving.

This is sudden and bothering me.

posted by zenpop to Pets & Animals (17 answers total)
IANAV, but she's probably ok and there's a good chance it will be fine in a day or two. Unless her routine does change, I'd say give it two days to see if it goes back to normal, and then vet if it does not.

(we can haz photos?)
posted by imalaowai at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

IANAV, IANYV, but I am a cat owner.

This has happened to both of my cats, fairly recently (though separately). Absent any behavioral changes or signs of distress, it didn't occur to me to worry much about it. I assumed that their eye had been irritated by some dust or an allergen. It went away in a day or so for both cats.

As far as what I would do if it occurs again in my cats, if it persists, or seems to be a symptom of a larger problem, or is causing them pain, discomfort, or difficulty seeing, I'll take them to the vet ASAP. Otherwise I'll wait and watch.

posted by jingzuo at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2011

do not mess with eyes.

they heal well, but not after a certain point. if it is only one eye, she may have a foreign object in there, which would be a trip to the doctor pronto for you or I.

you may well regret "waiting a few days" to see what happens.
posted by virginia_clemm at 7:16 PM on October 2, 2011

Our cat has a wonky eye that's been a little more closed, sometimes more visibly than others - the vet looked at it and said that it had been irritated and should recover on its own. If there's no discharge, nothing worsens and the cat isn't uncomfortable, I would personally wait a few days.
posted by Frowner at 7:22 PM on October 2, 2011

conjunctivitis? pink eye? got a twig stuck in it? she's sleepy? tumor?

We can't really help you with this.
posted by TheBones at 7:29 PM on October 2, 2011

My cat's eye(s) have done this occasionally. She's a shelter cat. The vet said that shelter cats pretty much all acquire these viruses (in the shelter) that flare up from time to time. Like herpes. There's no treatment, if that's the problem. It will go away on its own, and maybe flare up again.
posted by kestrel251 at 7:40 PM on October 2, 2011

I've been told by a vet that you can safely use Polysporin eye drops from the pharmacy on cats. They helped the one time my cat had a similar problem.
posted by zadcat at 8:04 PM on October 2, 2011

um, where are the photos?
posted by bolognius maximus at 8:17 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks for this feedback, it's reassuring. I will take pics and post tomorrow.
posted by zenpop at 8:35 PM on October 2, 2011

IANAV, am a cat owner, I'm going to second the conjunctivitis. My cat would hold one of his eyes mostly closed and kind of looked like he had a pirate/tough-guy face on. He had no other visible-to-me symptoms - no runny eyes, no abnormal behavior, nothing. Vet prescribed erythromycin and it cleared up beautifully. It's been three years and no recurrences. I imagine that sticking antibiotics in the eye of your cat in particular might be what you consider akin to holding a Vaseline-covered fish that has teeth and claws coming at you every which way, but, as usual, it's worth it to have a healthy cat.
Good luck!
posted by brave little toaster at 9:28 PM on October 2, 2011

What, we must wait for photos of love object? Noooooooooo!

Also, though this is probably reaction to an eye irritant, eyes are important for kitties. Don't mess around with Wonderful Cat, go to vet and tell us how it turns out.

I totally understand your distress, btw. Pets aren't "just animals," they are miraculous and amazing and we want them to be well.
posted by bearwife at 10:03 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Here's an anecdatal sort-of worst case scenario for you along with a vote for going to the vet. Also, mild trigger warning for people who don't like stuff about eyes.

My darling kitty had an ear infection which we didn't notice because, for some reason, she refused to poke at it around us. In an attempt to get to the itch in her ear, she scratched her eye (cats, right?). This is when we noticed, because she was doing the tough guy half closed eye thing. No fluid, just half-closed eye. We took her to the vet when that started because eyes are important and lots can go wrong. It wasn't terribly expensive: the vet prescribed antibiotics and eye drops, blunted the cat's nails, and sent us on our way. If we hadn't gone, though, the scratch would have also gotten infected and kitty would have lost sight in that eye.

So: vet, soon.
posted by AmandaA at 6:51 AM on October 3, 2011

[In case it isn't clear, Mefites always like photos of the kitty in question, regardless of whether it shows the relevant eye problem or not. It's sort of a tradition around here.]

My cat has also done this for a few hours once, and it went away on its own. I always figured he got a piece of dust in there or something. But if it doesn't go away that quickly, I suppose I would check with a vet too. My vet's office is open to a phone call to see whether it's worth bringing kitty in, since they know the cat-carrier experience is pretty traumatic (as is the bill for a "Nope, he's fine" answer). Could you call your vet and ask what they think?
posted by vytae at 7:49 AM on October 3, 2011

I have a Bengal and sometimes his eye is a little bit closed (same thing - no drainage or anything). It has always cleared up within a few hours.
posted by getawaysticks at 9:28 AM on October 3, 2011

It's been 24 hours. If her eye is still bunged up, I'd call and get a vet appointment, asap.
posted by deborah at 11:29 AM on October 3, 2011

Hi Meta-Hive

Thanks for your feedback. I'm happy to report that this morning her eye looks great -- back to normal. I think it must have been a temporary irritant of some kind. Dust I'd imagine, as she was down in the basement the other day, chasing a coaster around that she'd knocked down the steps.

Here's a photo, for those who requested. Her name is Lili. She's 10.


posted by zenpop at 12:15 PM on October 3, 2011

Beautiful! For any future discussion, you can just highlight a word like this, click on the Link button below the comment window, insert the photo's web address in the popup box that will appear, press ok when done, and voila! Kitty picture!
posted by bearwife at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2011

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