When do newborn kittens open their eyes?


The cat's eyes can be really fascinating for those who stop to look at them, not only because of the particular combinations of colors, but also because of how curious the behavior of their pupil can be, which changes in size according to the amount of light that is in the environment.

There is a membrane in the cat's eye called the third eyelid. You may have never seen it, as it indicates health problems. Therefore, if you have begun to notice it, it is important that you are informed about the third eyelid in cats, their causes and treatment, so Expert Animal brings you this article. It is a symptom that something is wrong in your cat's health, and for no reason should it be ignored.

What is the third eyelid?

The scientific name of this membrane that the eyes of several mammals possess, including felines, is Tertia palpebra and can be called third eyelid or nictitating membrane. It is a tissue located around the cornea, conjunctiva and mucous membrane. Although it is not common to see, it is possible that when your cat is semi-sleeping you notice some sections between his eye and the external eyelids.

The work of the third eyelid consists of protect eyeballs Any foreign object and trauma that may be suffered as a result of a blow. In addition, it is responsible for releasing a liquid whose antiseptic properties are capable of combat the presence of bacteria and microorganisms that could cause diseases.

If you notice that your cat is seeing the third eyelid, either in one or both of the eyeballs, it indicates that it has some discomfort, pain or disease. Some research indicates that the appearance of this membrane is related to intestinal parasites and digestive problems, while others state that if this membrane is observed, the problem is clearly related to the eye. So you can have all the information, we show you the causes that can cause this tissue to surface in your cat's eye.

Causes of the third eyelid in cats

If you notice that your cat's nictitating membrane is visible in one or both eyes, these are some of the factors that may be causing it:

  • Conjunctivitis. This eye infection not only causes the appearance of the third eyelid, but also swelling, tearing and redness.
  • Dehydration When the lack of water is extreme, the appearance of this eye tissue indicates a serious state of health that must be attended by a specialist.
  • Wounds If your cat has suffered a blow or trauma to the face, it may have affected his eyes. Take it to the vet immediately.
  • Strange body. Any object, garbage, dust, among other elements that may have penetrated the cat's eye will cause this membrane to emerge, as a way to prevent it from becoming more embedded in the eyeball.
  • Cancer. It is possible that this small organ is affected by the development of cancer cells.
  • Haw's syndrome This name is given to the appearance of the third eyelid when it is related to the fact that the cat is suffering or has just suffered an intestinal problem, be it severe diarrhea or the presence of parasites.
  • Genetics. Some breeds of cats, such as Burmese, may be prone to this membrane bursting into the eye, causing discomfort.

In addition, if your cat is seen the third eyelid it is also very likely that his eyes begin to tear, and that he tries to touch them with the legs due to the discomfort that this membrane produces when it is out of place.

Treatment of the third eyelid in cats

Due to the multiple causes that can cause the cat's nictitating membrane to cover more space than it should in the eye, the treatments are diverse, as they will depend on what is causing this anomaly.

When it comes to dehydration, it is recommended provide the cat with wet food and plenty of water to stop the process, and visit the veterinarian, because the lack of water has been very prolonged so that the problem can be solved at home.

In case of conjunctivitis, wounds, foreign bodies in the eye and cancer, only the diagnosis of the doctor can determine what is the next step to follow. It may be prescribed eye drops and other medications in the first 3 problems, depending on the severity, and when it comes to cancer, a surgical intervention and radiotherapy, only the specialist can decide which is the best option to preserve the quality of life and health of the cat.

Haw's syndrome should disappear on its own, when the intestinal and digestive problems that have caused the membrane to notice disappear.

When the cause is of genetic origin, the veterinarian will determine through medical studies if the membrane is affecting the cat's vision and causing discomfort. If so, you may also resort to surgery, not to remove it but to relocate it to its rightful place.

If you want to read more articles similar to Third eyelid in cats - Causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Eye Care section.

When do cats open their eyes?

Kittens are born with eyes completely closed. Keeping them closed after birth allows your eyes to continue to develop. Because newborn kittens are hypersensitive to light, it is imperative that your eyes remain protected until they are ready.

How long do cats take to open their eyes?

Newborn kittens begin to open their eyes between the first week and the first 10 days of life. However, they will not open them completely yet. As they acclimatize to a world of light from total darkness, they gradually open their eyes.

Kittens are especially susceptible to eye infections during the first weeks of life. If you notice any signs of ocular discharge or scab, take the veterinarian.

After two weeks of age, the eyes of the kittens will open completely.

What is eye infection and why is it caused?

Eye infection in cats are very common and one of the most frequent causes is the conjunctivitis. It can also be due to other reasons such as different allergies, infections, physical damage, due to some feline respiratory disease and can also be caused by corneal injuries when trying to scratch or even be damaged playing with other animals. If the cat is small and has just been separated from its mother, eye infection may also occur.

How should I act before an eye infection?

As we have already said, it is not something serious, however, if we do not treat our cat, it can lose vision. Therefore we have to take action and try to solve it. It is usually something easy to deal with.

The first thing we should do if we notice any signs of infection is consult the veterinarian as soon as possible to tell us what we have to do and timely treatment. When you go to the consultation, the veterinarian may ask you questions about the background, the environment where the cat is and its medical history. On the other hand, if you see it necessary, you can perform tests to rule out that the infection comes from a feline disease such as FHV-1, Feline Chlamydia, Feline Mycoplasma Keratitis, Feline herpesvirus 1 or keratitis. In this way the veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic or medication, usually in the form of drops. If the diagnosis is that the cat has an FHV-1 infection in the eyes, homeopathic remedies are recommended.

You should keep in mind that cats can lose their appetite while fighting an eye infection. Therefore, you must ensure that they will receive adequate nutrition so that they can fight the infection and be well fed.

exist home remedies to help your cat, but you should always check with the veterinarian first If they are good for your kitty. Some of them are dipping cotton in tea and cleaning their eyes frequently until their eyes stop releasing lizards. Warm water is also good for cleaning the eyes. If the eyes are more closed do the same but with chamomile. If while you wash your eyes you see that it has an object inside do not try to take it out since you can damage it. If this is the case, go urgently to the veterinarian.

I want to do it

We know that cats have a greater capacity than ours to endure the pain. But if you notice that you and / or clean your eyes more frequently, perhaps it is your way of indicating that you have a problem with your eye. Eye diseases can go from moderate to severe in a short time. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, take him to the vet immediately.

Types of infection

Viral: Most viral infections are caused by the feline herpes virus 1 (Feline Herpesvirus-1). This brings conjunctivitis, redness of the eye and inflammation of the membrane that covers the eye. If the cornea ulcers are not treated in time, they can manifest as well as dryness of the eye, inflamed cornea and the eye can become stuck to the eyelid.

Bacterial: Probably caused by chlamydiosis (chlamydiosis), the official bacterium of conjunctivitis. Its symptoms include fever, irritation and nasal secretions in addition to mouth and throat ulcers.

By fungus: Here the culprit is cryptococcosis that travels through the air to your cat's environment. The list of symptoms includes peripheral blindness, dilated eyes, inflamed retina and pupils that are not sensitive to light.

Types of secretions

Depending on the type the cause is different:

  • Clear secretion and clear eye: the problem is with the tear.
  • Clear secretion and red eye: it can be conjunctivitis or some type of viral infection.
  • Mucous secretion such as pus and inflamed eye: it can also be conjunctivitis but linked to chlamydiosis.

Symptoms of eye pain

He lets you know with excess tears in his eye, trying to keep his eye closed and fleeing to the light. Sometimes the nictitating membrane can be seen protecting the eye. If it has already reached pain, it is time to take it to the vet. Failure to do so can lead to complications such as glaucoma. Keep reading "

Clouds in the eye

The cloud can be small and located in a specific area but it can also cover the entire eye. In senior cats you can indicate lenticular sclerosis and not be anything serious. It can also be confused with cataracts, a situation that needs medical attention, but does not present pain in the cat. But if the cloud is accompanied by pain, the problem is another. Loss of clarity in the eye indicates that there is something sick inside the eye that can turn into keratitis or glaucoma.

Serous conjunctivitis:

Serous conjunctivitis is an infection in the eyes of less serious catsIt is simple to treat and the symptoms are not as invasive. This type of infection is diagnosed when the cat's eye membrane is slightly pink and inflamed, accompanied by a slight transparent and liquid tearing.

In turn, it is caused by changes in the weather at very low temperatures, dust, pollen, allergies and strong wind. But nevertheless, It may be linked to a respiratory illness in your pet.

Follicular Conjunctivitis:

Compared to the infection in the eyes of serous-type cats, the follicular is observed when the tearing is thicker, also, the back of the nictitating membrane or What is known as the third eyelid in the eyes of cats and the upper and lower eyelids become inflamed.

Consequently, a hardened surface is formed by almost completely covering the animal's eye. This pathology is caused by allergies or a severe infection.

Purulent conjunctivitis:

This type of infection in the eyes of cats derives from the complication of the serosa when it is in turn affected by an infectious bacteria or microorganism, which causes the secretion to run mucous and in certain cases there is presence of pus on the back of the eyelids.

If you notice that your cat suffers from this disease, it may also contain a viral respiratory infection or pathology. We recommend that you go to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Systemic hypertension:

This pathology focuses on inflammation in the inner part of the eye or uveitis as it is also known, being this caused by the leukemia virus in cats, toxoplasmosis, infectious peritonitis and feline immunodeficiency.

Diseases such as ocular lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma present in the eye area, they are alterations produced by conjunctivitis in cats.

Hereditary problems:

Hereditary diseases in cats are very commonIn some races there is the case of the presence of inherited eye infections, which causes conjunctivitis. Breeds such as the abyssinian retinal atrophy are common, the known Burmese suffer from alterations in their eyelids and in the manx corneal dystrophy may occur.

Secretions or lagañas:

First of all, you should keep in mind that all cats secrete thick or liquid substances by the tear of each eyeThis is often observed when they just wake up and have not been cleaned. Therefore, yellow or green mucus, accompanied by a bad smell is always a sign of some infection.

Swollen eyelids:

This symptom is one of the most obvious when there is an infection in the eyes of cats. since, they feel bigger than normal.

However, secretions that are reddish or transparent are considered normal, the latter when they dry in the tear of the eye become reddish so you should not be alarmed if you notice its presence.

Loss of the bright layer of the eye:

The eye of cats has a very bright surface in view of humans, if it becomes opaque and it is difficult for you to observe the reflections in it being irregular as it is a sign of dryness in the eye, this occurs when there is not enough tear fluid but also, This symptom appears when an ulcer is created in the upper layer of the feline eye.

Clean secretions:

If your cat is producing mucus or secretions you can clean your eye with a cotton mop moistened with physiological solutionRemember that the infection can cause discomfort and pain, be very careful when cleaning it, the periodicity of cleaning will depend on the frequency at which the tear produces these secretions.

Then, dry the eye with another cotton with little touches on the tear, every time the cotton gets dirty you should change it, but you could be spreading the infection more in the healthy areas of the eye. Keep in mind that, for each eye you must use different cottons, Never clean both eyes of the cat with the same piece of cotton.

Eyes of a baby cat:

The eyes of newborn cats are more likely to get infections, If you notice that the kitten has eyes glued by dry secretions and cannot open them, you can help with eye cleaning, eye drops always recommended by a veterinarian so you will prevent the infection in the eyes of cats from spreading behind the eyelids, as this could cause blindness.

For its part, the eyelids glued by the dirty can be cleaned with physiological solution too or with cold purified water, moisten the cotton and carefully rub on the eyelids to remove excess dirt or secretion, and carefully peel off your eyelids, This can cause discomfort to the cat so you must be very patient in doing so.

Avoid infections:

It is important that you can avoid any infection in the eyes of cats, If the problem is the hair that covers your eyes then cut it very carefully to keep your face neat and eyes clean of hair.

Too, Allergic agents are the most common among the causes of infections in your pet's eyes, aerosols, dust, perfumes, insecticides, smoke, all kinds of liquid or gaseous substance that emits a strong smell will be contradictory for the care of your cat's eyes, you should avoid using them when they are close.

Why doesn't my kitty open my eyes?

There are several possible causes that cause the child not to open or cannot open his eyes:

  • It's very young: We have advanced it above. A healthy kitten will start to open around ten days, but it won't be until three weeks that he can open them completely.
  • Have an eye infection: If otherwise it is fine but you already have an age at which you should show your eyes and cannot, then it is because you have an eye infection. And this may be caused by:
    • Viruses: they are infections caused by feline herpes. The symptoms are: conjunctivitis, inflammation and redness of the eye. The veterinarian will treat you with antivirals.
    • Bacteria: usually caused by clam> How to help?

    Apart from taking him to the vet and treating him with the medications he has given us, at home we will have to do other things, such as clean them with chamomile to relieve itching, pain and discomfort you may have, and especially wash your hands well with soap and water before and after handling.

    Of course, you have to give it a lot of love and a lot of company so that all that love transforms him into forces that will help him feel like waking up after each nap.

    Do you need more info? Here is a guide to care for orphaned newborn kittens.