Cat Pupils: This is what their eyes say

The eyes of a cat are quite amazing. They allow a cat to see in the near darkness and give it great ability to detect movement and hunt for prey. But what really fascinates a lot of people are those vertical slit-shaped cat pupils. However, cat students do much more than respond to the level of light in a room. Those feline pupils also give you a good idea of ​​how your cat is feeling emotionally and physically.

Here are some cool things to know about cat pupils:

Your cat’s pupils show its mood

Our cats communicate with us in very subtle ways, and one of those ways is through their eyes. A cat’s mood can be determined by a combination of understanding the cat’s body language and the eyes.

Narrow pupils indicate that the cat is very active


Arousal can be caused by many things: anger, fear and pleasure, mainly. These emotions can cause a cat’s pupils to suddenly twitch into narrow slits. You might see this if your cat encounters a catnip mouse and prepares to attack it. Even the smell of catnip itself can cause arousal in a cat who likes things.

You can also see that cats suddenly contract if they are about to “kill” their favorite toy (or your toes wiggling under the covers). Anger can also cause feline pupils to shrink into slits; However, this is often accompanied by growling or hissing.

If the cat’s pupils are narrow and the eyes are squinted, that is a sign of aggression. Strabismus helps protect your eyes from the clutches of an opponent.

However, if cats’ pupils are narrow and your cat is relaxing on your lap and purring, you are probably guessing that she is experiencing great pleasure.

Wide cat pupils indicate an excited or frightened state


Yes, it’s true: wide cat pupils can signify both emotion and fear, so you’ll need to understand the meaning of your cat’s wide eyes by observing what’s going on around her and the other body language cues. For example, when my cat, Bella, is surprised, her pupils widen and she jumps into the air with the classic “feather tail.” Wide cat pupils can also indicate excitement. When you take out your cat’s favorite treats, her pupils may widen in anticipation.

On the other hand, wide cat pupils can indicate anxiety. If your cat is sitting there, tense (with her back hunched and her tail glued to her side), and her pupils are also wide, you can assume that she is anxious about something. You’ve probably seen this when you take your cat to the vet and she really doesn’t want to be there.

The wide pupils of cats can also indicate abject terror. You may have seen this if you’ve been in a major thunderstorm, just before your cat runs to the smallest, darkest spot he can find.

What if the cat’s pupils are of different sizes?

When one of the cat’s pupils is larger than the other, your cat has a condition called anisocoria. Anisocoria is a symptom, not a disease in itself. Sometimes it is an emergency.

If anisocoria occurs suddenly, you should consider this an emergency situation and seek veterinary attention immediately to decrease the chance that your cat’s vision will be permanently affected.

When cats’ pupils are of different sizes, it may indicate that your cat is suffering from one of the following problems: a brain injury due to trauma (such as a fall or being hit by a car or an illness such as a stroke); an injury to the surface of the eye; a problem with the nerves that run to the affected eye; glaucoma, a very painful build-up of pressure in the eye; inflammation of the inside of the eye; retinal disease; or even cancer. Cats can also develop anisocoria due to spastic pupil syndrome, which is associated with the feline leukemia virus.

Feline pupils are an incredibly expressive part of a feline friend’s body language repertoire. By studying your cat’s eyes in conjunction with their body language, you will be able to better understand your cat and avoid unwanted aggression or fear. Pupils are also a reflection of your cat’s health. Don’t hesitate to take your cat to the vet if you notice that his pupils are of different sizes.


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