The cat third eyelid is the name by which we know a membrane that some mammals, including cats, have in their eyes, a ‘transparent gate’ that acts as a protector of the eyeballs. The cat has a protective membrane inside the eyeballs, it is a tissue that surrounds the cornea, the conjunctiva and the mucous membrane of the eye, we call this the third eyelid. It is a kind of compartment between the eye and the external eyelids. It is normal not to see it, in fact, if you start to see it, it is an indicator that there are problems.
If you look closely at the eyes of cats, when they are almost asleep, you will see how they have a third eyelid, a small, almost invisible fabric that is called palpebra tertia, and that serves to safeguard the eyeballs, protecting them from all dangers that might arise. It even produces tears and other substances that help them fight bacteria and microorganisms.
Keep in mind that this membrane is almost invisible and, in fact, if you see it more than normal, it is possible that it has some kind of problem. If it protrudes from both eyes, it is likely that the cat itself is sick. In short, the third eyelid is visible is a symptom of different types of ailments, among which conjunctivitis can be found. It is evident that you will have to make a visit to the vet in order to solve the problem.
Symptoms of Cat Third Eyelid
Other than those brief moments when your cat wakes up from sleep, you shouldn’t see the nictitating membrane. If your cat third eyelid appears in one or both eyes, take him to the vet to make sure he is not suffering from third eyelid cat with any one of the following health problems.
Trauma and Injuries: Most traumatic eye injuries are due to fighting, foreign objects in the eyes, or similar circumstances. Your cat can get a corneal ulcer if there is a scratch on the transparent surface of the eye. The third eyelid will prolapse due to this type of trauma.
Cat Dehydration: The third eyelid sometimes occurs if a cat is severely dehydrated or is experiencing weight loss due to another health problem. The cats with glaucoma may also show the third eyelid.
Eye Infections: The nictitating membrane may also occur as a symptom of virus feline upper airway or conjunctivitis. Your cat’s third eyelid is a perfectly normal part of his anatomy until it becomes obvious. When in doubt, check with your vet.
Haw Syndrome: In this case, the nictitating membrane appears in both eyes. Its appearance is related to some type of gastrointestinal upset, intestinal worms or other parasites, food intolerance, a viral or bacterial intestinal infection. This condition often clears up suddenly within 3 to 4 weeks.
Strange Body: Any object, dirt, dust, among other elements that may have stayed in the cat’s eyes, will cause this membrane to appear, to prevent it from entering the eyeball further.
Horner Syndrome: It is a neurological disease that arises from the dysfunction of the sympathetic nerves of the eye. The sympathetic nervous system controls many glandular and involuntary functions of the body. Third eyelid prolapse is one of the four clinical signs that develop with Horner syndrome. This syndrome usually affects only one eye at a time.
Tumours: They can be melanomas, leukaemia, or squamous cell carcinomas that appear on the eyelids and expand. The most common of these tumours is an adenocarcinoma that affects the gland of the third eyelid.
Genetics: Your cat may have a visible cat third eyelid due to her genetic heritage. Breeds like the Burmese often have this trait.
Cat Third Eyelid Treatment
There is no definitive treatment for the appearance of the cat third eyelid showing since there is not a single health problem that causes its appearance. However, there are a few things you can do if your cat’s third eyelid is showing.
- Clean the area. Gently clean the eye area with cat wipes. Use warm water, a soft cloth, and a pet-safe antibacterial solution if you can’t find cat wipes at this time.
- When it comes to dehydration. It is of utmost importance for your cat to have a good fluid intake. Provide canned foods, which are high in moisture, and make sure your pet has constant access to clean, fresh water.
- Protect your home against stress. Try to make your house or apartment as quiet and relaxing as possible for the cat. Respiratory infections and other health conditions are worse when the cat is stressed. Advise children and guests of the house to be quiet and not disturb the cat physically or emotionally.
- The syndrome Haw disappears only when the intestinal and digestive problems that have caused the membrane finished.
- In the case of conjunctivitis in cats, wounds, foreign bodies in the eye, eye drops and other medications may be administered, and in the case of tumours, surgical intervention and radiotherapy may be carried out.
Hope the article on cat third eyelid showing no other symptoms is very clear for you. If your vet has prescribed any medications and given you care advice, be sure to follow everything strictly. Negligence on your behalf can, and eventually, will only make the problem worse. For more information visit our CatsBuz website.