We all love our cat’s enchanting eyes and long whiskers, but do cats have eyelashes? This is a question asked by many pet parents, and cat enthusiasts alike.
In this post you’ll discover the truth, as well as many other interesting facts about cat’s eyes. Keep reading to find out about cat eyelashes as well as the third eyelid, and lots more fun stuff.
Whether you have one kitty or many cats, you’ll enjoy reading this post.
The answer to the question “do cats have eyelashes?” is mixed. While some say a definite yes, other cat owners aren’t sure.
Some animals like cows and horses have eyelashes that are obvious to see. While others like birds are not so obvious.
In fact, bird eyelashes are modified feathers, but that’s another story. The truth is all land mammals have eyelashes which are designed to protect the eyes.
These of course include cats. So, yes, most cats do have eyelashes. However, in most cases you’d really need to look hard to find them.
This is because unlike many other mammals including humans, a cat’s eyelashes are very short. Added to which, they’re mixed in with hair.
There are exceptions though. This includes the Sphynx, a hairless breed of cat. Also, the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex are also without eyelashes
Do Cats Need Eyelashes?
If you’re wondering if cats actually need eyelashes, technically speaking no. Unlike many other mammals cats have third eyelids to protect the eyes.
In addition, fur and whiskers help stop particles of dirt or debris getting into them. This means your cat has multiple ways of protecting her eyes.
Do Kittens Have Eyelashes?
Providing they’re not a hairless breed, yes, all kittens have eyelashes. Whether your kitten has long or short fur her eyelashes will be fully formed just as in adults.
About The Third Eyelid
As I just mentioned the third eyelid I’d thought I’d explain a bit more about it. If you’ve ever watched your cat half dozing, you may have noticed a thin translucent film in her eyes.
However, as your cat becomes alert this quickly retracts. This is known as the third eyelid and serves to protect the cornea.
It evolved to protect cat’s eyes as they forage face first through undergrowth stalking prey. As you can imagine, without this protection the risk of damage to a cat’s cornea would be high.
If you can see your cat’s third eyelid though, apart from when she’s sleepy it’s a sign something’s wrong. It’s totally normal however if your cat is in the light stages of sleep or just deeply relaxed.
In fact, it’s not unusual for cats to have their eyes open during light sleep. This is a survival instinct used to protect themselves from predators.
Eyelash Problems In Cats
Although eyelash problems are rare in cats they can still occur. If you notice any problem with your cat’s eyes it’s important to see your vet.
NEVER try home treatments as you could make things much worse. Although gently dabbing the edge of the eye with clean water is ok.
Ectopic cilia are eyelashes that grow abnormally into the eye. As a result your cat would experience irritation.
This condition is actually more common in dogs, but very rare in cats. You probably wouldn’t be able to see any hairs as they’d be too small.
However, your cat would be squinting, or rubbing her eyes if there was a problem. There are many other eye conditions in cats that are far more common.
Do Cats Have Eyebrows?
You may think if cats have eyelashes they must have eyebrows. However, this certainly isn’t the case.
If you look closely at your cat’s face you’ll notice whiskers sticking out of the brow area. These not only warn of approaching danger, but help protect your cat’s eyes as well.
Interestingly, eyebrow whiskers can move independently of those in the cheek area. While humans use eyebrows in facial expressions, cats use other ways of showing their moods.
Eyes especially can seem to convey expression, especially that slow blink. However, even though you may think your cat smiles at you, she’s not evolved to show facial expression!
The only expression believed to reassure other cats is the slow blink. It’s thought to be a way of letting other cats in their den know it’s safe to sleep.
If you’ve ever tried slow blinking in front of your cat, you’ll notice her copying you. Cats are complex animals and understanding cat language isn’t easy.
Although your cat can’t smile or frown she has many other ways of expressing herself.
Fun Facts About Your Cat’s Eyes
Apart from having very short eyelashes and no eyebrows there are a few more facts you may find interesting. These include an amazing ability to detect prey moving at four millimetres per second.
That’s way more than humans are capable of! Also, despite popular belief, cats are unable to see in total darkness.
This is because they’re crepuscular animals. This means they’ve evolved to be more active around dawn and dusk.
Small prey such as mice and other rodents are also active around this time making them easy targets for your cat! Your cat has amazing peripheral vision and is capable of seeing 200 degrees on each side.
This makes hunting and stalking prey easier. Lastly, cats are near sighted making it hard to see anything close up.
This is why your cat doesn’t always see treats placed under her nose!
All cats apart from hairless breeds have eyelashes. Whether you have an exotic Persian or short hair kitty she will have eyelashes
. Even though you can’t see them they’re helping to protect her eyes from dirt and debris. Fur and whiskers will hide her eyelashes as they blend in.
While it’s rare for cats to suffer any problems with eyelashes, you should always get your vet’s advice if you notice any abnormality.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)