Can Cats Get Cherry Eye? Discover the Surprising Truth

Yes, cats can get cherry eye, a condition where the gland in the eyelid becomes prolapsed. Cherry eye is a common condition that can affect cats.

It occurs when the gland in the cat’s eyelid becomes prolapsed, leading to a red, swollen, and protruding appearance, resembling a cherry, hence the name. While it is more commonly seen in certain dog breeds, cats can also experience cherry eye.

This condition can be uncomfortable for the cat and may result in excessive tearing or discharge. Although it is not typically a serious medical concern, it should still be addressed by a veterinarian to prevent any complications. We will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for cats with cherry eye, providing you with the information you need to ensure the well-being of your feline companion.

What Is Cherry Eye?

Cherry eye in cats is a condition where the gland of the third eyelid prolapses, leading to a swollen, red mass that resembles a cherry. It is more commonly seen in certain breeds, such as the Burmese and Persian cats, but can occur in any cat. The exact cause of cherry eye in cats is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a weakness in the connective tissue that secures the gland in place.

Symptoms may include redness, swelling, discharge, and irritation in the affected eye. If left untreated, cherry eye can lead to discomfort, dryness, and potential complications such as conjunctivitis.

Treatment options for cherry eye in cats often involve surgical intervention to correct the prolapsed gland. Varying surgical techniques may be used, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual cat’s needs.

It is important to consult a veterinarian if you suspect your cat may have cherry eye. Early detection and treatment can help prevent further complications and discomfort for your feline companion.

Can Cats Develop Cherry Eye?

Cherry Eye is commonly associated with dogs, but can cats develop this condition as well? Let’s investigate the occurrence of Cherry Eye in cats and explore the factors that may contribute to its development.

Cherry Eye, also known as prolapse of the third eyelid gland, happens when the gland in the third eyelid becomes displaced. While it is more frequently seen in dogs, cats can also be affected.

There are several factors that may contribute to cats developing Cherry Eye. Genetic predisposition could play a role, as certain breeds seem to be more prone to this condition. Trauma or injury to the eye area could also disrupt the positioning of the gland. Additionally, underlying health issues like conjunctivitis or eye infections may increase the risk of Cherry Eye in cats.

If you suspect your cat may have Cherry Eye, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, options may include medication or surgical intervention.

Symptoms And Diagnosis

Cherry Eye is a condition that can affect cats, causing their third eyelid to protrude and become swollen. It is important for cat owners to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of Cherry Eye in order to seek veterinary care promptly.

The most common symptom of Cherry Eye in cats is the appearance of a red, fleshy mass in the corner of their eye. This mass can be quite alarming to pet owners, but it is usually not painful and does not cause any vision problems for the cat.

If you suspect that your cat may have Cherry Eye, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. During the examination, the veterinarian will examine your cat’s eye and may perform additional tests to rule out other potential causes of the swelling.

How Veterinarians Diagnose Cherry Eye in Cats
Veterinarians visually examine the affected eye and look for the characteristic appearance of a protruding third eyelid.
They may also gently manipulate the tissue to determine if it can be easily repositioned.
In some cases, the veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic tests, such as an eye stain or a swab of the eye, to rule out other potential causes of the swelling.

If the diagnosis confirms that your cat has Cherry Eye, your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you. Surgery is typically recommended to reposition the prolapsed gland and prevent further complications.

Common Symptoms

Redness and swelling in the eye: One common symptom of cherry eye in cats is the presence of redness and swelling in the affected eye. This can be easily noticeable and may cause discomfort to the cat. It is important to carefully observe any changes in the appearance of the eyes to identify this symptom.

Prolapse of the third eyelid gland: Another symptom to watch out for is the prolapse of the third eyelid gland. Cherry eye occurs when the gland that produces tears in the eye becomes inflamed and pops out of its normal position. This can be seen as a red mass in the corner of the eye.

Early detection of these symptoms is crucial for prompt treatment. If you notice any redness, swelling, or prolapse of the third eyelid gland in your cat’s eye, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment Options

Cherry Eye, a condition where the gland of a cat’s third eyelid protrudes, can be successfully treated through a variety of approaches. The most common treatment option is surgery, which involves repositioning the gland back into its normal position. There are different surgical procedures available, including the use of sutures or tack to secure the gland. Another approach is to opt for a non-surgical alternative such as the use of medications, massaging the gland, or applying warm compresses. While these non-surgical options may offer temporary relief, they may not provide a permanent solution and surgery may still be required.

In conclusion, treating Cherry Eye in cats requires careful consideration of the best approach. Surgical procedures offer a more permanent solution, while non-surgical alternatives may provide temporary relief. It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate treatment option for your cat.

Surgical Treatment

Exploring the surgical options for Cherry Eye in cats

When it comes to treating Cherry Eye in cats, surgery is often recommended as an effective solution. There are various surgical options available that can help to correct this condition and provide relief for your feline friend.

One of the most commonly used surgical techniques is called the pocket technique, where a small pocket is created in the conjunctiva to house the prolapsed gland. This technique helps to secure the gland in place and prevent further prolapse.

Another option is the tuck and tack technique, which involves folding the gland and tacking it to the surrounding tissues. This technique helps to maintain proper gland function while also ensuring it stays in its correct position.

It’s important to note that while surgery can be effective, there are some risks involved. These can include infection, bleeding, and recurrence of the condition. However, the benefits of surgery often outweigh the risks, as it can provide long-term relief and prevent complications associated with Cherry Eye.

Non-surgical Treatment

Alternative methods to manage Cherry Eye in cats involve non-surgical treatments that may help alleviate the condition without the need for surgery.

The Effectiveness And Limitations Of Non-surgical Treatments

The effectiveness of non-surgical treatments for Cherry Eye in cats varies depending on the severity of the condition. While there are several methods that can be used, it’s important to note that these treatments may not fully resolve the issue and may only provide temporary relief.

One common non-surgical treatment is the use of topical medications such as eye drops or ointments. These medications can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. However, they may not be effective for more severe cases of Cherry Eye.

Another alternative method is the application of warm compresses to the affected eye. This can help reduce swelling and discomfort, but it may not provide a long-term solution.

Overall, non-surgical treatments can be a viable option for managing Cherry Eye in cats, but they should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian and may not always be a permanent solution.

Prevention And Care

Cherry Eye, while more commonly seen in dogs, can also affect cats. It occurs when the gland in the third eyelid becomes inflamed or prolapses, causing a visible red or pink mass in the corner of the eye. While prevention methods are not foolproof, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of Cherry Eye in cats.

Keep Stress Levels Low: Stress can weaken a cat’s immune system, making them more susceptible to eye conditions like Cherry Eye. Create a calm and stable environment for your cat to lower their stress levels.
Maintain Good Eye Hygiene: Regularly clean your cat’s eyes with a gentle, vet-approved eye cleanser. This helps remove debris and reduces the risk of any eye conditions developing.
Avoid Irritants: Avoid exposing your cat to irritants such as smoke, chemicals, or dusty environments, as they can increase the chances of developing Cherry Eye.
Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Visit your veterinarian regularly for check-ups. They can identify any early signs of eye problems and provide appropriate treatment.
Quality Nutrition: Feed your cat a balanced diet with proper nutrients to support overall eye health.

By following these preventative measures, you can help minimize the risk of your cat developing Cherry Eye. However, if you notice any swelling or abnormalities in your cat’s eye, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.


To sum up, it is important to be aware that cats can indeed suffer from cherry eye, although it is a condition more commonly seen in dogs. While it may not pose a serious threat to their health, it can still cause discomfort and require veterinary intervention.

By understanding the symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment promptly, cat owners can ensure their feline companions receive the care they need to remain happy and healthy.

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