3 Meanings of the Cat’s Pupils Shape. What do the Cat’s Eyes mean?

3 Meanings of the Cat's Pupils Shape. What do the Cat's Eyes mean?

3 Meanings of the Cat's Pupils Shape. What do the Cat's Eyes mean

One of the fascinating details in the physiology of our fellow felines is the ability of their eyes to be able to naturally change shape according to various contexts. Indeed, depending on variations in ambient light, mood or state of health, your cat's pupils may take a narrow, dilated or asymmetric size.

But what can that possibly mean?

Here are some meanings for each of these pupil shapes, to help you better understand and decipher the signals your little feline sends back.

Narrow pupil shape

It should be noted above all that cats have eyes that are sensitive to variations in light. Thus, depending on the intensity of the ambient light, its pupils will take a different shape in order to offer the cat an optimal and comfortable vision.

It is this natural phenomenon of accommodation that can be at work when your feline presents narrow pupils or vertical slits, comparable to those of the eyes of a snake. They will indeed contract to reduce the amount of light entering the eye when the cat is in a too bright space.

However, other factors may explain the narrow shape of the pupils. In connection this time with the mood or state of mind of your little feline, narrow pupils can also be synonymous with pleasure, anger, excitement or translate a fear, even signify an intention to attack a prey or a toy that hangs around.

Dilated pupil shape

With dilated and round pupils, your cat's eyes will appear rounder, larger and almost black. Note that this more or less pronounced dilation is mainly intended to let enough light into the eye in low light conditions. It will therefore occur more frequently at night.

In a completely different context, a connection can be made with the emotional state and the dilated pupils of your four-legged companion. Their round shape could indeed mean that he is stressed or anxious. Or translate the terror or fear he feels in other cases.

It can also reflect a positive feeling of satisfaction. In the latter case, his round eyes will make you understand thathe is in a happy mood or particularly happy, when you have served him a food he loves for example.

Anisocoria: Different sized pupils between the two eyes

Anisocoria describes a situation in which your cat has different sized pupils between its two eyes. One will appear visibly more dilated and round than the other. It can be accompanied by a blue or reddish coloring in the eyes, profuse secretions or discharge and a strong tendency for your cat to scratch its eyes.

The onset of anisocoria may be symptomatic of the presence of more serious disease in cats. Indeed, it is often associated with other eye diseases such as feline leukemia, glaucoma and corneal ulcer among others. It can also have several causes: an eye injury or a brain injury related to trauma or an accident in particular.


If you notice the phenomenon of anisocoria in your cat, be sure to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible for a diagnosis and, if necessary, an appropriate treatment.

Eyes and ears are a whole that are observed together

In many cases, focusing only on your cat's pupils may not be enough to better decipher the signals it is sending you. Indeed, the shape of its eyes, as well as the position of its ears, even its tail constitute a whole that you must perceive in an overall vision to have a better idea of ​​the expressions adopted by your cat and ultimately well. understand what the cat is telling you.

Thus, observing dilated pupils combined with straight ears and open forward, for example, will reflect a neutral attitude that does not allow any particular emotion to filter through. While round pupils seen with open ears tilted back will help you know your cat is scared of something or is feeling intimidated.

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