Cats Eyes Always Dilated

Are your cats eyes dilated? Even though our cats do not have the ability to speak and tell us what they want to say and what they are feeling, their body language will tell us everything!

For example, do you remember any instance of your cat staring at you? Dilated and constricted pupils in cats mean two different things. For this article, we will put focus and try to find out what it means when your cat’s eyes are always dilated.


What Types of Dilated Eyes Can They Have?

What does the pupil do exactly? Its function does not differ too much as that of human pupils. A cat's pupil also functions as a regulatory agency that adjusts the amount of light that enters the feline’s eyes.

  • A cat's pupils take two forms: dilated and constricted. Both mean two different and opposite things, very much like how different they look when it comes to its shape.
  • A constricted pupil looks like slits – very much like that of a snake’s eyes, or it is relatively smaller compared to a dilated pupil.
  • A dilated pupil, on the other hand, looks rounded and enlarged. Filling almost the entire outline of the eyeball.

Why Do Cats Have Dilated Eyes?

In the feline world, there is a lot to know and learn about your cat by just looking at its pupils. There are a number of reasons as to why your cat’s eyes would change in shape - or constrict and dilate.

  1. Light source
    When your cat is in a dimly lit area, or a room with very little lighting, you will notice that its eyes will dilate in order to let more light in the eyes and be able to see better in the dark. On the other hand, when there is too much light and it hits your cat's eyes, its pupil immediately constricts in order to limit the amount of light that would come in. Watch how your cat's eyes constrict when you accidentally shine a flashlight through its eyes. 

  2. Mood
    A cat’s eye dilate when it is feeling comfortable, happy and contented, and fear at the same time. It is almost a good sign that when your cat looks at you with dilated eyes then it could be a sign that your cat loves you. However, when a cat's eye is constricted, you would immediately know that it is agitated, angry and perhaps aggravated as well. Usually, this happens when your cat feels threatened. Although, it is interesting to note that a cat may also feel aroused at this point. It usually occurs when your cat is playing around.

Medical Issues With Dilated Eyes

Dilated eyes almost always belong to the initial symptoms of most cat diseases.


A condition that affects the eyes of a cat. When a cat has glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve is developed. There is a build-up of pressure within the eye, damaging that nerve connecting the brain to the eye. It is usually caused by an accumulation of fluid in the eyes' drainage system. Which could also be a result of inflammation, trauma, infection, cataract surgery and other tumors.


It is a condition that affects the internal organ, pancreas. It causes numerous neurological problems and weakness, due to low blood sugar caused by a tumour in the cells found in the pancreas. It occurs as the body produces excessive insulin.

Retinal Detachment

This condition affects your cat's eyesight. It is common for cats, yet it could get deadly and complicated. Your cat's eyesight maybe at stake here. There are a lot of circumstances that may lead to retinal detachment, like high blood pressure, an impending kidney disease, and hyperviscosity syndrome.

Feline Dysautonomia

Also known as the Key-Gaskell syndrome or in simpler terms, feline dilated pupil syndrome. This is a condition wherein there is a problem with the autonomic nervous system. This controls all involuntary movements in a cat's body.

Brain Tumor

We are familiar with brain tumors I suppose, as human also develop these. It is the growth of abnormal cells in the brain or its membranes, also called primary tumor;  or it originates somewhere, making it secondary. There are two types of brain tumors, benign and malignant. Benign tumors do not cause that much trouble, while the malignant ones will definitely make your headache. 

Bottom Line

A cat's dilated eyes do not always mean that it likes you a lot, sometimes it could also mean that there is something severely long with them. Diligently observe your cats and have them checked when problems occur. 

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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