Ectropion (Droopy Eye) In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Veterinarian examining cat with sore eye

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Ectropion in cats is a medical condition that affects a cat’s eyes. It occurs when a cat’s lower eyelid begins to roll in an outwards direction away from the eye, which is why the condition is sometimes referred to as droopy eye.

This condition is generally more common in dogs, but cats can sometimes be affected by it too.  It can lead to issues with their sight and vision. Additionally, the Persian and Himalayan cat breeds seem to suffer from it more than other breeds.

If you see signs that your feline might be developing issues with their eyes, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of ectropion in cats.

Symptoms Of Ectropion In Cats

Ectropion in cats brings on symptoms that affect a cat’s eyes and includes the noticeable symptom of a cat’s lower eyelid rolling outwards. Some of the other common symptoms include:

  • Inflammation
  • Stained marks appearing due to issues with tear drainage
  • Discharge from the eyes

Causes Of Ectropion In Cats

Unrecognizable veterinary staff inject eye drops into a sphinx cat's eyes to hydrate them after sedation.

(Picture Credit: Hugo Abad/Getty Images)

The cause of ectropion in cats is often accredited to breed-related issues. The Persian and Himalayan cat breeds are the most likely to develop the condition.

Some of the other factors that have been suggested as causes include weight loss, an injury to the eyelids, and loss of muscle mass.

Veterinary Treatments

If you worry that your cat might be developing ectropion, then your veterinarian will want to conduct a detailed examination of their eyes. In particular, they may use fluorescein stain to detect any issues or foreign objects that are affecting the eyes.

Treatment often takes the form of supportive care. Vets can prescribe topical ointments and lubricants to combat mild case; although in very severe cases, cats may need a surgical procedure to shorten the eyelid.

As always, if your vet prescribes your cat any medicine, then it is vital that you stick to the precise dosage, frequency, and application instructions and complete the full course of medication.

Recovering cats should keep up regular vet appointments so that the vet can closely monitor the condition of their eyes.

Has your cat developed ectropion? What corrective measures did your vet suggest? Tell us all about it in the comments below.