A closer look: Crossed Eyes (Strabismus) in Cats
Strabismus is a common symptom in cats. If the symptom is congenital (present at birth), this is not often a severe symptom and affected cats generally adjust well and have a high quality of life.
Connect with a vet to get more information
Some cases of strabismus are congenital. This is most often seen in Siamese, Himalayan, and flame point Persian breeds.
Strabismus can affect one eye or both. If it occurs rapidly or is accompanied by other neurological symptoms, this may be a more severe presentation associated with dangerous conditions. Congenital strabismus is common in Siamese, Himalayan, and flame point Persian cats.
Sudden onset of strabismus can be a sign of severe and potentially life-threatening conditions and requires emergency veterinary care.
Testing and diagnosis
Diagnostics involve a physical examination, medical history, diagnostic imaging, blood work, urinalysis, and a full neurologic examination. Neurologic investigation may require referral to a specialist.
Treatment depends on the root cause of the crossed eyes but can include;
- Medications (anti-inflammatories, antibiotics)
- Physical therapy
- Symptom management (such as anti-nausea medications)
Strabismus is self evident and not likely to be confused with other symptoms. Other symptoms that impact symmetry of the eyes are similar but distinct. Examples include protrusion of the third eyelid and sunken or bulging eyeballs.
Other neurologic signs often accompany acquired cases of strabismus.