As a big cat lover for as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with cat’s body features.
I used to observe cats from up close any time I had a chance. Years ago, when I was playing with my friend’s kitty, I noticed something that surprised me a bit. She had hairs on her eyelids!
Do cats really have eyelashes, or I am just imagining? I wondered then.
Now, as a DVM, I am well acquainted with the cats’ body features; including their eyelashes. I am sure many of you cat fanciers also wonder whether cats share this eye feature with humans.
The answer would be – yes, they do, but there are some additional interesting facts on this matter.
Most Cats Do Have Eyelashes
We know that eyelashes have a purpose in humans – they protect our eyes from harmful external effects.
However, cats already have long hairs on their face. Could it be that their eyes don’t have the need for the same protection?
No, cat’s eyes also need protection, so most cat breeds do have eyelashes. They are usually not as dark and as long as humans’, and this is the most likely reason why many of you won’t notice them immediately.
Take a look at the video below that shows Maine Coon’s eyes up close.
At a first glance, it might seem that this beautiful cat doesn’t have eyelashes. But, when you look her eyes up close, you will see them clearly.
These ginger eyelashes are a bit hard to notice, since they are somewhat merged with the color of this cat’s fur. But, they are there!
Eyelashes Are Easier To Notice In Certain Cat Breeds
Some cats will have more prominent eyelashes. These are usually long-haired cats, such as the Persian Cat, the Balinese, or the Himalayan cat.
But, this does not mean that cats with other coat types don’t have eyelashes.
Cats with medium-length coats – such as the Bengal cat, or the Scottish Fold cat – also have lashes, but they will usually be shorter. The same goes for short-haired cats, such as the American Shorthair and the British Shorthair.
Still, There Are Some Cats With No Eyelashes
There are certain breeds that won’t have eyelashes at all.
These are usually hairless cat breeds – rare and exotic cats that you probably don’t see every day.
When you think about hairless felines, you probably instantly imagine the Sphynx cat. Still, there are other hairless cats, such as the Devon Rex or Bambino, which also don’t have eyelashes.
Why Do Cats Have Eyelashes?
You know now that cats have eyelashes. But what is their purpose?
Cat’s eyes are very sensitive. Kittens are born with their eyes closed, and their eyes will be extremely delicate until the kitten is around 6 weeks old. It is essential not to touch the cat’s eyes in this period to avoid any kind of injuries.
Although an adult cat’s eyes will not be as delicate as a kitten’s, they will still be sensitive and will need protection.
This is why cats have eyelashes – they serve as their eyes’ protectors.
Still, since cats also have their fur and whiskers that protect them from dirt and humidity, their eyelashes are not the only protection for their eyes.
Do Cats Eyelashes Require Special Care?
When it comes to your cat’s eyelashes, the only thing you should do is to keep the area around your cat’s eyes clean. Also, never use any harsh shampoo or soap while doing this.
If you notice hairs on your cat’s eyelids seem too long, you should not trim it on your own. Rather, consult your vet for advice; he will pluck your cat’s eyelashes if necessary.
You should also consult the vet if you notice symptoms such as cat squinting one eye, tear discharge, corneal ulcers, swollen eye, or cat’s excessive scratching of her eye area.
These symptoms might indicate your cat has some health issue related to the hairs on her eyelids, such as distichiasis, ectopic cilia, or trichiasis.
If you didn’t know this before, take a better look into your cat’s eyes – you will notice she has eyelashes!
Sure, these hairs on your cat’s eyelids are not as long, dark, and curly as in humans’, but they are still there.
Cats and humans both have these hairs for the same reason – to keep their eyes protected.
I hope you enjoyed finding out some new information on your cat’s body features! Until next time.