Eye Displacement in Cats Leave a comment

Proptosis in Cats

Proptosis is a medical condition which causes a cat’s eye to move forward and protrude from its eye socket. This typically noticeable (and unseemly) medical condition is frequently associated with a head trauma and is often vision threatening. Therefore, immediate veterinary examination and treatment is vital to restoring or saving the cat’s eyesight.

Proptosis affects both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn how this condition affects dogs, please visit this page in the mydomain.com health library.

Symptoms and Types

The most common symptom is an eyeball which protrudes significantly more than normal. Other possible signs include:

  • Abnormal pupil, dilated or restricted in size
  • Ulcer on the cornea of the eye
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • Inner eye hemorrhage
  • Rupture in the globe of the eye
  • Shock


The most common cause is an injury to the cat’s head or face. The force, in fact, does not have to be severe to cause the eye to displace. In rare cases, eye tumors or other serious infections can cause the eye to move out of place.


The two most common diagnoses for this condition include:

  • Bupthalmia – When the globe of the eye has become enlarged. The eyelids are still properly positioned, but the eyelid cannot cover the eye.
  • Exophthalmia – When the globe of the eye has been displaced forward, causing it to protrude from the normal eye socket location.


Treatment generally involves putting the eye back into position. This is typically done under sedation to ensure the cat remains stable. Afterwards, antibiotics are often administered to prevent infection until the sutures are removed. If a severe injury makes it impossible to save the eye, removing it completely to avoid any further complications is recommended.

Some common signs once the eye has been repositioned can include:

  • Blindness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased ability to produce tears
  • Decrease sensitivity of the cornea

Living and Management

In most cases, the cat’s eye can be saved. Although, proper wound care is necessary until the sutures, if any were used after replacing the eye, are removed.


Unfortunately, there are currently no known preventative measures for this medical condition.


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