Decoding the Mystery: Why are Cats Cross Eyed?

Cross-eyed or strabismus in cats is a condition in which the eyes don’t align properly. It can be due to genetic predisposition, particularly in certain breeds like Siamese cats, or the result of trauma or health issues affecting the nervous system.

While cross-eyed cats can lead perfectly happy lives, it may slightly hinder their depth perception. Regular vet check-ups are essential to ensure it’s not related to a serious health issue.

Last Updated on September 22, 2023

If you’re a cat lover, you may have noticed some felines have a unique characteristic – crossed eyes. But have you ever wondered why some cats have this feature? In this section, we will explore the causes of cross eyes in cats and examine the role of genetics in determining their eye alignment.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that cross-eyed cats have a condition called feline strabismus, which causes misalignment of the eyes. This condition can be caused by several factors, including genetic influences and underlying health issues. Some cats may be born with this condition, while others may develop it later in life due to trauma or eye disorders.

Genetics play a significant role in determining whether a cat will be cross-eyed. Some breeds, such as Siamese cats, are more prone to this condition due to genetic factors. In such cases, cross-eyed cats may have a gene that controls the development of their eye muscles, resulting in a misaligned gaze.

However, genetics aren’t the only cause of cross-eyed cats. Other health issues, such as eye infections or neurological disorders, can also result in feline strabismus. It’s essential to identify the underlying cause of your cat’s condition to ensure they receive appropriate treatment and care.

Key Takeaways:

  • Crossed eyes in cats are caused by a condition called feline strabismus.
  • Feline strabismus can be caused by genetic factors or underlying health issues.
  • Some breeds, such as Siamese cats, are more prone to this condition due to genetic factors.
  • It’s essential to identify the underlying cause of your cat’s condition to ensure appropriate treatment and care.
  • Crossed eyes in cats are not harmful to their health, but it’s important to address any underlying conditions or discomfort they may experience.

Understanding Feline Strabismus

Cross-eyed cats may seem like a novelty, but their unique appearance can be the result of a condition called feline strabismus. This condition causes a misalignment of the eyes, resulting in one or both eyes looking inward or outward.

The most common cause of feline strabismus is a genetic abnormality. In some cases, it can also be caused by underlying health issues such as neurological problems or trauma to the eye.

While cross-eyed cats may have a distinctive look, it’s important to note that the condition can also affect their behavior and health. Some cross-eyed cats may experience difficulty with depth perception, which can impact their ability to navigate their environment. Additionally, some may be more prone to eye infections or injuries due to their eye alignment.

If you suspect that your cat may have feline strabismus, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of the condition and recommend appropriate treatment options.

cross-eyed cat

“My cross-eyed cat, Felix, has always had a unique charm about him. But when he started bumping into walls and having trouble jumping onto his favorite perch, I knew something was wrong. After a visit to the vet, we discovered he had feline strabismus. With some lifestyle modifications and medication, he’s back to his playful self!” – Sarah, cat owner.

Overall, recognizing and addressing any eye problems in cross-eyed cats is crucial in ensuring their well-being. By understanding feline strabismus and its potential impact on a cat’s behavior and health, we can provide them with the care they need to live happy and healthy lives.

Genetic Influences on Cross-Eyed Cats

As I mentioned before, genetics play a significant role in determining whether a cat will be cross-eyed. Specifically, a genetic mutation affecting the muscles responsible for eye movement can cause the misalignment that results in a cross-eyed appearance. This mutation is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, meaning that a cat only needs to inherit one copy of the mutated gene from either parent to develop cross eyes.

Cross-eyed cats may also be more prone to certain eye diseases and symptoms, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and issues with tear flow. These conditions can further impact their eye health and overall well-being. It’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in your cross-eyed cat’s behavior or eye appearance and take them to a veterinarian for regular check-ups.

Cross-eyed cat genetics image

Overall, understanding the genetic influences on cross-eyed cats can help us better care for these unique felines. By recognizing their predisposition to certain eye conditions and seeking appropriate treatment, we can ensure that cross-eyed cats lead happy and healthy lives.

Treating Cross-Eyed Cats

While cross-eyed cats may appear cute and quirky, it’s crucial to address any underlying eye conditions they may have. Depending on the severity and cause of their cross-eyedness, there are several treatment options available.

Medication: If the cross-eyedness is due to an underlying health issue or infection, medication may be prescribed to treat the condition. Your veterinarian may also recommend eye drops to help alleviate any discomfort or inflammation.

Surgery: In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the misalignment of the eyes. This is especially true if the cross-eyedness is causing discomfort or affecting your cat’s vision. Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination to determine if surgery is the right option for your pet.

Lifestyle modifications: In some cases, simple lifestyle modifications can help alleviate cross-eyed cat behavior and eye strain. Providing your cat with plenty of toys and activities to keep their mind engaged can help reduce eye strain and improve their overall eye health.

It’s important to note that cross-eyed cats may be more prone to other eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment. Regular eye exams with your veterinarian can help identify and manage these conditions early on.

Common cat eye conditions: Treatment options:
Glaucoma – increased pressure within the eye Medication, surgery
Cataracts – cloudy or opaque lens in the eye Surgery
Retinal detachment – separation of the retina from the underlying tissue Surgery, medication

treatment for cross eyed cats

Remember, providing proper care for your cross-eyed cat can improve their quality of life. If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or eye alignment, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.


I hope this article has shed some light on the intriguing phenomenon of cross-eyed cats. By now, you should have a good understanding of the potential causes of feline strabismus and the genetic influences that contribute to this condition.

As cat owners, it’s essential to recognize any eye problems in our pets, including cross-eyed cats. By addressing these issues, we can ensure their overall well-being and provide them with the care they deserve.

Remember, just because a cat is cross-eyed doesn’t necessarily mean they have any underlying health conditions. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

In conclusion, understanding why cats are cross-eyed and the potential eye problems they may face is vital for their health and happiness. By being aware of these issues and taking proper care of our feline friends, we can ensure they live long and healthy lives.


Q: Why are some cats cross-eyed?

A: Cross-eyed cats have misaligned eyes, which can be caused by various factors such as genetics, underlying health issues, or injuries. The specific cause can vary from cat to cat.

Q: Is being cross-eyed harmful to cats?

A: In most cases, being cross-eyed does not cause any harm or discomfort to cats. However, if their eye misalignment is accompanied by other eye problems or vision difficulties, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian for proper evaluation and treatment.

Q: Can cross-eyed cats live a normal life?

A: Yes, cross-eyed cats can live a normal and healthy life. While their eyes may have a distinctive appearance, it doesn’t typically impact their overall well-being or ability to perform daily activities.

Q: Can cross-eyed cats be treated?

A: Treatment for cross-eyed cats depends on the underlying cause and any associated eye conditions. In some cases, medication or surgery may be recommended to address specific issues. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your cat.

Q: Are all cross-eyed cats born that way?

A: Not all cross-eyed cats are born with the condition. Some cats may develop cross-eyed appearance later in life due to injuries, eye diseases, or other factors that affect eye alignment. However, many cases of cross-eyed cats are indeed genetic in nature.

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