Do Cats Have Eyelashes? The Fascinating Reply!

pink sphynx cat closeup without eyelashes

Eyelashes aren’t one thing we pay a lot consideration to besides after they trigger irritation or aren’t there in any respect. Identical to people, many animals have eyelashes to guard their eyes from injury. Whether or not cats have eyelashes or not although is a subject that’s broadly debated among the many cat-lover neighborhood.

Whereas some breeds just like the Sphynx don’t have eyelashes in any respect, nearly all of cats do have eyelashes even when they’re tough for us to see. Include me as I reply some generally requested questions on cats, eyelashes, and whether or not our feline buddies have them.

Why Do We Have Eyelashes?

As of late, eyelashes are largely used to emphasise the attention itself. We’ll lengthen them with mascara and even put on pretend lashes to make our eyes stand out. However eyelashes aren’t only for making ourselves look fairly for an evening out. Eyelashes are designed to shield our eyes from injury.

As sensory hairs that line our higher and decrease eyelids, their function is to detect objects that get too shut. This may be something from tiny particles of filth or mud to dwelling issues like bugs that may fly too shut. Eyelashes are tremendous delicate to the touch and upon detecting one thing near the attention, they’ll ship a sign to the mind to reflexively shut the attention to guard it.

devon rex kitten with beautiful eyes resting on cat tree
Picture Credit score: Veera, Shutterstock

Do Cats Have Eyelashes?

At first look, it appears like cats don’t have eyelashes. Normally, eyelashes are lengthy, darkish, and curve away from the attention. Briefly, eyelashes are apparent and for people particularly, are sometimes emphasised to attract consideration. Most animals which have eyelashes too, their eyelashes have an analogous look to our personal.

Cats, alternatively, have a lot smaller eyelashes. This makes them a lot tougher to note, particularly when eyelashes mix in so effectively with the remainder of the fur on their faces. Nonetheless, having hassle recognizing their eyelashes doesn’t imply they don’t have them in any respect, which is a lure lots of people fall into.

That stated, some cat breeds don’t have eyelashes. Hairless breeds just like the Sphynx and the Peterbald typically don’t have eyelashes or whiskers. The Cornish Rex and Devon Rex breeds are additionally unlikely to have eyelashes regardless of their dense, curly coats.

Why Are Eyelashes Tough to See on Cats?

Eyelashes do the identical job whether or not they belong to us or our cat. Whereas they’re a lot smaller and tougher to see in cats, they’re nonetheless designed to guard their eyes from filth, particles, or the rest that will get too near their eyes.

Contemplating the significance of eyelashes, it may be shocking to search out they’re so small on cats. It virtually looks as if they’re not of a lot use in any respect in relation to defending your cat’s eyes. In contrast to us, cats don’t depend on simply their eyelashes to guard their eyes. They’ve a number of different built-in, protecting measures that work simply in addition to eyelashes do for us.


Maybe the obvious motive why cats don’t want eyelashes as a lot as we do is their fur. By the way, it’s additionally their fur that makes it so tough for us to see our cat’s eyelashes in any respect since they mix in so effectively with the encircling hair.

Together with protecting them heat, a cat’s fur coat additionally serves to guard them after they’re out within the wilderness. The fur catches particles that might in any other case find yourself scratching their pores and skin or getting of their eyes.

Third Eyelid

Cats even have a third eyelid that helps to maintain their eyes clear and guarded. If you happen to’re aware of cats, you’ve in all probability seen the skinny white layer seem within the interior nook of your cat’s eyes after they’ve simply woken up or are stress-free.

It appears a bit of odd, particularly if you happen to’re not anticipating it, however the third eyelid is a pure layer of safety. Much like eyelashes, the third eyelid prevents filth and particles from getting in your cat’s eyes—particularly after they wander round within the bushes outdoor or by means of the mud beneath your mattress. The third eyelid additionally helps to take away filth and hold the attention moist and wholesome.


Whereas eyelashes on cats may be broadly debated, the presence of whiskers isn’t. These lengthy, stiff strands of hair are much like eyelashes in that they’re delicate to the touch too. They assist your cat “see” objects which can be near them—like the gap between their face and the crack within the door they’re making an attempt to squeeze by means of.

Whiskers are additionally why a variety of cats don’t like consuming out of bowls and like flat plates. If their whiskers are continuously brushing towards the edges of the bowl as they eat, it may result in whisker fatigue.

This sensitivity can stress out your cat in relation to their meals and water bowl, but it surely additionally serves as a means for them to guard their eyes.

Blue golden shaded british shorthair cat with green eyes
Picture Credit score: Anna Azarenko, Shutterstock

Eyelash Issues in Cats

One of many issues that show most cats have eyelashes—even if you happen to can’t see them—is the actual fact they’ll undergo from eyelash issues. These issues aren’t quite common however they’re doable. The signs of eyelash issues typically embody:

  • Blinking excessively
  • Discharge
  • Pawing on the space
  • Pinkish or crimson eyes
  • Swollen eyes

Your veterinarian might be ready that will help you diagnose the eyelash dysfunction affecting your cat and let you know the right way to successfully deal with it. Most of those issues would possibly require repeated remedy because the eyelashes develop again.


Whereas eyelashes often line the eyelid, typically they’ll develop in different places too. Distichiasis is if you discover stray eyelashes rising the place they shouldn’t and even curling towards the attention, quite than away from it.

Ectopic Cilia

Though much like distichiasis, ectopic cilia is a dysfunction attributable to the eyelashes rising on the within of the eyelid. It’s extra frequent in younger canines than cats and, in contrast to distichiasis typically requires surgical procedure to right.


Merely put, trichiasis is when the eyelashes are ingrowing or rising in numerous instructions. In contrast to the opposite two issues we’ve talked about, trichiasis is the one most probably to not want veterinary intervention. Whereas it may require surgical procedure to right the issue within the worst-case state of affairs, it may right itself with out remedy.


Your cat’s eyelashes might be tough to see, which results in lots of people assuming cats don’t have eyelashes in any respect. However if you happen to take a better look, you’ll in all probability change your thoughts! Whereas hairless cat breeds—just like the Sphynx—don’t have eyelashes, many different cat breeds do have quick eyelashes which can be hidden by their fur.

Fortunately, our cats don’t rely solely on their eyelashes to guard their eyes. In addition they have a 3rd eyelid, whiskers, and fur to stop injury to their eye from particles throughout their adventures.

Featured Picture Credit score: Dan Wayman, Unsplash

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