Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Eyelid Protrusion ('Cherry Eye') in Cats


Prolapsed Gland of the Third Eyelid in Cats


Prolapsed gland of the eyelid, also known as “cherry eye,” refers to a pink mass protruding from the cat's eyelid. Normally, the gland development is anchored by an attachment made up of fibrous material.


This medical condition occurs in both dogs and cats, although it typically affects younger animals. If you would like to learn how this disease affects dogs,please visit this page in the PetMD health library.


Symptoms and Types


The most common sign of “cherry eye” is an oval mass protruding from the cat's third eyelid. It can occur in one or both eyes, and may be accompanied by swelling and irritation.




“Cherry eye” is most commonly associated with a congenital weakness of the gland's attachment in the cat's eye. However, it is not known whether the condition is inherited.


While this medical condition can occur in any breed, it is more common in Burmese or Persian cats.




The veterinarian will review the mass in the cat's third eyelid and determine if there is an underlying cause for the condition. The diagnosis of the prolapsed gland could be scrolled or everted cartilage in the third eyelid, abnormal cells in the third eye, or a prolapse of fat in the cat's eye.




Related Articles

Dark Spots on the Eye in Cats

Corneal sequestrum occurs when a cat has dead corneal tissue (or dark spots in the cornea). It usually is caused by chronic corneal ulceration,...

Eye Defects (Congenital) in Cats

Congenital abnormalities of the eyeball or its surrounding tissue can be evident in a kitten shortly after birth, or may develop in the first...

Eye Displacement in Cats

Proptosis is a medical condition which causes a cat's eye to move forward and protrude from it's eye socket. This typically noticeable (and unseemly)...

Eye Inflammation (Conjunctivitis) in Cats

Conjunctivitis refers to the inflammation of the moist tissues in the front part of a cat's eye. Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment...