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Eye Displacement in Cats

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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 PetMD 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.





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