How Many Eyelids Do Cats Have.

How Many Eyelids Do Cats Have. There are three eyelids in a cat’s eyes, but they don’t have the same use that human eyelids do.

In humans, the eyelids remove tears and help keep the eye moist by spreading them across the eye surface when blinking.

While cats don’t have an issue with dry eyes or objects getting into their eyes, they do blink as a form of social communication or to relieve tension or stress.

How Many Eyelids Do Cats Have

A cat has three eyelids, which is the short solution to this question. However, upon more examination, we discovered that the true reason for this is related to the cat’s historical growth and its need for additional protection for one of its most valuable assets: eyesight, both then and now.


Eyes must be kept moist in order to perform correctly. This much-needed moisture comes from tears.

Tears are made up of water and three different types of oils: triglycerides, which help tears retain moisture, free fatty acids stored in the oil ducts near the Meibomian glands, and phospholipids produced by aqueous glands around the eye’s edge.

These oils mingle with mucus produced by mucous glands in the conjunctiva within the third eyelid. Water, oil, mucus, and related nutrients like glycoproteins all combine to form a tear film that takes longer to dissipate.

Second Eyelid

All cats are not only able to close their third eyelid, called the nictitating membrane, if they really want or need to, but they can also bring it out and use it in other circumstances as well just like an actual 3rd eyelid.

Aside from a few cats, seals, polar bears and even aardvarks have this membrane as well as birds and reptiles.

Third Eyelid

Technically, a cat’s third eyelid is known as the “haw,” pink tissue that moistens and protects the eye.

The haw closes from the inside to protect a cat’s vision when it is hunting or using its peripheral vision, and it also acts in conjunction with tear ducts to lubricate its eyes.

As noted by VetInfo, cats aren’t alone in their possession of the protective third lid: birds, reptiles, kitty’s nemesis the dog pretty much every mammalian species has this feature.

Inner Eyelid

An additional eyelid can develop as a result of stress, disease, or tiredness. The nictitating membrane is the protective membrane employed by cats to shield their eyes.

When a cat becomes ill or develops an eye disease, it is immediately seen because its third eyelid moves from one side of its eye to the other when it observes something.

This additional eyelid also protects the eyeball when going through low-lying grasses or fighting another feline or challenging prey.


Why do cats have third eyelids?

The third eyelid of the feline is a blessing if your pet is involved in an accident or has an eye disease since it is believed to protect the large feline cornea from injury as they move through tall grass, pounce on prey, and fend off attackers.

Do cats have 6 eyelids?

Did you know that you shouldn’t try to pick a cat up by the scruff of its neck? In addition to their adorable little heads.

They have more than two shoulders there are actually three. Picking a cat up improperly can cause spinal damage.

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