The Meaning Behind Cats Pupils: Understand Your Kitty Better

The pupil is the black structure in the center of the iris of the eye. The pupil allows light to reach the retina of the eye. When the light hits the pupil, it changes size. Regulating the pupil’s size means regulating the amount of light entering the eye.

Although the function of the pupil is the same for every species, the shape is not. For example, cats have vertical slit pupils, goats have horizontally oriented pupils, and in humans, the pupil is round.

A cat’s pupils can be:

• Dilated

• Narrowed

• Almond-shaped

You have probably already seen your cat’s pupils dilated a million times. There are multiple reasons why your cat may have dilated, round pupils:


1. Your Cat Is Excited

2. Your Cat Is On Alert

3. Your Cat Being Aggressive

4. Your Cat Might Be Experiencing Health Problems

5. Dilated Pupils Help Your Cat’s Night Vision

If you were ever wondering what it means when a cat’s pupils are thin, here is your answer (two answers actually!):


1. Your Cat Is Ready To Attack

2. It Might Simply Be Too Bright Outside

Let’s say your cat is in its normal surroundings, perfectly safe and simply lying in its cat tree. What shape and size pupils will your cat have? The answer is simple – the regular small, almond-shaped pupils.

A cat’s pupils being of different sizes is not considered normal. The most probable explanation for a cat having one pupil larger than the other is having a condition known as anisocoria.

The purpose of a cat’s pupils is to allow light to enter the eye. Wider pupils mean more light can come in, and narrowed pupils means less light can come in.

It’s important to mention that pupil shape can be an important indicator of a cat’s health. Permanently dilated pupils are a common sign of an underlying health issue that a cat is battling with.