serious?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It’s worth getting checked out, just to be safe. One pupil being more open than the other can be a sign of injury, tumor or sometimes it is simply what is normal for that particular animal.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Dilated (large) pupils are another source of understanding the meaning of cats` mysterious eyes, and often indicate an excited cat. It can also be a display of surprise or fear, depending on the situation. It is not unusual for a cat`s pupils to fully dilate when they are really excited.
The underlying causes of anisocoria in cats are just about countless—your cat may have pupils of different sizes for reasons ranging from infections to toxins to high blood pressure to cancer. Many underlying causes of anisocoria can be managed, treated, and even cured with medication.
When a cat starts to show interest, the eyes look more directly with an unblinking stare at the object, person, or animal of interest, and the pupils dilate slightly.
Immediate medical care, however, should be obtained for pupils that remain dilated, or pupils that are unequal in size, as this can be a sign of a serious condition affecting the brain, including stroke, internal bleeding, or tumor.
The Cat Feels Threatened

“A cat who is staring without blinking can signify that they are attempting to dominate. I would recommend never to stare back into a cat`s eyes as it can result in a hostile confrontation,” says Wilkins. In fact, some cats find staring threatening, as Dr. Delgado explains.

In a healthy cat, the pupils constrict and become slit-like in bright light, and dilates to improve their vision by absorbing more light in dim settings. But that isn`t the only time a cat`s pupils dilate. The cat`s eyes are windows to his health and wellbeing.
Narrowed pupils may be a sign that your pet is happy and content, particularly when accompanied by purring. Although purring often happens when cats are happy, some cats also purr when scared or in pain. Aggression or Anger. Pupils also tend to get smaller and narrower when your pet is feeling aggressive.
When your cat`s eyes are dilated, their pupils are larger than normal. At this size, the pupil is almost round, rather than slit-shaped. If you look closely, you`ll notice the ring of the iris (the colored portion of the eye) is much thinner than usual.
Like a stare, direct eye contact is a form of communication for cats. Sometimes, eye contact is considered a sign of aggression, but it isn`t always. The reasons for direct eye contact between you and your cat are really the same as a stare. They may be hungry, affectionate, curious, territorial, or ill.
Your Cat Stares at You to Show Affection

And when a loving stare is coupled with cat “eye kisses,” which is when a cat stares with half-closed eyelids and offers a few slow blinks, it means your kitty is showing some serious adoration for you.

Pupils normally get bigger (dilate) in low-light conditions to let more light into the eye. Pupils normally get smaller (constrict) in conditions with higher levels of light to minimize the amount of light that enters the eye.
This may be caused by an injury, psychological factors, or when someone takes certain drugs or medications. Doctors sometimes refer to more pronounced mydriasis, when the pupils are fixed and dilated, as “blown pupil.” This condition can be a symptom of an injury to the brain from physical trauma or a stroke.
Direct eye contact

Cats can find direct eye contact quite threatening. They wouldn`t look another cat straight in the face unless they were fixing for a fight.

Cats will stare at their owners for all kinds of reasons. This can be because they are being nosey, showing affection, showing they are angry, or because they feel anxious. So, next time you think your cat is trying to challenge you to a staring contest, consider the reasons why.
Cat Stares are Part of Their Body Language

Rather than being creepy or ignorant, it`s normal for cats to stare for various reasons. They might be interested in what you are doing. They could be feeling bored. Or maybe they`re just waiting for the right time to ask for food or a cuddle.

The cat`s meow is her way of communicating with people. Cats meow for many reasons—to say hello, to ask for things, and to tell us when something`s wrong. Meowing is an interesting vocalization in that adult cats don`t actually meow at each other, just at people.
In most cases, cats will purr when they are in a relaxed environment, sending out waves of calmness. This may also occur when you stroke them, and if this is the case, your feline friend is feeling happy or sociable. However, cats purr to communicate other emotions and needs, too.
Cats have good night-vision

However, they do have better vision than we do in low light conditions, such as on a moonlit night. This is because they have more receptors in their eyes called rods, which are sensitive to light, helping them to see six to eight times better than we can in the dark.

Cats may stare at their owners for various reasons, including communication, hunting instinct, affection, fear or stress, or simple curiosity. Many cat owners have experienced the creepy sensation of being stared at by their feline friend without blinking.
When a kitty slowly squints or slowly blinks at you, it`s showing affection toward you. Basically it`s deliberately breaking the “dominance stare”, to express that it likes you a whole lot, and feels comfortable around you.
A cat`s pupil size is dictated by both light and emotion. If it is bright outside, a relaxed and content cat should have pupils that look like slits. If its pupils are dilated and round though, then your cat is doing this either out of excitement or fear.
Soft eye contact and short peep-like sounds

So, if your cat is happy to look you in the eye with nice soft, relaxed eyes they are very happy in your company and have accepted you as non-threatening. And, if they let out a short peep-like sound, known as a trill, you can be sure they look think of you fondly.

“Your cat is most likely staring at you while crying because they`re trying to make sense of what they see and hear,” McGowan says. Your cat might not understand human crying, but she`ll gather as many clues as she can and use them to adjust her behavior.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. Looking directly at my cat’s eye, it shines, and the pupil is dilated more than her other eye, which is fine. Could this indicate something serious?
ANSWER : A. It’s worth getting checked out, just to be safe. One pupil being more open than the other can be a sign of injury, tumor or sometimes it is simply what is normal for that particular animal.

Q. Our cat of six years has on two separate occasions has defecated on the living room rug and recently pee’d on the skirt of the Christmas tree.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cat started to pee outside the litter box. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate bathroom use in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his defecating outside the box.

Once medical issues are ruled out, it’s time to take a look at other explanations. Has there been a lot of activity that wasn’t normal? Were you away and your cat was left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox located in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet, or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Have you changed the brand of litter or kind? Or is there something about the spot he has chosen to use that is attracting him in some way? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction.

The general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped at least daily, if not more often and changed completely on a weekly basis, and washed with soap and water.

You can also offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystal kind, since it makes a hissing sound when wet that can startle some cats and make them reluctant to use it again.

The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litterbox. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation.

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.