Q. I’ve noticed that my cat doesn’t have eyelashes. Does that mean she’s at greater risk than other cats of getting dirt in her eyes?
Janine Van Ess
Dear Ms. Van Ess,
A cat is at no disadvantage for not having eyelashes. What they lack in lashes they make up for in eyelids. A cat has three, while people have only two. The third eyelid — called the nictitating membrane — washes away dirt and debris when a cat blinks and also helps protect against scratches when a cat is fighting.
You can sometimes see the nictitating membrane when your cat is sleeping. It looks like a white layer of skin that starts in the corner of the eyes.