An ‘Instagram face’ includes cat-like eyes, so what are they?

My cat with eyes turned up at the outer edges

My cat with eyes turned up at the outer edges like the ‘cat-eye thread life’ so popular on Instagram at present. Photo: MikeB

There is a surge in enquiries at cosmetic clinics for an ‘Instagram face’ which involves procedures such as high cheekbones, cat-like eyes and full lips. In this post I focus on cat-like eyes. Exactly what are ‘cat-like eyes’ on humans?

Melania Trump's cat-like eyes

Melania Trump’s cat-like eyes. Were they created by a cosmetic surgeon? Photo: in the public domain.

I believe the phrase means to have eyes which are almond shaped, open and lifted at the far edges. The overall appearance is wide and bright or in a word ‘hypnotic’.

This goes some way towards mirroring the natural size relative to the head size, and shape, of a cat’s eyes. Humans will never match cat eyes in size relative to head size as cats’ eyes are unusually large. If humans had an eye of comparable size it would measure about 20 cm in diameter (8 inches).

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

When women refer to cat eyes, they also refer to the shape and often the breed standards of purebred cats specify that the eyes should be “almond-shaped”. This is the breed standard for the Siamese cat, for instance. Also, the Siamese cat’s eyes should be “slanted towards the nose”. I read this to mean lifted slightly at the outer edges. This is also a sought-after appearance. Melania Trump has cat-like eyes that slope upwards.

Cat eye surgery shaping

Cat eye surgery shaping. Photo: WASHINGTON DC “CAT EYE” RESHAPING.

Some cosmetic surgeons call the op ‘cat eye reshaping canthopexy’. The picture above shows you what it means. The objective is to enhance the eye shape from dull and tired to alluring and vibrant. They also call it the cat eye lift. It is minimally invasive and enhances a woman’s beauty. One cosmetic surgeon in America says that he “lifts the outer corners of the eyes which tilts the horizontal axis creating a more beautiful shape”. I take this to mean exactly what I have said above about the eyes of the Siamese cat.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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