Black spots on a cat’s eyelids

Black spots on the eyelids, and on the nose or lips of cats, are nearly always examples of localized pigmentation rather like freckles on a ginger haired person. In fact, ginger cats are more likely to have “cat freckles” than other cats. It is not cancer or health related. Calico cats (ginger, black and white) are also prone to develop these spots. It seems the spots are genetically linked to the orange gene.

The word “eyelid” can be misleading in relation to cats. I believe people are referring to the immediate area around the eyes (the edge of the skin) rather than just the skin above the eye that goes over the eye. On that basis the photo below shows these black spots.

Black spots on cat eyelids
Black spots on cat eyelids
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In any cat, you’ll sometimes see pigmentation inside the mouth too and, for example, in a black and white cat you might see the pattern extend to the tip of the nose, lips and mouth. It is all normal.

However, it can be dangerous to generalize and people have different ideas about what “black spots on eyelids” means. So perhaps, rarely, there may be a health issue. It may be wise to have your vet check it out but, personally, I would be not be concerned unless there are some other signs which indicate a health issue.

It seems that, “cat freckles” are more likely to appear in cats that are middle-aged or older. The technical term it is referred to as lentigo simplex and the area of pigmented skin is sometimes referred to a “lesion” by vets. I think this is a bit misleading because the word indicates damaged skin to the layperson although technically “lesion” means an “abnormality in the tissue”. The point is that black spots are not abnormalities. They are normal.

I wonder if this is similar to what humans refer to as “liver spots” (age spots) on hands in old age?

It is hard to find illustrations of black spots on cat eyelids because they are very small areas and no one photographs them. Black spots on the noses of ginger cats are a different kettle of fish; there are quite a few photos. Here are two more…

Black spots on ginger cat's nose
Black spots on ginger cat’s nose
Black spots on a ginger cat's nose
Black spots on a ginger cat’s nose

Note: The reason why I have posted this article is because concerned cat owners are observant and some have queried whether these black spots are health related.

Photo credits starting at the top:

13 thoughts on “Black spots on a cat’s eyelids”

  1. Thank you for info.
    Demon, in photo, is 5yo and I noticed these spots before. He has them on inside lip also.
    Thought I’d share this photo.

  2. Hi I’m not sure if this the same but 2 month old kitten has these little black spots in her lower eye lid her mum is a calaco her brother is ginger but she is black an white an it’s the only eye she has sleep in all time could she hav a infection interested

    • Hard to say based on the information provided. Infections result in inflammation and there appears to be no inflammation. Are there are other signs of an infection such as runny nose, inflammed eyes and discomfort? If not this is probably just a pigmentation issue but check it out with your vet if in doubt. Good luck.

  3. thank you for this, in 2019 as well! I’m not a new cat owner but none of my other cats ever had this and I was panicking, the new addition to the family is a rescued Ginger cat and he has this black spots on the eyelid. he’s been with us for a year and I never noticed them until today, I was scared something is wrong but feel better now 🙂

  4. Thank you..I have searched for info,fearing I needed a vet. So glad to know it’s an age spot much like the one’s I’m getting!


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