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.
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…
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: