Things Are Looking Up for Toto, The Adorable Kitten Born Without Eyelids

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Instagram: @My.Feral.Lady

Instagram: @My.Feral.Lady

When a Brooklyn woman first began fostering a new kitten, she noticed that the cat’s eyes looked different. Not long after, the kitten, named Toto, was diagnosed with eyelid agenesis.

An uphill battle

Eyelid agenesis is a rare condition in which a cat is born with some or all of its upper eyelids missing. This meant that Toto’s eyes were always wide open—unless he was adorably fast asleep.

Shhh, don’t wake up Toto! / Instagram: @My.Feral.Lady

Shhh, don’t wake up Toto! / Instagram: @My.Feral.Lady

The condition, as you can imagine, is not a fun disease to live with if left untreated. The cornea can easily dry out or become scratched without the protection of a lid. Even the tiny hairs surrounding a cat’s eyes can quickly go from irritating to downright painful for cats with eyelid agenesis.

Toto’s foster human wanted the kitten to have the best shot at living a long, healthy, and happy life free of discomfort with his eventual forever family. So she took him to the vet to see what their options were.

A shot at a better life

Although mild cases of the condition can be treated with symptom management, such as applying topical lubricants or taking antibiotics to fend off eye infections, a specialist recommended surgery for Toto.

A physician took skin grafts from around Toto’s mouth to create eyelids—a routine step for this form of surgery—and after two procedures, Toto’s human confirmed that it all went well!

Toto is on the mend and ready to find his forever family! / Instagram: @My.Feral.Lady

Toto is on the mend and ready to find his forever family! / Instagram: @My.Feral.Lady

“Toto is a sweet, silly, curious, and playful boy whose medical issues are finally under control,” she wrote on Instagram. “He is healing from a second surgery now, but this will mean no eye drops, likely no anything special, for our special boy.”

Are you interested in adopting Toto? He currently lives with his foster mom in New York City. Learn more on PetFinder!

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The editorial team consists of experienced veterinarians, behaviorists, and other cat experts who are all dedicated to our mission of providing cat owners with the safest, most reliable information.