There are several conditions that can affect cat vision. Allergens, degenerative diseases, and infections can cause eye pain and vision loss. If your pet is at risk of or suffering from cat-eye problems, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms and be prepared to treat them accordingly.
Warning Signs of Feline Vision Problems
Good cat eye care starts with an examination. At a routine exam, your veterinarian will look at your cat’s eyes. During this exam, the doctor will look for signs of cat eye infections (conjunctivitis), cat glaucoma, and cataracts. As a cat owner, you should regularly check your cat’s eyes for any abnormalities.
To keep your cat’s eyes healthy and her vision at its peak, follow a program of regular eye exams, learn the warning signs of eye trouble, and treat problems quickly and thoroughly.
Warning signs of cat-eye trouble:
- Third eyelid visible
- Discharge from the eye
6 Tips for Preventing Cat Vision Loss
- Glaucoma exam: During your cat’s annual veterinary examination, the doctor can look for signs of glaucoma and cataracts. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in cats. Pressure builds up in the eyeball and causes distorted vision. Glaucoma can be treated in its early stages.
- Cataract exam: Cataracts are characterized by cloudiness in the retina. More common in dogs than cats, cataracts can be corrected by surgery.
- Dry eye care: Some cats suffer from a condition known as Keratoconjunctivitis or dry eye. This can cause irritation and swelling of the eyelids and may, if untreated, result in ulceration of the eye. Eye drops will relieve this condition and keep your cat more comfortable.
- Conjunctivitis: This is a common cat eye problem with a number of causes. There may be an eyelid abnormality such as an ingrown eyelash or it can be caused by exposure to wind, chemicals, and dust. A simple procedure can fix the eyelid problem. If the cause is environmental, limit or reduce your cat’s exposure to irritants by relocating her living quarters, keeping dust and allergens at a minimum, and providing adequate shelter for outdoor cats. Gently wash your cat’s face daily to remove discharge and debris.
- Keep your cat indoors: Catfights can result in injuries to your cat, and a corneal scratch is a possibility. Infection or scarring can cause vision abnormalities.
- Healthy weight: Diabetes and kidney disease, often the result of unhealthy weight, can cause hypertension in cats. Symptoms include bloodshot eyes and pupil dilation problems. A healthy, low-sodium diet and regular veterinary care are recommended.