Similar to humans, cats eyes are susceptible to a number of different problems. Eye diseases will need specific care and treatment prescribed by a specialised vet.
Presenting in a myriad of different forms, eye diseases are something to take very seriously. They can affect the eyelids, the retina, the lens and other parts. If left untreated, the consequences can be serious and in some cases blindness may occur.
Common eye diseases in cats
A detached retina
This disease is fairly common in cats. It is a slow loss of view that can leave your cat permanently blind. If you notice any changes in your cat's behaviour, you should consult a vet. These changes can include difficulty moving around, dilated pupils or puffy eyes.
Certain cat breeds are more disposed to contract this common eye disease than others. For example, Persians are considered particularly at risk.
Similar to humans, cataracts also affect cats' eyes. It can be spotted by the white coating that encroaches over the eyes. However, it is difficult to spot at first and is most often noticed by vets during check-ups. Therefore, it's important to have your pet checked regularly by your preferred vet.
During the course of this illness, the surface of the eye will become more and more opaque, finally becoming white. If the cataract reaches this stage, your cat will lose their sight and become completely blind.
You may be able to notice a cataract if you see a change in behaviour in your cat. A cat who bumps into things, is jumpy or shows signs of fear that they would otherwise not normally exhibit, then your cat may be developing cataracts. Having reduced vision, your cat will also show signs of disorientation. These symptoms are signals that should alert you.
Corneal ulcers are often caused by fights between cats or a bacteria infecting the eye. Treating these often calls for an eyewash and supplements in the food. This slows the growth of the virus or bacteria. If your cat has an eye injury, it is strongly advised to take your cat to the vet in order to stop the proliferation of bacteria.
Common in children, cat conjunctivitis is an inflammation that affects the eyes, behind the eyelids. Conjunctivitis can be contracted during contact with bacteria or an allergen. It can sometimes be painful, but is mostly just constricting - unless left untreated in which case the eye is left vulnerable to other infections.
It is possible to detect the symptoms of conjunctivitis by observing your cat's eyes. Your cat may have difficulty opening them and may be very gloopy upon waking. They will also weep when they are awake. It is advised to go to the vet so that your cat can be treated accordingly.
Glaucoma is occular pressure that needs intervention for reduction. If not treated, this can have repercussions on your cat's health and eyesight, rendering them blind.
Has your cat ever suffered from an eye condition?