Eye diseases in cats

Eye Diseases In Cats

A cat’s eyes can be the site of many ailments and diseases, some of which can lead to blindness. None should be neglected, and it is important that the animal be examined without delay by the veterinarian at the first suspicious signs. Here are the main eye conditions and diseases in cats, their degree of seriousness and the symptoms that it is better to know how to spot so that the animal can benefit from a quick consultation.


In the cat, it is the eye condition the most frequent. It’s about a inflammation of the transparent mucous membrane called the conjunctiva. This tissue partly lines the eyeball and covers the inner face of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis is manifested by swelling of the conjunctiva, watery tearing but which can also be purulent, redness of the eye, itching in the eye area. The cat feels discomfort in the affected eye, knowing that conjunctivitis can also be bilateral, that is to say that it can affect both eyes.

The cause of conjunctivitis can be viral, mycotic (due to a fungus), bacterial or allergic since an allergy to pollens can be responsible. The veterinarian prescribes an ointment, eye drops and if the conjunctivitis is due to an allergy, the cat receives treatment with corticosteroids. Prompt treatment can effectively treat this condition. On the other hand, untreated conjunction can lead to permanent impairment of vision in the cat.


We talk about entropion when an eyelid turns inward. This causes irritation of the cornea, even its ulceration. The cat suffers from a permanent embarrassment and one can note an important secretion of tears. You don’t have to wait to consult. A simple benign surgical intervention can permanently free the cat from its entropion.

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This term designates the tear duct obstruction, whether partial or total. The tears no longer being evacuated towards the nostrils, they stagnate at the corner of the lower eyelid. It’s an eye problem quite benign which causes excessive tearing. The causes of epiphora vary. It can be a lesion of the cornea or the conjunctiva, an inflammation or even a problem linked to the breed of the cat, note that epiphora is extremely common in brachycephalic cats, c ie short-nosed or crushed, because the lacrimal point is particularly masked.

This has no particular consequences for the cat in terms of health. But the epiphora leads over time to irritating scabs requiring daily cleanings with a special lotion, and the rust-colored or blackish traces that mark the wings of the muzzle are particularly unsightly.

The Prolapse

This is a condition affecting only the third eyelid which is none other than the invisible membrane of the inner corner of the eye. We speak of prolapse when this membrane becomes visible and can cover the entire eye. This condition is due to either a nerve disorder or eye irritation. The prolapse justifies a emergency consultation to the vet. The treatment is usually surgical.

Retinal Detachment

It is a relatively common in cats, and whose causes are various such as arterial hypertension, an anomaly in the structure of the eye, certain pathologies leading to an increase in the viscosity of the blood. Sometimes retinal detachment can also be without a known cause. It can be partial or total. Symptoms appear after some time. The cat bumps when it moves so well that it marks hesitation while walking. His vision is failing and in just a few days he can loss of eyesight.

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At the slightest symptom suggesting retinal detachment, the cat should be taken to the veterinarian so that it can be taken care of as quickly as possible. Drug treatment is prescribed to treat the cause of this eye condition. Sometimes only surgery is needed, but complications are to be feared so that the prognosis is not always very good.


It is due to increased eye pressure or ocular hypertension resulting in poor evacuation of the aqueous humor. Glaucoma is a serious problem which must be taken care of urgently because it can lead to blindness due to the deterioration of the optic nerve.

Its main symptoms are severe pain in the affected eye, closed eye, cloudy eye, bluish coloration of the pupil which is more dilated than the other (asymmetrical dilation) even when the cat is in a very bright place. Treatment is needed to lower intraocular pressure. In some cases, surgery is decided by the veterinarian.

Corneal Ulcer

It can be of viral, bacterial or more frequently traumatic origin, in particular in cats which very often take part in fights between congeners, the scratches causing more or less significant abrasions. Symptoms are easy to spot for the master. The cat closes one eye and insistently scratches it, a grayish shadow appears on the cornea, the white of the eye is bloodshot, the animal feels penetrating pain. The slightest sign, even minimal, justifies a consultation without delay. It is absolutely essential for the eye to heal.

If it is superficial, the corneal ulcer can be treated with drops (tear substitutes) or even local antibiotics. If it is deep, healing eye drops are necessary. In parallel, painkillers are prescribed. Finally, a tarsorrhaphy is unavoidable in severe corneal ulcers and should remain in place for at least 20 days. This consists of sewing the two eyelids together in order to completely isolate the cornea from the light so that it heals properly. Other surgical procedures are possible, namely the conjunctival graft or the suture of the cornea when it is perforated.

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