7 common eye problems in cats

Aren’t cats just adorable? Whenever they look at us with those big eyes, our hearts fill with love, and we get a massive flow of oxytocin. Those arresting and vivid orbs sure know how to get our attention. Don’t you love it whenever they peek from their beds to see what is going on in the house? Everyone does. Those eyes are filled with love, excitement, drama, and joy. But these eyes can fall victim to a host of diseases.

There are several illnesses and diseases associated with cats’ eyes alone. They can get anything from a minor infection to a major eye problem. Sometimes cats have to go through surgeries because of negligence at the end of their owners. Thus, it is better to stay informed of every eye problem that can befall your tiny furry cat. This knowledge can protect her from losing an eye or undergoing stressful surgeries. You should be careful when it comes to your cat, especially with their eyes. Eyes are a very sensitive part of animals’ bodies. Therefore, take precautions and be careful that nothing harmful gets into your cat’s eyes.

7 common eye problems in cats

Pets Uniq has compiled a list of common eye problems in cats. This list will help you to notice anything suspicious early on and will help you to make an early diagnosis.

Here are the common eye problems in cats:

Infection

One of the most common eye problems is an eye infection. There are several types of eye infections that can easily damage your cat’s eyes. Parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses are often at the root of eye infections in cats.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Nasal discharge
  • Rubbing
  • Squinting
  • Discharge from eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Red eyes

Eye infections can only be treated by finding and eradicating the underlying cause. You can fix eye infections by taking care of the eyes to make sure that they are kept clean, that your cat gets proper nutrition, and that she stays hydrated at all times. Additionally, several topical eye creams can treat infections. You can get the one recommended by your vet.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers are formed when the cornea is damaged. It usually manifests as an open sore on the cornea and happens when there is a loss of tissue due to eye infections, diseases, tear, and other such problems.  

Symptoms

  • Eyes appear to be cloudy
  • Red eyes
  • Squinting
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Discharge from eyes

A mild corneal ulcer does not require an eye operation. You can treat it with topical creams, medications, ointments, pain relief, and by addressing the root cause. However, if the corneal ulcer is severe, your cat will most likely need surgery. Otherwise, permanent damage can occur, causing your cat to lose her eye.

Eye trauma

Eye trauma is also a common problem for cats. Most cats experience this at least once in their lives, usually after they fight with or scratch each other. Eye trauma is obviously more common in cats who regularly interact with other cats. Eye trauma can also occur when harmful objects, such as a fly or a piece of your child’s toy, enter your cat’s eye. Your cat’s eyes will become red, teary, and there may be discharge. The cat will show signs of pain, as well. Eye trauma can be treated with ointments, pain relief, and surgery. The treatment depends on the intensity of the damage.

Allergies and irritants

Due to the high sensitivity of a cat’s eyes, there can be easily irritated. One of the common signs of an irritant is drainage from the eye or teary eyes. You can treat this by simply washing your cat’s eyes with an eye-friendly soap. If this continues, however, then it might point to a more sinister problem.

Discoloration of the iris

The color of the iris never changes once it develops. But if the color of your cat’s eyes is changing, it is due to iris melanosis. This condition causes different color spots on the eye. It isn’t very dangerous, but it can sometimes cause glaucoma or damage the iris beyond repair.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the most serious eye problems that your cat can face. It is caused by infection, trauma, viruses, bacteria, or by anatomic abnormalities. It usually occurs when eye drainage is blocked.

Symptoms

  • Cloudy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Weepy eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Enlarged eyes

It can cause a lot of pain to your cat and requires proper treatment. If treatment does not take place, cats can lose their eyes. Therefore, glaucoma must be treated in a timely fashion. Medication to control eye pressure should be given to your cat immediately. If this is not possible, identifying the root cause is the next step and is essential for treatment. Once the root cause is found and treated, your cat’s glaucoma will automatically be gone. Sometimes glaucoma in one eye affects the other eye, which can cause your cat to lose both eyes. Other than that, if glaucoma cannot be treated with medications, your cat might need surgery.

Cataracts

Cataracts form when the usually clear lens of the eye develops a cloudy appearance. Cataracts result in poor to no vision as light doesn’t reach the back of the cat’s head due to the cloudy cataracts. The pupils of the eyes become grey and milky. Cataracts can be diagnosed with a proper test as it is sometimes mistaken for lenticular sclerosis. Cataract surgery is only performed if the vision is severely affected. Otherwise, cats can live with minor changes in their vision.

Conclusion

Most of the common cat eye problems have similar symptoms and consequences. They cannot be appropriately diagnosed at home, and it is not advisable to treat your cat by yourself. You might end up hurting your cat or putting her in more pain. Therefore, it is essential to rush your cat to a vet as soon as possible. You can save your cat’s eyes by just noticing any potential problem.

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