Eye problems typically come with age, but there are a number of eye issues that commonly develop in cats. Here, our South Florida vets discuss 6 common cat eye problems and how they are diagnosed and treated.
Conditions That Can Affect Your Cat's Eyes
Just like humans, your cat's eyes are susceptible to getting infected and losing vision over time. Here are a few of the most common conditions that can affect your cat's eyes and the associated symptoms.
Cat Eye Infections & Conjunctivitis
Eye infections can be painful, irritating and sometimes contagious to other cats. Cat eye infections can be caused by:
- Viral infections
- Upper respiratory infections (cat colds)
- Bacterial bacterial
- Fungal infections
While the causes of these eye infections vary, the symptoms are very similar. If your cat is suffering from an eye infection symptoms may include redness around the eye, watery eyes, discharge, and possibly swelling. You may also notice that your cat is displaying other symptoms such as nasal congestion (runny nose) and sneezing or maybe rubbing at the eye.
Treatment of your cat's eye infection will largely depend on the cause. In many cases, your vet may prescribe antibiotic drops or ointment to fight the infection and ease symptoms. It is also commonly recommended that you clean your cat's eyes gently to remove discharge and keep your cat safely indoors while they recover. If your cat's eye infection is caused by another health condition, your cat's treatment may be more focused on treating the underlying health condition.
Glaucoma in cats is caused by pressure on the eye due to a buildup of pressure from excess fluid. Causes of the fluid buildup can include:
- Eye infections
- Eye injury
- Physical abnormalities
If your cat is suffering from glaucoma they will typically show signs of eye pain such as squinting or rubbing at the eye as well as crying. Other signs can include swollen runny eyes or redness.
Glaucoma in cats should be considered an emergency situation and requires immediate veterinary care. Early detection and treatment is key when it comes to treating glaucoma. If your cat is showing symptoms call your vet straight away to make an appointment.
Common causes of cataracts in cats include:
- Nutritional imbalances / Calcium deficiency
- Exposure to a toxic substance.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Electric shock
- Genetic or hereditary factors
Signs of vision loss include a reluctance to jump up and to climb stairs, or you may notice that your cat has difficulties finding their water or food bowl. If your cat shows signs of vision loss contact your vet as soon as possible to schedule an examination.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.