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Eye diseases in cats

Eye diseases in cats

The eyes of cats 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 is examined without delay by the veterinarian at the first suspicious signs. Here are the main eye ailments and diseases in cats, their degree of seriousness and the symptoms that it is best to know how to spot so that the animal can benefit from a quick consultation.


In cats, it iseye condition the most frequent. It’s about a inflammation transparent mucous membrane called the conjunctiva. This tissue partially lines the eyeball and covers the inner surface 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 conjunctivity can be viral, mycotic (due to a fungus), bacterial or even allergic since an allergy to pollen can be responsible. The veterinarian prescribes ointment, eye drops and if the conjunctivitis is due to an allergy, the cat is treated with corticosteroids. Prompt treatment can effectively treat this condition. On the other hand, untreated conjunctivity can lead to permanent impairment of vision in the cat.


We speak of entropion when an eyelid turns inward. This causes irritation of the cornea, even its ulceration. The cat suffers from a permanent discomfort and we can observe an important secretion of tears. Do not wait to consult. A simple benign surgical intervention makes it possible to definitively free the cat from its entropion.


This term refers totear duct obstruction, whether partial or total. The tears are no longer 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 are variable. It can be a lesion of the cornea or the conjunctiva, an inflammation or even a problem related to the breed of the cat, note that the epiphora is extremely common in brachycephalic cats, c ‘that is to say with a short or crushed nose, because the tear point is particularly hidden.

This does not have any particular consequences for the cat in terms of health. But the epiphora over time leads to itchy scabs that require daily cleanings with a special lotion, and the rusty or blackish traces that mark the wings of the muzzle are particularly unsightly.


This is a condition that only affects 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 either to a nervous disorder or to eye irritation. Prolapse justifies emergency consultation to the vet. Treatment is usually surgical.

Retinal detachment

It is an eye condition relatively common in cats, and whose causes are various such as arterial hypertension, an anomaly in the structure of the eye, certain pathologies causing an increase in the viscosity of the blood. Sometimes the 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 hesitates when walking. His vision wanes and in just a few days he can loss of eyesight.

At the slightest symptom giving rise to suspicion of retinal detachment, the cat must be taken to the veterinarian so that it can be taken care of as quickly as possible. Drug treatment is prescribed to cure 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 aqueous humor. Glaucoma is a serious problem which must be treated urgently because it can lead to blindness due to deterioration of the optic nerve.

Its main symptoms are severe pain in the affected eye, closed eye, cloudy eye, a bluish coloration of the pupil which is more dilated than the other (asymmetric 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 participate in fights between congeners, the scratches causing more or less significant abrasions. The symptoms are easy for the owner to spot. The cat closes one eye and scratches it insistently, a grayish shadow appears on the cornea, the white of the eye is bloodshot, the animal feels penetrating pain. The slightest sign, however small, 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 inevitable in severe corneal ulcers and should be left in place for at least 20 days. This consists of stitching 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 conjunctival grafting or suturing of the cornea as soon as the latter is perforated.

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