Is Your Cat Having Trouble Seeing? How You Can Tell And What You Can Do About It
Just like humans, cats can develop any of a number of eye conditions that only grow worse over time. You must remain proactive about your cat's eye health. Watch for signs of eye problems, and take your cat in to an animal hospital for routine exams.
Types of Eye Problems That Can Plague Your Cat
There are numerous eye diseases and conditions that cats can develop. Keep in mind that a cat's eyes have the same basic working parts as a human eye plus a few extras. Those extras include their third eyelid, and their tapetum lucidum.
Each of those parts can suffer damage from trauma, viruses, infection, and other factors. That damage can cause bad vision, and even permanent blindness. The most common conditions include:
Conjunctivitis – A category of eye infections.
Cataracts – Clouding over the cat's lens. This cloudiness can occur for various reasons, including certain types of eye infections.
Glaucoma – A buildup of fluid pressure in the eye. This condition typically develops as a secondary condition to a larger eye problem.
Corneal ulceration – This commonly occurs from trauma, but can also come from other eye problems.
Notice how many of these more common eye conditions can come from, or lead to, other damaging eye conditions. These only represent a sample of the types of conditions that can affect your cat.
How to Tell if Your Cat Has an Eye Problem
There are many signs that indicate a possible eye problem with your cat. At home, you should look out for a few things.
- Discharge from the eyes
- Frequently watery eyes
- Discoloration of the eyes
- Keeping one or both eyes closed longer than normal
- Constant winking or blinking
- Constant rubbing of the eyes
- Unequal pupil sizes
Also watch for behaviors that indicate your cat has vision issues. This can include things like running into objects. If you want to take a close look, then bring your cat into a brightly lit area, and look into its eyes. You can also slowly roll down an eyelid to make sure it's pink.
What You Can Do to Prevent and Deal with Your Cat's Eye Issues
Preventive measures for eye issues should represent an overall part of your cat's care. As previously stated, you should watch for signs of issues.
Meanwhile, you should keep your cat's eyes clean. You can wipe your cat's eyes with a damp cotton ball. Wipe from the corner of the eyes and remove anything built up there. You should also keep the hair around the eyes clipped so hair doesn't get into your cat's eyes.
You should already have a routine of taking your cat in to the veterinary clinic or animal hospital, such as Kenmore Veterinary Hospital, for checkups that include a look at the eyes. Beyond that, if you notice or suspect any eye issues, you should take your cat to an animal hospital that has an eye specialist on staff.