Loving and caring for a cat also means educating yourself about their health and wellbeing. Sometimes problems can arise with your cat and you should know a little about what to do and be prepared. Although cats are more independent than dogs, we still need to be on the lookout for health changes. Especially since they are masters at hiding them. Here are some common eye issues cats can have and what to do about them.
In no particular order, the following are seven of the most common eye issues in cats…
Conjunctivitis is a common eye issue seen a lot in veterinary clinics. Breaking it down, “itis” means inflammation, and “conjunctiva” is the pink tissue under the eyelids, together it means inflammation of this tissue. Causes can be from bacterial to viral infections caused by Herpes viruses or allergies. It can cause discharge and swelling. See “Why Does My Cat Have Eye Discharge?” for more information.
Ulcers on the cornea of the eye can be painful, cause squinting and eye discharge as well. They can be caused by several different things, even a cat’s whiskers if they are curling towards the eye. Corneal ulcers should be taken seriously as they can lead to corneal scarring and are painful.
Entropion is an issue with the eyelids themselves. This condition refers to the eyelids rolling in towards the eye. This condition can cause irritation and even corneal ulcers. Entropion is a condition that isn’t seen as much in cats as dogs but can be treated surgically by training the eyelid to form the way it is supposed to.
Small growths can form on the eyelids of cats. Sometimes they stay small enough not to cause other issues except being unsightly. However, if you see a growth on your cat’s eyelid, it should be watched closely for growing and causing any irritation to the eye itself.
Did you know cats can get glaucoma? It’s true and it is a serious condition. Glaucoma is extremely painful and needs to be treated as soon as possible. Some cats even need their eyes removed when diagnosed with glaucoma. If you feel like your cat’s eyes are swollen or “bugging out” of their head, contact your veterinarian.
Cataracts can also occur in a cat’s eye, and these can cause blindness and can be seen as cats age. A cloudy appearance can occur in the eye. Crazy enough, veterinary specialists are removing these cataracts from pets. Keeping up on yearly and semi-yearly exams can help keep an eye on these.
Unfortunately, accidents can happen involving the eye. Clinics can see some pretty gruesome eye injuries from catfights to being attacked by a dog. Sometimes they can save the eye, other times, it needs to be removed.
If you think your cat has any of the above eye issues, the first step is always to call your veterinarian for an exam. They will perform tests needed to lead to a diagnosis such as a fluorescein stain or intraocular eye pressure, which will then help them find the right treatment for your cat. Be observant for changes and alert your vet. The sooner the issue is found, the sooner the treatment can start.
Now that you’ve learned all about common eye issues in cats, check out this next article on Cattitude Daily to learn about interesting cat behaviors.