If your feline friend is pawing at their eyes or rubbing their face on the rug or against the sofa, there is a high chance that something is wrong. Maintaining the function and health of your cat’s eyes are highly essential. It is important to pay close attention to your feline when they rub or paw their eyes.
Some eye problems in cats are easy to diagnose and treat, while others can be more difficult and might require the assistance of a vet ophthalmologist – a cat-eye specialist. However, understanding the symptoms and signs of these eye problems in felines is essential, whether it is an eye infection, discharge, or something else. In this guide, we will walk you through the common eye issues in cats and how to identify them.
Conjunctivitis, also known as Pink Eye, is one of the common eye issues associated with these beautiful creatures. Pink eye is an infection or inflammation of the inner surface of the eyelids or outer layer of the eye. The common signs of this eye problem are swollen, reddish eyes with a discharge of various colors. It is rare for humans to transfer eye infections to cats or vice versa. However, some eye infections in cats are contagious amongst themselves, meaning they can spread from one cat to another.
Viral infections are the most common cat eye infections. Felines often suffer these over the cause of their lifetime, usually caused by stress or other illnesses. If your cat has a history of viral eye infections, you should visit a vet within a few days of seeing the signs. However, if your cat has no history of this infection, you should visit the vet as soon as possible.
Another common and frequent eye problem in cats is retinal issues. Retinal issues are often a result of other health issues that cause high blood pressure, such as kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. High blood pressure can rupture the small blood vessels in the cat’s retina, causing the retina to detach and leading to blindness.
Blood vessel damage due to high blood pressure frequently occurs in cats with eye problems. One of the most common symptoms of this condition is instant blindness and dilated pupils. Once you notice those signs in your cat, you should consult a vet immediately to save your cat’s vision. Your furry friend might suffer permanent blindness if you delay the treatment.
Healthy eyes constantly move fluids in and out of the eye’s lens. If the fluid’s movement is blocked or interrupted, there would be increased pressure on the eyes, which can cause eye damage. It can affect the cat’s sight and cause irritation or discomfort. The most common cause of glaucoma in cats is infection or inflammation of the eye’s drainage ducts.
However, other conditions like tumors, lens dislocation, inflammation, or damage can cause glaucoma. Signs of this eye condition include a cloudy cornea, enlarged eye, dilated pupil that reacts poorly to light, red eye, eye pain, excessive tear, and squinting.
It is normal for cats to experience small eye discharges (provided it is minimal). The discharge is often brown and slightly dried or moist. Nevertheless, there might be an issue if there is increased discharge in the cat’s eyes. If the discharge is creamy, thick, or coming from other corners besides the closest corners of your cat’s nose, it is no longer normal. If you notice other signs of eye disease like inflammation, pain, or squinting, you should consult your vet immediately.
Severe inflammation in the tissues around the eyes can block a feline’s tear duct, resulting in excessive eye tearing. The cause of the condition needs to be treated to unblock the tear duct.
Like humans, cats also suffer eye problems. It is essential to pay close attention to your feline always and be able to identify these eye problems when they arise.