In cats as in humans, the eyes are particularly sensitive organs and are exposed to a whole range of risks. Our friends the tomcats can have many eye disorders that can have multiple origins (viral, bacterial, parasitic, traumatic, etc.), including other diseases. If prevention is important, it is above all essential to act as it should in the event of eye problems in the animal. But what can these problems be? How to detect them? What to do when his little companion is affected? When should you consult the veterinarian? Let’s take a look at this case.
What are the possible eye disorders in cats?
A cat’s eyes are sensitive organs that can be subject to various disorders. Here are the most common.
The cataract of the cat
This disease can be hereditary or caused by uveitis. The lens of the eye gradually becomes cloudy, which reduces the ability of light rays to reach the retina. As a result, the cat’s visual acuity gradually decreases. We then see that the animal is finding it increasingly difficult to move around and that it very often collides with walls and furniture. When the opacification is total, the little kitty can go blind.
Cat conjunctivitis is a relatively common eye inflammation in our feline friends. Particularly contagious, it can have several origins since it can be caused by a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection, but also an allergy (pollen or other) or a traumatic shock.
Conjunctivitis is characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is a transparent mucous membrane that lines the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelids. If it can be unilateral – therefore affecting only one eye – or bilateral – that is to say affecting both eyes – the affected animal has a swollen, red, watery eye. The eyelid can be difficult to close and the corners of the eye generally have sometimes purulent drips. Itching is common. In addition, in the event of a bacterial or viral infection, the sick cat may suffer from edema and respiratory disorders.
The cat must be quickly taken care of by the veterinarian so that the care is more effective and to avoid an unfortunately permanent alteration of the vision. Ointment and/or eye drops may suffice, but treatment with corticosteroids may be necessary in case of allergy.
Retinal detachment in cats
This is a serious eye condition that can affect all cats at all ages. Its origins are diverse (arterial hypertension, disease that impacts blood viscosity, anomaly in the structure of the eye, etc.). The affected cat tends to have very dilated pupils, difficulty moving or grasping an object with precision, and bumping into furniture and walls.
This is an absolute emergency. It is imperative to consult the veterinarian immediately, because the retinal detachment can make the animal blind in the space of only a few days.
Ectropion and entropion in cats
Ectropion is characterized by an eyelid that rolls outwards, which is called eversion. The animal’s eye is red, irritated and discharges form, which can lead to superinfection.
Entropion is the opposite phenomenon, the eyelid rolls inwards, which is called inversion. The eye, due to repeated rubbing of eyelashes and hairs on its surface, is very irritated.
In both cases, it is imperative to consult the veterinarian quickly in order to avoid ulceration of the cornea. All it takes is simple surgery to fix it.
The epiphora of the cat
This benign condition can be caused by multiple causes. This eye disorder is indeed common in tomcats with short and squashed noses, known as brachycephalic, but it is also likely to occur after conjunctivitis, another type of inflammation, an ulcer or a lesion of the cornea.
Epiphora is characterized by more abundant tearing. The eye is permanently moist and causes the hairs around it to turn brown, which attracts bacteria. The affected animal does not suffer from specific consequences, but it is necessary to regularly remove the orange or black crusts that form under the eye and the wings of the nose using a specific eye lotion.
Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by an increase in intraocular pressure on the optic nerve linked to an arrest in the evacuation of aqueous humor, a disorder that can be congenital, primary or secondary. The cat suffering from glaucoma has a sensitive, red eye and a dilated pupil. His eyeball may be larger and very painful.
It is imperative to consult the veterinarian immediately, because for lack of care, the little tomcat can be the victim of a destruction of his retina which causes permanent blindness.
cat eye prolapse
A cat’s third eyelid, the transparent membrane that protects its eye, has glands that help to constantly moisten the ocular surface naturally. When the ligament that holds the gland in place ruptures, the third eyelid no longer retracts naturally and remains visible on the surface of the eye. It can be identified by the pink mass it forms at the inner corner of the eye. In addition, the cat has a dry eye since it is no longer sufficiently moistened, as well as conjunctivitis, purulent discharge, or even more or less intense pain.
Either way, it is imperative to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible.
corneal ulcer in cats
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. It can be of bacterial or viral origin, but most often traumatic, especially in the event of shock or following an argument between congeners, or even as a result of a feline herpes virus (FHV). The affected animal scratches its eye frequently and usually holds it closed. The white of the eye may be bloodshot, painful and a gray or bluish veil may form on the cornea which gradually darkens. In case of infectious origin, the animal can also sneeze and present discharges at the level of the nose.
It is imperative to consult the veterinarian urgently in order to cure the affected eye. A superficial corneal ulcer can be treated with drops and topical antibiotics. On the other hand, if it is deeper, it is necessary to apply healing eye drops and painkillers to relieve the suffering tomcat. Finally, when the form is serious, it is essential to practice a tarsorrhaphy. This intervention consists of sewing the two eyelids together for a period of at least 20 days in order to isolate the cornea from any source of light and to help it heal better.
Anterior uveitis in cats
This serious ocular inflammation is an attack of the uvea, the part which includes the iris, the vessels and the muscles. It may affect only one eye or both. The affected cat may have conjunctivitis, a contracted pupil (miosis), suffer from severe pain. It is also noted that his cornea becomes opaque and that the ocular blood vessels are more apparent at the level of his iris.
It is essential to consult the veterinarian immediately.
What to do in case of eye problems in cats?
If you notice an eye problem in your cat, the best thing to do is to consult the veterinarian quickly. Indeed, if some conditions are benign, others can be very serious and present an absolute emergency. Whatever the case, it is imperative to set up an appropriate treatment and to avoid self-medication which can aggravate the situation for your little companion.
The signs that should alert you are:
- a red eye,
- a swollen eye,
- watery or purulent discharge,
- a dilated pupil,
- a dry eye,
- a sore eye,
- visible blood vessels around the iris,
- a dull and opaque veil on the surface of the eye,
- the animal seems hesitant in its movements, it bumps into walls or furniture, etc.
Never neglect an ocular attack, because it can very quickly take on a serious nature to the point of making the animal blind.
In prevention, do not hesitate to regularly observe the eyes of your little companion. If they are dirty, clean them with a suitable lotion sold at the veterinarian or a simple sterile compress moistened with physiological saline or clear, clean water. In addition, you can have your little kitty vaccinated regularly to prevent him from contracting certain serious pathologies likely to cause eye damage.
Finally, to take care of your small animal’s health and better prevent the risk of eye problems, you can take out a health insurance policy. These formulas of mutual insurance for animals allow you to benefit from a more or less important refund on all or part of the veterinary care practiced according to the level of protection chosen. The online comparator is a free, non-binding and very practical tool for finding several offers in seconds that meet your cat’s needs and your budget. Don’t wait any longer to make your little cat’s well-being a priority at a lower cost!