Cat Cataract Surgery

If your cat has been diagnosed with a cataract, surgery could be an option. The decision to undergo cat cataract surgery will be determined by a number of factors, including the overall health of your cat, complete diagnosis of any other eye disorders, size and location of the cataract and surgery and hospitalizations costs.

What Is a Cataract?

A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye. The lens is made of mostly protein and water and arranged in such a way that the lens stays clear. When the protein builds up and clumps together, a cataract is formed. Cat cataracts are normally caused by another primary condition. They can be a result of trauma to the eye, prolonged eye inflammation, or an underlying eye disorder such as uveitis. Cat cataracts will become progressively worse, and may lead to blindness if not treated effectively.

Cat Cataract Surgery

No medical treatment is available to remove, prevent or shrink cat cataracts. While some cats lead long, healthy lives with limited eyesight, surgical removal of one or more cataracts may be an option to consider. If the primary cause for cataracts in your cat is due to an inflammatory condition, such as uveitis, surgery is not recommended. Cat cataract surgery will cause further inflammation, leading to increased pain and suffering for your cat. Additionally, continued inflammatory conditions could continue to cause cataracts in the future. However, if the cataracts are caused by a severe eye trauma, or if they are larger in size, as long as the cat is in otherwise optimal health, surgery may be performed. 

Don't Let the Cataract Grow

While cats can learn to get around nicely with some hindrance to their eyesight, larger cataracts will interfere and possibly cause blindness in one or both eyes. Cat cataract surgery is more frequently recommended for cats with larger cataracts, however there is much benefit to performing surgery early on and before the cataract has fully matured. Mature cataracts can cause intraocular inflammation which can lead to problems either before or after surgery is performed. Also, the eye lens hardens as a cataract progresses. Surgery procedures will be significantly hindered when dealing with a hardened lens.

Preventing Inflammation

Possible inflammation is one of the primary concerns when discussing the option of cat cataract surgery. If your cat has been deemed a good candidate, it will be necessary to administer anti-inflammatory eyedrops for several weeks prior to, and after surgery. You pet will also need to wear a protective cone and be confined to limited exercise. Preventing inflammation of the eyes greatly increases chances of success with cat cataract surgery. 

Complications with Cat Cataract Surgery

Generally speaking, a rather high percentage of patients show success with cataract surgery. Most cats will have eyesight return to normal once healing is complete. As with any surgery however, there is the possibility of complication. Complications are much more common in cats who have retinal or optic disorders. Any underlying eye disease, abnormal brain function, or inflammation will limit chances of successful treatment.