Symptoms of Common Cat Eye Problems

Cat eye problems are often a symptom of underlying eye disease. Most eye diseases are caused due to viral or bacterial infections, allergens or traumas. In order to prevent severe or permanent eye damage it's important to notice any symptoms or changes present in the eye and seek medical help. Some pets are susceptible to chronic eye conditions due to other health concerns. Such pets require additional home care and protection to prevent eye damage and blindness.

Common Cat Eye Problems

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye discharge
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Hypertension

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also known as cat pink eye is often caused by the feline herpes virus-1. Feline conjunctivitis is an infection that occurs in the conjunctiva. The symptoms of conjunctivitis include squinting the infected eye, thick eye discharge, redness and swelling in the conjunctiva. The iris may also change its color. Pets suffering from conjunctivitis are tested for feline herpes virus-1 and a corneal cell culture test may be performed to rule out other eye problems.

Symptoms of Corneal Ulcers

The cornea of the pet's eye is composed of different layers. Corneal ulcers develop when there are holes or abrasions in the layers of the cornea. This in turn leads to bacterial formation that can spread to the other parts of the eye. Corneal ulcers cause pain and discomfort and most pets begin to squint or cry due to the pain. There may be visible redness and inflammation within and around the eye. Cats suffering from corneal ulcers will frequently paw at their face due to the pain and irritation present.

Symptoms of Eye Discharge

Although eye discharge is often related to an underlying eye condition such as conjunctivitis, the type of discharge is an indicator of infection. Discharge that's green in color, thick or cloudy is generally caused by a bacterial infection. Although every pet experiences some discharge after waking up from sleep, chronic or prolonged eye discharge is an eye condition that requires medical intervention. Eye discharge may be accompanied by redness, swelling, blurred vision and pain.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Cat glaucoma presents itself as a disease due to improper drainage of aqueous humor from the eye or as an eye disorder that develops due to other eye diseases. Pets suffering from glaucoma exhibit symptoms that include severe and chronic inflammation, redness, pupil insensitivity to light, enlargement of the eye and blindness. Cats suffering from glaucoma also have an increased eye pressure. The vet will use a tool known as a tonometer to test the eye pressure. Pets suffering from glaucoma are subjected to a thorough eye examination performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Symptoms of Cataracts

Most pets suffering from cataract develop the condition due to genetic predisposition, eye trauma or eye abnormalities. The symptoms of feline cataract include whitish appearance inside the eye, loss or vision, blurring of vision, bumping into objects, inflammation and squinting.

Symptoms of Hypertension

Hypertension leads to sudden blindness in cats. Most pets suffering from hypertension exhibit few symptoms such as insensitivity to light, dilation of the pupils and changes in the color of the eye. Any visible symptoms should be checked by an ophthalmologist in order to prevent permanent eye damage and blindness.

Pet owners should administer medication to pet's on time and follow up with scheduled vet checks to determine response to treatment.