A cat eye health care plan includes being aware of problems that can affect your cat's eyes.
Injury to cats eyes is not uncommon. Cats do get into spats and fights with other cats, dogs and other animals. Kicks from horses can result in blunt eye injury as can being hit by a vehicle.
As cats prowl around outside, lacerations to the eye from thorns or undergrowth can occur, as can injury by vicious humans.
Even felines that never leave the home can suffer ocular injury not only from both sharp and blunt objects but also from splashes by chemicals and other irritants.
Major injury to your cat's eyes will need immediate emergency attention from a veterinarian.
Minor injury may be treatable at home after inspection and advice from your vet. Even minor eye injuries should not be ignored.
A cat with an ocular injury will likely paw at it, this can be prevented by use of an Elizabethan collar.
Conjunctivitis is one of the most common problems affecting cat eye health.
Cats affected with conjunctivitis are likely to have a discharge from the eye which can either be watery and clear, or thick and yellowy green.
The conjunctiva is a membranous tissue that is connected to the underside of the eyelid and encompasses the eyeball, conjunctiva also covers the inner, or third, eyelid.
Normally, in cats without conjunctivitis, the conjunctiva is not noticeable, but with affected cats the conjunctiva may swell and redden and the third eyelid may be visible.
Various conditions can cause conjunctivitis in cats. Some are reasonably easy to treat, other conditions are a threat to cat eye health and may be problematic and harder to control.
Glaucoma is a serious threat to cat eye health and one of the major causes of cats losing their sight. Early detection and treatment however, can often save the sight of your pet, this is why your veterinarian will perform routine glaucoma screening as part of your cat's check up.
At the onset a cat with Glaucoma may not experience any pain but the eyes may be a little bloodshot, the cat may also show signs of sensitivity to light.
As the condition advances the eyeball may look enlarged or swollen and the cat may be in some pain.
Left untreated a cat with glaucoma will go blind. It is imperative therefore that you get your cat to the vet immediately if you suspect the presence of the condition.
Glaucoma = an increase in pressure within the eye.
The front of the eye is filled with a continuously produced fluid (aqueous humor,) at the same rate that this fluid is produced it is drained off into the bloodstream.
If, for any reason, the balance is upset, and the fluid is not draining as fast as it is entering the eye, swelling of the eyeball results.
Several breeds of cats have a predisposition to glaucoma including Persian, Siamese, Burmese and some domestic short-hairs, if you cat is one of these breeds, or if your cat is elderly your veterinarian may want to monitor for glaucoma more frequently.
A cat with uveitis may squint or blink frequently, may have a thin discharge from the eye and may want to hide from light.
The eye itself may appear normal or in other cases, the eye might swell and redden or become cloudy and dull. The third eyelid may be visible.
Feline uveitis is usually found with, and caused by other conditions, such as viruses, parasites and cancer.
As there are a variety of causes of uveitis there are a variety of treatments. Although anti-inflammatory medication is sometimes prescribed, this cat eye health condition is not generally treatable at home, it is imperative that your veterinarian is consulted. Your veterinarian may refer your cat to a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Cataracts are not so common in cats as they are in some other pets. The eye problem is usually associated with older cats although it can be found in cats of all ages.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens, usually gray, blue/gray or white, and is very noticeable in advanced stages. The cataract will obstruct the passing of light through the lens resulting in restricted vision, and possibly blindness, for your cat.
As with all problems, a cataract is best detected and dealt with early on, this is one more reason your cat should have regular veterinary checks.
Aging is not the only reason that cataracts develop. Cat eye health issues and certain broad diseases, particularly feline diabetes, can lead to cataracts developing. Some breeds of cat are more prone to the eye problem than others.
Treating a cataract requires surgery which, in most instances, greatly improves the sight of the cat. A veterinary ophthalmologist will evaluate your pet before undertaking surgery to ensure the operation will be beneficial.
Like many other animals, and humans too, cats can suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome (Keratitis Sicca.)
Cats with this condition do not produce sufficient tears to ensure that their eyes remain lubricated and therefore healthy. Tears provide a protective covering for the eyes and wash away irritant particles. Tears also help to provide the eyes with nutrients.
The majority of cats respond well to medication if the cat is treated before the dry eye, or eyes, is too advanced. With some cats medication does not work and therefore surgery may be necessary.
Medicinal treatment needs to be continuous and consistent, but will prevent a cat from losing their sight from Dry Eye Syndrome.
The third eyelid, or inner eyelid, is a membranous layer in the corner of a cat's eye.
Normally this third eyelid is not showing, if it is it could be a symptom that something is wrong. It could be a symptom of worm infection, viral infection, liver disease, fever or some other problem.
With some cats the third eyelid will show when the cat is content and sleepy. You know your cat, if your cat's inner eyelid does not normally show when she is sleepy, and particularly if she is showing other symptoms, then you should consult your vet.
Persians, because of the unique shape of their faces, often experience cat eye health problems. Their eyes need to be checked regularly because Persian cats have difficulty keeping them cleaned.
A particular problem is watering eyes. Their faces may need regularly wiping with a damp cloth to prevent tear staining.
Does a blind cat require special care? Is there much difference between looking after a sightless cat and one that can see?
Cat fleas are not selective as to the cats that they infest. Even the healthiest and best cared for cats can become infested with fleas. Flea control can help rid your cat of fleas.
Any cat can get cat worms. Diagnoses may be difficult as the cat may not display any outward signs of infestation.