Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Cataracts in Cats

Cataracts are a common eye condition in cats, often causing concern among pet owners. This blog post aims to shed light on cataracts, their causes, signs, types, diagnosis, treatment options, and recovery following surgery. We will also include photos of cataracts in cats to help you recognize this condition.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are characterized by the clouding of the lens in a cat's eye, leading to impaired vision. The lens, normally clear, becomes opaque, blocking light from reaching the retina and resulting in partial or complete blindness, depending on the severity.

What causes cataracts in cats?

There are many possible causes of cataracts. Any damage to the lens can cause cataracts to form.

Causes of cataracts that have been described in cats include the following:

  • Inflammation within the eye
  • Genetic or hereditary factors
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Radiation exposure
  • Cancer
  • Infections such as viral, bacterial, fungal, or protozoal

The most common cause of cataracts in cats is inflammation within the eye, also known as uveitis. This can happen as a result of a variety of underlying disease processes. Uveitis can cause the body's immune system to mistake the lens for a foreign object, contributing to the formation of cataracts.

What are the signs of cataracts?

Our Denver veterinarians often detect cataracts early in their development during a routine physical exam. However, these cats may not show signs of cataracts at home because they have not yet progressed to the point where they affect the cat's vision.

It is important to note that cataracts do not cause all hazy eyes. As cats age, the lens becomes cloudy due to an aging change known as nuclear or lenticular sclerosis.

If you're curious, you can use your favorite search engine to look for 'cataracts in cats pictures' and compare what you see with your cat. If you suspect something, contact your veterinarian first.

How are cataracts in cats diagnosed?

A thorough veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist examination is essential for diagnosing cataracts. The diagnostic process may include:

  • Physical examination: Assessing the overall health and eye condition.
  • Ophthalmoscopy: Using a special instrument to examine the eye's internal structures.
  • Slit-lamp biomicroscopy: Providing a detailed view of the eye's front portion.
  • Ultrasound: Checking for any underlying issues if the lens is too opaque.

How are cataracts in cats treated?

Cataracts in cats are usually treated with surgery, which involves removing the cataract and replacing the eye's lens with an artificial one. However, if a cat has significant inflammation within the eye, cataract surgery may not be an option.

Unfortunately, no medications can dissolve cataracts or slow their progression so that they will persist. Despite this, cataracts are not painful, and cats usually adjust well to blindness.

Medications like corticosteroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drops reduce inflammation within the eye in cats with untreated cataracts. While these drugs won't impact the cataract, managing inflammation is crucial to avoid potential side effects like glaucoma.

Glaucoma can result from both inflammation and cataracts and is difficult to treat medically, often necessitating the removal of the eye. Therefore, medical treatment of feline cataracts usually focuses on preventing secondary glaucoma.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you are concerned about your cat's eyes, please consult our Denver vets today and have your cat assessed.

Vets in Denver

New Patients Welcome

Pets on Broadway Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! For professional and quality veterinary care in Denver, call or visit us today!

Contact Us

Book Online (303) 282-0808