Most of the time your cat’s eye is clear and bright, or it may be a little bit sticky. They may hurt her or rub her face on the sofa or on the rug. There is clearly something wrong … and she may be suffering from one of eye diseases in cats.
Cats have developed many unique vision features as they develop that enable them to clearly see inside and outside the home. Unfortunately, these finely tuned eyes are susceptible to infection and a variety of diseases that can significantly impair eyesight or in some cases make the cat partially or completely blind.
Anything from a simple cold to a serious illness may cause cat eye secretions. Find out with us some of the most common causes of eye diseases in cats, when to see a veterinarian, and what you can do at home to help your pet friend.
How do cat eyes work?? Eye diseases in cats
Overall, feline eyes function in the same way that human eyes function and are made up of the same components. The major structural and functional components include:
- Cornea, the transparent outer covering of the eyeball;
- Pupil, the circular membrane in the centre of the eye that permits the entry of light from the environment;
- Iris, the round, pigmented membrane that surrounds the pupil and contracts or expands to regulate the amount of incoming light;
- Lens, a transparent structure that adjusts its shape as needed to focus the light rays;
- Retina, a sensitive membrane that lines the interior surface of the eyeball, receives the focused light impulses that have entered through the lens, and sends them along to the brain, as visual information;
- Optic nerve, the conduit leading from the retina to the brain.
While structurally similar in most respects to human eyes, feline eyes have acquired over thousands of years several distinctive features that improve its chances for survival as both predator and prey. Among these features is a third eyelid—or “haw”—a thin, pale membrane positioned at the inner corner of the eye, between the lower eyelid and the eyeball. This extra eyelid helps keep the surface of a cat’s eyeball moist, protects it from being scratched by erratically growing hairs, and can help shield it during a scrap with a rival cat or other animal … so, it protects your pet from bunch of eye diseases in cats.
Cats also have a specialized layer of tissue beneath the retina that reflects incoming light. This structure—the tapetum lucidum—reflects light not absorbed by the retina during its first passage through the eye, thus giving the light a second chance to be absorbed and transmitted to the brain. Thanks to the tapetum lucidum, a cat’s sensitivity to light is thought to be about six times greater than that of a human .
What are the symptoms of eye diseases in cats??
Common symptoms of eye diseases in cats include:
- watery eyes
- excessive blinking
- pawing at the eye.
If your cat has any of these symptoms, a thorough ophthalmological examination should be performed as soon as possible.
Eye secretions are a typical symptom of eye diseases in cats. They can range from transparent and watery to yellow or green and can vary in consistency from thin to thick and viscous. The cat’s eyes may become very sensitive, as indicated by tears and tenderness to touch and avoid light.
Cats also have an additional eyelid in the inner corner of their eye known as the third eyelid, or a typical membrane. This membrane may protrude in response to pain or infection. The bump appears as a white or opaque film that moves across the surface of the eyeball. It can also occur in response to foreign bodies or irritants that settle in the eye.
If the eye becomes cloudy and loses its transparency, this usually indicates a corneal problem or an internal eye disorder. Changes in the size of the pupil may also lead to stenosis or stretching with deeper eye diseases. In some eye diseases in cats, the eyelids may become inflamed, leading to swelling, scaling, itching and hair loss in the eyelids.
What are the most common eye diseases in cats?? Eye diseases in cats
1- Pink eye (conjunctivitis):
Cats can get a pink eye, just like people do. The pink eye occurs when the wet tissue lining the eyeball (called the conjunctiva) becomes inflamed. Symptoms include familiar pink or red, sticky eye secretions, and swelling.
2- Corneal disorders:
The cat’s cornea – a dome-like surface covering the front of the eye – can become inflamed, infected, or sore. As a result, there may be cloudy eyes, excessive blinking, inflammation, and increased tear production.
Inflammation of the internal structures of the eye, trauma, cancer, immune problems or infections can cause serious and often painful uveitis.
4-Dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis):
Chronic deficiency in tear production, dry eyes can lead to inflammation of the cornea and red eyes, and if not treated, the cat will become blind. Because the aqueous part of the tears is missing, it can produce sticky yellow eye secretions.
One of the most common eye diseases in cats, fluids are constantly produced inside the eyeball and are not drained. When fluid drainage is blocked, the intraocular pressure increases, resulting in glaucoma.
The lens is in the middle of the eye and is usually clear, but sometimes it causes cataracts of the entire eye or part of it. Cataracts prevent light from reaching the back of the eye, resulting in poor vision or blindness, depending on their severity.
7-Discoloration of the Iris
The iris is the coloured rim of tissue that surrounds the dark pupil at the centre of a cat’s eye. Normally, a cat’s eye colour doesn’t change in adulthood (it is normal for a kitten’s blue eyes to change to a different colour as he or she matures).
However, a condition called iris melanosis can result in the development of brown “freckles” or patches of pigment on the iris, usually in middle-aged to older cats. Iris melanosis typically does not cause any problems, but severe cases may result in dysfunction of the iris and sometimes glaucoma (increased eye pressure).
When the edges of the eyelid fold inward, the eyelashes of the eye rub against the cornea, which is a condition known as entropion. If this occurs, it can result in corneal damage and scarring. See your veterinarian if you detect signs of entropion, such as excessive tearing, squinting, redness, or sagging skin around the eyes.
If you see a mass forming on your cat’s eyelid or notice signs such as swelling, excessive tearing, redness, or discharge, you should contact your veterinarian. Eyelid tumors in cats are often cancerous, and the prognosis can be better if it is caught in the early stages. Your veterinarian can recommend appropriate treatment, which may include surgically removing the mass, especially if it is cancerous.
Itchy, watery eyes are a common symptom of allergies in people, but this is less common in cats. On the other hand, if something irritating — dust, strong fragrances, tobacco smoke, etc. — does get into a cat’s eyes, it’s not unusual for redness, drainage, and discomfort to develop. In these cases, rinsing out a cat’s eyes with an eye-wash solution can help, if your cat is cooperative. Keep in mind, however, that the symptoms of eye irritation are indistinguishable from other, more serious eye problems, so if your cat’s condition worsens or fails to improve, you need to make an appointment with a veterinarian. Learn about dental problems in cats
When do eye diseases in cats need to visit the vet??
Your cat’s eyes are as delicate as they are beautiful. Small problems can quickly turn into serious conditions. If your cat’s eye discharge symptoms don’t clear up within 24 hours or if your cat is squinting, talk to your veterinarian right away.
If you have medications left over from a previous eye problem, don’t use them on your cat’s eyes. Different eye issues call for different medications, and you can end up causing serious injury by using the wrong one.
How to prevent eye diseases in cats:
There are things you can do to help keep your cat’s eyes bright, shiny, and healthy and to avoid eye diseases in cats. For example:
- Check their eyes – Look into your cat’s eyes on a regular basis. If you notice issues like redness, cloudiness, black spots on the coloured portion of the eye, or discharge, you should contact your veterinarian.
- Schedule wellness exams – Routine veterinary visits are important for our feline friends. They can help keep your cat’s overall health on track and give your veterinarian the opportunity to detect eye issues and other problems in the early stages.
- Clean their eyes gently – Cats generally take care of their own grooming, but if you notice gunk around the eye, you can clean it carefully with a damp cotton ball. Take care not to touch the eye itself, or you could damage the cornea. If you give your cat a bath, you can use that time to clean around the eyes.
- Keep your cat inside – All cats should be kept indoors to help them stay safe and healthy. If your cat goes outdoors, they could injure their eyes while running through the bushes or fighting with another cat or animal. They could also catch a contagious disease, which can cause issues like pink eye or uveitis.