Do Blue-Eyed Cats Have Vision Problems?

by Genevieve Van Wyden, Demand Media

    Those blue eyes of your feline fur baby are so beautiful, but that eye color she inherited could signal a link to a health condition. Talk to your veterinarian and find out what you can do to make sure your blue-eyed girl is just as healthy as possible.

    Blue Eyes and Health Issues

    Veterinarians have realized a link exists between your furbaby’s beautiful blue eyes and a few health issues, some of which include deafness. While kittens are born blind, when their eyes take on their adult color, they gain the ability to see. If your baby’s eyes stayed blue, you’ll need to talk to the vet about the implications for her hearing.
    Her eye color, if it’s combined with a “W” gene and white fur, can cause her to be born deaf. Cats with two differently colored eyes can also have this issue, with the deafness being restricted to the side of the body with the blue eye.

    Deafness

    Cats who have two blue eyes and who are totally white from the dominant “W” gene are 40 percent more likely to be born deaf. This is not as likely to appear in an albino cat. The “W” gene has been linked to deafness, and the cat with even one “W” gene from one parent can be born without his hearing. The lack of hearing could make a life outdoors especially risky for one of these little fur babies, making an indoor life highly important.
    The link between blue eyes, a white coat and blindness seems to be more connected to dogs. Cats born with this “W” gene are not likely to be born blind.

    Causes of Blindness

    Several health issues can cause your fur baby to lose her vision. These include high blood pressure, diabetes and a genetic condition. Should your little feline meet with an accident, she could also lose her vision. To help her keep that acute vision she needs, keep her as healthy as possible, and if she starts to develop any health conditions, discuss these with your vet right away.

    White Cats/Blue Eyes

    That troublesome “W” gene has been connected to inner-ear abnormalities contributing to your cat’s inability to hear. This is the most likely to happen in cats with white fur -- which comes from that gene -- and two beautiful blue eyes. Talk to your vet if your little girl was born with this combination of fur and eye color, and if she is found to be deaf, do everything you can to make her into an indoors cat.

    About the Author

    Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.