Cats of any age can lose their vision, whether by injury or an illness. If your kitty becomes blind in one or both eyes, you want to do all you can to help. Depending on the cause, the good news is, your kitty's blindness may be reversible.
If your cat suffers from hypertension or high blood pressure, she could be at risk of losing her eyesight. It's actually the most common condition to cause blindness in cats, and it usually happens in elderly kitties, making their retinas detach. Obtaining early treatment for your cat's hypertension increases the chances of having her retina reattach and restoring her eyesight.
A few medications are known to cause sudden blindness in cats. Some antibiotics may cause blindness that can be reversed if you catch it early enough and discontinue the medication immediately. Unfortunately, some other medications, such as Baytril (Enrofloxacin) and other fluoroquinolones, can cause irreversible blindness.
You've probably heard of the importance of taurine to your cat's health, but you might not know the part it plays in eye health. Taurine is an amino acid that is vital to keeping your feline friend's eyes at peak health. If she has a taurine deficiency in her diet, the result can be a degeneration of her retinas, causing sight problems and leading to blindness. You can reverse those effects by ensuring she gets foods with sufficient taurine. The success of an adequate diet depends on how much damage is done before the problem is addressed.
If you notice that your cat's eyes are developing a white or grey color in the pupil, it's most likely cataract. No medication will reverse cataracts, and leaving them untreated will eventually cause total blindness. Although there is no medication for cataracts, surgically removing them will restore her vision.
Signs To Watch For
The earlier you detect declining vision in your cat, the better the chances of reversing the condition. As with any medical issue, your kitty can't tell you if she's having vision problems, so you'll have to be aware of her behavior and schedule a visit to your vet at the first signs of vision problems. If your normally graceful cat becomes clumsy and starts bumping into things, has a hard time finding her bed, food and water, sleeps a lot more, and doesn't play or hunt as much as she once did, she may be losing her vision. She should be examined by her vet right away.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.