As you might expect, cloudy lenses in kittens are caused by eye illnesses or injuries affecting the eyes. What people typically refer to as the lens is actually the cornea, or the surface of the eye. If your kitten's eyes look cloudy or discharge comes from them, see your veterinarian immediately.
Upper Respiratory Infection
Upper respiratory infections can cause cloudy lenses in kittens. Due to their size and youth, kittens can be especially susceptible to upper respiratory infections, which can cause eye irritation and discharge that can damage the cornea, or surface. If the eyes are affected by an upper respiratory infection, your vet will typically prescribe medicated eye drops or salve along with anitbiotics, depending on the exact cause of the infection. Feline herpesvirus, calcivirus and chlamydiosis are among the most common causes of URIs affecting the eyes. If not treated in a proper or timely manner, URIs affecting the eyes can lead to scarring of the cornea, which is what causes cloudiness in this case. In extreme cases, URIs in kittens can result in blindness and even eye removal.
Injury or Damage
Injury or damage to the surface of the eye can also cause cloudy lenses in kittens. This can be anything from a littermate accidentally swatting a kitten in the eye to actual fighting injuries, scratches from something in his environment, foreign objects in the eye or even a car accident. Minor injuries can typically be successfully treated, and many kittens with minor eye injuries still have partial vision despite cloudiness in the cornea.
Feline keratitis is a condition of eye inflammation caused by insufficient tear production or foreign objects in the eye. Like upper respiratory infections, feline herpesvirus can cause it and mucus discharge is a symptom. Treatment involves medication to increase tear production. This helps to prevent the formation of bacterial infections.
Feline glaucoma can also cause cloudy lenses. As with humans, feline glaucoma is caused by high blood pressure. It can start in the eye or result from a secondary cause, which means there is something wrong elsewhere in the body. If it starts in the eye, it is typically due to drainage in the eye. Treatment includes surgery to relieve pressure in the eye and correct the drainage problem.
Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.