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If you notice anything different about your cats eyes, or are worried that they may have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in this article, you should seek veterinarian advice immediately.  Call your local Calder Vets or call our Dewsbury Hospital on 01924 465592.

Common Eye Problems In Cats

Below is a list of common eye problems to look out for;

Conjunctivitis This is an inflammation of the membrane that covers both the inner lining of the eyelid and the white of the eye. It may be caused by allergies or by bacterial, fungal or viral infections. In fact, recurrent or chronic conjunctivitis in cats is often the result of herpes viral infections which can return again and again. It can be contagious, so keep an infected cat away from others.

Corneal Ulceration This can occur when the shiny surface of the cornea is scratched or damaged.

Epiphora If your cat's eyes constantly 'weep' or the fur around them appears 'stained', the normal tear flow may be blocked.

Cataracts and Glaucoma Cats, just like humans, can have these serious eye diseases. Cataracts, which cloud the lens inside the eye can be seen in elderly cats. A thorough evaluation by your vet is necessary as surgery is the only treatment. Glaucoma stems from too much pressure being exerted upon the eye's interior as a result of a decrease in the amount of fluid draining from it.  If left untreated Glaucoma can lead to blindness so must be treated promptly.

Common Symptoms include;

  • Red inner eyelids
  • Increased visibility of the blood vessels in the white of the eye
  • Matter on the surface or in the corner of the eye
  • Cloudiness within the eyeball
  • A dull eye surface
  • The 'third eyelid' coming across the eye surface
  • Excessive tearing or unusual discharges
  • Tear stained fur around the eyes

Eye tests used to diagnose eye problems

  • Fluorescein is a dye that helps to identify corneal ulcers
  • Schirmer Tear Test to determine the level of tear production
  • Ocular pressure to detect glaucoma
  • Ophthalmoscope to see in the eye chamber

How to administer eye drops

  1. Remove any discharge from around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water
  2. Hold your cat sideways on your lap or place them on a table at a comfortable height
  3. See the instructions on the bottle for dosage. Shake if necessary
  4. Use one hand to hold the bottle between the thumb and index finger and use the other to support the cat's head
  5. Tilt the head back to prevent blinking, use your free fingers to hold the eyelids open
  6. Hold the bottle of drops close to the eye but don’t touch the eye's surface
  7. Squeeze the drops onto the eye and once the drops are in, release the head
  8. Your cat will blink, spreading the medication over the eyes surface

How to administer eye ointment

  1. See the instructions on the tube for dosage
  2. Remove any discharge from around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water
  3. Hold your cat sideways on your lap or place them on a table at a comfortable height
  4. Gently pull back upper and lower eyelids
  5. Hold the tube parallel to their lower eyelid, squeeze out the ointment onto the edge of the eyelid
  6. Massage the upper and lower eyelids together to spread the medication
  7. Release the head and let your cat blink

If you are worried about any of these conditions, or struggling to administer eye treatment to your cat, contact your local Calder Vets branch.