Feline Eye Diseases
Cats have the most beautiful eyes. But did you know that cats can develop many of the same conditions that afflict humans and their eyes? Cataracts and glaucoma are only two of the many eye problems that can cause blindness in cats.
CAT Spraying No More REVIEW
Cat Spraying No More is an excellent opportunity for the cat owners to learn about training the cat with a systematic approach. It helps in preventing the unwanted litter issues and other risks of bad feline behavior as well.
Cataracts In Cats
The lens in your cat’s eye is made from water and protein. Sometimes this protein clumps together, which causes the lens to become cloudy and opaque, forming a cataract.
Feeding your kitty a healthy diet is the best way to prevent many chronic degenerative diseases, including cataracts. If your cat is older and is already developing cataracts, improving his diet can go a long way towards slowing down the progression of this problem.
Bilberry is an herb known to help improve circulation to the eyes. If your kitty is developing cataracts, 20 millegrams a day can keep them from getting worse. You may also want to try giving him a high-quality antioxidant like Genesis Resources Feline Antioxidant Formula.
Homeopathy can also help cats with cataracts. But since the remedy chosen is specific to your cat, you need to work with a vet who uses homeopathy. You can get a referral from The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.
You may not know that glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness in cats. Cells in your cat’s eye produce a clear fluid called aqueous humor. This fluid is necessary to nourish the tissues inside his eye, and it’s also responsible for maintaining the shape of his eye. Normally excess fluid drains away.
But if the drain becomes plugged, the excess fluid has no place to go, and the pressure inside the eyeball starts to increase, which causes the eyeball to enlarge.
Cats usually develop glaucoma if their eyes are chronically inflammed. So if your cat has trouble with eye infections, it’s very important to get it cleared up.
If your cat is diagnosed with glaucoma, your vet can give your cat medication to reduce the pressure inside the eye. Surgery may also be needed.
Feline herpes can cause your cat’s eyes to water and produce a thick whitish discharge. This virus will also cause the inside lining of the eyelid to become inflamed. Your cat may also develop shallow, painful ulcers on his eye. An eye wash that contains the herb eye bright, like Animals’ Apawthecary Eye & Nose Drops can help to soothe your cat’s eyes.
It’s important to support your cat’s immune system if he has feline herpes. The amino acid L-lysine can help control this virus. You can give your kitty 500 millegrams twice a day. You may want to try Genesis Resources Feline Immune Support Formula. This supplement contains L-lysine along with other vitamins and herbs to help support your feline’s immune system. It was developed specifically to provide nutritional support for cats suffering from immune system deficiency, chronic respiratory infections, or other viral conditions.
Feline herpes can be a very frustrating disease to treat. There is a wealth of information from owners of afflicted cats at Cats With Feline Herpes.
Untreated Feline Hypertension
If your cat goes blind suddenly, it’s probably because he has untreated feline hypertension. Cats with diabetes, hyperthoidism, and kidney disease should be monitored closely by their vet to be sure they don’t have high blood pressure. It’s important to treat the underlying condition to prevent hypertension from developing.
Symptoms you can watch for at home include dilated pupils that don’t respond to light, and seeing blood in your cat’s eyeball.
Sudden blindness is an emergency, so if it happens to your cat, take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA, is more common in dogs than in cats. In this condition, the retina shrinks or degenerates. PRA is an untreatable condition. It’s slow-acting, but eventually results in total blindness.
In cats, taurine deficiency is usually the cause. All commercial cat foods have taurine added to them, but if you make your own cat food, you may want to give your kitty 500 millegrams of taurine every day. If you feed a raw diet, be sure to feed organ meats, as they are a good source of taurine.
Essential fatty acids, particularly DHA from fish oil, may also prevent or slow down the progression of PRA.
White cats and older cats that have spent a lot of time in the sun can develop eyelid tumors. You can usually see these with the naked eye. Cat owners should watch for the following symptoms:
- Formation of a mass on the surface of the eyelid or eyelid margin
- Ulceration or abnormal redness in eyes or in the area around eyelids
- Bleeding or a discharge of pus from the eyes
- Excessive tears
- Frequent rubbing, blinking or squinting of eyes
- Exophthalmos, a big word that means your cat’s eyeball is protruding from his eye socket
If your cat is diagnosed with cancer, surgical removal of the tumor is the most common treatment. Radiation therapy, cryotherapy (freezing the tumor), and chemotherapy are treatments also used by many vets.
Holistic treatments provide your cat with what her body needs to heal from within. Diet and nutrition are very important. Digestive enzymes will help your cat’s digestive system to break down and absorb the nutrients in her food more easily.
You’ll also want to work on strengthening your cat’s immune system. Pet Alive C-Caps, which contain astragalus, milk thistle and other tonic herbs, can help with this.
What If My Cat Goes Blind?
This can be very traumatic for cat owners, but kitties don’t realize that they’re handicapped. They adapt quickly and go on to live long and happy lives, even if they can’t see. See Tips For Living With A Blind Cat to learn how to make life easier for a blind kitty.