Cat Blindness: Causes and Treatment

A cat’s eyes are one of its most unique features. Unfortunately, they’re susceptible to problems that can lead to partial or complete blindness.

A cat’s eyes are one of its most unique features. Not only do they come in some amazing colours, but they’ve also adapted to allow them to see well both during the day and during the dark hours of the night.

Unfortunately, cats are susceptible to eye problems, which can lead to partial or even complete blindness if left untreated for too long.

Here are some of the more common causes of cat blindness and vision problems:


Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension can often cause blindness in older cats. It’s often a result of other illnesses like kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Overweight cats are more likely to be afflicted.


While not as common as in humans, cats can get cataracts. There are several causes of cataracts and the most common symptom is haziness, or cloudiness, in the eye. This prevents light from reaching the retina – which is vital for sight.


Conjunctivitis is often caused by upper respiratory disease and it causes inflammation of the pink lining of one or both eyelids.


Glaucoma occurs when the liquid in a cat’s eye can’t drain properly, which puts pressure on the optic nerve. It can be hereditary and is common in certain cat breeds like Burmese, Persian and Siamese. It can also be caused by other diseases like neoplasia, anterior uveitis, and intraocular haemorrhage.


Many of the causes of low vision or blindness in cats are treatable if detected early. In some cases, like hypertension, they can be treated by dealing with the underlying causes, like helping the cat lose weight, or giving medication to reduce the symptoms of diabetes or hyperthyroidism.

Others, like cataracts, can be treated through surgery. Glaucoma may be able to be treated with medication, though in some extreme cases removal of the eye may be necessary.

How to tell if your cat is experiencing vision problems

There are two main ways you can tell if your cat is experiencing problems with its sight. The first is how they interact with their environment, for example, are they more cautious, struggling to find their food or water bowl, or do they miscalculate jumps? If so, they could be experiencing eyesight loss.

Another way to detect if they’re experiencing vision problems is by inspecting their eyes and seeing if they’re red, cloudy, or milky. If so, these too can be signs that something may be wrong.

If you’re worried your cat may be going blind, or it’s experiencing problems with its vision, the best thing to do is take them to your vet for a check-up. The earlier you get the problem diagnosed, the better the chance it can be treated.