Cataract in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

In cataracts, the lens of the eye has become opaque. The condition is also called cataract.

The causes of cataracts can vary. The condition can be hereditary or occur secondarily to another disease / injury.

Symptoms of hereditary cataracts are most often seen when the cat is an adult, usually over the age of 6, but in some cases the lens clouding is already seen when the kitten opens its eyes. In some cat breeds, including Russian blue, Burmese and Persian, hereditary cataracts have been described.

Cataracts can occur as a result of an inflammation of the iris of the eye, iritis, if the inflammation has been left untreated for a long time.

Likewise, an infection in the eye can spread to the lens and lead to cataracts. The condition can also occur after trauma, such as a bite injury, where the lens has been damaged.

Cataracts due to diabetes occur in dogs, but do not usually affect cats.


The eye’s lens gradually becomes denser and acquires a whitish or bluish-white color. As the lens becomes increasingly opaque, less light passes into the eye, leading to increasing visual impairment. If both lenses are affected by cataracts, the cat eventually becomes blind.


The veterinarian makes a thorough examination of the eye and also gives pupil dilating drops to be able to inspect the deeper parts of the eye.

If the veterinarian suspects that the cataract is caused by an underlying disease, further examinations are often performed in the form of blood tests and sometimes urine tests. Other eye examinations that may be relevant are ultrasound examination and ERG, electroretinography.


Cataracts can not be treated medically. If the condition is secondary to another disease, the underlying disease is treated to slow the lens changes. Surgical treatment of cataracts involves removing the cloudy lens and inserting an artificial one.


If the cat develops a slow visual impairment, it often has time to adapt to the change. Indoor cats that lose their sight can find themselves at ease in their normal home environment, while blindness is a significant handicap for outdoor cats.

Leave a Comment