Do cats get cataracts?
September 7, 2004 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Cats and Cataracts. Does anyone have any experience or expertise in regards to cats with cataracts?

I saw my cat's eyes today in the sun coming in through the window and saw the lens were turning milky cloudy. One eye is drippy and there seems to be a milky ridge forming over the lens. I didn't find out about this until after 5, so I have to wait until morning to call the vet.

I have Googled 'cats' and 'cataract's but there is so much woo woo holistic or the same damn articles reprinted over and over and I don't have the patience tonight to cut through them all. Does anyone have experience with a cat who had cataracts? What happened? What can you do?
posted by y2karl to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
There's not much you can do for a cataract (although this sounds more like an infection or corneal abrasion than a cataract - cataracts usually form fairly slowly, and the dripping normally indicates irritation). If it is a cataract, just be aware that your cat's vision will be somewhat decreased - talk to the cat so it knows where you are, leave lights on when possible, that sort of thing. Cats generally cope very well with decreased vision. I suspect that your cat probably needs a course of eye drops or something, since while it may have a cataract in there, it sounds like there's something else going on in that eye as well.
posted by biscotti at 11:28 PM on September 7, 2004

I've been reading up on cataract treatment for pets since my dog is nearly blind from them. Apparently both dogs and cats can be treated surgically for cataracts and the success rate (ie, long-term improved vision) is fairly good. It's coin, though. Try googling "cataract surgery" and "cats."
posted by shoos at 11:47 PM on September 7, 2004

Interesting, shoos, I didn't know about that. I would certainly consider it for a young animal, anyway.
posted by biscotti at 8:07 AM on September 8, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the sensible advice, biscotti, you called it right...

I was going by the cloudiness. The vet said she had done something to her eye--she's an indoor cat, so go figure--and that the whole eye was involved--her iris has changed color.

She has a corneal scar right over her pupil with a small capillary atop it that you can see if you roll back her eyelid, which is what freaked me out the most--seeing that capillary. But there is aparrently no ulceration--he did a UV sensitve stain to check that.

I was given antibiotic eyedrops with some kind of cortisonal steroid to give her three times a day and am to take her back in two weeks. The antibiotic/steroid eyedrops may diminish the scarring and clouding. We shall see.

Well, I'm glad I saw it when I did and wish I had seen it much earlier all at the same time. I just happened to her eye from the side in the sunlight. I will be paying closer attention from now on.

I must say she is a trooper--went for a cab ride to the vet and through three bus transfers going home and never a peep out of her. She travels well. That is unusual in a cat.

I did see this while Googling, Shoos--

Cataracts in Dogs and Cats

Cataracts can be removed surgically by a veterinary ophalmologist. I have never recommended this because I have never seen a pet whose quality of life was affected by cataracts.
posted by y2karl at 12:50 PM on September 8, 2004

y2karl, that's a good point. The main problem for my dog is that we used to go out camping and hiking a lot and now can't without carrying her because she's always running into things. But in our apartment, life isn't too bad.
posted by shoos at 5:57 PM on September 8, 2004

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