What are the symptoms of eye problems in cats?

Have you noticed any unusual behavior from your feline friend lately? When it comes to your cat’s health, it’s important to keep an eye out for any potential issues, especially when it comes to their eyes. Your cat may not be able to communicate their discomfort, so it’s up to you to recognize the signs of eye problems and seek treatment if necessary. From excessive tearing and squinting to cloudiness or changes in eye color, there are several symptoms that could indicate a problem with your cat’s eyes. It’s important to be aware of these signs and take action to ensure your cat’s eye health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common symptoms of eye problems in cats, and discuss the importance of seeking veterinary care if you notice any concerning changes in your cat’s eyes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Changes in eye appearance: Look for redness, cloudiness, or discharge in your cat’s eyes, as well as changes in their size or shape.
  • Behavioral changes: Keep an eye out for excessive rubbing or scratching at the eyes, squinting, or increased sensitivity to light, as these may indicate an eye problem.
  • Loss of vision: If you notice your cat bumping into objects or becoming disoriented, it could be a sign of vision deterioration and the need for immediate attention from a veterinarian.
  • Excessive tearing: While some tearing is normal, if your cat is constantly tearing or has a noticeable increase in tear production, it could be a symptom of an underlying eye issue.
  • Pupil abnormalities: Unequal pupil sizes, excessive dilation, or a pupil that does not respond to changes in light may be signs of a serious eye problem and should be addressed promptly.

Common Eye Problems in Cats

Any eye problem in your cat can be a cause for concern. The eyes are not only an important sense organ but can also indicate underlying health issues. It is important to be aware of the common eye problems in cats so that you can recognize the symptoms and seek timely veterinary care.


If you notice redness, swelling, and discharge in your cat’s eyes, it could be a sign of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is a common eye problem in cats and can be caused by infections, allergies, or other underlying health issues. It is important to seek veterinary care if you suspect your cat has conjunctivitis, as untreated conjunctivitis can lead to more serious eye problems.


Cataracts are another common eye problem in cats, especially in older cats. If your cat’s eyes appear cloudy or if you notice a gradual loss of vision, it could be a sign of cataracts. While cataracts may not initially cause discomfort for your cat, they can eventually lead to vision loss if left untreated. It is important to have your cat’s eyes examined by a veterinarian if you suspect cataracts.

Recognizing Symptoms of Eye Issues

Obviously, being able to recognize the symptoms of eye issues in your cat is important for maintaining their overall health and wellbeing. One of the most common signs of eye problems in cats is cat eye discharge. This is when you notice any unusual discharge, such as excessive tearing, crustiness, or discoloration, coming from your cat’s eyes.

Physical Signs

When it comes to physical signs of eye problems in cats, you should pay attention to any changes in the appearance of the eyes themselves. This could include redness, swelling, cloudiness, or changes in the size of the pupils. Additionally, squinting, frequent blinking, or holding the eye closed could indicate discomfort or pain.

Behavioral Changes

Another important indication of eye issues in cats is changes in their behavior. If you notice your cat rubbing or pawing at their eyes, or if they seem more sensitive to light than usual, it may be a sign that their eyes are bothering them. Similarly, if your cat is displaying signs of irritability or has become more lethargic, it could be a result of underlying eye problems.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination to diagnose eye problems in your cat. The process will involve a series of tests to determine the specific issue and its severity. Once identified, your veterinarian will discuss the available treatment options.

Veterinary Examination

During the veterinary examination, your cat’s eyes will be carefully examined for any signs of infection, injury, or underlying health issues. The veterinarian may use specialized equipment, such as an ophthalmoscope, to get a closer look at the structures of the eye. They may also perform tests, such as the Schirmer tear test, to evaluate tear production and check for dry eye, which can lead to irritation and discomfort. This thorough examination will allow the veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan for your cat.

Available Treatments

Depending on the diagnosis, there are various treatment options available for eye problems in cats. This can include medications, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, to address infections or reduce inflammation. If your cat has a more serious condition, such as glaucoma or cataracts, the veterinarian may recommend surgical intervention. In some cases, eye drops or ointments may be prescribed to manage chronic conditions or provide relief from discomfort. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for administering any prescribed treatments, as consistency and proper application are crucial for the effectiveness of the medication.

Prevention and Care

Now that you are aware of the symptoms of eye problems in cats, it’s important to know how to prevent and care for these issues. By taking proactive steps, you can help maintain your cat’s eye health and catch any potential problems early.

Routine Check-ups

Scheduling regular check-ups with your veterinarian is crucial in maintaining your cat’s eye health. During these visits, your vet can examine your cat’s eyes for any signs of problems, and address any concerns you may have. It’s recommended to have these check-ups at least once a year, but more frequent visits may be necessary for senior cats or those with preexisting eye conditions.

Home Care Tips

There are also steps you can take at home to care for your cat’s eyes. Keep your cat’s surroundings clean and free of potential eye irritants. Additionally, ensure that your cat’s diet includes essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids that promote overall eye health. Regularly wiping your cat’s eyes with a damp cloth helps remove any discharge or debris. Though if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in your cat’s eyes, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

  • Keep your cat’s living environment clean and free of potential eye irritants
  • Provide a high-quality diet with essential nutrients for eye health
  • Regularly wipe your cat’s eyes with a damp cloth to remove any discharge or debris

Thorough care and attention to your cat’s eyes can help catch any issues early and ensure their eyes are kept healthy and comfortable.


With these considerations, it is important to be vigilant and observant of any unusual behavior or physical signs in your cat’s eyes. If you notice excessive tearing, eye discharge, redness, cloudiness, squinting, or any changes in your cat’s behavior such as rubbing or pawing at their eyes, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly. It is also important to remember that regular eye check-ups are crucial to catch any potential problems early on. By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure the best possible care for your feline friend’s eye health.


Q: What are the symptoms of eye problems in cats?

A: Common symptoms of eye problems in cats include squinting, watery or discharge from the eye, redness or irritation, cloudiness in the eye, pawing at the eye, and changes in the appearance of the eye such as a change in color or shape.

Q: When should I seek veterinary care for my cat’s eye problems?

A: It’s important to seek veterinary care if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, as eye problems in cats can be indicative of a serious underlying condition. Additionally, if your cat is experiencing pain, has a visible injury to the eye, or is showing signs of discomfort, it’s important to seek care from a veterinarian promptly.

Q: How can eye problems in cats be treated?

A: Treatment for eye problems in cats will depend on the specific diagnosis. In many cases, eye drops or ointments may be prescribed to address infection or inflammation. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s treatment plan and attend all recommended follow-up appointments to ensure the best outcome for your cat’s eye health.

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