Get a deeper understanding of the causes and symptoms of cataracts in cats and the treatment options available.
Older cats often experience partial or complete blindness due to cataracts. Cataracts cloud the lens in your pet’s eye, causing vision problems.
The cataract causes light to scatter and prevents a clear image from reaching the retina. If this happens in both eyes, it may result in blindness or total vision loss for your pet.
The good news is that treating cataracts by surgery is usually successful at improving your cat's quality of life.
Till 2020, 83% of all insured pets were dogs, as per American Kennel Club, showing the negligence of cat owners to insure their pets. As cataract surgery for cats is expensive, check if you can get insurance coverage for the same by planning proactively.
Causes of Cataracts in Cats
Cataracts can be caused by diabetes, injury, or aging. They can happen in one eye or both eyes. It is quite common in senior cats above the age of 12 years.
Cataracts can also be caused by trauma if your pet has been injured in some way or injured his eye in some other way.
Preventive Measures You Can Take
If the blood sugar levels become too high, the cat's vision will deteriorate even more quickly. Prevent diabetes by weight management through a healthy diet.
Hill's prescription diet is formulated specially to ensure regulated weight loss. Ideally, the food chosen by you should promote sustained weight loss and also contain essential nutrients like lysine for cats.
There should be plenty of exercise opportunities available indoors. Create a safe environment where they can frolic without injuring themselves to keep their weight under control. Ensure all corners and surfaces are padded to prevent injury, especially if your cat’s vision is partial. You can think about getting a cat condo to provide them a safe space to retire to.
Provide interactive toys for cats to play with and entertain themselves. This will prevent them from getting bored and depressed. You will also be able to spot early signs of vision loss if you monitor their agility closely while chasing teaser toys.
Symptoms of Cataracts in Cats
Cataracts cause opacity in the lens, causing loss of vision. If the opacity is below 30%, the symptoms may not be very obvious, according to Pet MD. For opacity levels of 60% or higher, you will find your cat having difficulty seeing in dimly lit areas and having problems spotting things.
If the cause is related to diabetes, your cat might demonstrate higher levels of thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, along with vision impairment. It is recommended you provide appropriate pet medicine to treat diabetes, should your cat be diagnosed with the same.
Treatment of Cataracts in Cats
Cataracts can prevent cats from seeing. Surgery is usually the only way to restore vision and keep your cat healthy. It can be done in your vet's office using local anesthesia.
When removing a cataract, your vet will remove all of the cloudy lens material and place a new artificial lens into your cat's eye to restore vision.
The surgery is expensive, but it's worth it to keep your cat healthy. It costs around $ 2700 to $ 4000. If you have pet insurance, check if it covers cataract surgery costs.
This procedure is performed on both eyes at the same time if necessary. It will not correct any underlying problems that may have caused cataracts to form in the first place. For removing underlying problems like diabetes, ensure you never miss on the recommended dosages by picking up medicines from a pet pharmacy or by ordering pet meds online.
If your cat has a cataract, don't ignore the problem. Cats with this condition can have difficulty seeing and navigating their environment. Untreated cataracts can lead to other problems like glaucoma or blindness in one eye. So if your kitty shows signs of seeing less clearly or is having trouble jumping on furniture or stairs, contact your vet right away.