Feline Uveitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment The clinical signs, causes, and treatment options of feline uveitis that every cat parent should know about.

Feline Uveitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-cat-460797/

Cats are susceptible to the dangerous and sometimes blinding disorder known as feline uveitis. Learn more about this ocular condition here.

Cats' eyes are susceptible to the dangerous and sometimes blinding disorder known as feline uveitis. The illness is characterized by inflammation of the uveal tract, which is the middle layer of the eye that comprises the iris, ciliary body, and choroid.

We will go over the causes, diagnosis, signs, and treatments of feline uveitis in this article.


Numerous things can lead to feline uveitis, including:

  • Infection: Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections can all lead to uveitis. Examples include toxoplasmosis, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline leukemia virus (FeLV).

  • Trauma: Trauma to the eye, such as a scratch or a foreign body, can cause inflammation.

  • Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune illnesses, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), can result in uveitis.

  • Tumors: Tumors of the eye or surrounding tissues can cause uveitis.

  • Idiopathic: In some cases, the cause of uveitis is unknown (idiopathic)

  • Parasites: Parasites like Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Sarcocystis neurona can cause inflammation in the eye leading to uveitis.

  • Medical conditions: Uveitis can be brought on by certain medical disorders, including diabetes.

  • Allergies: Uveitis can result from allergic reactions that inflame the eyes.

It is crucial to remember that some cats may have uveitis caused by more than one underlying cause. A proper diagnosis and treatment plan should be made by a veterinarian with ophthalmology expertise.

Diagnosis of Feline Uveitis

Feline uveitis is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, laboratory tests, and diagnostic imaging. The following are some of the diagnostic techniques that may be used to diagnose feline uveitis:

  • Ocular examination: A thorough ocular examination is performed by a veterinarian with ophthalmology expertise. This includes an examination of the cornea, iris, lens, and retina to assess for signs of inflammation and damage.

  • Schirmer Tear Test: This test is used to measure the amount of tears produced by the eyes, which can be reduced in case of inflammation.

  • Fluorescein dye test: This test is used to detect corneal ulcers. A fluorescein dye is instilled in the eye, and a special light is used to detect any areas of corneal injury.

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound can be used to detect any abnormalities in the eye, such as tumors or abscesses.

  • Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed to check for underlying causes of uveitis, such as infection or autoimmune disease.

  • Culture and sensitivity: If an infection is suspected, a culture and sensitivity test can be performed to identify the specific type of bacteria or fungus causing the infection and to determine the best course of treatment.

  • PCR test: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test can be used to detect the presence of specific pathogens like Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Sarcocystis neurona which can cause uveitis.

  • Biopsy: An eye biopsy may be done in particular circumstances to verify a diagnosis or rule out specific disorders.

Based on the results of these tests, a veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan for feline uveitis.

Symptoms of Feline Uveitis

Depending on the underlying reason, the degree of the inflammation, and the stage of the illness, the symptoms of feline uveitis might change. Some common symptoms of feline uveitis include:

  • Redness of the eye: The eye may appear red and swollen.

  • Squinting or painful eyes: Cats with uveitis may squint or close their eyes due to pain.

  • Increased sensitivity to light: Cats with uveitis may be more sensitive to light and may avoid bright areas.

  • Cloudiness of the cornea: The cornea may appear cloudy or hazy due to inflammation.

  • Discharge from the eyes: There may be an increase in tear production or a discharge from the eyes.

  • Loss of vision: In advanced cases, uveitis can cause vision loss or blindness.

  • Changes in the pupil: The size and shape of the pupil may be affected due to inflammation.

  • Changes in the color of the iris: The color of the iris may appear different due to inflammation.

It is important to note that some cats may not show any obvious symptoms of uveitis, especially in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, regular eye exams by a veterinarian are important to detect and treat uveitis early.

How to Treat Feline Uveitis

Feline uveitis is a serious condition that requires prompt treatment to prevent vision loss and other complications. The following treatments may be used to address feline uveitis:

  • Medications: To lessen inflammation and stop future harm to the eye, doctors may administer immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory drugs. This may include the use of corticosteroids, such as prednisolone or methylprednisolone, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

  • Antibiotics: If an infection is found, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection.

  • Immunomodulatory therapy: Immunomodulatory drugs like azathioprine, cyclosporine, and mycophenolate mofetil can be used to suppress the immune system and control inflammation.

  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a foreign body, abscess, or tumor that is causing the inflammation.

  • Supportive care: Cats with uveitis may require supportive care to help them cope with the condition. This may include providing a quiet, low-light environment, administering eye drops or ointments to keep the eyes lubricated and comfortable, and providing pain medication as needed.

  • Preventing recurrence: Once the uveitis is under control, it's critical to find and treat any underlying reasons to stop a recurrence.

It's important to note that treatment for feline uveitis should be tailored to the individual cat and the underlying cause of the inflammation. A veterinarian with experience in ophthalmology should supervise it. The treatment may take some time and require multiple visits to the veterinarian to monitor the progress and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for Iris Cysts in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Iris Cysts in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What Is a Cat Eye Cyst and How Can It Be Managed?

Read More
Image for Anisocoria in Cats: A Closer Look
Anisocoria in Cats: A Closer Look

Understanding Anisocoria In Cats

Read More