Feline Cataracts - Diagnosis & Treatment

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionI recently noticed a discoloration in the center of a 4 month old Persian kittens eye - its like a cloudy circle but has no discharge or irritation to the eye. (Jeanne Culbert - Canada)


An opacity in the lens of the eye is most commonly attributed to either a cataract or sclerosis of the eye. Sclerosis only occurs in cats in old-age, so in this case your kitten is likely to have developed a cataract. However, a cataract can only be confirmed by a thorough veterinary examination, and your vet will design a treatment plan to not only cure the cataract but will address the underlying cause.

A cataract describes any opacity in the normally clear lens of the eye, and prevents light from reaching the retina at the back of the eye, sometimes eventually leading to blindness. Inherited conditions are the most common cause of cataracts and may be present at birth or develop when the animal is very young. They can also be caused by injury, or illness such as diabetes, in which case treatment of the underlying condition is essential - if your kitten has diabetes failure to treat this will lead to further complications. Cataracts can be removed surgically by a veterinary ophthalmologist, who would replace the lens with a plastic or acrylic prosthetic lens to allow for more focused vision. Although usually highly successful, cataract surgery requires a lot of postoperative care.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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