Blindness in one or both eyes can be caused several factors, but usually arises from disorders in the structures of the eyes. Watch your cat closely to see if he displays any of these signs of vision loss.

Cat Eye Close Up: Image by Felinest, FlickrCat Eye Close Up: Image by Felinest, Flickr 

Eye Ailments 

Eye ailments in cats are a common cause of vision loss, so it's importance to recognize any signs of pain or changes in the eye. Some ailments you may notice include:

  • Excessive tearing.
  • Pawing at the eye.
  • Opaque film over the eye.
  • Hard or soft eye.
  • Itching, swelling, crusting, or hair loss around eye lids. 
  • Bulging or sunken eye.
  • Abnormal eye movements, such as jerking back or focusing in different directions.

These signs of eye ailments could be caused by a number of disorders which could result in vision loss. If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to the vet to get him diagnosed and taken care of.

Changes In Eye Appearance

Changes in the appearance of the eye could be indicators of eye problems, vision loss, or blindness. Some signs are cloudy eye, red eyes, enlarged pupils, or high reflectiveness. Cloudy eyes are often caused by glaucoma, cataracts, or inflammation of the eye. Red eyes are often due to high blood pressure, glaucoma, a tumor in the eye, or inflammation.

In some cases a blind cat's pupil won't constrict in response to light, and in others a thin or non-existent retina can result in large amounts of light being reflected. A color change in one or both of your cat's eyes is another reason to have him examined. 

General Clumsiness

Cats Eye: Image by Mararie, FlickrCats Eye: Image by Mararie, Flickr

It's important to note that behavioral changes aren't always obvious when a cat is suffering from vision problems. Like dogs, they memorize their surroundings as their vision goes, so they may seem to have no problem navigating the home.

However, a cat suffering from sudden blindness, or a cat in a new environment may demonstrate clumsiness. He may also be easily startled. For instance, if you move around the furniture in your home and suddenly your cat is bumping into things, it might be time to have his vision checked. 


If your cat is showing a reluctance to jump down from heights, it may be caused by vision problems. Also, you may notice your cat crouching down closer to the ground when he walks. Usually the cat will walk slowly and cautiously, trying to feel along the ground with his whiskers.

Testing Vision

Various methods can be used to test your cats vision, such as shining light in his eyes. If the cats pupils don't shrink, and he doesn't try to look away from the light, he may not be able to see it. You can also drop small piece of cotton from above the ground to see if the cat reacts to it.

If your cat shows any of these signs, be sure to take him to the vet as soon as possible to get him checked out. 

Sources: Eye VetWebMDCat-World

Also Read: How To Tell If Your Dog Is Losing Its Sight and 7 Natural Treatment Options to Prevent Pet Eye Disorders for more information.

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