Blindness and Cats

Causes of Cat Blindness

There are numerous potential causes of cat blindness; some will cause a gradual slow deterioration in vision, and in these cases, cats often learn to adapt to their reduced sight remarkably well, showing few, if any, signs of difficulty. However, if the blindness develops rapidly, the cat will have no chance of adapting and will be very disoriented and confused. The following are some of the causes of sudden onset blindness:

  • Optic neuritis

This is a condition in which the optic nerves (the nerves that carry visual information to the brain) become inflamed and cease to function, resulting in blindness. This is a very uncommon disease in cats.

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Hypertension is a serious disease in cats and one of the leading causes of sudden blindness. Damage to small blood vessels in the back of the eye caused by high blood pressure can result in bleeding or fluid leaking out of the vessels. As a result, the retina (the layer of light-sensitive cells that lines the back of the eye and allows us to see) may become detached. If the retina becomes detached, it can no longer function and blindness results. High blood pressure in some cats may also result in visible bleeding near the front of the eye.

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