Blindness and Cats


Your veterinarian will first want to confirm or establish that your cat’s clinical signs are caused by blindness. This is usually very simple and involves some basic examination techniques.

Because there are several potential underlying causes of blindness, careful further evaluation will be required once blindness is confirmed. The following will be investigated:

  • Careful examination of the eye – Many causes of blindness can be identified by using an ophthalmoscope to examine the eye (the instrument a vet or doctor uses to examine structures within the eye).
  • Blood pressure measurement – Because hypertension is a common cause of blindness, your vet will want to check your cat’s blood pressure. This is simpler than it sounds, and is usually accomplished by wrapping a cuff around a leg and inflating and deflating it while blood flow is detected through a vessel beneath the cuff.
  • Routine blood and urine tests are usually performed to aid in the detection of underlying diseases. Chronic kidney disease (kidney failure, for example) is a common cause of high blood pressure in cats.
  • Brain scans – In some situations, especially if a brain disease is suspected, your veterinarian may recommend a brain scan (an MRI or CT scan). Your veterinarian may refer you to a specialized clinic for this.

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