Blind Cat: What do I Have to Consider?

Cats can go blind not only through diseases of the eyes. Sometimes their eyesight also naturally diminishes in old age. But that doesn’t mean that your cuddler can no longer enjoy life. Find out here how you can support your blind cat in everyday life and what treatment options are available.

Symptoms: How do I Recognize a Blind Cat?

In general, the clinical picture depends on what the cause of the blindness is and what percentage of your cuddle has lost vision (visual acuity). However, the most common signs in blind cats include:

  • Your cat will sometimes run into objects.
  • She overlooks steps and stumbles more and more.
  • She gets frightened when she suddenly hears loud noises.
  • Your house tiger is no longer as active as it used to be and hardly ever climbs.
  • She stands confused in front of walls and can no longer find the way out of rooms (disorientation).
  • If you touch her, she will be frightened and may react aggressively or shyly.
  • One or both eyes are cloudy.
  • The pupils may be greatly dilated.
  • Your cat may have purulent, clear, or yellow eye discharge (epiphora).
  • If your cat is injured or has other structural changes, one eye may look larger or smaller than the other eye.

Causes: What are the Triggers for Blindness in Cats?

With age, the nucleus of the lens naturally becomes somewhat cloudy. But why do younger cats go blind too? Here are the most common cat eye diseases that can lead to blindness:


Some diseases cause the lens to become cloudy and sunlight can no longer get into the back eye. In cats, cataracts can be congenital or acquired. The latter happens, for example, if your cat injures its eye or suffers from a metabolic disorder. If your cat has diabetes mellitus, the level of sugar in the blood is increased and the sugar is deposited inside the lens. This can also cause your cat to go blind.

Green star (glaucoma)

If the aqueous humor in the eye can no longer drain, the intraocular pressure increases. The result is a green star (glaucoma). At an advanced stage, this eye disease is very painful for cats. Veterinarians divide into primary and secondary glaucoma:

Primary glaucoma

If the chamber angle in the eye is too narrow from birth or if the ligament pectinatum, which is important for drainage, is malformed, your cat can develop glaucoma.

Secondary glaucoma

Secondary glaucoma occurs when other underlying diseases obstruct the outflow of aqueous humor. These include, for example, inflammation of the eyes or infectious diseases.

Retinal detachment

The cells that convert light into sensory stimuli are located in the retina. If the retina becomes detached, your cat will go blind. The most common cause of retinal detachment in cats is high blood pressure.

This is often the case if your cat’s kidneys are damaged (kidney failure) or if your cat has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The latter leads to the heart muscle becoming pathologically thickened.

Treatment: How Can Blind Cats be Treat?

Depending on the underlying disease, there are different approaches to treating a blind cat:

Your eye care professional may be able to surgically treat your cat’s cataract. To do this, however, your cat must meet a few requirements in order for the cataract operation to be feasible. To do this, have your cat examined by your veterinarian.

Glaucoma requires hypotensive eye drops and infusion therapy as soon as possible. Certain drugs are also supposed to permanently lower intraocular pressure in order to avoid further irreversible damage. If drug therapy is not sufficient, your veterinarian may recommend surgery.

In order to treat a retinal solution, the first thing the vet must do is lower the high blood pressure. To do this, he uses certain drugs that relieve the blood vessels and the heart (preload and afterload reducers). In addition, it helps your cat to get special cat food to protect the kidneys in the long term.

Tips for Everyday Life with a Blind Cat

Dealing with blind cats is different from dealing with healthy cats. But with just a few tricks you can make the life of your blind cat easier:

  1. Set up several bowls for your blind cat
    If possible, put a water bowl and feeding bowl in each room. This allows your blind cat to drink and eat at any time. Since it is more difficult for them to leave the feeding place clean, you can use bowl mats.
  2. Enable accessible places
    Cats are usually very agile and like to climb. However, so that your blind cat does not get injured, it is advisable to make places such as the litter box or sleeping areas easily accessible. You can do this if you build small ramps.
  3. Protect against dangers
    Certain furniture such as tables, chests of drawers, or chairs can have very sharp edges. Ideally, pad these corners with edge protection (usually to protect children). Bars or other obstacles will also help you to protect your cat from the stairs or other dangers.
  4. Offer retreats for your blind cat
    Blind cats are completely dependent on hearing, touch and smell. If you have guests over or watch TV loudly, it will help your velvet paw if you offer them a place of retreat in every room.
  5. Avoid making noises
    When entering the room, you should always announce yourself carefully. This is important because otherwise your cat may be frightened. If you have a big party at home, you can use stress-relieving agents (e.g. pheromones) in consultation with your veterinarian.
  6. Lock doors and windows
    Unfortunately, it happens again and again that cats (blind or not blind) get stuck in tilted windows. If your cat is blind, it is all the more important that you lock the windows and doors when leaving the room or block them with the help of bars or a tilt window protection.
  7. Restrict freedom of movement
    If your cuddler has lost most of his vision, he can get injured or lost outside of the home. Therefore, you should consider keeping your cat (partially) indoors to protect your cat.
  8. Nevertheless, offer your blind cat options (e.g. toys or a scratching post) to be able to act out in the apartment.

If you still want to give her freedom of movement, you should accompany her if possible or take her into the garden for a certain period of time. In addition, you should both secure your yard and make your balcony cat-proof.

Also, write your address on your cat’s collar in case it leaves the property and is found disoriented.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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