My cat has gone blind

by Lucy Barraud
(Lincolnshire, UK)

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my cat's pupils had become very big and on closer examination, discovered that she couldn't see.

I took her to the vet who thought she had had a mini stroke and didn't think much could be done about it.

Over the last few weeks, she seems to have been quite happy and is learning to negotiate the house with her whiskers as guides. She is eating well and drinking quite a lot.

I have noticed that she has quite a fast heart rate (which I mentioned to the vet, but he dismissed).

Today, I noticed my cat was slightly disturbed. After eating, she wandered around the house unsettled, meowing. I couldn't understand what she wanted, or if she was in pain.

I did notice that one of her eyes seems to have "blown" and I cannot see any green around the edges any more, it is just black.

I cannot get her to the vet until tonight, as I have to work. Do you have any idea what is happening to her? She is 17 years old.

Kind regards,

It sounds as if your kitty developed feline hypertension (high blood pressure) or high ocular pressure (feline glaucoma). The high heart rate would go along more with high blood pressure.

It's possible that your cat was not completely blind a few weeks ago and that now she is if you are seeing all black and no color in her eye(s).

The black is the cat's pupil, the opening through which light passes to the retina in the back of the eye. If the retina is no longer working, then your kitty's pupil does not get smaller and so the eye looks completely black.

Your cat's strange behavior could be because she just now went totally blind and is having to adjust.

It would have been best if she had been checked for feline hypertension and high ocular pressure a few weeks ago when you took her in. If caught early, the cat's vision can sometimes be saved.

Kindest regards,
Dr. Neely

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