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What is Cloudy Eye?

Though eye disease is less common in cats than dogs, you should rush to the vet as soon as you can if your cat’s eye or eyes appear cloudy. Since cloudy eye is symptomatic of a number of serious eye conditions, immediate veterinary attention should be sought in order to ensure the best prognosis for your cat’s sight.

A cloudy eye is symptomatic of several eye diseases in cats. These include, but are not limited to: corneal ulceration, keratitis, cataracts, and glaucoma. A number of diseases of the cornea and lens may be characterized by cloudy eyes. There are secondary non-infectious causes as well, such as exposure to certain toxins or chemicals.

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Cloudy Eye Average Cost

From 279 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Cloudy Eye in Cats

Seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Rubbing the eyes
  • Excess tear production
  • Light sensitivity
  • Signs of pain
  • Squinting and rapid blinking
  • One eye appears larger than the other
  • Discharge
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
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Causes of Cloudy Eye in Cats

There are several causes of cloudy eye in cats. Primary causes include disease, which may also involve secondary, noninfectious causes such as trauma and exposure to chemicals. Each cause is described in-depth below.

Corneal Ulceration

Corneal ulcers can occur for a number of reasons, such as blunt trauma to the eye, exposure to chemicals, or infection. Ulcers in the cornea form when the epithelium, a thin layer of protective cells, is fully penetrated. Tears enter the stroma, underneath the epithelium, which is responsible for the cloudy appearance of the eyes.

Keratitis

This condition is characterized by corneal inflammation and swelling. Keratitis may be attributed to a number of secondary causes, such as infection and injury. Keratitis is often caused by the feline herpesvirus.

Cataracts

While cataracts are more common in older animals, cats typically develop cataracts due to inflammation or trauma to the lens rather than old age. (However, old age and other diseases may cause cataracts.) Cataracts are characterized by cloudy eye and partial to full vision loss.

Glaucoma

This irreversible disease occurs when the aqueous fluid within the eye stops draining properly. This buildup of fluid causes pressure on the optic nerve, causing nerve damage. This nerve damage will seriously impair your cat’s vision. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms manifest, partial vision loss has already occurred.

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Diagnosis of Cloudy Eye in Cats

Your vet will make a tentative diagnosis based on a thorough physical examination, complete medical history, and presentation of symptoms. Be sure to inform your vet of the extent and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any previous history of eye problems or traumatic injury that you know of.

Your vet can reach a definitive diagnosis through a number of tests, and will choose the most appropriate method based on the suspected disease or cause. These tests may include: corneal stain, cell culture, microscopic examination of corneal tissue, and the use of a tonometer (administering a puff of air to the eye to test intraocular pressure).

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Treatment of Cloudy Eye in Cats

Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. 

Corneal ulcerations and keratitis are typically treated with antibiotic and/or pain relief eye drops and ointments. Antibiotic treatments will have to be administered several times a day, around every four to six hours. Pain relief drops or ointments are administered less frequently, from every twelve to forty-eight hours. If the keratitis is caused by the feline herpes virus, treatment may be more invasive.

Cataracts, though irreversible, may be managed by treating a secondary cause of the condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Cataracts are often corrected with surgery, which is successful for most cases. This surgery takes about one hour, and involves removing the cataracts and implanting a synthetic lens.

There is no cure for glaucoma; treatment is palliative, or done to relieve the cat’s pain rather than curing the underlying condition. Your vet may prescribe steroids and special eye drops to reduce inflammation and pressure. These may slow the progression of vision loss.

Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment and recovery plan – or refer you to an ophthalmologist – based on your cat’s needs.

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Recovery of Cloudy Eye in Cats

Recovery and prognosis will vary depending on the severity of the condition and effectiveness of treatment. Always follow your vet’s post-treatment or post-operative instructions carefully. It is imperative that you administer antibiotic medications for the entire recommended duration of treatment even if the condition starts to improve. Failure to do so could result in aggressive recurrence or loss of sight.

Corneal ulcerations and keratitis tend to heal within three to five days with treatment. Some ulcers caused by infection may take longer to heal. Your vet will advise you based on your cat’s symptoms.

For cataracts and glaucoma, your vet may schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor the condition. If the cloudy eye is not improving or seems to be getting worse despite treatment, contact your vet immediately.

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Cloudy Eye Average Cost

From 279 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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Cloudy Eye Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Unknown

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Fogginess In Side Of Eye And Now Dropplets Of Blood On Eyelashes

My cat is an outdoor cat. He has had fogginess on the side of his left eye for a bit. Tonight we found a couple drops of blood on the ground and looked at him. He has droplets on his eyelashes and his eye looks wrong. Any idea what it could be?

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. From your description, I think it is possible that your cat has a fight wound that is affecting his eye. It may be infected, and he should be seen by a veterinarian so that he does not lose that eye. They will be able to examine him and see what treatment he might need so that he does not lose the eye. I hope that all goes well for him.

Oct. 3, 2020

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Domestic short hair

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16 weeks

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Cloudy Eyes

Hi my kitten had bright green eyes. She has now started to have them turn brown and I think that is weird for being 16 weeks. Her eyes also have a cloud towards the bottom of her pupils and when a light shines as them the cloud turns purple and it seems odd to me. I have a vet appointment this Saturday for her and just wanted to get some advice before I go then.

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is difficult to say without being able to examine her, but it sounds like she may have an infection in those eyes. Sometimes any kind of infectious debris in the eye will change color of the iris. I think it is good that you have an appointment with your veterinarian, as they will be able to see what's going on and get treatment for her. I hope that all goes well for her.

Oct. 3, 2020

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Unknown

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5 weeks old

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Bulging

my 5 week old kittens eyes are bulging out. One looks to be dry and the other is cloudy and drying as well. I took them to the vet last week and started on eye ointment for pink eye but this one has gotten worse. I'm unsure what to do next. Can you please help???

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I am sorry for the delay, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. Kittens can develop severe viral or bacterial infections, and your kitten needs to see your veterinarian right away. It may need further treatment, or more frequent eye medications, but it is in danger of losing the use of its' eyes. I hope that the kitten is okay.

Oct. 10, 2020

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Asian Tabby

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing, Teary Eyes, Water Discharge From Eyes, Itchy Eyes, Reddish Left Eye And Cloudy

At first, my cat keeps on coughing and sneezing, eventually his gums become reddish also his eyes is teary and become reddish.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 21, 2020

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American short hair

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15-18

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eyes Turning White

what can be causing Jacks eyes to turn white? It looks like it is inside the eye not on it.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Animals can develop infections, and cataracts. Since I cannot see Jack, if you are concerned, it would be best to have them seen by a seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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Hudson

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General

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5 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Cloudy Film Over
Cloudy Film Over Eye

My cat is 5 years old.he is an inside cat A few weeks ago he started to not fully open his eye, but not all of the time, as he could also open it normally. His eye has not been weeping, no redness and no swelling. It seemed to me that maybe he had debris, maybe a hair or dust. But, suddenly tonight, he got a film over about a quarter of his eye. It comes from the direction of the side nearest to his nose, it looks very much like the third eyelid. He doest seem to be bothered by it, and his eye is open, ( he's not squinting). His pupils are normal, no weeping etc. Could this be his eyes way of getting the debris out? .. How long should I wait to take him to the vet? Should I bathe his eye?... Thanks

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Danier

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Tabby Cat

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Clouding

We recently used fragranced carpet cleaner in our bedroom. The very next day our 1 year old inside cat had one of her eyes slightly closed. She didnt have discharge or discoloration that we could see. The same day I purchased over the counter Artificial Tears and administered one drop in the eye that now looked a little cloudy when she turned her head at certain angles. The next morning her eye was opened as normal. However, the opening revealed that the bottom of her eyeball was slightly red. I gave her another eyedrop. This is now the third day. Her eye is still slightly cloudy. I hate to have to take her to the vet but if it doesn't get better over the next two days I will. It's the New Years holiday now.

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Seven

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Bobtail

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7 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Cloudy Eye

Seven was scratched in the face by one of my older cats two days ago it left her with a cloudy eye and at first she was squinting her but now she only squints when the light hits her eye but she doesn’t seem to have any vision lost because she still does everything as normal. I haven’t taken her to the veterinarian yet but I will soon.

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Frisk

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Calico

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26 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

One Eye Is Bigger Than The Other.

My cat has two cloudy eyes,but they are like on the corners of the eyes, but she still got some symptoms for the cloudy eye.She walks around and still sees but i'm scared that something would happen to her.Please help my cat.

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Otter

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house cat

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Cloudy Eye
Eye Leaking
Discoloration

A few months ago he had what seemed to be just a simple cold with sneezing and a runny nose. We left him be and he eventually stopped and was fine. But now his left eye is closed all the time, cloudy, discolored and he has eye goop. I feel like we should take him to the vet but my mom is sure.

Cloudy Eye Average Cost

From 279 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$800

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For dogs and cats

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