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What are Eye Injuries?

Untreated eye injuries can greatly damage your cat’s eye, even leading to blindness in severe cases. If your cat is avoiding bright lights, keeping its eye closed, and squinting, it’s likely that the eye is injured. Seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect an eye injury.

An eye injury is caused by a foreign object that has either penetrated or fully punctured the eye. These injuries can be caused by play, fighting with other cats, and even projectiles like fireworks. 

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Eye Injuries Average Cost

From 532 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Eye Injuries in Cats

Eye injury symptoms tend to occur rapidly, increasing in intensity as the foreign object remains in the eye or the wound worsens. The following symptoms indicate that your cat’s eye is injured:

  • Clouded cornea
  • Visible blood in the eye
  • Distorted pupils
  • Visible foreign object in the eye
  • Eye discharge 
  • Swelling or inflammation of the eye
  • Pawing at the eye 

Types

  • Penetrating: The wound or foreign object has entered the eye, but does not punctuate the cornea or sclera (the white of the eye). 
  • Perforating: The wound or foreign object has passed through the cat’s cornea or sclera. These typically are more serious injuries. 
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Causes of Eye Injuries in Cats

Cats possess complex vision systems that allow them to hunt at night and see objects clearly from yards away. Cats have also a third “eyelid,” a thick membrane that protects the eye from scratches and debris. Despite this, cats’ eyes are prone to injury. Causes of eye injury in cats include: 

  • Fights with other animals
  • Scratches from leaves or branches
  • Playing with objects in the home
  • Car accidents 
  • Fireworks or other projectiles
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Diagnosis of Eye Injuries in Cats

Injuries to the eye constitute a medical emergency. Only a veterinarian can diagnose an eye injury and recommend proper treatment. Even if the foreign object is visible, do not attempt to treat an eye injury at home. Doing so could risk further damage to your cat’s eye.

When you visit your veterinarian, give him or her an account of what happened, including when you first noticed the injury and what you believe may have caused it. Tell your veterinarian if you feel the injury is getting better or worse. 

During the exam, the veterinarian will first look for the presence of a foreign object. If the object is visible, the diagnosis will be straightforward. However, if there isn’t a visible cause, your veterinarian may wish to rule out deeper injury, cornea ulcer, or bruising by conducting a full ocular examination. The veterinarian will use light to check your cat’s pupils, ensuring they are symmetrical and responding properly. 

If natural causes are not responsible for the injury, your veterinarian may wish to examine the internal parts of your cat’s eye.

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Treatment of Eye Injuries in Cats

Treatment for your cat’s eye injury will be recommended based on the severity of the injury and which part of the eye was affected. Penetrating injuries usually have a better chance of recovery than perforating injuries, and blunt traumas are more severe than sharp traumas to the eye. 

Penetrating Injuries

Typically, if the injury is penetrating and has no opening, your veterinarian will suggest an Elizabethan collar to prevent your cat from further damaging the eye. Antibiotics or eye drops are used to ease inflammation and swelling. Corneal ulcers are often treated with antibiotic ointments. 

Perforating Injuries

Surgical repair will be required for perforating injuries, including corneal lacerations and full-thickness wounds. If the foreign object remains in the eye, surgery will be needed to remove it. In most cases, lacerated corneas due to foreign objects can be treated.

Vision loss is possible if the injury is deep within the eye. If your cat is struggling with light perception, there may be an injury to the lens or a hemorrhage in the vitreous, the gel-like structure that gives the eye its shape. 

After surgery, your veterinarian will recommend antibiotics and pain relievers as needed. These medications will vary depending on the severity of the wound. 

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Recovery of Eye Injuries in Cats

Following surgery, monitor your cat to ensure the injury is healing properly. Note any changes to the eye, and contact your veterinarian if you believe the wound isn’t healing. If your cat has suffered vision loss due to the injury, you will have to help your pet cope with its new disability. 

Most eye injuries in cats heal completely, allowing the cat to resume its normal activities. Recovery time largely depends on the type of injury and its severity. Be sure to administer all medications that your vet recommends, and remove any potential eye irritants from the cat’s reach. 

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Eye Injuries Average Cost

From 532 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

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Eye Injuries Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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American short Hair Cat

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4 months

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Cloudy Eye

Our cat got into our shed this morning. I noticed all the equipment on the floor and assumed she was playing around or found another critter and i thought she must came down with all the misc tools we have. She seems fine and acting normal but her poor eye seems cloudy and has a small blood spec in her same left eye. I don't see a scratch and its not wattery. Does she have a concussion? Will this cause her to be blind?

Aug. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they will be able to examine her eyes and see what is causing the cloudiness and the blood spots. She may need medications to prevent further damage to her eye, and this may be something that can be resolved easily. I hope it all goes well for her.

Aug. 17, 2020

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domestic short hair cat

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Three Months

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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Shut Eye

i suddenly discovered my 3 month old kitten had a shut eye. she was ok a hour back. she now is with her right eye closed.

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is common for kittens to have viral infections that can make them squint their eyes or sneeze. If your cat is opening her eye occasionally, and isn't bothering with it or pawing at it, you may be fine to mother to her and see if it gets better. If she continues to hold it closed, or she is pawing at it or seems uncomfortable, then it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as she may need medication. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 5, 2020

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Domestic short hair cat

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3 months

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Scratch In Bottom Of Eyelid

My kitten scratched the bottom of her eyelid. Should I let it heal on it’s own, and should I keep cleaning her eye, or leave it alone?

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If the scratch is under the eyelid and not on the eye, you should be able to keep it clean and let it heal. It the scratch is on the inside of the eye, it probably needs to be seen by a veterinarian. That may need antibiotic ointment. I hope that all goes well with your kitten.

Aug. 4, 2020

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Unsure

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Unsure

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Missing Eye

We found an abondened cat here where we stay. He has 1 eye missing it seema like it happened recently. Would this require a big surgery to me sure he doesn't get infection?

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello Thank you for the question and pictures. He is very handsome! The kitty may have an infection already or have had some type of trauma to the eye. I recommend that you take him to a veterinarian for an exam. They will examine him to see if he needs medication or potentially surgery. Good luck

Aug. 1, 2020

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Tabby Black Cat

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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Eye Redness

My cat seems to have gotten a small cut in her eye. Or so it may seem. It’s located on the bottom section of her left eye. But around the area that looks to be cut- there is some (very small amount) cloudiness. But not too bad. May just be irritated. I have cat eye drops that were prescribed to another one of my cats because of a eye scratch. But we couldn’t see his cut. We can hers. I’m nervous and I’m these rough times I don’t know if I can afford a vet.

July 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, So sorry to hear about your cat. Your cat will need antibiotic drops without steroids in them. If they were prescribed for your other cat's eye with an ulcer, they may be able to help this cat too. If the eye does not start to improve with these drops let your vet look at your cat and make sure that the medication is the best one for this one. I hope your cat starts to feel better soon.

July 27, 2020

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Waffle

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Khao Manee

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Swelling
Eye Clouding
Runny Eye

My cat was up and around during the night and we don't know exactly what happened to her eye. Its quite cloudy and swollen to the point where its barely open. She's very skittish, probably in pain, and we aren't able to get her in the carrier so we can bring her to the vet. We don't have any sharp objects in our house, and it doesn't look like it was punctured. She doesn't go outside at all, so it couldn't have be from anything there either. If you know any medication she could use or any possible causes, please list them out. I'm quite worried.

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Miracle

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Unsure

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9 Months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Left Eye Closed

My cat was playing with a rubber band , the ones that they wrap around your mail. I guess it was caught under my bedside table , cause I knew she was playing with some thing but wasn't expecting what happened. She got a good grip on it and tried to pull it. Next thing I hear was the snap sound and she ran out of the room. I looked to see what she was trying to get and I saw the rubber band. Now her left eye is shut . I can separate her eye lids , don't see any drainage , but wiped it with warm cloth. Will she be ok?

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Friday

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short hair

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Squinting

My kitten (8 months f) and my adult cat (4 years mu) were playing as they usually do and they vet along wonderful so I wasn't really paying attention. I heard the aault male cat hiss so I went to check up on them. The adult male cat ran out of the room and up into his perch which the kitten doesn't go on so I thought that he was just overstimulated but he came down for dinner and his eye is switching from being closed shut to squinting. I don't know what happened what should I do?

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Beasty

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Russian Blue

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11 Months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling But My Cat Is Acting Fine

My cat got in a fight with my other cat Mazy and got scratched on the upper top of her eye. It was a little pink and it was almost swollen closed. But on the way to the vet she was the most excited then because she loves to go on trips but only as long as she gets to look out the window while in her carrier and sit up front. If we didnt have vets I dont know what I would do.

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Lovey

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Short hair orange tabby

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13 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Tired
Abscess Forming Above Eye
Squinting In One Eye

My cat, who is about 13 years old, started to have a slightly squinted eye awhile age (probably wouldn't have noticed if the other eye wasn't there for comparison). When it was still not going away we brought him to the vet. His eye pressure was high, but it was in both eyes. Because we weren’t sure what it was he was given antibiotics and eye drops for glaucoma. After awhile he got checked again at the pressure went down. Not knowing what brought it down, the vet said to just try the drops. Only doing drops, the eye got worse. Soon his eye became fully shut and there was a clear lump above the eye. We went back to antibiotics, but the lump wasn't going away. Later they opened it and drained it. They took the puss and made sure the antibiotics worked with the sample. His eye was still a little squinted, but not as extreme. After this we thought he was fine and the whole thing was fixed (he went on for weeks without issue). Now his eye is slowly becoming squinted again and a bump (much like the previous) is forming under the skin again. Any idea what the cause may be?

Eye Injuries Average Cost

From 532 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

Ocu-GLO Vision Supplement

For dogs and cats

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