Jump to section

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. 

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image

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. 
arrow-up-icon

Top

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
arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

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. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Eye Injuries Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Eye Injuries Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

cat

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Left Eye, Third Eyelid Half Showing With What Looks Like A Scratch On Top,Mucus

I think the little cat scratched the bigger one while playing.. doesnt seem as if hes in pain badly, still playful but it doesn't look to good, I tried to wipe it with a warm cloth but he wont let me near it.

Feb. 2, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Maureen M. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

Hi, Sorry about that. Eye lacerations can be painful which explains why he doesn't the eye touched. He needs to be put on an antibiotic eye ointment or drops to prevent any bacterial infection from setting in. Also, some anti-inflammatories can help with the pain. Please pay your vet a visit for a check-up and treatment. Good luck

Feb. 2, 2021

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

cat

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

4 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My cat got into a fight with my other cat and now his eye is squinty and has goop in it. He has a nail mark under his eye.

Jan. 10, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Gina U. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

4 Recommendations

Hello It sounds like he’s starting to get an infection from the wound. I recommend taking him to a veterinarian for an exam. He will need his wound tended to and possibly antibiotics. Good luck

Jan. 10, 2021

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic Cat

dog-age-icon

Two Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

5 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Scratching

My cat got into a fight, and another cat scratched her eye. There was bleeding. Her eye is covered with lumps of skin and some pus. I have covered it in triple antibiotics. Don't have money for a vet.

Nov. 7, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

5 Recommendations

Hi there, you don't say what exactly your question is. An incident like this is potentially very serious and could lead to the loss of an eye if not treated promptly and effectively. I appreciate your financial concern but this isn't something that can be treated at home. Your cat needs veterinary attention as well as prescription medicine such as pain relief and anti inflammatories. We should also protect the eyes by having her wear a buster collar and clean them with saline.

Nov. 7, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Philippine cat

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Injury, Distorded Swollen Eyes With Visible Blood

I want to do help her, but I don't know what to do. We just noticed it in the morning, we all think it's because of a car accident. Please help me

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there is not very much that I can do for her over an email. She does need to see a veterinarian, as she may be blind, from what you are describing. I hope that she is okay, and that you were able to get care for her.

Oct. 7, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Kitten

dog-age-icon

3weeks

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Seem To Have A Cut At The Side Of The Eye

Is it something I should worry about This is my runt in a litter of 6 but the others seam to practice more play fighting on her This is also the first time I noticed it for two days ago the mother moved the kittens to a more bigger and not so accessible apot

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If the kitten is 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 treatment if needed.

Oct. 14, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Waffle

dog-breed-icon

Khao Manee

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

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.

dog-name-icon

Miracle

dog-breed-icon

Unsure

dog-age-icon

9 Months

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

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?

dog-name-icon

Friday

dog-breed-icon

short hair

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

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?

dog-name-icon

Beasty

dog-breed-icon

Russian Blue

dog-age-icon

11 Months

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

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.

dog-name-icon

Lovey

dog-breed-icon

Short hair orange tabby

dog-age-icon

13 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

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

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image
How can we help your pet?