Q:

What causes cataracts in cats?

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Quick Answer

Cat cataracts can be congenital, can develop naturally during the aging process, can be caused by poor nutrition or can occur due to traumatic eye injuries. A taurine deficiency is a common cause for cat cataracts, usually in both eyes. Cats may develop cataracts as a result of physical trauma or underlying medical conditions. PetWave states that diabetes does not usually cause cat cataracts, unlike with dogs.

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Full Answer

Cats sometimes sustain eye injuries, such as scratches or puncture wounds, during fights with other cats. This is a common cause of non-congenital cataracts. Distortions in the composition of protein molecules and fibers in the lenses of the eyes cause cataracts. According to PetWave, cataracts are more common in wild cats than in house cats, but the prevalence of cataracts in companion cats has increased due to longer life spans.

PetWave recommends disallowing cats with cataracts to reproduce to avoid spreading the genetic carriers for the disease. Cataracts are usually successfully removed with surgery. If surgery is not possible, cats have been known to adjust to the diminished eyesight that cataracts cause. Sometimes cataracts can progress far enough to cause extreme pain for a cat. In the worst cases, cataracts can result in complete blindness.

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