Symptoms of Cat Going Blind

Updated March 23, 2017

There are many different potential causes of blindness in cats. Cataracts, glaucoma, tumours, infection, injury and inherited genetic defects are all fairly common causes of blindness in cats. Several symptoms can give early indication of a problem, and identifying these symptoms can sometimes help in preventing full blindness in your pet.


The most obvious symptom of a cat going blind is clumsiness. If your cat is bumping into furniture or other objects while running around corners, or seems disoriented, these are signs that your cat could be going blind. This could start with mild signs, like not being able to make the same jumps to ledges as before, or misjudging even small jumps, like onto a chair or couch.

Odd Behavior

Several different types of odd behaviours can be early symptoms of a cat going blind. Inattentive behaviour is another possible sign of blindness. When a cat doesn't show a lot of interest in anything specific or seems aimless, this can be because of failing vision and a lack of focus. Excessive sleeping is another behaviour that can be a sign of the early stages of blindness. If the cat suddenly seems to startle easily or is acting jumpy, that is often a good indication that something is wrong with the cat's vision.

Meal & Water Bowls

One often overlooked symptom of possible blindness is when a cat's food and water bowls remain untouched. While this can also be a symptom of other problems, sometimes a full water and food bowl is that way because a cat is losing or has lost its vision and can no longer locate the food. The lack of eating can also lead to the second possible symptom of sleeping excessively throughout the day. Untouched food and water is always a sign that a vet visit may be in order.

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About the Author

Monty Dayton is a professional freelance writer who has worked for the ACLU, Touchstone Publishing LLC, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and many other employers. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska and loves writing about travel, the outdoors and health topics.