Cataracts or Lens Instability are likely causes

Question:

Our cat, Stevie, is 12 years old. In the last few months she seems to have a hard time jumping up on the bed. She still runs up the stairs, has no problem squatting to do her business, and doesn’t seem in pain. She will launch up halfway on the side of the bed, then pull herself up with her front paws as if she were on a climbing rope, or doing chin ups. Could it be her eye sight?

 

Dr. Nichol:

It’s a good thing you’re paying attention. Cats don’t speak a human language. Careful observations make a big difference in reaching an accurate diagnosis. You may be onto something regarding Stevie’s vision.

 

Eye disease is an important part of my practice but when it comes to visual impairment I refer to veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Gavin Kennard of Eye Care for Animals. Here is his advice. “Visual acuity deficits will certainly affect Stevie’s ability to judge distance while jumping up onto objects or off. Cataracts or lens instability would be the most likely cause for this.” The good doctor also mentioned that diseases of the retina cannot be ruled out without a thorough eye exam. He suggested that you watch Stevie to see if she has difficulty finding her way in dark conditions and if she can jump down off things without hesitation. I encourage you to have your girl’s eyes evaluated soon.