eyes

by D Mycroft
(Stockport Cheshire)

my cat is 15yrs old and we have noticed that one eye has changed colour, it is now a pale green, normally brown. He also seems to have been off his food for a couple of days. Can you help before we visit the vets?


ANSWER:

A cat’s eyes change colors a couple of times in their lives. By about 3 months old a kitten experiences the first change and it should be permanent. The second time is normal aging when changes in the lens are called nuclear lenticular sclerosis which I’ve described in more detail on the Cat Eye Problems page. The eye gets a blue-gray appearance. Other than those two times, when you see any other eye color changes, it could be a medical issue. Oftentimes it’s an eye infection that can be treated quickly with antibiotics that are topical or prescribed by your vet.

However, there are a number of serious conditions such as uveitis, an inflammation of the eyeball that should be treated right away before permanent damage occurs. But this color is often yellow or red-orange colored eyes and that doesn’t fit the green color you mention. Your green color also doesn’t seem to indicate a buildup of red blood cells in the eyes caused by feline leukemia, AIDS, or an eye trauma which tends to make the eyes seem dark yellow or unusually brown.

This green color is somewhat different but from brown eyes I suppose the normal blue-gray could look greenish to some persons. I tend to err on the side of caution but when something doesn’t fit the really bad stuff, I’ll take a few days and try an antibiotic. But in your case you say that your cat has also been off his food for a few days and that is a good indication of something more serious. If he’s still eating a little and just not the normal amount it might be okay to try a topical antibiotic for a few days but a cat not eating anything can cause a lot more problems such as fatty liver disease etc. so my suggestion is that you get your cat to the vet. Hopefully it’s a minor eye infection but the fact that he’s off his food (not eating at all) would bother me if it was one of my cats.

If you want to check out the kind of products you might try if your cat is still eating a little…this page of Pet Products has a synopsis of what is available at each location. You can then try and find the equivalent in the area in which you live. At least you’ll have reference point.

Good luck to you and your cat. I’m hoping its normal aging or a simple eye infection.

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