White male blue eyed deaf cat (mutated breed) going blind?

by Dayle
(Toronto, Ontario)

I have a male white deaf blue eyed cat. Michael is approximately 7 years old. Around his eyes there is a lot of tear staining.

But recently over the past month or so Michael has been looking at the sheets on the bed for example…as if he sees shadows and he smacks the sheets with his nails like he is afraid to touch it but wants to know what he is looking at.

I believe that Michael is starting to go blind.
Does anybody have any thoughts on this bizarre behavior?

He seems like he is starting to age considerably.


Hi Dayle….. thanks for visiting and asking. I hope someone can advise other than me.

White cats are sometimes deaf in one or both ears as you seem to know. This is congenital deafness. The gene that causes the cat to have white fur can also affect the hearing mechanism. However, I cannot find any references to white cats going blind or the an association between white cats and blindness.

You say your cat is a “mutated breed”. I am not sure what that means in this instance. Tear staining is common with the modern Persian cat because the tear ducts are misshapen due to over breeding a flat face. I don’t think the tear staining is relevant in this instance unless it is so bad as to affect the eye itself.

At seven years of age, Michael is not an old cat. He is about midway in his life. I don’t think this is a problem that is directly age related (such as senility).

You say he looks like he has aged considerably. What you seem to be describing is a cat that is acting as if he is old meaning becoming weaker and perhaps losing weight etc.. This might be a symptom of underlying illness not old age.

It might for example be a sign of liver disease. Liver disease can cause “intermittent apparent blindness” as the nervous system can be affected.

High blood pressure (hypertension) in older cats (Michael could be considered an “older cat”) can cause blindness.

As you don’t mention that there is anything that looks wrong about the eyes, underlying illnesses might be the problem – if indeed Michael is showing signs of becoming blind (I trust your assessment by the way).

Well, I have rambled on long enough. My conclusion for what it is worth is that if Michael is indeed going blind the cause is an illness. Hypertension would seem to be the most likely. The most common cause of feline hypertension is renal failure. Another cause is feline hyperthyroidism.

I would consider a visit to the vet as soon as possible for a check up.

Michael Avatar

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White male blue eyed deaf cat (mutated breed) going blind?

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Jun 16, 2011 Thanks Lisa
by: Michael

Thanks Lisa for your contribution – always welcome and appreciated.

May 31, 2011 Causes of Blindness
by: Lisa

Michael has several good points. Diabetes in older cats can also cause blindness. Without a clear photo of your boy, we don’t know what breed your cat actually is. If it is one of the multiple mutation “breeds”, it may well be genetic, & a result of more than one spontaneous mutation being bred together that causes it because there is no way to tell how those multiple mutations work together yet. The staining isn’t relevant to the blindness, it’s simply overactive tear ducts, & there are many tear stain removing products on the market that you can use twice a day to remove the unsightly staining. I used Diamondeye for many years on my white show dogs, & use it when needed on my almost 13 year old deaf white Turkish Angora, who has hay fever & tears more often in the spring/summer months.

I would highly recommend a vet visit with a complete senior blood panel, most vets will consider a 7 year old cat a senior. The bloodwork will pick up any underlying disease process that your cat is dealing with, & then you can proceed from there with a course of treatment.

I wish you all the best at getting to the bottom of his illness!

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