Cat Cataracts Surgery Cost

Cat owners will know, via their vet, if their cat has cataracts so the first thought is probably, “Should I consider surgery and what is the cost of surgery?” A cataract is only a problem requiring surgery when it reduces vision significantly. A good vet will advise sensibly. For example, there is no point doing surgery if the retina is damaged and it should only be considered if the condition affects both eyes to the extent that the cat has difficulties. A vet will do tests.

Lion with right eye cataract. This is a nice example.

There is little information on the cost of cataract surgery but as it is very skilled work requiring an appropriately skilled veterinary surgeon, it is expensive. A surgeon should be selected with care. There might not be one nearby.

The conventional surgery to cure blindness includes removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial one.

The less invasive and preferred technique for a veterinary ophthalmologist is “phacofragmentation” – called “phaco” in short. Ultrasonic waves break up the lens allowing the pieces to be sucked out and an artificial lens put in its place to restore partial sight. Without the new lens the cat is unable to focus light resulting is poorer sight.

The costs of surgery (excluding tests) is dependent on the each cat’s condition and its severity but as a guideline they are as follows (USA – in USD):

  • One eye: $1,767 – $2,163
  • Both eyes: $2,757 – 3,516
  • Both eyes (diabetic cat): 2,827 – $3,586

Tests:

  • Check for retinal function: $160
  • Ultrasonography: $95
  • Reduce risk of retinal detachment: $250
  • There may be ancillary costs also e.g. antibiotics, removal of eye fluid, eye drops.

Total cost for both eyes all inclusive (top price): $4,126 but this price must vary.

Source: Vetinfo – the only site providing this information.

About Cat Cataracts (overview)

Cataracts make the lens opaque (non-transparent or partially not transparent). It can be a spot on the lens or all over. They are rare in cats. Main causes: eye injury and infections; sometime diabetes. A condition called “nuclear sclerosis” should not be confused with cataracts. Nuclear sclerosis results in a bluish haze on the lens due to the lens losing water in older age together with new fibres forming on the lens

Juvenile Cat Cataracts

These are inherited sometimes. Juvenile cataracts can be accompanied by other birth defects such as a small eye. The cause may be due to an underlying illness such as inflammation of the arteries or toxoplasmosis. Blood test for juvenile cataracts in a cat may be required to check for an underlying illness.

Home Remedy for Cat Cataracts

None. Sorry.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Quite a pricy sight restorative road that would cause any caretaker to ponder long and seriously about.

    I know that I would think about so many things like:

    Cataracts aren't life threatening.
    Do I want to put my cat through it all.
    Can I accept my cat being sighted in just one eye and would that be debilitating?
    How would life be for both of us if my cat was completely blind?
    Can I live with the guilt of doing nothing?

    • For many cat owners it would be a damn tough decision. It is a lot of money and as you say cats get along well even when blind.

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