Do Bengal Cats go Blind?

Are you concerned about your Bengal cat’s health and wonder whether or not your cat can go blind?

Well, we know the answer.

So, do Bengal cats go blind? Unfortunately, they can. The main causes of blindness in Bengal cats include Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataracts, and Entropion. If your Bengal cat goes blind, you need to ensure that you leave it at a place which it can recognize and never let it escape to the outdoors.

Explained below are the main reasons for a Bengal cat’s blindness and how to treat it blind Bengal cat:

1) Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Bengals: A leading cause of blindness

Progressive retinal atrophy is generally a group of multiple genetic disorders that have negative effects on the cat’s eye.

This disease causes atrophy (wasting) and degeneration of the retina which are a group of cells behind the eye and are sensitive to the light.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a hereditary disease found usually in Bengal cats.

Bengal cats can be affected by this at any age of their life. The vision worsens every other day that passes by until the cat goes completely blind.

It is a painless disease, so you won’t be able to decipher if there is something wrong with your cat just by looking at it unless you take it to the vet every month for a routine checkup.

However:

One way to identify PRA is to notice your cat’s behavior such as:

  • Such a cat hesitates to walk around dim-lit rooms or hallways and would also avoid going down the staircase
  • Another noticeable change would be in the personality of your Bengal cat right after dusk
  • Your cat would prefer to stay in the house and eat whatever you provide it instead of going out in dark and trying to catch a prey
  • With time, as the disease gets severe, the pupils of your Bengal cat would dilate in an unusual manner

However:

Clinical signs would be able to be determined after at least six to seven weeks and would progress slowly.

Such Bengal cats experience complete blindness around the age of three to five years.

If you won’t be able to notice the aforementioned signs, then you would definitely get to know the problem once your Bengal cat would lose its vision completely and would start crashing into things.

2) Cataracts and blindness in Bengal cats

Bengal cats are vulnerable to cataracts eye disorder:

If your cat is infected by cataracts and not treated as soon as possible then it is likely to become blind.

Cataracts directly affect the lens of the eye which causes complete colorblindness and causes the eye lens to become opaque layer which covers the eye.

Due to this opaque layer:

The vision of the affected cat’s eye is blurred. This blurry vision keeps on getting worse day by day and eventually results in complete blindness in the infected eye.

Unlike Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataracts can be easily recognized.

You would see an unusual change in the eye lens of your Bengal cat which indicates the infection.

There can be various reasons for this eye disorder such as:

  • Cataracts can be caused due to an eye injury that your cat had
  • It can be inherited from an infected or a carrier parent
  • It can develop as a side effect of any other severe illness

Cataracts can be developed at any age of a Bengal cat’s life.

However:

Most cases have been seen in an older aged Bengal cat.

But here’s a relief:

There are no possible threats to a Bengal cat’s life from this disease.

These cats adjust themselves even after the loss of their vision.

Cataracts is not a painful disease, it is, however, an irritating one because of the layer that makes vision blurred.

Moreover:

There is a proper cure for your cataract-affected Bengal cat to return its sight.

The infected eye lens can be cleared or changed through surgery.

But:

If a Bengal cat is left with cataracts untreated, then that is where danger rings the bell.

Untreated cataract can lead to complete blindness and glaucoma as well.

3) Entropion as a major reason for blindness in Bengal cats

This is one of the most painful eye diseases is Entropion in which the eyelids get inverted themselves and cause complete loss of vision in the affected eye of a Bengal cat.

Entropion is a congenital disease.

In this disease:

The eyeball rolls in the direction of the cornea which is opposite to the original direction of the eyeball.

The lower eyelid is usually affected by the disease. However, both the eyelids can get affected too.

It is not always the case that a Bengal cat affected by Entropion dies due to this disease.

Some of the symptoms that are linked to Entropion can be a cause as well.

Entropion is an extremely painful disorder that needs to be treated immediately.

Otherwise:

The condition of your effected Bengal cat might get even worse.

The cat would feel irritation in the eye because of its eyelashes that would be rubbing against the cornea so, it would start scratching its eye.

Scratching the eye for even a few seconds can lead to greater damages such as worse infections and even loss of complete eyesight.

The basic symptoms of Entropion in Bengal cats include:

  • Non-stop blinking of eyes
  • Mucus discharge
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Squinting
  • Pawing their eye
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling

Immediate action should be taken once you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms in your Bengal cat.

Your affected Bengal cat can be cured and can see everything like before if you take actions as soon as possible i.e. take it to the vet for the surgery of corrupted eyelid.

How to take care of a blind Bengal cat?

Living with a blind Bengal cat can be challenging.

Here are a few tips that might help you in taking care of your blind cat:

1. Do not move its stuff

Do not move your cat’s litter or food box.

Your cat would know where its litter and food box is so if you change its position, then it might get difficult for a blind Bengal cat to figure out what’s the new location of its food and litter box.

2. Do not change your perfume

Your Bengal cat would definitely recognize your voice and your smell.

So:

It is important not to change the perfume you usually wear and that you think your pet recognizes so that it identifies its loved ones.

3. Call out your cat by its name

Whenever you are heading outside or entering your house, call your cat so that it knows that its owner has returned.

4. Do not move the furniture

It is recommended not to move the furniture especially the big ones in your house because a blind Bengal cat would use its memory to navigate the house.

Now:

If you change the arrangement of bigger furniture items then your cat might get confused and emotional and would start bumping into things such as walls, furniture, and doors.

5. Provide your blind Bengal with large toys

A blind Bengal cat would not want to cease its playtime at any cost.

It is a fun loving creature that needs entertainment all the time so, help your blind Bengal cat in this situation by placing larger toys having bigger surface areas so that your cat can easily play with it.

What’s more:

Use noisy toys to get your pet’s attention so it would get easier for it to find where the toy is when it is jingling.

6. Pick it up cautiously

If you have to pick your blind cat up for whatever reason and place it somewhere else, then try to put it at a place which it could sense you easily.

Place it near its litter/food box, its toy or somewhere it knows and can orient itself.

7. Do not take it outdoors

Never let your blind cat get a chance to move outdoors without any supervision.

However:

Bengal cats love to go outdoors so you can just take them for a walk along with yourself using a leash so that it does not lose its way or bump into things that might hurt it.

But make sure you’re super cautious and always by your cat’s side when it is outdoors

Other health problems in Bengal cats

Following are some common and uncommon health disorders in Bengal cats:

Common diseases in Bengal catsUncommon diseases in Bengal cats
Progressive Retinal AtrophyEntropion
CataractsDistal Neuropathy
Hypertrophic CardiomyopathyPsychogenic Alopecia
Chronic Renal Failure

Related Questions

Are Bengal cats aggressive? Bengal cats are not aggressive every time, however, there are certain reasons that can trigger the aggressive side of a Bengal cat such as; its litter box issues.

Bengal cats are comparatively much affectionate than other cat breeds.

Are Bengals lap cats? Bengal cats are not certainly lap-lovers even when they go blind.

They love to be free, explore places, enjoy on their own rather than sitting in their owner’s lap and getting gently patted.

How to save a Bengal cat from developing serious health issues? Well:

The first and foremost thing you would need to do is ask the cat seller to provide you a handwritten guarantee that the cat you are buying has no health issues and is vaccinated.

Now:

If the cat isn’t vaccinated but has a provided health guarantee then the second important thing to do is take your cat to a vet and complete its vaccination course.

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1 thought on “Do Bengal Cats go Blind?”

  1. Interesting post! I was drawn to this blindness in cats article, and especially the part about cataracts because I was born with cataracts in both eyes (thanks, Dad) and was considered legally blind before I finally overcame my fear and the surgery.

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