If you’ve recently adopted or discovered a blind kitten, you may be wondering what their eyes look like. Cats rely heavily on their vision to navigate the world, so a blind kitten faces some unique challenges.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A blind kitten’s eyes often look cloudy, bluish-gray, enlarged, or shrunken. Some may keep their eyes tightly shut or appear to have no eyes at all.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about a blind kitten’s eyes, including:

Common Physical Appearances of a Blind Kitten’s Eyes

Cloudy, bluish-gray eyes

One of the most common traits of a blind kitten’s eyes is that they can appear cloudy or bluish-gray in color. This is often caused by nuclear sclerosis – a condition where the lenses in the eyes become opaque over time.

As light passes through the cloudy lens, it can give the eyes an overall grayish, almost blue tint. The degree of cloudiness varies, but typically covers a large portion of the kitten’s lens and pupil.

In some severe cases, the entire eye may take on this faded, cloudy coloration rather than remaining its usual vibrant self. This physical trait is a telltale sign that vision loss or impairment has occurred.

Enlarged or shrunken eyes

A blind kitten’s eyes may also show abnormal size when compared to a kitten with healthy vision. Common issues are glaucoma, which leads to an enlargement of the eyes due to fluid pressure buildup, and microphthalmia, which causes abnormally small eyes due to developmental defects.

These structural issues affecting eye shape and proportions often accompany blindness from birth. An observant pet owner may notice if their kitten’s eyes seem excessively large, bulging out more than normal, or unusually tiny and shrunken in the face.

This symptom draws attention to probable vision troubles present from a young age.

Eyes held tightly shut

Some blind kittens often keep their eyes tightly shut and squinted, rather than showing the eyes relaxed and partly/fully open most times like a sighted cat. This clenched eye style may indicate discomfort, abnormalities, or inability to see.

Reasons could include irritants like dust or dirt bothering damaged eyes, birth defects causing deformed eyelids/lashes, injuries with scar tissue, painful infections, or useless vision nerves leaving the cat unwilling to open its eyes.

Kittens holding eyes frequently squeezed shut when awake could signify blindness – it’s an easy visual clue for owners to watch for if concerned about possible eyesight issues.

Missing eyes

The most obvious physical sign of a blind kitten is completely absent eyes, leaving empty, stitched-closed sockets where eyes should normally be. While rare, birth conditions like anophthalmia can cause missing eye development in the womb.

Injuries and trauma to the eyes/face may also necessitate full surgical eye removal later in life. Regardless of how this happens, a blind kitten missing one or both eyes altogether will usually have very visible facial differences.

The kitten’s face will appear somewhat concave/flattened without an eye’s rounded shape filling the socket. Owners can immediately identify vision loss when a kitten shows no eyes physically present at all.

What Causes Blindness in Kittens?

There are several potential causes for blindness in newborn kittens or young cats. Some factors are preventable while others may be genetically predetermined. Understanding the common causes can help pet owners provide the best care for vision-impaired felines.

Genetics and Breeding

Some cat breeds are predisposed to inherited vision problems due to selective breeding. For example, Persians and Himalayans can inherit polycystic kidney disease that affects the eyes. Some Siamese kittens are born cross-eyed or wall-eyed.

White cats with blue eyes have higher risks for being born deaf, with balance issues, or blind. Responsible breeders screen their breeding cats to avoid perpetuating genetic issues.


Infections acquired in the womb or at birth sometimes damage a kitten’s eyes and optic nerves, leading to blindness. Panleukopenia, herpes viruses, toxoplasmosis, and chlamydia are among the culprits. Veterinarians can diagnose and treat some of these illnesses if caught early to potentially save a kitten’s sight.


External injuries can sometimes lead to partial or complete vision loss. Kittens that live outdoors risk eye injuries from thorns, sticks, or sharp objects. Indoor kittens may bump their eyes on furniture.

Without prompt veterinary treatment for wounds, infection or swelling can cause permanent damage. Trauma to the head or eyes at birth may also harm optic nerves and cause blindness.

Other Health Conditions

Besides direct eye diseases, systemic health problems potentially associated with kitten blindness include cerebellar hypoplasia affecting balance and coordination, panleukopenia destroying white blood cells, FIV and Feline Leukemia Virus, and brain inflammation from toxins.

Consult a veterinarian promptly about any kitten exhibiting vision impairment along with other concerning symptoms. With rapid treatment, some underlying conditions may be reversible.

Any blindness in kittens should receive veterinary evaluation to determine the underlying cause and optimal care plan. Some blind cats can adapt surprisingly well using their other senses once their environment is safely kitten-proofed.

With extra patience and care to build trust through touch and sound cues, blind kittens can still live happy lives.

Taking Care of a Blind Kitten’s Eyes

Gentle cleaning

A blind kitten’s eyes are delicate and require gentle care. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe away any discharge or debris around the eyes. Avoid rubbing too hard, as this can further damage the eyes. It’s best to clean the eyes at least once a day to prevent infection.

Applying medication

If your veterinarian prescribes eye drops or ointments, be sure to carefully follow the instructions for use. Gently pull down the lower eyelid to place the drops or ointment inside. This helps treat any infections or other eye issues. Monitor the eyes closely afterwards for any changes.

Surgery in some cases

While rare, some blind kittens may require eye removal surgery if the eyes become severely damaged or infected. This can prevent further health issues. Work closely with your vet to determine if surgery could improve your kitten’s quality of life.

Monitoring for changes

Frequently check your blind kitten’s eyes for any concerning changes like increased redness, swelling or discharge. Rapid changes could indicate an eye infection needing veterinary attention. Catching issues early improves chances of successful treatment.

Caring for a blind kitten brings special rewards but also unique challenges when tending to their vulnerable eyes. With gentle, consistent care and monitoring, you can help keep your special kitten healthy and happy.

Helping a Blind Kitten Navigate and Thrive

Kitten-proofing your home

When bringing home a blind kitten, it’s important to kitten-proof your home to avoid potential hazards. Here are some tips:

  • Remove loose wires, cords, and string which could entangle or trip the kitten.
  • Secure rugs and runners so they don’t slide. Smooth any raised edges on carpets.
  • Keep floors free of clutter and obstacles.
  • Use corner guards and padding to soften sharp table and counter edges.
  • Keep cabinets and closets closed to limit access.
  • Place a bell on the kitten’s collar so you can hear where they are.
  • Consider setting up barricades to block stairs and other dangerous areas.

It may take some extra preparation, but a safe environment will give your blind kitty confidence to explore!

Using scents and textures

Since blind kittens rely heavily on their other senses, scents and textures are great tools for orientation. Here are some ideas:

  • Place scented oils or fragrances around your home so your kitten recognizes different rooms by smell.
  • Use textured mats, carpets, and rugs to designate specific areas.
  • Consider scent marking important locations like the food bowl, litter box, and bed.
  • Plant herbs like catnip or lemongrass for an irresistible scent trail.
  • Rub unique scents like lavender, mint, or citrus on different household items.

Associating distinct scents and textures with specific places and objects helps create a mental map your blind kitty can rely on to build confidence and independence.

Training and routine

Blind kittens thrive on predictability and routine. Here are some training tips:

  • Feed your kitten at the same times every day so they can anticipate mealtimes.
  • Be consistent with the litter box location.
  • Create regular play sessions using toys with bells, crinkly material and catnip.
  • Use the same phrases like “Time to eat!” and “Let’s play!” to cue your kitten during daily activities.
  • Avoid moving furniture and rearranging rooms frequently.
  • Use mats, carpets, and shelving to create a “kitty highway” for getting around comfortably.

Establishing a predictable routine and schedule helps blind kittens mentally map their surroundings, boosting confidence and reducing anxiety.

Ensuring proper nutrition

Like all kittens, blind kittens need a nutritious diet for healthy development. Consider these tips:

  • Feed a high-quality wet and dry kitten food formulated for your kitten’s age.
  • Choose easily digestible recipes without added fillers.
  • Look for foods enriched with DHA for eye and brain development.
  • Supplement with tasty kitten milk replacer for extra nutrients.
  • Ask your vet about daily supplements like taurine and antioxidants.
  • Monitor eating and adjust portions to maintain proper growth.
  • Touch food to orient your kitten and encourage eating.

With a little extra care and patience, blind kittens can grow up healthy and thrive in their forever homes. Proper nutrition provides the fuel for their developing minds and bodies. It’s a key part of giving blind kittens a great start in life!


Caring for a blind kitten and helping them adjust to vision loss can be very rewarding. While their eyes may look unusual, these loving fur-balls can live long, joyful lives.

With some preparation and training, blind kittens can map out their surroundings using their other senses like smell, hearing, and touch. By understanding what to expect with their eyes and making a few accommodations, you’ll set your blind kitten up for success.

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