Hyphema in Cats
Is the result of blood formation in the front chamber of the eye

Hyphema in cats can cause very serious eye disorders, and if it becomes severe enough, your cat be to lose their sight.

However, as bad as this situation is, it may also be the one of the first signs that there is something much more sinister happening to your cat.

It may also be one of the first signs you have that your cat has been injured.


Hyphema is a condition where there is a presence of blood that has formed in the front chamber of your pet’s eye called the anterior chamber.

It can range from quite mild in some cases to extremely severe.

However, the most important thing for an owner to understand about this condition is that it will be the result of two potential causes; an ophthalmic disease or a systemic disease.

The amount of blood within the chamber can vary dramatically in some cases.

If it is a mild form, it will appear to be just slightly pinkish in coloration as the result of the blood settling on the bottom of your cat’s eye chamber.

If it is severe, your cat’s eye chamber will be completely filled with blood.

There is usually no middle ground with this condition.

Hyphema in cats usually originates from bleeding that has occurred in the iris blood vessels of your cat, but it can also occur in other areas as well, depending on the actual cause.

It may also originate from the tissue behind the iris referred to as the ciliary, the tissue layer behind the retina called the choroidal blood vessels, or the retinal blood vessels themselves.

However, wherever the bleeding originates from, it will present your cat with two major challenges; a lot of pain and decreased vision.


Hyphema in cats will cause your cat to suffer a lot of pain and there are several symptoms that you may see before you actually see the blood in their eyes.

The first set of symptoms is usually squinting, excessive blinking, as well as tearing.

If you see any of these early symptoms, you should immediately check your cat’s eyes for any sign of redness.

The redness will first appear in the eye between the cornea, which is the front covering of the eye, and the iris.

Even if you do not see blood at first, examine your cat’s eyes again, but even closer.

There is a reason that your cat is blinking and tearing, and the blood can very easily be missed as it has settled in the bottom of your cat’s chamber simply because of gravity.

It will be extremely important to look for this blood as it can very easily form blood clots once it settles in the chamber.

You should also look for your cat squinting or keeping their eyes closed as this will confirm that they are in a lot of pain.

The final symptom, if it reaches this stage, is where your cat starts to experience a loss of vision and they will begin running into things or show an unwillingness to walk as they lose their sight.


Hyphema in catsThis can be an extremely painful condition for your cat

The presence of Hyphema in cats can either be a symptom of a serious eye disease, or it can be something much more sinister.

It may be the result of a manifestation of internal problems that are developing somewhere else in your cat.

While this condition is often the result of some type of a trauma your cat has experienced, it can also be the result of systemic disorders and the list of potential causes is very extensive.

The first and most obvious cause is the result of an injury from a blunt object that has induced trauma in your cats eyes, scratching by another cat, or injury by a dog attack.

Hyphema in cats can also be the result of detachment or tearing of the retinal vessels in your pets eyes, or may be the result of proptosis.

Proptosis is the forward displacement of the eyeball out of its orbit by an injury of some kind. However, this is just the beginning of the potential causes.

It can also be the result of a chronic or severe case of uveitis which is an inflammation of your cat’s ciliary tissues as well as their choroid tissues.

It may also be the result a blood clotting disorder from abnormalities in their platelets or other clotting processes.

However, it may also be the result of what is called systemic hypertension, also known as arterial blood pressure.

But the list does not end there as it may be the result of viral infections such as feline infectious peritonitis, tumors or cancer within the eye.

It may also be cancer that is forming somewhere else in your cat’s body.

Accidental ingestion of rat poison or eating a rat or mouse that has died from this toxic poison may also be the underlying cause.

From here, the potential list gets even worse, as it may also be the result of what is known as Coumadin toxicity, which is an overdose of cardiovascular medication your cat may be taking.

Hyphema may also be the result of a chronic liver disease that has drastically affected your cat’s coagulation abilities.

Or it may be metastatic tumors that have spread to your cats eyes from other parts of their body.

Hyphema in cats does have several very effective treatments, but it will all depend on the actual cause.

This is a condition that once you identify the early symptoms, you should treat it very seriously and with a real sense of urgency.


Not only can it be extremely painful for your cat, it may be the first real sign that you have that something is horribly wrong with your cat.

It is very easy to overlook this condition and confuse it with pink eye, but it is much more serious.

If it is not treated, it can cause total blindness and ultimately take their life.

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