Little Dinkycat has kitty cataracts!


Dinky My sweet little naughty, wire-chewing, adorable boy has always had strange looking eyes, kind of misty and cloudy. I've noticed whenever we've tried to take a picture of him with the flash on, his eyes automatically close too.

During a routine appointment our vet noticed his eyes too and referred us to a specialist, as she said he could be blind within a year if it was what she thought it was.

We took him about three months ago and the specialist confirmed that he appears to have cataracts and about 50% vision but, as this was extremely rare in such a young cat (then seven months), she wanted to wait for three months to see if it was a birth defect that might just stay as it was.

This morning we went for his check-up and his cataracts have, unfortunately, worsened. The next step is to have an ultrasound check on his eyes in January to check his suitability for cataract surgery. This gives us hope that we can save his sight. Of course every operation carries risk and I'm just feeling a bit anxious now.

Two cats sleeping If he doesn't have the op he will go blind but as he's an indoor cat it's not the end of the world (the specialist has a few blind indoor cats herself and says they're fine).

If he does have the op and something goes wrong I'd feel so terrible and so resonsible. Right at this very moment he has come and snuggled up next to me for a cuddle. Does he know?

I would really like to hear from you if you've had a similar experience. Can you put my mind to rest a bit?

Lots of love,

Catherine xx


  1. pat meadows October 9, 2009 at 1:31 am -  Reply

    Catherine we had a seventeen year old cat who had an operation for a over active thyroid just after his op he went blind but he went on to live another two very happy years as an indoor cat
    love and best wishes
    from pat x

  2. Catherine Huntley October 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story of your sweet cat. It’s comforting to hear from other cat lovers. I think we worry so much for them but nature is a wonderful thing and allows all creatures the ability to adapt. I think being an indoor cat obviously helps, too, as they already know their surroundings.
    What a lovely long life your cat had with you. 19 years must be quite a good innings for a cat. I’ll be a very happy lady if my four are with me as long.
    Best wishes & love,
    Catherine xx

  3. rhubarb3 October 9, 2009 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    We had a cat, a rescue case from the RSPCA, who had virtually been starved to death by his previous owners. He was a beautiful and very affectionate tabby cat and as a result of his ill treatment was blind as a result. Being mostly a house cat, he had no problem around the house occasionally meowing for reassurance from both us and his fellow feline companions another male cat who took care of him and washed him and even would you believe it let him sit on top of him. We only let him out in the summer when we were in the garden and we would just tap our side and he would respond to our voice following us around the garden until he found his favourite sunny spot and never ventured any further. As he was quite an old cat we sadly only had him for 2 years but we treasured every moment as during his time with us he lived a very full life and enjoyed every minute eating, running around and playing.
    Best wishes
    Margaret & Maxine

  4. Sue October 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm -  Reply

    Catherine, having just read your blog about your cat I felt that I would write to tell you of a similar thing that happened to our dog in February this year. We had noticed for some time that she had difficulty catching a ball and like you noticed that on photographs her eyes appeared flat. She was referred to a vet hospital and diagnosed as having cataracts at just 4 years old. The day before her op she had an ultrasound examination and it was discovered that the lens on one of her eyes had become detatched and could not be saved. We were absolutely hearbroken. The only solution was to have her eye removed and the cataract treated on her other eye. The good news and positive side of this is she is now able to see better than she ever did before and whilst only having 1 good eye she runs around enjoying and seeing things that she probably never did before the operation. Sometimes she bumps into things if she approaches it from her blind side but she has adapted to the situation brilliantly. She goes for regular checkups at the hospital and they are really pleased with her progress. Don’t despair and feel guilty – as we did – I’m sure your cat will go on to lead a good quality of life as does our chocolate lab – Sally.

  5. Marie Bridgeman October 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    It was so lovely to meet you yesterday at the Craft Day event – it was great to discover that you’re just as nice and friendly as you seem to be on TV! (I was the one doing my medicine in the ‘broom cupboard’ if that reminds you who I am!)
    I was going to get in touch anyway to ask you again what was the name of the top coat that you used on your nails as I didn’t quite catch the name but by looking through the other comments, I’ve now found it and have just ordered some ‘seche vite’ – so you’ve got another convert!
    But anyway, the reason for my ‘comment’ is that I wanted to reassure you about Little Dinkycat (fantastic name btw!!) When I was younger, we had a cat named Tanya and when she was around 18, she developed cataracts in both eyes, we took her to the vet and they said that they didn’t want to operate to remove them because of her age, they didn’t think that she would survive the anaesthetic and that she could live a perfectly happy life without her sight as cats are so adaptable and get around using their whiskers as feelers, etc. Anyway, she didn’t venture very far from home, but she got along fine – she memorised where all the furniture, etc was in our house but if you were sitting in a chair, she’d sometimes bump into your legs – as there’s no way to account for where people were!! She eventually passed away at the age of 22!! (Some kind of record!) So really, I wouldn’t worry, I’m sure she’s got many happy years left in her, whether she can see or not.
    With love,
    Marie x

  6. Elaine Topp October 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    I have two cats, one is 17 years old and temporarily went blind this Summer due to hgih blood pressure which detached her retina’s. I was absolutely amazed how she mnanaged to do everything normally. At first she went around the perimeter of the rooms to find her food and water, and I put a little step next to the bed so she could still sleep on the bed. Within days, she was confident enought to walk across the room, I had to make sure I didn’t move any furniture and ofcourse she didn’t go out, but she just adapted brilliantly. Luckily with medication her sight has returned and she now has 50% vision. Cats are amazing and my vet said that they know many cats that live very happy lives without sight, you just have to be a little bit thoughtful and careful about making sure there is nothing that could harm them.
    Hope all goes well

  7. Marg October 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm -  Reply

    Hello Catherine, Please try not to worry about your cat,its so much more important to enjoy each day as it comes. By the time for your decision comes round the vets will be clearer with their diagnoses,I feel very mean saying this but it may not be a life threatening condition. Cats have so much stronger sences than sight,we humans endow our pets with our strenghts and weakness when we are built with a different set of priorities. I just wish I could hear as well as my little dog can,they are all remarkable in their own way,I had a poodle years ago and she was going on 17 when I had to visit the vet with her for a check up,he said as a by the way when we were leaving ‘you did know she is totally blind’ I didnt have a clue, he reckoned she had been blind for years, she lived to be 19 almost twenty,and we continued exactly as we had before,she was brilliant. So please enjoy your cat as she is,life is for living, God bless,you have a very loving heart and I’m certain she doesnt have to see how much you care for her,she will sense it, Best wishes, Marg.

  8. barbara October 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    hello Catherine, It’s Barbarapm from twitter here,I don’t know a lot about cats cos I’m extremely allergic to them boo hoo so that is why we always had doggies, our last black labradore had cataracts for quite a bit of his life, and like you he was a house dog all our dogs are house dogs they aren’t allowed to just roam willy nilly.
    Podger his nickname, he became very fat in his last few years as he had cancerous tumours, poor podge. but he got on with what ever was put in front of him. when his site went totaly at the end he wasn’t keen to be let off the lead but that won’t effect you C, unless you walk your cats, some of my friends do walk their cats esp on the pavements it helps to keep their claws down, I believe.
    Don’t know if the doggie equivilant helps, my dear Catherine, but unless he is curled in a ball not moving not eating or drinking then his quality of life is the same as your other cats YES ??
    Take care tweet soon
    Barbara xxin bedland xx

  9. sarah dickinson October 13, 2009 at 7:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. Oh I know how you feel about your little kitty. Our dear little cat ‘Loejta’ was very ill a while ago and spent time in kitty hospital. She is as ‘fit as a flee’ (as they say) now.(a strange pun I must say eh?) Cats have nine lives Catherine – and with your love and care, your sweet little rogue will be fine, I’m sure. He really looks cheeky. Seeing all your cats, I’m going to call you ‘CATWOMAN’ from now on. Queen of the Furries! Keep your chin up my dear – keep purring. Love Sarah.

  10. Christina Bathe October 15, 2009 at 12:15 am -  Reply

    So sorry to hear about little Dinky’s eye problems! :( I’ve not had any experience of this condition in my own cats, but I’ve nursed lots of human patients and all I wanted to suggest was that if the pre-op tests indicate that surgery is the best option, why not consider having one eye done at a time?
    Thinking of you both and hoping that a positive resolution can be found.

  11. Pam October 15, 2009 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    HI Catherine, just a quick e-mail to say that i am thinking of you (as always). I really know how anxious you must be feeling as you love cats as much as i do. I am sending you all my love, Dinky knows you love him very much and love is what they respond to better than anything else. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please let me know what happens.
    Lots of love,
    Pam xxx

  12. Lucie October 16, 2009 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine……time for some tough love here…..if your beloved dinkycat can have an op which would give him a better quality of life and all the pre-op tests show he’s fit enough, then i think it would be cruel to deny it of him because of your own fears. I have two much loved cats and unfortunately one had the exact same problem and of course i was afraid, but just imagine if it was one of your children, you wouldn’t deny them the chance of seeing would you?. Of course if the op isn’t possible then you would have to make the best but at least give him a chance. Hope you do the right thing and go ahead with it…..please let us know…..Much love(even if it is tough) Lucie xx

  13. Anesha October 16, 2009 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    Really sorry to hear about your little Dinky. Do hope the operation can help. It must be such a worry for you. Take care and wishing it all goes well. Anesha

  14. Hilary October 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, sorry to hear about dinky I do not have a cat myself but I have had cataracts I had an operation on my left eye 5 years ago and the right eye just 4 months ago the difference was unbelievable just to be able to see properly , so hope if your dinky has the operation it will be as successful as my operations have been the difference is unbelievable to be able to see properly is fantastic.

  15. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 10:57 am -  Reply

    Dearest Margaret and Maxine,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It warms my heart when I hear of people who help these poor animals to feel loved and cared for again. Sounds like your little fella was really special and that you have lots of fond memories.
    I’m sorry it’s taken so long to reply, life’s been a bit hectic but then that’s pretty normal this end! Finally, I have a day off and some time to get back to everyone who has been kind enough to join in the conversation.
    Lots of love to you,
    Catherine xx

  16. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Sue,
    So lovely to hear from you. Your Sally sounds gorgeous. What a tough time you all had to go through to get to where you are today, though.
    You have given me even more confidence that I am making the right decision by going ahead with the op provided the ultrasound is all ok so thank you so much for writing in.
    Sending lots of love to you and your sweet Sally,
    Catherine x

  17. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Yes, of course I remember meeting you. I was rather in awe of you as you explained your situation to me in that little broom cupboard. I don’t want to be patronising by calling you brave but I would jst like to say you made an impression on me and not just because of the unusual circumstances of our chat! You’re a lovely and positive minded person and being a cat & craft lover only makes me like you more!
    Glad to hear you found out the top coat was seche vite. What do you think of it, then? I can’t rave highly enough!
    Thanks for sharing the story of your Tanya with me. Wow, 22 years is incredible for a cat! So weird to think my cats may well be with me until I’m nearly 60. It’s a lovely thought. As mine are all indoor cats I expect there’s a very good chance of them having very long lives, certainly very happy ones.
    Well, I’ve wittered on for long enough. I shall say TTFN and send you lots of love.
    Catherine x

  18. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Elaine,
    Great to hear from you. I’m so pleased your cat’s vision has improved. I had never thought about high blood pressure in cats, bless her, poor little love. How lucky she is to have a caring family to look after her. They’re just so precious aren’t they, our little friends?
    Lots of love to you & yours,
    Catherine x

  19. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    Hello Marg,
    What a sweet and thoughtful message. Thank you for taking the time to write. You are right, we worry far more than our pets do. They are very accepting and adaptable. We could learn a thing or two from them!
    Loved hearing about your poodle. How remarkable that is! What a sweetie!
    Lots of love back to you, Marg.
    Catherine xx

  20. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:36 am -  Reply

    Aww Barbara,
    It’s always good to be in touch with you. So sorry to hear about your ‘Podger’, little love. Very touching to know how well he coped with it all, though, what a star.
    I do have little harnesses for the cats so that we can occasionally take them into the back garden just to have a little sniff around but not very often as they do prefer to be indoors. I don’t live in the poshest of areas and I do wonder what the reaction would be if I went out walking my cats on leads, hee hee! My friends laugh at me putting the little pink jacket like harnesses on the girls (Dinkycat has a chocolate brown & polka dot one) to let them sniff the back garden as it is! I chuckle at myself too.
    I will definately see you over on twitter soon. Thanks for writing in.
    Love Catherine XX
    PS If anyone else wants to join in the chatter on my twitter it’s ‘TheHuntley’. Come tweet with us!

  21. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    Catwoman, Queen of the Purries here! Thanks for your lovely bubbly message. I’m so pleased your little Loejte is well & happy again. They are so resilient!
    Dinky is a little scamp. He has recently taken to plonking himself on my chest first thing in the morning. I love that! He is getting quite heavy now though, hee hee.
    I will keep everyone posted on his progress so watch this space and thanks for writing in!
    Love Catherine xx

  22. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    Hi Christina (lovely’s also my daughter’s)
    Thanks for your message. That’s actually not a bad idea. I’ll certainly discuss it with the vet.
    My mum has had her cataracts operated on one at a time and it has worked very well for her, too.
    Love to you & yours,
    Catherine xx

  23. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Pam,
    How kind of you to write with such a kind message. I really appreciate it.
    Big hugs and love back to you!
    Catherine x

  24. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Lucie,
    Some of the best love in the world is tough love so thank you for your comments. I am going to go ahead with it provided the ultrasound is all ok.
    He is so young and could well live another couple of decades for all we know so I think it’s best for him to try.
    Really appreciate your input. Thanks again and lots of love to you.
    Catherine x

  25. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Anesha,
    Thanks for writing in. I am feeling a lot better about it all now. It’s been lovely to have all these kind comments from other pet lovers. I only wish I wasn’t so late in replying to everyone but, hey, there’s only one me and it takes a lot of time. Better late than never, I hope!
    Hope all’s well with you.
    Love Catherine x

  26. Catherine Huntley October 31, 2009 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Hi Hilary,
    I’m so pleased that your surgery has been so successful. It’s so incredible what can be done these days!
    My mother has also had the same surgery and the difference has been life changing for her, too.
    Really kind of you to write, Hilary. Keep well.
    Love Catherine x

  27. Kathryn sheehan October 31, 2009 at 12:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, i know it’s difficult to make a decision like this, but he is a young cat and i’m sure all will be well at the end of the operation. He will soon recover with much love from you and your family and will thank you for it. Your a lovely person and always look good on televion. Good Luck TAKE CARE
    kATHY X

  28. health coaching November 16, 2009 at 6:34 am -  Reply

    That is quite sad …but there are good vets taking care of this issue…so keep good hope.

  29. Catherine Huntley November 19, 2009 at 6:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m sorry I have only just seen your comment..sometimes a few slip through the net even though I come on here almost every day checking for new messages so I do hope you get to see my reply.
    It was very thoughtful of you to write in with your kind words. We just need to get through the next check which is an ultrasound examination on his eyes and then if we get the thumbs up we will go ahead.
    I’ll definately keep everyone posted on his progress. He seems to have quite a following now which is very heartening and sweet.
    Lots of love to you & yours,
    Catherine x

  30. Catherine Huntley November 19, 2009 at 6:58 am -  Reply

    Hi ‘health coaching’ (sorry it sounds impersonal but I didn’t have a name to reply to :-) )
    Thanks for writing in. Dinky’s specialist is amazing. She is very kind and really knows her stuff. We’ve been to her twice now and she always lets us have a look at what she is seeing in Dinky’s eyes. It’s quite fascinating, actually being able to see where his cataracts are distinctly. She dilates his pupils with drops and then turns off the light and shines a small torch at them and you can see so clearly see where his vision is being obscured.
    Fingers crossed all will be sorted very soon and he’ll have many years of decent vision.
    Catherine x

  31. Allyson Howden November 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, I’ve only just caught up with all your news and was so sorry to hear about your little cat’s eye problems. I know just how you feel as we had something similar with our little Tabby cat, although in her case it was cancer on the eyeball and she had to lose one eye. We were devastated at the thought, as she had such gorgeous big yellow eyes, and looked up at us so trustingly. But the vet quite rightly said that these things are often more traumatic for the owner than the cat – apparently they rely just as much on their whiskers and sense of smell as their eyesight. And he’s been proved right! Within a week of the operation Tabby was allowed outside again and has been climbing trees and bringing us (live) mice as presents. She seems happier than ever and just as agile. So cats are wonderful at adapting. Fingers crossed it all goes well for your little one.
    Best wishes, Allyson

  32. Catherine Huntley November 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Allyson,
    Your Tabby sounds so special. Poor little girl but I’m so glad the cancer only got the better of one eye and not both or even worse. What a star, eh? As you say, very adaptable.
    Thanks for your kind words about Dinky. He is a funny little chap. He’ll always be a character no matter what, I’m quite sure.
    After his next appointment I will blog an update on here. Hopefully all will be well to go ahead with the ops and then eventually it’ll all be a distant memory for him. He seems not know as I suppose he doesn’t realise that it’s not the same for every cat. As long as he’s happy & not distressed I’m happy too.
    Big kiss to Tabby from all at Chez Huntley!
    Love Catherine xx

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