Do Siamese Cats See Well?


The Siamese cat’s blue eyes are one of the breed’s recognizable features. However, Siamese cats lack eye pigment thanks to the recessive albinism gene. In some cases, the albinism gene in Siamese cats can affect their vision. This article will explore the Siamese cat vision and eye problems.

Do Siamese cats see well? Most Siamese cats see well, even those with crossed eyes. However, these cats do not have the proper night vision compared to other breeds.

Siamese cats are also very prone to eye illnesses, some that may affect their vision. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a common eye illness among siamese cats. It has no treatment or cure and leads to total blindness.


Do Siamese cats have bad eyesight?

Most cats have accurate vision, even in the dark. Siamese cats have a genetic flaw that causes a lack of eye pigments. As a result, this breed may have trouble with night vision.

According to research made by the National Center for Biotechnology Information,

Siamese cat has a grossly abnormal lateral geniculate body. His anatomical study suggested that certain fibres originating in the temporal retina of each eye cross in the chiasm instead of remaining uncrossed.

It is unlikely for a Siamese cat to move around the house at night. They cannot see color or distinguish details in the dark.

Breeders have not been able to alter the albinism gene in siamese cats. However, watch out for any signs or symptoms of an eye illness. For example, red eyes, eye discharge, and excessive winking show eye disease.

Nystagmus and Strabismus

Nystagmus and Strabismus are some of the most common siamese cat-eye illnesses. A major sign of strabismus is crossed eyes, a condition that is popular among the Siamese cat breed.

So, nystagmus features consistent eye movement, back and forth. Beware that this could also show that your cat has the vestibular disease.

Is my Siamese cat’s eye just naturally slanted or is it a sign of an illness? Check out this article that talks about that in detail.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

PRA is a common eye problem inherited from the Siamese cat bloodlines. 1-2 years old kittens are more susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy.

Selective breeding is essential to end the recessive gene that causes PRA. Breeders are careful to avoid the parents that carry this gene.

The first symptom of PRA is night blindness. It will deteriorate over the years and lead to loss of eyesight. PRA does not cause your cat any pain, which makes it difficult to diagnose.

Watch out for changes in your cat’s behavior. For example, a cat with PRA may not want to get into dark rooms. She may also knock into objects while navigating in the dark.

Feline Glaucoma

Siamese cats may also develop feline glaucoma. In most cases, this is an inherited illness that alters normal vision in cats. It is a result of nerve damage. Feline glaucoma means that a cat has increased eye pressure.

Some of the symptoms of feline glaucoma are, dilated pupils, clouded and painful eyes. In extreme cases, your cat can also lose her eyesight.

It is rare to find a cat with glaucoma. But, the Burmese and Siamese cat breeds are more susceptible to primary glaucoma.

Do Siamese cats have eyesight problems? Most Siamese cats see well, at least during the day or in a lit room. The Siamese cat breed is predisposed to vision problems and illnesses. Siamese cats may not see well or pick out details in the dark.


Are Siamese cats prone to blindness?

Unfortunately, Siamese cats are among the most likely felines to go blind. Blindness is a common side effect of old age, however for Siamese cats, it is a possibility they can go blind sooner. 

The Siameses’ blue eyes is one of the many things that make them unique. That being said, it doesn’t come without its problems. The pale blue color of their eyes means they are more prone to light damage. 

Even if you do go out of your way to protect your Siamese from light damage, that doesn’t mean your kitty won’t have other health problems or even genetic blindness. 

Thankfully, this problem is being addressed through careful breeding to avoid said problems. Even crossed eyes have been bred out of the Siamese to avoid the problems that go along with it. 

You’ll be happy to know not all Siamese cats go blind. But, you should always be prepared for the possibility since there is a higher percentage of blindness within Siamese cats. 

While blindness usually happens with old age, it is a possibility for Siamese cats to go blind as a kitten or an adult too. However, they can still live a long and healthy life if this ever were to happen.


Do all Siamese cats have crossed eyes?

The traditional Siamese cat has striking blue crossed eyes. However, the modern and the classic Siamese cat breeds may not have crossed eyes.

The traditional Siamese cat crosses their eyes to see well. It is as a result of its genetic makeup that affects the cat’s neurological wiring. The good news is that crossed eyes in Siamese cats should not concern you.

Breeders have dropped the Siamese cat’s genetic flaw disrupts their neurological wiring. As a result, we do not have a lot of Siamese cats with crossed eyes these days.

It is also not uncommon to find your Siamese cat crossing her eyes with intention. Learn more about Siamese cats and their crossed eyes by reading this article.


What colors can cats see?

Cats don’t see in black and white – let’s nip that theory in the bud before we begin. 

Believe it or not, Siamese cats see all the colors we do, just not as vividly.

Both humans and cats have rods and cones inside the retina of the eye. These two cells shape how your kitty sees the world – rods help detect movement and see things in dim lighting, whereas the cones help register color and bright light. 

There are 3 types of these cones, one detects blue, another detects red, and the last detects green. They have the ability to register different hues, as well as a combination of these three primary colors. 

The reason why we see color more vividly than cats is because humans have ten times the number of cones felines have. 

When it comes to which colors cats see best, research shows that felines best detect blue-violet hues. Green-yellow hues of light are also easy for cats to pick up on. 

Your Siamese will not be able to see red-orange hues. Surprising when you think about the red laser pointer is their favorite toy, but they actually pick up on the movement and not the color itself.


Do all Siamese cats have blue eyes?

Yes. All Siamese cats have blue eyes, thanks to the albinism gene that causes a lack of eye pigments.

A fun fact: All Siamese cats are born with albinism. The kittens will develop coat color as they grow older.

The albinism gene is also responsible for the blue eyes in Siamese cats. It is the same gene responsible for the Siamese vision problems. The

Unfortunately, selective breeding has altered the recessive albinism gene in Siamese cats.

The blue eyes are the most recognizable features of Siamese cats. I actually talked about the Siamese cat’s eye color in detail in a recent article. Just click the link to read more about it.


Can Siamese cats see at night?

Siamese cats are adorable, and the most popular domesticated cats in the world. However, they do not always have the best vision in the feline world.

A Siamese cat can have problems navigating at night. It is rare for a Siamese cat to roam around at night. This breed has trouble distinguishing details at night.

It would help to leave a nightlight on if your cat loves to play or roam around at night. Senior cats can also experience poor night vision. 

If your Siamese cat develops night blindness, you should consult your vet. Illnesses such as primary glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy can cause total blindness.


Why do Siamese cats’ eyes turn red?

If you do spend some playtime at night with your cat, you might have noticed a change in their eye color. Siamese cats’ eyes have a red glow in the dark, unlike the normal greenish/yellowish glow in cats.

The red glow is a reflection of the eye tissue, the tapetum lucidum. Siamese cats do not have eye pigments, unlike other breeds with green or golden eyes. Therefore, the red glow is a mirror of the cat’s inner eye tissues.

The color of a cat’s eye glow varies depending on the eye pigments within the tapetum lucidum.


Conclusion

Siamese cats are adorable and intelligent pets. Their stunning blue eyes are some of the Siamese cat’s distinct features. However, there is more to their eyes.

Siamese cats have poor night vision. In other cases, some Siamese cats are predisposed to eye illnesses that may affect vision.

Do Siamese cats see well? The modern Siamese cat can see well and navigate its surroundings during the day. A lot of these cats are unable to distinguish details or color in the dark.

Regular vet checkups should reveal any risk of an underlying eye illness in your cat.  Watch out for any signs of an eye illness such as eye discharge, painful eyes, night blindness, or cloudy eyes.

Cats have an excellent vision. However, they lack an accurate view of colors. Therefore, poor night vision should not discourage you from getting a Siamese cat. They are still among the most affectionate and intelligent pets to keep.

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