PET PLANNING

Types of Cat Eye Surgeries & What They Cost

Six Minutes
Jun 14, 2023

If you have a feline in your family, you know just how expressive a cat’s eyes can be. Unfortunately, they can also be vulnerable to disease and injury. In some cases, your kitty might need cat eye surgery. Costs can vary depending on the type of surgery required. Depending on the condition, the cost of cat eye surgery can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Signs My Cat May Need Eye Surgery

Identifying your cat’s eye issues is the first step to treating them. There are a number of reasons your cat may need eye surgery, but not all of them may be obvious.1 Signs of eye problems in your cat can include:

  • Cloudy eyes
  • Eye discharge or weeping
  • Rapid/frequent blinking
  • Prominent nictitating membrane (a third eyelid, typically not visible in healthy eyes)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Redness or swelling around the eyes
  • Lumps or masses in or around the eyes

Any of these symptoms could be a good reason to take your cat for a vet visit. There, your cat’s medical expert can run tests to diagnose the eye condition and create a treatment plan.

Cherry Eye Surgery

Cherry eye refers to a prolapse of the nictitating membrane. This third eyelid, located in the inner corner of the eye, protects your cat’s eyes and can house a tear gland to keep them lubricated. It usually isn’t visible, but the tear gland may come out of its normal place and swell, potentially exposing it to a painful infection. In some cases, your cat may need surgery to fix the cherry eye.

Cherry eye surgery cost

Depending on the severity, surgery for cherry eye can range from $1,500 to nearly $2,000.2 A surgical fix involves using stitches to put the nictitating membrane back into place. Your cat might need a cone or collar during recovery to protect their eye, as well as medication, which could add to the overall cost.

Cataracts

A cataract can form when the proteins and fibers in the lens of the eye start to break down.3 The lens becomes cloudy, obscuring your cat’s vision. Your cat could develop cataracts after suffering an eye-related injury, but it can also be caused by a genetic disorder, a previous eye surgery, or diabetes.

Cataract surgery cost

Cataracts can form in one or both of your cat’s eyes. Cataract removal for just one eye may cost up to $3,000 — even more if both eyes are affected.2 Surgery can involve removing the lens and replacing it with a prosthetic one. During the following months, you may need to apply a topical medication to help your kitty recover.1

Pet Insurance May Help Cover Eye Surgery Costs

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Entropion or Ectropion Eyelid

Sometimes, your cat’s eyelids can become inverted. Entropion eyelids have rolled inward, while ectropion eyelids have rolled outward.4 Either condition can cause painful irritation and expose your cat’s eyes to infection. Certain breeds — such as Persian and Burmese cats — are more vulnerable to entropion eyelids because they were bred to be brachycephalic, which shortened their snouts to give them a smush-faced appearance.1,5 As a result, their eye sockets my also be abnormally shallow.

Entropion/ectropion eyelid surgery cost

Depending on the severity, fixing your cat’s eyelids could cost anywhere from $1,400 – $2,000.2 Surgical entropion correction involves a small incision near the eyelid, allowing it to naturally fall back into place. Ectropion surgery is a bit more involved, shortening your cat’s eyelid to prevent future issues.1

Eyelid Tumors

Cats, like dogs, can develop eyelid tumors. In addition to the dangers of cancer, eyelid tumors can also cause infection or permanent damage by rubbing against the eye. The most common type of cat eyelid tumor comes from skin cancer. Older white cats — such as Siamese — are more likely to develop skin cancer, especially if they spend time outside.1

Eyelid tumor surgery cost

A veterinary surgeon will want to remove all traces of the eyelid tumor, a procedure that can cost $500 – $600.1 Then, they’ll restructure and stitch the eyelid to ensure it’s still functional. If cancer caused the tumor, your cat might need additional treatment, like chemotherapy. Depending on the length of treatment, you could spend $2,000 or more on chemotherapy.6

A black and white cat facing forward with eyes clouded by cataracts.

Cat Eye Removal

Removing one of your cat’s eyes is a scary prospect. But sometimes, it may be an option for your kitty’s health. Your vet may recommend eye removal — also called enucleation — if your cat suffers from conditions like glaucoma or feline herpes viral conjunctivitis, both of which can cause chronic pain and further endanger your cat.1,7

Cat eye removal surgery cost

Surgically removing your cat’s eye may cost about $2,000.2 There are two types of enucleation: transpalpebral and transconjunctival.1 Transpalpebral enucleation removes the entirety of the eye, usually to prevent the spread of infection or cancer. Transconjunctival enucleation leaves most of the membrane that covers the eye — called the conjunctiva — intact.

Can Pet Insurance Help With Cat Eye Surgery Costs?

The short answer is yes! With a cat insurance policy, you may be able to get reimbursement for covered cat eye surgery costs, and MetLife Pet Insurance offers reimbursement rates of up to 90%.8 This can make it easier for you to focus on your kitty’s health without stressing over the vet bill.

You may want to consider enrolling in a cat insurance policy as early as possible to help ensure future conditions are covered. Learn more about how pet insurance works or get a free quote to see how much you could save.

Pet Insurance Can Help Cover
Pet Injury & Illness Costs

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions

1 “Cat eye surgery: everything you need to know,” BetterPet

2 “Cost of Pet Eye Surgery Treatment,” Eye Specialists For Animals

3 “Cataracts - Symptoms and causes,” Mayo Clinic

4 “What Is Entropion in Dogs & Cats?,” Bond Vet

5 “Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Cats,” VCA Animal Hospitals

6 “Chemotherapy for Cats - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention,” Wag!

7 “Feline Herpes Conjunctivitis,” VCA Animal Hospitals

8 Reimbursement options include: 70%, 80% and 90% and a 50% option for MetGen policies and a 65% option for IAIC policies only. Pet age restrictions may apply.

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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