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Microphthalmia in a 12-week-old Ragdoll kitten. Courtesy Dr Jim Euclid

Microphthalmos (microphthalmia) is a congenital eye disease of cats characterized by a small or absent small eye. This condition is uncommon in cats, with no evidence of either inheritance or breed predisposition.

This condition may be unilateral or bilateral and in severe cases has been recorded in association with a narrow palpebral fissure and narrowing of the optic nerve in the affected eye[1]. This condition can also be associated with macrophakia (the vitreous was replaced by the lens) and retinal changes (tapetal hyper-reflectivity, attenuation of retinal vessels, and retinal folds)[2].

Microphthalmos may also be accompanied by degrees of enophthalmos and consequent prominence of nictitating membrane[3].


  1. Robson JA (1987) Organization of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in a cat with congenital microphthalmia. Brain Res 430(1):81-92
  2. Benz P et al (2011) Macrophakia in three cats. Vet Ophthalmol 14(1):99-104
  3. Barnett, KC & Crispin, SM (2002) Feline Ophthalmology: An atlas & Text. p: 35 Elsevier Ltd