Cataracts and Blindness in Ferrets


Cataracts and blindness in ferrets is really not something to get too worried about as long as there is nothing sinister going on![wp_ad_camp_2]

Just about all of our older ferrets developed cataracts after the age of 7. Our first male, Chucky, was virtually blind because of his cataracts but it didn’t hinder him getting around the house in any way. And he still managed to chase the cats if they got in his way! ?

Cataracts are very obvious in dark-eyed ferrets, as they develop a greyish-blue, milky film across their pupils. With albinos, the red becomes almost pink but it’s not quite as noticeable.

Some older ferrets can suffer from retinal atrophy, a condition caused when the sensitive lining at the back of the eye dies off over time.

Blind ferrets are perfectly able to get around the house – just make sure you don’t move your furniture around to confuse your little friend! They can also get frightened if you startle them, so if you know you have a blind ferret in the family, be very gentle in your movements when you play with him or her.

Cataracts & Blindness in Ferrets This photo is of Seamus, my silvermitt boy, and you can see his damaged right eye clearly. I’d talked about his eye problem on my blog, before it was hacked and messed up so badly I had to close it down 🙁

Being blind in that eye didn’t slow Seamus down at all and he was happy to race around the house with his pal, Angus.

Unfortunately the problem which Seamus had was misdiagnosed – the vet (not my regular one) said that Seamus had retrobulbar lymphoma  ?


More information about Cataracts and Blindness in Ferrets can be found here …

Trauma and Disease Threaten Ferret Eyes and Lives by Rebecca Sweat (Veterinary Practice News)

Ferrets – Cataracts by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, David Perpinan (VetStream)

Seeing is Believing – Ferrets’ Eyes and Vision by Erika Matulich, PhD

Living With A Blind Ferret by L Vanessa Gruden

Blindness (Ferret proboards)



(Last updated November 2019)

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is not meant to replace seeing a veterinarian if you think your ferret is ill. It’s only meant to supply general information on a particular illness which was obtained either from personal experience with my sick ferrets, or from books and/or the Internet.

2 thoughts on “Cataracts and Blindness in Ferrets”

  1. This post put my heart at ease….we have an older ferret (she has already had a partial amputation of her tail) and I recently discovered a glaucoma in her right eye….she is 8-9 (she is adopted) we love her sooooooo so very much and your post helped so much. Thank you

  2. I’m really glad that that information helped to relieve your worry about your little girl, Bonni!
    It’s amazing how these little guys manage to wrap themselves so tightly in our heartstrings, isn’t it? I love my dogs and cats very much but ferrets have a very special place in my heart 🙂
    Hugs to your little old lady from her new buddies down under.
    Happy New Year – hope it’s a great one for you and yours.

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