Cat eye infections: How to identify them and Reasons

Cat eye infections

Cat eye infections your cat’s lovely eyes are suddenly irritated. Clear, yellow, or green discharge may be accumulating in the corners of the eyes and on the eyelids, making them seem goopy. Perhaps she’s squinting or blinking more than normal, or those adorable tiny paws are stroking one or both eyes more than usual.

You may be wondering if it’s an infection in your eyes. Worse yet, is it contagious? Consider the several illnesses that might cause eye difficulty in cats before going to an unproven home cure or raiding your medication cabinet for a therapy designed for people. Before you treat your cat’s eye infection, you should get a professional diagnosis. Here’s why.

Cat Eye Infection: Recognize the Symptoms

The initial indicators of an eye infection that owners notice are very basic, according to veterinarians, and aside from the cat’s third eyelid (known as the nictitating membrane), these signs sound a lot like ours when we develop an eye infection:

  • There may be some redness in the white of your cat’s eye.
  • Clear, yellow, or green ocular discharge is possible.
  • You could notice a lot of blinking or think your cat is winking at you.
  • Your cat’s third eyelid may be covering more of the eye than typical since it shuts horizontally rather than up and down like ours.
  • If your cat’s eye infection is caused by an upper respiratory illness, he or she may also be sneezing or have nasal discharge.

Some eye issues go away on their own, but identification is critical since many eye ailments are signs of something more serious, such as diseases that can lead to blindness or worse.

Ernie Ward, DVM, a writer, podcaster, pet nutrition advocate, and veterinarian who works with cats at animal rescue groups in North Carolina, says, “Most instances are going to require intervention by a veterinarian.” “Eyes are a medical emergency. Eye [issues] may be very uncomfortable. That is something I cannot emphasize enough.”

Here’s how to figure out what’s wrong with your cat’s eyes so you can treat it promptly and efficiently.

What Causes Cat Eye Infections?

The following are examples of possible causes for your cat’s eye infection or condition:

1- Infections of the upper respiratory system

Viruses, such as the infectious feline calicivirus, as well as pneumonitis, rhinotracheitis (caused by feline herpesvirus—not the variety that humans have), bacteria, and protozoa, cause upper respiratory infections. Sneezing and runny nose, as well as inflammation and discharge of the eyes, are symptoms similar to those seen in human respiratory infections. Young cats (who may have weakened immune systems or who have not yet been vaccinated) and those exposed to high-stress situations, such as shelters, are more likely to have upper respiratory infections.

2-Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”)

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the inside of the eyelid and the outside of the eye that can result in redness, swelling, and discharge. Your cat’s eyes may also be more sensitive to light, resulting in blinking, squinting, or attempting to close one eye. If you’re concerned about contracting “pink eye” from your cat, small-animal veterinarian Amber Aver, BVetMed, of VCA Salem Animal Hospital in Salem, Ore., says it’s possible—but unlikely. “While it’s rare, certain cat bacterial species (Chlamydia falls) can cause mild conjunctivitis in humans,” she explains. “However, ocular disorders in cats are frequently caused by viruses and are not communicable.”

3-Corneal issues

The dome-shaped front surface of the eye can become inflamed, damaged, or ulcerated (an open sore), causing cloudiness in normally clear eyes in cats. “It’s an instant medical issue if the interior of the eyeball is clouded, not in a specific portion [like a developing cataract] but dispersed throughout,” Ward explains.

4-Epiphora

Epiphora (pronounced “eh-PIFF-urr-uh”) is a lovely term for excessive eye watering or tears, which can be caused by clogged tear ducts, allergies, conjunctivitis, or other disorders. Ward compares the situation like a clogged bathtub. He compares it to water that won’t flow down the drain and instead runs out the side of your shower. If left untreated, the opposite condition, dry eye, can cause redness, inflammation, and blindness.

5-Uveitis

Trauma, cancer, immune system diseases, or cat eye infections: how to identify them and what causes them can all produce uveitis, which is a painful inflammation that affects portions of the eye that aren’t the eyelid or cornea.Feline infectious peritonitis, allergies, foreign bodies (something stuck in the eye), and damage or inflammation of the cat’s third eyelid are all possible causes.

The importance of a proper diagnosis cannot be overstated

Because there are so many things that can irritate, inflame, and damage a cat’s eyes, it’s critical to receive the right diagnosis from a doctor. Because the viruses and bacteria that cause cat eye infections are highly communicable to other cats, determining what’s wrong is the first step toward resolving the problem—the sooner the better. When considering cost, convenience, or the stress that a trip to the veterinarian might entail, home treatments without a medical diagnosis may sound appealing. However, correct care is essential to ensure that your cat has the best chance of making a full recovery.

“Some eye disorders can result in vision loss or irreversible damage to the eye, necessitating surgical removal to relieve pain—both of which are substantial welfare problems for cats,” explains Aher. “Eye illnesses can be a sign of a systemic illness and indicate the need for further tests.”
Ward concurs: “Do not put anything in a cat’s eye if it is squinting, has red eyes, or is pawing at them until the veterinarian has determined the problem. Using the improper medicine to treat an eye wound might cause it to take longer to recover.”

The first step is to examine your cat eye infections, inflammation, or damage. To figure out what’s wrong, blood tests, testing of the cat’s ocular discharge, and tests of contaminated skin cells may be necessary.

Cat eye infections: Treatment and Prevention

Your vet will be able to determine the best therapy for your cat’s eye discharge, red eyes, irritation, or pain once they know what’s causing it—and if any home remedies are acceptable. Never give your cat eye drops, ointments, antibiotics, or any other medicine unless your veterinarian tells you to.
According on the diagnosis, the following treatments may be required:

1- Cat eye infections of the upper respiratory system

Treatment will depend on what caused the infection, but it might include eye drops or ointments, antibiotics, decongestants, or fluids. Remember that some of these diseases are infectious, so follow your veterinarian’s advice on how to keep a sick cat away from the rest of the household’s cats and pets. “With viruses, in multi-cat families, it frequently implies that every cat already has it,” Ward adds. “And I understand how difficult it can be to keep them apart. Many of these infectious eye disorders might be cyclical, so they may return.”

2-Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”)

If the cause is allergies or a chemical exposure, a steroid ointment can help reduce inflammation in the eye, while medicines can help with bacterial infections. Because those steroids may hurt the fragile inside of the eyeball if the cornea is damaged, Ward says doctors will use a specific dye test to look for damage that can occur from everyday activities, such as when a pet runs through tall grass or weeds or has sand or dirt caught in their eye.

3-Corneal issues

A corneal condition requires thorough diagnosis since the problem might be an infection, an injury, or an ulcer. Treatment may include a mixture of keeping the cat’s eyes clean (moistening a soft cloth, cotton ball, or bathroom tissue and gently wiping away fluids surrounding the eye), antibiotics, eye-healing drugs, or even surgery, if the eye is scarred or damaged further. The good news, according to Ward, is that the cornea heals quickly. He claims, “The body can’t afford to lose its basic sensory input.”

4-Epiphora

If your cat’s excessive watering is caused by a blockage, a veterinarian can flush the tear ducts while he or she is asleep, while infections may require medications. “Seasonal allergies are the most prevalent cause of watery eyes I’ve encountered, and anti-inflammatories can help minimize swelling of those ducts,” Ward explains. Artificial tears, ointments, antibiotics, and medications that inhibit a cat’s immune system (if that’s the reason) can all be used to treat dry eye, which can be an indication of injury or sickness. “[Dry eye] is frequently caused by an immune system issue,” he explains, adding that drugs can assist.

5-Uveitis

The reason of inflammation of the uvea of the eye—which comprises the iris, the choroid that nourishes the retina, and the ciliary body that creates fluid in the eye—can be difficult to determine. Discomfort-relieving eye drugs, anti-inflammatories, as well as medicines and antibiotics to treat underlying infections, may be used if your cat is in pain.


You’re not alone if you find it difficult to administer medication prescribed by a veterinarian for any of the problems listed above. Veterinarians realize how difficult it may be to provide medicine to your cat, whether it’s persuading them to swallow a pill or applying ointment or drops to their eyes. This might be especially difficult, according to Aher, if you believe that providing medicine has harmed your relationship with your cat. In other words, the cat despises it, and you’re concerned that your cat is beginning to despise you. If this is the case, work with your veterinarian to come up with ways to deliver the medicine to where it needs to go.

“There might be variances between solutions or ointments,” Aher says, adding that “most customers find it easier to give drops.”

Cat Eye Infections
cat eye

Cat Eye Infections: Home Treatments

How can i treat my cats eye infection at home ?
Can a cat’s eye infection go away on its own ?

Last but not least, it’s critical to rule out two home treatments for cat’s eye infections that have been spreading on the internet.

To begin, make sure you don’t get your “neos” mixed up. Neosporin, a human topical skin ointment, has no place in the eyes of humans, cats, or anybody else (its product label forbids use in eyes). Some antibiotics for cat eye infections may contain Neomycin as a component. However, they’re separate goods for different purposes—don’t mix them together!


Second, you should not use apple cider vinegar to cure your cat’s eye infections. It’s not only ineffectual, but it’s also harmful, as it may cause chemical burns to a cat’s cornea, as well as cataracts and glaucoma if the vinegar gets deeper into the eye. Vinegar has no place in a cat’s eye, or in yours for that matter.

When to Contact a Veterinarian

Cat eye infections are caused by a variety of reasons and can result in discharge, discomfort, and pain. If an eye ailment lasts more than a day and doesn’t improve, it’s essential to see a veterinarian to figure out what’s wrong so you can get it treated as soon as possible.
Ward cautions pet owners against reusing old eye drugs that were previously recommended to treat a new disease. Ward adds, “I’ve seen so many examples where the pet owner has leftover eye medicine and tries it when the [pet] is squinting and pawing at red eyes.”


However, because eye problems in cats can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from allergies to corneal scrapes, utilizing that old medication without first consulting your veterinarian might result in significant complications and even more damage to your cat’s eye.

Preventing Cat Eye Infections

When you consider the various causes of eye infections, it may appear that preventing them is a difficult undertaking. However, there are things you can do to keep your cat from getting one.
Vaccinating your cat, regardless of whether it is indoors or outside, can help lower the risk of illness. Even if your veterinarian believes that your cat already has feline herpesvirus, it’s still crucial to follow your veterinarian’s vaccination schedule.

Herpesvirus flare-ups are usually self-limiting, meaning they go away on their own. If your veterinarian feels this is the cause of your Cat eye infections, they may prescribe L-Lysine, an immunological supplement. This is a safe supplement that may be given as a treat or chew, as a gel that your cat can lick off their paw, or as granules mixed in with their wet food. L-Lysine can be given to your cat at any time to help avoid flare-ups. Excessive grooming can cause corneal ulcers or scratches, so keep your cat’s claws trimmed, especially their front claws.

Although eye infections are seldom fatal, they are unpleasant for your cat. If you believe your cat has an eye infection, call your veterinarian right once to schedule an appointment.

If you feel your pet is ill, contact your veterinarian right away. Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet, are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and can provide the best suggestions for your pet.

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