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How Do Cats Get Eye Infections

How To Treat Conjunctivitis In Cats

Cat Eye Infection

Effective treatment first requires the identification of the cause of the conjunctivitis. We want, at the very least, to have the animal examined to rule out the possibility of a foreign body or the possibility of allergies, before establishing a treatment plan.

If your cat also has significant respiratory problems , its important that you see a vet immediately. Young cats in particular are very fragile. In these cases, the vet will make sure that the animal receives sufficient oxygen and will offer supportive treatments, such as intravenous fluids if necessary. Since the virus usually clears up on its own in about two weeks, antivirals are generally not required.

When it comes to treating conjunctivitis directly, antibiotic and / or anti-inflammatory eye drops are likely to be prescribed. Purulent discharge from the eyes is often a sign of bacteria, so antibiotics are helpful in these cases.

Vetericyns Feline Eye Care Products

Dont take any eye problems lightly. While any suspicions that your cat has an eye infection should be confirmed by your vet, there are steps you can take to treat your cats eye infection at home and remedies you can use in conjunction with vet-prescribed treatments to speed up recovery times and prevent future infections. And under no circumstances should you treat your pet human eye drops. The risk with this is it would cause further eye injury. The most you can do is gently wipe any tears or discharge with a cotton ball while waiting for appropriate eye medication.

At Vetericyn, we want your cat to live a comfortable, happy, and healthy life. Thats why our pet care formulas are designed to treat current conditions at homelike eye infectionsas well as prevent future flare-ups.

Find us in a store near you, or shop our pet-safe treatment products online to keep your cats eyes captivating, clear, and infection-free.

Cat Infections That Can Spread To Humans

Andy Miller, MD, is board-certified in infectious disease and internal medicine. He is an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, associate attending physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Presbyterian Hospital and a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America.

While cats are generally safe, contact with cats, including cat bites and scratches, can cause infections in humans. If you are exposed to a cat, it is important that you understand the potential infections and how to stay safe.

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Symptoms Of Feline Eye Infections: Identifying Conditions

In order to differentiate between a healthy cat and one who is suffering from an eye infection, its essential to know how to recognize a normal cat eye. First and foremost, your cats eyes should appear clear and bright, free from swelling or puffiness.

Secondly, its fine if you notice a bit of sleep in the corner of her eye as long as its not excessive. Her pupils should also be equal in size, and there should be no signs of swelling, bulging or cloudiness.

Below, a few symptoms to be mindful of:

  • An inflamed, raw or meaty appearance around the eye
  • A thick, thin or watery discharge
  • A change in the eyes appearance

What Is Cat Eye Discharge

Upper Respiratory Infections in Kittens

Generally, eye discharge is not a disease itself, but rather a sign of an underlying condition. Many diseases for which eye discharge may be a sign can progress to blindness and/or systemic infection.

Therefore, if the discharge is chronic, experts recommend that you let your veterinarian take a more thorough look into exactly what may be causing it.

Simply speaking, cat eye discharge originates from the tears that the body constantly produces throughout the day.

Usually, the tears drain at the corner of the eye without spilling over. However, when something irritates the eyes, the body produces more tears than normal. This results in a discharge from the eye that is much more pronounced than usual.

Furthermore, while eye discharge may not have a highly negative effect on many people, it can cause your cat a great deal of discomfort.

From constant scratching to milder itchy sensations to overall eye pain, if your cat is experiencing chronic eye discharge, youll want to get to the bottom of it.

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How Is Conjunctivitis Diagnosed

A tentative diagnosis of conjunctivitis is made after your veterinarian rules out conditions such as a foreign body in the eye, a blocked tear duct preventing normal drainage of tears, a corneal ulcer, or other injury to the eye.

Since secondary bacterial infections cause many of the signs of conjunctivitis, and because there is a need to reduce the immediate pain and inflammation, treatment is usually started based on this tentative diagnosis of infectious conjunctivitis. Most bacterial and viral infections will resolve within five to fourteen days. In cases that are not improving or where are other pets at risk of infection, further testing will be performed to reach a definitive diagnosis.

“Specific tests will be performed based on the medical history and results of an examination of the eye and surrounding tissues.”

Specific tests will be performed based on the medical history and results of an examination of the eye and surrounding tissues. Your veterinarian may measure the tear production and intraocular pressure for each eye. The cornea may be stained with fluorescein dye to look for underlying corneal injuries or ulcers, and conjunctival scrapings or biopsies may be obtained and sent to a diagnostic laboratory for specialized testing. The nasolacrimal or tear ducts may be flushed to ensure proper drainage. Blood tests will be performed to determine if the conjunctivitis is related to a systemic condition.

Diagnosis Of Bacterial Infection In Cats

The diagnosis of a cats bacterial infection is based on symptoms.

Health exam

: Veterinarians will check your cats health through a physical examination and review his medical history and symptoms for initial diagnosis.

Additional tests

: If required, they will suggest some blood tests, skin biopsies, sensitivity testing and cultures for your cat, too. These tests are performed to determine the cause of bacterial infections and diagnose the disease.

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Causes Of Eye Infection In Newborn In Cats

Eye infections in newborn kittens are commonly seen in cats rescued from, or kept in, dirty or crowded environments, though it is not unheard of in cats that are properly housed and cared for. Two common causes of eye infections in newborn kittens include:

  • An unclean resting area
  • A vaginal infection in the mother cat

Treatment And Prevention Of Eye Issues

How to get rid of Cats eye Infection at HOME #StayHome and Treatpet #Withme

Once your vet knows what’s causing your cat’s eye discharge, red eyes, irritation, or pain, theyll be able to consider the right treatmentand whether any home remedy is appropriate. Never give your cat eye drops, ointments, antibiotics, or other medicine unless directed to do so by a veterinarian.

Here are some treatments that might be called for depending on the diagnosis:

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Are Cat Eye Infections Contagious To Humans

In most cases, cat eye infections cannot be passed on to humans, but one infectious agent that affects cats, Chlamydia, has rarely been identified as a cause of conjunctivitis in humans. For this reason, hygienic measures should be taken, including washing your hands carefully after handling your cat, and in particular, after treating your cats eyes.

What Causes Cat Eye Infection

Infectious cat conjunctivitis can be caused by a range of viruses, with Feline Herpesvirus one of the most common. Bacteria such as Chlamydophila can also cause an eye infection as part of an upper tract respiratory infection, so cat sniffles and sneezes might accompany the appearance of the red or watery eye.

In both cases the cat eye infection can spread to other felines, so if there are any cats nearby, you may want to keep their interactions with the poorly cat to a minimum. Your vet may wish to see all the cats in your household. Make sure you wash your hands after checking on your cats eye and if possible try to keep them in separate rooms for the duration of the cat conjunctivitis flare-up.

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Signs Your Cat May Have An Eye Infection

Discharge, unusual blinking, or rubbing of the eyes may be the sign of a cat eye infection. Understanding the symptoms is key to treating this common condition.

Your cat’s gorgeous eyes are suddenly showing some signs of irritation. Theyre looking a little goopyclear, yellow, or green discharge might be pooling in the corners of the eyes and on the eyelids. Perhaps shes squinting or blinking, or those cute little paws are rubbing one or both eyes more than usual.

You might be wondering if its an eye infection. Even worseis it contagious? Before turning to an untested home remedy or raiding your medicine cabinet for a treatment thats meant for humans, consider the different conditions that can cause eye trouble in cats. You need a solid diagnosis from a professional before tackling your cat’s eye trouble, and here’s why.

Always Listen To Your Veterinarian

Cat Eye Infection And Sneezing

If your vet has prescribed any medication for your feline friend, its essential to follow his or her instructions exactly as indicated. Be sure to ask plenty of questions regarding your cats meds, particularly if youre unsure as to administer them. Dosage schedule, proper diet, and other general guidelines may be reviewed during your visit.

If you have questions, call the office its always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it involves prescription medication. One thing to keep in mind: never use eye drops intended for humans under any circumstances, as they are not designed for cats and can be potentially dangerous.

A few treatments your vet may prescribe for your cats eye problems include:

A few tips for helping your beloved kitty through the recovery process:

As any pet owner knows, part of caring for your sick pet is providing comfort and reassurance during her recovery. Simple things you can do including providing a quiet environment, a warm place to sleep, and a proper diet can make all the difference when shes not feeling well. Here a few easy ways you can ensure your cats comfort while she is getting over her illness:

Keep a tidy home: Just as we do for our own family members, keeping your cats sleeping area clean and free of debris is essential for a full recovery. Additionally, be sure to keep her bowls and toys clean and sanitized boiling most food dishes and chew toys in hot water kills most germs.

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Signs Your Cat Might Have An Eye Infection

Not all cats with an eye infection may exhibit the same symptoms. In fact, your cat may only have one or two clinical signs of an infection. Generally, though, a cat with an eye infection may have any of the following:

  • Redness in the white of the eye
  • Discharge that can be either watery or thick or clear, yellow, or green in color
  • Excessive blinking, winking, or keeping an eye closed
  • The third eyelid may be covering part of the eye
  • Pawing at the eye or rubbing it on surfaces
  • The eye may take on a cloudy appearance
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge
  • Light sensitivity

Infections of the eye can be quite irritating for your cat. A cat that is suffering from one might also be exhibiting behavioral changes, such as hiding more and being more temperamental.

Home Care: Tips For Keeping Your Cats Eyes Healthy

You can help avoid eye problems in your cat by keeping up with yearly vaccinations, avoiding kitty overcrowding, and checking your cats eyes frequently for redness, cloudiness, a change in color or shape, discharge, or sensitivity to light.

To safely remove your cats eye discharge and make them more comfortable while waiting for their vet appointment, arm yourself with a bag of cotton balls and these simple tips from the ASPCA:

  • Dip a cotton ball in water. Wipe away the eye discharge, always from the corner of the eye outward. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye.
  • Steer clear of any over-the-counter drops or washes unless your vet has prescribed them.

Because correct treatment can be so critical to the health and well-being of your cat, always talk to a veterinarian to be sure kitty is getting just the right care needed.

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Bacterial Infections In Cats

Cats bring an irreplaceable amount of love and companionship into our lives. Unfortunately, our furriends can sometimes fall ill or become injured for diverse number of reasons. Many of the illnesses commonly diagnosed in cats are caused by viral or bacterial infections.

A virus is an infectious particle that can only replicate inside a living cell. They can infect all life forms, from microorganisms to animal and pose a challenge to the body to defend from because they hide in the cells. For more about viruses please refer to our recent discussion about Some of the Most Common Viruses Afflicting Cats.

Unlike viruses, bacteria are single-celled living organisms, thought to be among the most successful life forms on the planet. While many bacteria are beneficial or simply harmless to most organisms, some are pathogenic and can cause disease in certain hosts. Note: a bacterium that is pathogenic to some organisms or organs, does not have to be pathogenic to others.

What are bacteria?

A bacterium is a prokaryotic, single-celled organism belonging to the domain bacteria. Their cell organisation is quite simple and they do not possess a nucleus nor organelles. Just like us, our pets are constantly exposed to bacteria. The vast majority of the bacteria in and on the feline body are rendered harmless by the immune system.

What is a bacterial infection?

Bacterial infections commonly diagnosed in cats

Symptoms of bacterial infections & sick cats

Diagnosis and treatment

Cat Eye Infection Home Remedies Causes And Pictures

How Do Cats Get Eye Infections | Causes and Prevention

Eye discharge coupled with unusual blinking and rubbing may be a sign of eye infection in cats. Although eye infections are relatively less common in cats than dogs, they can still occur when cats get exposed to infectious agents . Some cases of eye infections are harmless and will go away on their own, but others may be serious, especially those involving a traumatic injury. Learn a few of the more common causes along with the top cat eye infection home remedies that you can try at home. Most importantly, you will learn when to see a vet over cat eye infections.

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Natural Home Remedies To Treat Conjunctivitis In Cats

Now, the question you were waiting for “How can I treat my cats eye infection at home?”. Here are some tips for things that you can do at home to care for your cats conjunctivitis. These are not magic recipes for treating acute conjunctivitis, however, they can be of great help at the first signs of an eye infection such as discharge, swollen or pink eye.

Symptoms Of Cat Eye Infection

Conjunctivitis is defined as inflammation of the conjunctiva. The universal signs of inflammation are redness, heat, loss of function, swelling, and pain/ discomfort.

So when the conjunctiva is inflamed, the symptoms reflect these changes:

  • Red eyes or pinkness of the eye
  • Heat around the eye
  • Loss of function
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva
  • Pain/discomfort which may be seen as itchiness, with the cat rubbing at the eye with their paw, or rubbing their head along the ground
  • Watery eyes, sometimes with yellow or green discharge, may be noticed

If the cause of the eye infection is a virus such as Calicivirus or Herpes virus, there may be other signs of an upper respiratory infection such as sneezing and/or nasal discharge. Sometimes the eyeball itself may appear abnormal, with cloudiness or increased pigment on the surface of the eye.

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Selecting The Right Treatment

Although you may have to learn how to hold your feline friend in order to administer the medication, ophthalmic antibiotic drops and gels are commonly used to treat bacterial infections in cats eyes. Your veterinarian can show you how to do this.

Oral treatments are often unnecessary unless there is a systemic infection involved. Viral infections require the consistent use of an anti-viral medication. However, some vets will suggest letting a viral infection run its course. An antibiotic may be prescribed, as some viral infections are found alongside bacterial eye infections.

Symptoms Of Bacterial Infection In Cats

How to Get Rid of Pink Eye in Cats

The symptoms and signs of bacterial infections in cats are always infection specific. While streptococcal infections result in pain and fever, surface bacterial infections can result in inflammation, redness, and discomfort. Here are some common symptoms of bacterial infection in cats.

  • Fever
  • Indigestion and lack of appetite
  • Skin lesions and wound infections
  • Coughing and runny nose
  • Multiple infections, including skin, eyes, ears, upper respiratory tract and urinary tract
  • Skin inflammation and redness
  • Open fractures and pus oozing from the wounds


There are a number of bacteria that can lead to infections. The most common ones are:

  • Staphylococcus

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How Can I Help My Infected Cat Feel Better

When your cat is infected with cat herpes, it can be a stressful time for them and you. Luckily there are a few things you can do to help your cat feel better:

  • Create a clean, comfortable, and quiet environment where your cat can rest peacefully.
  • Ensure your cat can access fresh water and a clean bowl every day.
  • Follow directions from your veterinarian and administer medications or eye drops as prescribed.

If you have other questions or concerns about your cats health, contact your veterinarian for advice and support.


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