Cat Eye Infection: Causes Symptoms Treatments & Home Remedies
Cats eye is one of the most attractive characteristics. And these are the best-known indicators and can tell us if they are feeling fearful, curious, or blissfully relaxed. In the same way, a kittens eyes can warn us about the signs of cat eye infections. The kitten eye infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even parasites. But the cure of eye infection is not the same for all. Some clear up quickly, and some take a lot of time. Understanding the symptoms and signs of cat-eye infections will help you prevent your cat in a better way. Let explore how can i treat my cats eye infection at home guide for some simple remedies.
Diagnosing Kitten Eye Infections
Your vet will start by thoroughly examining your kitten to assess their overall health and keep an eye out for other signs of viral or bacterial infections. At that time the vet will ask for any information you may have regarding the mother’s health and the kitten’s living conditions.
If your kitten’s eye infection may have been caused during birth, your vet may want to do a culture of the kitten’s eye discharge and the mother’s vaginal discharge in order to more accurately identify the type of infection.
To check your kitten’s eye for signs of trauma your vet may use eye drops containing a yellow dye to help make any scratches, or foreign objects easier to spot.
If your vet suspects that your kitten may have a systemic disease blood tests and urinalysis may be recommended to pinpoint any serious health conditions that your kitty may be suffering from.
Keratitis: When The Cornea Is Inflamed
As with most eye conditions, this inflammation of the see-through cornea that covers the iris and the pupil can be painful and cause blindness if the underlying cause is left untreated. Testing can help a veterinarian uncover the bacteria or virus at work and prescribe a pain-relieving and illness-fighting treatment plan. Especially with viruses, treatment can take time, and the condition could return, so its possible your veterinarian may recommend adjustments along the way.
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What If It Doesnt Get Better
If your cat isnt getting better or keeps getting conjunctivitis, they may need some further investigation by your vet. These may include swabs, tear measurement or perhaps referral to a specialist ophthalmologist .
Some conditions that cause conjunctivitis need lifelong treatment. If you want to find out more about the conditions that cause conjunctivitis please use the links within the causes section.
Home Remedy Enhanced Diet
Along with one of the above home remedies, you should be giving your cat some extra nutrition while treating the eye infection. There are several foods you can add to your cats diet to speed the recovery of the infection, and supports eye-health.
- Vitamin A supplements, or foods that contain vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, carrots or butternut squash. Turkey and chicken are also high in vitamin A.
- Vitamin C these can be given as supplements, or in foods such as fresh papaya.
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When To Contact Your Vet
Always contact your vet if you notice any of the signs above or you have a suspicion there is something wrong with your cats eye. If conjunctivitis is left too long without treatment it can lead to more serious disease or even loss of an eye.
If your cat suffers with conjunctivitis regularly your vet will check for any conditions that might be causing it.
You know your cat best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned its always best to contact your vet.
When To See A Vet For Cat Eye Infections
These cat eye infection home remedies can help your feline companion get relief from the symptoms. It is, however, important to get the attention of your veterinarian if cat eye infection doesnt show any improvement after 24 hours of treatment with these home remedies.
Eye infections and related problems can cause serious consequences ranging from major ocular damage to blindness. Your veterinarian will rule out each of the possible underlying causes and treat your cat accordingly.
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Cat Or Kitten Eye Discharge
Discharge typically indicates a reaction to infection and can vary widely in color. Green, yellow, or brown are the most common. A wet cotton ball can help you to clear the discharge. Then a warm compress can help reduce irritation.
Preventing Allergy Related Eye Problems
If you suspect your felines eye condition is due to food or environmental allergies then you need to remove the allergen to stop the problem. Although the solution sounds easy, figuring out what the allergen is can prove difficult. With food allergies, you might be able to figure out what food or ingredient is causing the problem by careful observation or by using the process of elimination.
You might be able to figure out potential environmental allergies by paying attention to what the cat came into contact with when a reaction occurs. Of course, you can always have a veterinarian run tests to determine possible allergens. Once you know the allergen you can remove it from the environment or diet to stop the problem at the source.
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How Long Does It Take For A Kitten Eye Infection To Heal
In most cases, a kitten eye infection will heal relatively quickly. Whether your cat was prescribed antibiotics or eye drops, it should not take longer than two weeks for their eye infection to heal. However, if their eye infection does not get better within two weeks, bring them to the vet ASAP. Eye infections that are left untreated can lead to blindness.
How To Prevent Infections
- Vaccinate your cat from an early age
- Keep your home environment low-stress
- Offer your cat a complete nutritional diet
- Consider incorporating vet-approved supplements for eye support
- Gently assist your cat with basic grooming .
- Offer your cat a window to look out of with natural sunlight
As always, you should seek the advice of a veterinary professional for a proper diagnosis of your cat’s eye problems. Providing your cat with the basic necessities is a sure way to keep them healthy and happy.
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How Is Conjunctivitis Diagnosed In Cats
A veterinarian can determine that a cat has conjunctivitis just by looking at them, since conjunctivitis describes a set of symptoms. However, diagnostic testing is needed to determine what caused the conjunctivitis.
Common diagnostic tests include:
- A thorough exam of a cats eyes and eye tests such as measuring tear production and eye pressure, or testing for eye ulcers/scratches.
- Tests for infectious diseases, including eye infections, FIV, FeLV, etc.
- Whole-body health tests, such as bloodwork, if underlying health conditions are suspected.
The diagnostic testing plan will vary based on an individual cats health status, medical history, lifestyle, and other factors.
Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis In Cats
Common feline conjunctivitis symptoms include:
- Redness of the eye or surrounding skin.
- Eye discharge that is watery, cloudy, dark, yellow, or green.
- Squinting or excessive blinking.
- Swelling of the eyelid or conjunctiva.
Cats that have infectious conjunctivitis may also show symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as sneezing, a runny nose, a fever, lethargy, or decreased appetite.
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What Is Cat Conjunctivitis
Cat conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin membrane on the inside of the eyelids and white part of the eye. The inflammation will cause the conjunctiva to become red and swollen and the eye might water or have some discharge. Cat conjunctivitis can be either infectious, when caused by viruses or bacteria, or non-infectious when something gets into the eye and irritates it. The inflammation can appear in one eye or both eyes at the same time.
If your cat has conjunctivitis, you may catch them pawing at the affected eye or constantly blinking and squinting, because the condition is uncomfortable. Arranging a trip at the vet is the best thing to do for a speedy recovery.
Tips For Treating Cat Eye Infections
As with most feline ailments, recognizing when there is a problem is the first step in diagnosing and treating eye infections in cats. But, since many kitties can be very privateeven more so when theyre not feeling wellhaving an idea of what could go wrong and how to fix it can be very helpful. Here are some tips that pet parents can use to keep their cats eyes bright and healthy.
The first thing you should do when it comes to your kittys ocular health is to familiarize yourself with your cats eyes. What color are they? What does the third eyelid look like? Having a baseline is very important so that you can notice when something is offeven if its minor. This could be anything from a little bit of sleep in the eye to some pinkness in the third eyelid, says Dr. Andrea Jones, a veterinarian at the New Jersey-based Princeton Animal Hospital & Carnegie Cat Clinic.
Once you know what your cats normal is, youre better able to identify signs of infection. These can include everything from redness and drainage to squinting and rubbing.
Both Holt and Jones stress that if you notice something is wrong with your cats eyes, you should schedule a vet appointment immediately. You dont have to necessarily make it an emergency, but you should try to get the cat to the vet that day, Jones says.
Treatments for eye infections can range from topicalthink drops and ointmentsto oral antibiotics and ocular surgery.
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How Quickly Will Treatment Work
Cat eye infections typically clear up very quickly once treatment begins. Even after your cat’s symptoms have cleared up remember to continue administering medications as per your vet’s instructions! Discontinuing your cat’s antibiotic medication early could lead to a resurgence of the infection and make it harder to fight.
If your cat’s eye infection is due to an underlying health condition the effectiveness and speed of the treatment will depend upon the condition being treated. Your vet will be able to provide you with a prognosis for your cat’s recovery.
Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
How To Prevent Cat Eye Infections
Once your cats eye infection clears up, your next step is to prevent it from recurring. Lets take a look at the steps you can take to prevent cat eye infections.
As weve learned, viral infections like feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus are the most common causes of cat eye infections. These viruses are usually passed from cat to cat and are very common in environments where multiple cats are living in close proximity to one another. Even cats who have been vaccinated for these viruses are not immune to them. The best way to prevent your cat from becoming infected with these viruses is to limit your cats exposure to unknown animalsdont let them roam outside where they could come in contact with neighborhood cats. Always take sanitary precautions when you visit an animal shelter or the vet.
If your cat already had herpesvirus, its possible for the virus to resurface and cause your cat to become sick again after a period of time. Its thought that stress can increase the likelihood of cats getting sick, so managing stress may help to minimize the likelihood of an eye infection.
If your cat is suffering from non-infectious eye irritations or allergies, continue to mitigate your cats exposure to those irritants.
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Conjunctivitis: Yes Cats Can Get Pink Eye Too
Conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is all the tissue around the eye that is normally pink. In a cat, you shouldnt really see conjunctiva unless there is a problem with it, and if the conjunctiva is inflamed by foreign bodies, infection, or injury, then the eye will appear red, puffy, and irritated. Your cat may squint. . Some other causes can be Feline Herpesvirus or Calicivirus. Whether the Conjunctivitis is bacterial, viral, or fungi-based, it can be cleared up quickly with a vet visit, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Eye discharge that is white, yellow, or green
- Third eyelid covering part of the eye
Diagnosis & Treatment:
- Ocular tests, including ocular staining to check for corneal ulcers on the surface of the eye, ocular pressure testing to check for glaucoma, ocular exam, and possibly culture to determine the origin of the infection
- Blood or urine samples to assess overall health
- Eye drops or topical ointments applied to the eyes to reduce inflammation and heal the eyes
- Surgical removal of any foreign bodies debride corneal ulcers or repair a prolapsed third eyelid gland
- Oral antibiotics or anti-viral medications may be prescribedif an infection is present
Treating Eye Infections In Kittens
If your cat is experiencing eye problems, its important to have them immediately seen by a veterinarian. Eye issues that are left alone can develop into vision problems, and in some cases, even blindness. Treating a kittens eye infection ultimately depends on whats causing it, so you need to identify the primary cause.
There are various ways you can go about treating eye infections in kittens, such as:
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Glaucoma: When Eye Pressure Is Too High
A healthy eye moves fluid in and out from behind the lens of the eye. If that fluid is blocked up, the increased pressure can cause damage to the cat’s eye, which can affect the cats vision and cause discomfort. According to the Cornell Feline Health Center at Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, most cases of glaucoma in cats can be caused by inflammation or infection of the eyes drainage ducts, which allows pressure to build up in the affected eye. But in other cases, the cause of glaucoma can include inflammation, dislocation of the lens, a tumor, or damage to the eye.
Signs of glaucoma might include an enlarged eye, a cloudy cornea , redness in the eye, a dilated pupil that doesn’t react properly to light, squinting, pain in the eye, or excessive tears.
Because glaucoma can lead to blindness, its important to call your vet as soon as you suspect an issue. Your veterinarian will work to treat and manage underlying medical issues, like inflammation of parts of the eye . However, if glaucoma cannot be controlled, your vet may recommend surgery or even complete removal of the eye to alleviate pain associated with the condition.
Home Remedy Nutraceutical Treatments
There are several different options for nutraceutical treatments:
- Combine 4 drops of organic apple cider vinegar with 4 tbsp distilled water and stir well. Administer eye drops 2 3 times a day until the infection clears. This should not be used for pink eye.
- Combine 4 drops of lemon juice with 2 tbsp distilled water and stir well. Again, 2 3 drops every 2 3 times per day. This should not be used with pink eye.
- Combine 2 tbsp organic honey with 2 tbsp distilled water and stir well. Administer 2 3 drops 2 3 times per day until the infection clears. This can be used with pink eye.
- Combine 4 drops of Oregon grape tincture with 1 ounce of distilled water and mix well. Administer 2 3 drops 2 3 times per day until the infection clears. This shouldnt be used to treat pink eye.
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More Tips For Natural Cat Eye Infection Treatment
In addition to the above cat eye infection home remedies, you will also want to consider the following tips:
- Give your cat a balanced diet: A balanced diet that is rich in vitamins A and C will help your cat by boosting her immune system and promoting eye health. Adding vegetables such as spinach, kale, and carrots is a good starting point.
- Keep the infected cat away from other pets, including dogs.
How To Treat Conjunctivitis In Cats
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.
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How Can I Treat My Kitten’s Eye Infection At Home
A great and effective way to treat your kittens eye infection right at home is by cleaning off their eye discharge with a wet cotton ball. This will keep their eyes clean and prevent discharge from accumulating and becoming uncomfortable. You can also apply a warm compress to their eyes to prevent the lids from sticking together.