Conjunctivitis in Cats

Conjunctivitis in Cats

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There are numerous situations that can cause your cat’s eyes to look red and irritated, the most common being conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the outermost lining of the eye and/or eyelids.

Conjunctivitis happens when the protective tissue that prevents dirt and debris from getting into your cat’s eyes becomes inflamed. While your pet most likely looks as though she hasn’t slept in weeks, with swollen red eyes, once conjunctivitis is detected, it can be treated quickly with almost immediate improvement.

The most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats is viral infection, such as calicivirus and herpes virus, which can also cause cold-like symptoms. Other common causes include trauma (e.g., scratches from fighting with other cats), bacterial infections, and fungal infections. Certain chemicals, molds, foreign materials, smoke, and shampoos can also cause conjunctivitis.

There are many other conditions that may look like conjunctivitis; some of these are easy to fix while others are more serious, requiring extra attention. Consult your veterinarian, who will probe to identify what is troubling your teary-eyed friend.

If you think your cat has conjunctivitis, contact your veterinarian who will most likely perform a complete ophthalmic examination, including a few eye-specific tests to confirm the diagnosis of conjunctivitis. They may also recommend blood tests, culture tests, and some specialty tests, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Your veterinarian will advise you regarding the best way to care for your pet’s eye(s). One of the most common treatments is to apply an eye drop or ointment to the affected eye. Having your cat sit still while you apply the medication can be extremely challenging. For helpful tips, watch an expert apply eye drops to a cat.

Because there are so many different causes of conjunctivitis, there is no single prevention that works for every situation. To help your cat reduce the risk of eye problems, check his eyes daily for any obvious signs of irritation, such as redness or tearing. Most important, contact your veterinarian if you notice your pet’s eyes look irritated or inflamed!

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Conjunctivitis in Cats

Cats can have a variety of eye problems, but conjunctivitis is by far one of the most common ones that affect our feline friends. In this post, we’ll look at its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, how it is treated, and when you should expect your cat to recover from this health issue.

What is cat conjunctivitis?

Feline conjunctivitis can be defined as the inflammation of the conjunctiva. But what is the conjunctiva? Both in humans and in animals, the eye is formed of several different layers. The conjunctiva is a membrane that can be found on the inside of the eyelids.

The membrane plays the part of protecting the cat’s eye from dirt and debris, as well as potential pathogens. Instead of your cat developing a severe eye infection, he or she will first develop conjunctivitis, which can be easier to treat compared to other eye problems.

The inflammation can show up in one eye or both, but most cats usually transmit the germ that has caused it to the other eye, too, during their grooming process.


L-lysine fights off the effects of feline herpesvirus. It can be useful for speeding up recovery or fighting off early signs of infection. L-lysine is available over-the-counter inexpensively and is given orally, making it easier than eye ointments and drops. You can give L-lysine to your cat even when he's not showing signs of eye irritation to prevent future infections. A home treatment like this should be given after consulting with your veterinarian to make sure it done safely.

Transmission of Pink Eye in Cats

Cat pink eye is highly contagious. Not only is it contagious between cats, but also from cats to humans. However, it is important to remember that the infection can only be transmitted through direct contact. This is why animal shelters and pet stores are very common breeding grounds for conjunctivitis. Because the animals spend so much time together in confined quarters, it is very easy to transmit it from one cat to another.

The transmission from cats to humans can also be made by direct contact. You can contact the infection by touching your cat's eyes and then touching your own. It would not be a good practice to do this anyway, but it is important to keep in mind that the infection cannot be transmitted through the air only by direct contact. When you are treating your cat for pink eye, it is important to keep clean hygiene in mind to prevent the spread of the infection to you or your family.

Treatments for Conjunctivitis in Cats

If your cat shows signs of conjunctivitis, you can try treating him at home with products from your local drug store, such as diluted boric acid (for ophthalmic use), sterile ophthalmic irrigating solution or artificial tears. Call your veterinarian to find out how best to administer these remedies. If you’ve tried these methods for 24 hours and haven’t seen any improvement — such as reduced swelling, redness and discharge — take him to the veterinarian.

The veterinarian will take a culture of your cat’s eye to determine whether the cause of the irritation is viral or bacterial. The results will determine the type of prescription eye solution necessary. If your vet suspects allergies are the cause of your cat’s conjunctivitis, anti-inflammatory drops, such as those containing hydrocortisone, may be recommended. Hydrocortisone drops should not be used, however, if your cat has an ulcerated cornea or is believed to be experiencing an episode of herpesvirus FHV-1.

Generally, an eye with conjunctivitis will begin to heal within one to two days after you start treatment. To be certain you have fully addressed the cause, though, you should continue administering any medications for as long as your veterinarian recommends. This is especially important for drops containing antibiotics.

A case of conjunctivitis caused by herpesvirus FHV-1 may not be cured just because it has cleared up. The virus will often lie dormant for a while, only to flare up again at a later time. In cases of recurrent conjunctivitis, your veterinarian may prescribe an anti-viral medication. Of course, every cat is different, and some may never experience the condition again.

Watch the video: Conjunctivitis in cats