Account # or Apply for an account Credit Balance: $0
855 908 4010

How to Look After a Cat With Conjunctivitis

 by jaime on 07 Jul 2014 |
No Comment
Conjunctivitis is an extremely common problem in cats, and it occurs when inflammation develops in the membrane behind the eyelids as well as on the eyeball's surface. It usually has an infectious cause if the symptoms are pronounced, but over the spring and summer months you may notice your cat's eyes reacting to more environmental allergens. Here's what you need to know about looking after a cat with conjunctivitis.

In order to treat conjunctivitis, you first need to learn how to identify it. The most obvious signs are watery discharge and a redness of the eye (though both eyes may be red). Some cats will also squint, holding the irritated eye partially closed. If the conjunctivitis is particularly bad, you might also notice your cat pawing at the eye due to itching. However, if it seems like your cat's eye is painful as opposed to merely itchy, you should consider other eye problems (such as glaucoma).

If you suspect that your pet has conjunctivitis, it should never be left untreated, as the disease can eventually cause vision loss for the cat. Mild cases of conjunctivitis typically present with a slightly pink and swollen eye, and allergens or irritants (such as pollen, plants or dust) often cause these eye irritations. If your cat has mild conjunctivitis, you can treat it with an over the counter product that is sold for human use in the first instance. Specifically, you should look for something like artificial tears, but you should make an appointment to see your vet if the eye isn't looking better within a day.

If your cat has a more pronounced case of conjunctivitis involving deep redness, itching and copious discharge, it's prudent to see your vet immediately. Sometimes, conjunctivitis is related to a more serious infection like chlamydophila or to an infestation of eye worms. Your vet can perform tests to confirm any underlying disease.
In addition, look out for crusty eyes or for pus around an inflamed eye. If conjunctivitis presents this way, it is almost guaranteed to be a bacterial infection behind your pet's eye troubles. While you can gently clean the eye area with warm water, your cat will also need an antibiotic ointment. You can obtain this treatment from your vet, and it should be used for at least a week (even though most cats appear to be asymptomatic before this time). Your vet may also prescribe up to a three-week course of eye drops if the underlying cause is revealed to be chlamydophila or mycoplasma, as your cat might otherwise become reinfected with conjunctivitis soon after being cured.

When conjunctivitis strikes both eyes at once, the cause is more often viral. If it turns out that a viral infection has caused your cat's eye problems then your vet can offer antiviral medications. This option is especially important if your cat has herpesvirus and lives in a multi-cat household, as other animals can become infected.

Feature image credit



Join the Conversation

* Please enter your name.
Email address will not be published
Please enter a valid email address.
* Please enter your comment.
Image Verification
'Please enter security code.