Cat eye infection: causes, symptoms, and the best treatment
Various diseases can affect the eyes of cats. Whether more or less serious, they always require appropriate care. We discuss in detail the different cat eye infections in this article!
Your cats can also develop an eye infection. Does your cat have swollen eyes? Conjunctivitis in cats is rather common. In the next few lines, we give you tools to find out how to relieve cat eye infection in the long term from the comfort of your home. I will also discuss the symptoms of an eye infection in cats, its causes, and other relevant things about it.
Now let’s start our article. I will first explain the causes of cat eye infection. Read on to understand why your cat gets these nasty infections.
Cat eye infection: symptoms
Normally, the cat’s eyes are clear and have no discharge, the edges of the eyelids are smooth with no scabs or redness, and the third eyelid (called the nictitating membrane ) should not be visible.
Definition of infection
Infection is damage to the body or part of the body by a virus, bacteria, fungus, or even a parasite. These “intruders” multiply and cause a defensive reaction on the part of the body, usually leading to fatigue and fever.
Signs of an eye infection in cats
It is quite easy to spot an abnormality in your cat’s eyes. In the case of cat eye infection, you will observe (in one eye or both):
- a thick, sticky discharge that is yellow, greenish, or sometimes even reddish-brown;
- his eyelids may be sticky from the pus;
- the cat has itchy eyes, it rubs with its paws, often blinks;
- the eyelids may also be a little swollen, red, irritated;
- the nictitating membrane may be partially or totally visible.
Possible causes of eye infection in cats
As we have seen, an infection can have several causes of cat eye infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic), but which are, in cats, those which are most often encountered?
The herpes virus, one of the three viruses responsible for the common cold in cats, is an aggressive virus that particularly affects:
- young kittens;
- those who lack immunity;
- cats living in groups;
- those who are under great stress.
Its most characteristic symptom is a cat eye infection with thick reddish-brown discharge (as well as purulent nasal discharge, cough, general depression).
It can be fatal, is very contagious, and the affected cat can remain a carrier for life: the virus will thus reactivate cyclically, “taking advantage” of great stress or a decrease in the body’s immunity. ‘he infected to resurface.
This is an infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydophila felis. Easily contagious between cats, it has the particularity of causing conjunctivitis first in one eye, before infecting the second.
The eyes run, the eyelids are swollen, the cat has difficulty keeping the eyes wide open, the nictitating membrane is visible and red.
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Chlamydophila felis is also one of the bacteria making up the formidable recipe for cat common cold (in addition to viruses!).
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
This pathology can also trigger an infection in the eyes. Finally, we can meet uveitis (= infection of the iris of the eye and its vascularized layers) and keratitis (which is an infection of the cornea). An eye infection can also cause an ulcer, which is a loss of material from the surface of the eye.
Recommendations in case of cat eye infection
As usual, it is advisable to never let a health problem set in. The eyes are fragile organs, they must be carefully monitored. So in case of doubt or proven conjunctivitis, make an appointment without delay!
The veterinarian will do a general examination to establish his diagnosis;
He will take a sample of the discharge to determine if the infection is due to a bacteria or a virus, after which he can adapt the treatment;
Usually, the vet will prescribe antibiotics.
Medicines can be given as tablets for the cat to swallow or as an injection by the veterinarian. We must also:
- clean the affected eyes;
- instill eye drops;
- and/or apply an ophthalmic ointment.
In prevention, there are vaccines that can protect your cat, to do when he is a kitten.
To clean your little feline’s eyes, use a compress soaked in physiological saline, working from the inside to the outside. Never use cotton, the fibers of which could damage the already irritated eye.
Finally, remember never to use products from your pharmacy to treat your cat’s eyes, the different molecules and dosages could have serious consequences on his health.
Natural homemade treatment for cat eye infection
Here are some things you can do at home to help relieve your cat of conjunctivitis. These aren’t magic recipes for treating acute conjunctivitis, but they can be of great help at the first sign of an eye infection.
Cleaning and irrigation
Do you think your cat has conjunctivitis because his eyes are crusted? You can relieve it by making a homemade physiological saline solution to use for cleaning and irrigating the eyes temporarily (it is safer to use an ophthalmic irrigation solution for veterinary use).
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To prepare a homemade cleaning solution, some suggest this homemade recipe:
Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with one cup of lukewarm water. Then soak a gauze to place a few drops of the solution in the cat’s eyes, to rinse them. You can then clean the rim of the eyelids and remove the scabs by moistening them. This will prevent blockage of the tear ducts.