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Cat Eye Infections: Causes and Cures

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Nov 20, 2018
Cat eye infections are caused by a number of factors. If not treated early, it may turn into a chronic infection. This write-up covers some information that will help you know more about a cat eye infection.
Cats have the most alluring eyes of all creatures. Their eyes glitter in the light and shimmer at night. They are beautiful pools of colors like green, blue, yellow, orange, or combinations of these. They are the most prominent features of felines.
Cats are not only known for their beautiful eyes, but they have a vision power that is far superior than any human. They can catch every movement of their prey within the flicker of a second. Their night vision is also far more superior than humans and they can catch any movement at night.
These beautiful and powerful eyes are prone to many infections. Eye infection is one of the common cat diseases. Cat eye infections may be caused due to a number of factors that may irritate your pet. These factors include foreign objects stuck in the cat's eye, a congenital defect of the tear ducts, or infection due to bacterial, viral, or fungal factors.

Cat Eye Structure

A healthy cat's eyes are free from any inflammation, bluish tint, scars, and mucus development. They will be clear and have a luminescent glow. A cat's eyes are made up of the cornea, the schlera, the conjunctiva, and the third eyelid. The cornea is the clear covering that you can see protecting the outer eye.
This transparent cornea has seven layers that help in providing optimum protection to the inner eye. The eye whites are known as schlera and the pink connective tissue attached to the cat's eyelids and whites is called the conjunctiva.
The mostly hidden part of the eye is the third eyelid, which is a very thin layer that covers the outer eye. These areas of the eye are prone to many infections. If you know a little about these parts of the cat's eye, it will be a lot easier to spot and understand the eye infections.
Here are the causes of cat eye infections will help you identify the eye problems as soon as possible, so that you can seek immediate treatment.

Cornea Injury

The cornea is prone to injury when the animal is involved in a cat fight and gets scratched in the eye, or due to an accidental piercing of a foreign object or self-mutilation by accident during grooming. This branch of protective tissue will lead to a microbial infection and if left untreated, may cause further damage to the eye.
  • Squinting
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Bluish tint on cornea

Due to Bacteria

Chlamydiosis: This is one of the major causes of cat eye conjunctivitis. Treatment for this condition includes treatment with Tetracycline.

  • Fever
  • Rhinitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Palatine
  • Glossal ulcerations
  • Nasal discharge

Due to a Virus

★ Feline Herpes Virus: This is the most common cause of pink eye or conjunctivitis in cats. This virus is contagious. The treatment includes administration of medicated eye drops. The cat may also have an inflamed cornea, ulcer or sore on the cornea, inflammation of the conjunctiva and the schlera, eyeballs stuck to the eyelid, and a dry eye.
★ Feline Panleukopenia: This is a very contagious condition and can turn into a fatal cat eye infection. This infection can be prevented by vaccination. There is no effective treatment for it.

  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Lesions in the eye
  • High fever
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
★ Feline Infectious Peritonitis: Coronavirus is the causative agent for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). This infection causes eye inflammation and a detached retina that is hard to detect without specific diagnostic tests. The treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs. Cats infected with this virus will unfortunately survive only for a few months.
  • Anterior uveitis (Inflammation inside the eye behind the cornea)
  • Keratic precipitates (deposits of fiber behind the cornea)
  • Hypopyon (pus)
★ Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is transmitted through cat bites and the symptoms are visible in cats after a long period after contracting the virus. The cat becomes susceptible to infections and this virus is similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The treatment includes administration of antiviral drugs and interferon alpha. Transfusions and fluid therapy are provided as supportive care. A cat infected with FIV can live up to 2 years after infection.
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Enlargement of the lymph nodes
  • Loss of weight
  • Chronic upper respiratory diseases
  • Inflammation of the lining of the mouth
  • Ginigivitis
  • Chronic Skin Infections
★ Feline Leukemia Complex: The virus can infect any part of the eye and is contracted by direct contact with another infected cat. The symptoms include anemia and lymphoma.

Due to Fungus

Cryptococcosis: This fungal infection is an indication that cryptococcosis has infected the central nervous system. The treatment includes administration of oral antifungal medications like fluconazole, triazole, etc.
  • Peripheral blindness
  • Dilated eyes and pupils
  • Change in behavior and temperament
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Circling behavior
  • Head pressing
  • Head tilt
  • Ataxia
  • Dementia

Kitten Eye Infection

Kittens do not have a strong immune system, which makes it very easy for bacteria and viruses to cause frequent eye infections. The most common kitten eye infection is conjunctivitis. The treatment includes eye drops for minor infections that are administered twice a day.
In case of a severe infection, the eye drops are administrated three or four times a day. Oral administration of antibiotics may also be advised by the vet. In case of pus, clean the kitten's eye with a saline solution and then administer eye drops.

  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Sealed eyelids
  • Pus
  • Odor


★ If there is a build up of mucus in the eye, it may lead to an eye infection. You should wipe the cat's eyes once a day with a clean, damp cloth, when you notice excessive mucus development.
★ You should always bear in mind to protect the cat's eyes when you are giving a chemical treatment like flea treatment. The vet may advise a neutralizing ointment that will protect the eyes during the chemical treatment.
★ If you own a long-haired cat, make sure you trim the fur regularly as even its own hair may cause eye irritation that may lead to excessive rubbing and scratching of the eye. This may cause the cat to carry out accidental self-mutilation that leads to eye infections.
You should take good cat health care as these animals are susceptible to many diseases. A cat eye infection, if left untreated, may turn chronic and lead to blindness. The eyes of a cat are what make it so unique. As an owner, it becomes your responsibility to care for this unique feature of your cat.