Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

White cat with conjunctivitis

(Picture Credit: Merche Portu/Getty Images)

Pink eye in cats, also known as conjunctivitis, is a medical condition that develops when the mucus membrane, known as conjunctiva, that lines a cat’s eyelids and eyeballs becomes inflamed.

This is a very common condition. Furthermore, it is considered to be quite a painful issue for a kitty to deal with.

If you see the signs of conjunctivitis in your cat, then you must get to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for pink eye in cats.

Symptoms Of Pink Eye In Cats

Pink eye in cats is a medical condition that can bring about a range of symptoms other than a red or pinkish hue in the eye. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Watery or teary eyes
  • Swelling
  • Blinking and squinting a lot
  • Discharge from the eyes (usually cloudy or yellow)
  • Unable to properly open and close the eye
  • Sneezing
  • Acting lethargic
  • Loss of appetite

Causes Of Pink Eye In Cats

Veterinary doctor checks eyesight of a cat in a veterinary clinic. Her apply drops to the eyes of pet.

(Picture Credit: dardespot/Getty Images)

The cause of pink eye in cats can usually be divided up into cases that are of an infectious nature and causes that are not infectious.

Some of the most frequent infectious causes include:

  • Viral infectious (including feline herpesvirus (or FHV-1) and calicivirus)
  • Parasitic infections (including onchocerciasis and leishmaniasis)
  • Bacterial infections (including staphylococcus, bartonella, and chlamydophila felis)

Some of the most common non-infectious causes include:

  • Entropion (which affects long-haired breeds of cats the most)
  • Allergies
  • Diseases of the eyelid

Veterinary Treatments

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from pink eye, your veterinarian will carry out a detailed eye examination. They’ll also ask about your cat’s recent health and any symptoms that you have noticed.

When examining a cat’s eyes, your vet might carry out tests that involve checking on your cat’s ability to produce tears (known as a Schirmer test), monitor the pressure in the eyeballs, and use a fluorescein stain method to check for any ulcers.

When it comes to treatment, it’s usually a case of identifying the underlying cause and treating any problematic infections or conditions. Vets often prescribe eyedrops and other medicines that can help with any inflammation issues, and they commonly prescribe antibiotics, as well.

As ever, if your vet prescribes your cat any medicine, it is vital that you stick to the precise dosage and frequency instructions along with completing the full course of medication.

While your cat recovers, it is important that you keep up regular appointments with their vet to make sure that the condition isn’t returning and that the underlying cause has been successfully taken care of.

Has your cat ever caught pink eye? How did your vet help your kitty recover? Let us know in the comments section below.