When should I be concerned about my cats eyes? Cats are not as susceptible to genetic eye issues as other species, like dogs. Most of the eye issues cats experience are caused by viruses, such as herpes and calici, meaning they are treatable and usually preventable. These are some of the most common causes of eye problems in cats.
Feline Herpes /Rhinotracheitis
The feline herpes virus will affect the eyeball (cornea) and commonly causes ulcers. In rescues, herpes can kill the eye on a young kitten, making it look like it was born without one. If the eye is okay, scarring often occurs and it is unsightly and limits vision.
Calicivirus in Cats
Feline calicivirus causes eye inflammation and discharge. Oral ulcers and upper respiratory infections are also common with calicivirus.
Chlamydia in Cats
Feline chlamydia, also known as “pink eye,” is an eye infection acquired from another cat and is often seen in show cats. This infection can be transmitted cat to cat or by casual human transfer after handling an infected cat. The resulting conjunctivitis does resemble human pink eye but is not the same cause. Topical tetracycline ophthalmic ointments are effective on chlamydia infection.
How Can I Treat My Cats Eye Infection at Home
Treatment options for eye infections in cats are often topical. Terramycin ophthalmic ointment is usually effective in treating various eye infections, including chlamydia.
Doxycycline is used orally. It is especially ideal for use in a rescue cat that is hard to handle. In these cases, doxycycline is better choice than other antibiotics as the eye may not get treated topically several times a day. Doxycycline is also a good choice for cats that are not accepting eye medications because it has good levels in the tears. You can treat a cat and get help from the doxycycline in the tears at the same time.
Fluid therapy and nutrition is often forgotten in sick cats and is vital to fighting infection. Feline electrolytes such at Breeder’s Edge Kitten Lyte in the water and hand feeding a high fat, high protein diet is best. If the cat’s nose is stuffed up, flush it with a saline/lincomycin nose flush as you would with an upper respiratory infection to allow them to smell. Cats don’t eat what they can’t smell!
If you have additional questions on cat eye infections, call us at 800.786.4751.
Feline Chlamydia – “Cat Pink Eye”
How to treat conjunctivitis in cats? Feline Chlamydia causes conjunctivitis in cats, otherwise known as cat pink eye. Learn how to recognize the symptoms and how to treat pink eye in cats.
Feline Calicivirus: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment
What is feline calicivirus? Calicivirus in cats can cause respiratory issues. Discover feline calicivirus symptoms, treatment and prevention to protect against calicivirus in cats.
Feline Herpesvirus (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis)
Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1), also known as Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, is one the most common contagious respiratory diseases in cats. Learn the symptoms and treatment.
Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats
How can I treat my cats upper respiratory infection? When dealing with upper respiratory infections in cats, treat the primary infection and secondary bacterial problems. Learn the causes and treatment of uri in cats.
Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.