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Cat Eye Infection Home Remedy

Cat Eye Infection Home Remedy

Eye infections in cats can be caused by a variety of issues from bacterial or viral infections to injuries or other more serious underlying conditions. Here, our Renton vets share some home remedies for eye infections in cats.

Causes of Eye Infections in Cats

The causes of eye infections in cats can be divided into two basic categories: infectious conditions and non-infectious conditions.

Common Infectious Conditions:

  • Bacterial infection of the eye
  • Viral infection of the eye
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR)
  • Feline herpesvirus
  • Feline calicivirus

Common Non-Infectious Conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Tumors
  • Trauma
  • Foreign body in eye (ie: grass seed or sand)
  • Autoimmune disease

Signs of a Cat Eye Infection

If your cat is suffering from an eye infection you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • The whites of your cat's eye may turn red
  • Clear, yellow, or green discharge from the eye
  • Winking or squinting
  • Rubbing or pawing at one or both eyes
  • The third eyelid may be protruding and covering part of the irritated eye

Your cat's symptoms may affect one or both eyes. Often a cat will only show symptoms in one eye but the infection then spreads to the other eye.

Upper respiratory infections frequently cause eye irritation. Symptoms of URIs in cats (cat colds) include sneezing or nasal discharge.

If your cat is displaying any of the above symptoms book an appointment with your primary care veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to the other eye, becoming more severe, or being spread to other pets in your household or neighborhood.

Treatment & Home Remedies for Eye Infections in Cats

Your vet or veterinary ophthalmologist will determine the best treatment for your cat's eye infection based on an assessment of your cat's overall health. If the eye infection is the primary concern your vet may recommend a topical treatment for your cat's eye such as Terramycin® or  Vetropolycin®. If however, your cat's eye infection is due to an underlying condition such as FeLV or Calicivirus, the underlying condition may be the focus of the treatment. Treatments for underlying conditions will depend on the nature of the disease but may include oral antibiotics, immune boosters, or other treatments.

Many of the following treatment options can be purchased at your local pet store and can be easily applied at home. Others may need to be prescribed by your vet.

Terramycin® Ophthalmic Ointment  - Oxytetracycline Hydrochloride

  • Terramycin eye ointment is a broad-spectrum treatment for eye infections in cats suffering from a range of eye conditions from conjunctivitis, keratitis, and pink eye, to corneal ulcers, blepharitis and bacterial inflammatory conditions that may occur secondary to other infectious diseases. 

Vetropolycin® Veterinary Ophthalmic Ointment - Bacitracin-Neomycin-Polymyxin

  • Vetropolycin® is a triple antibiotic ointment often prescribed by vets for the treatment of bacterial infections of the eyelid and conjunctiva in cats. 

Tetracycline Ophthalmic Ointment

  • Tetracycline eye ointment may be prescribed by your vet if your cat is suffering from Chlamydophila or Mycoplasma conjunctivitis

Azithromycin Oral Antibiotic

  • Azithromycin may be prescribed for the treatment of Chlamydophila or Mycoplasma conjunctivitis as well as underlying bacterial infections such as respiratory tract infections, and Bartonella which may affect your cat's eyes.

Topical Corticosteroid Ointment or Drops

  • Corticosteroids are often prescribed to help stop eye inflammation. In cats, these drops and ointments are most commonly used to treat conjunctivitis, episcleritis, scleritis, pannus, and eosinophilic keratitis.


  • L-lysine is an amino acid supplement used to help treat feline herpes virus infection in cats. Studies are ongoing as to the effectiveness of this product however there is anecdotal evidence that lysine may help to suppress the symptoms of the feline herpes virus. 

Interferon alpha-2b

  • Interferon alfa is an immunomodulator and antiviral used to treat viral diseases in cats such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or papillomatosis. Studies are ongoing regarding the effectiveness of this treatment but in some cases, your vet may feel this treatment is worth trying to help your cat fight infections.

Can I Use Neosporin on My Cat's Eye Infection?

Many human medications are toxic or otherwise dangerous for pets. This is especially true for cats since their compact size means that even the tiniest amounts of a dangerous substance could put your cat's life at risk.

Neosporin is a topical antibiotic ointment that works very well on humans but it is not recommended for cats. There have been reports of cats having life-threatening anaphylactic reactions to the antibiotic ingredients in Neosporin's ophthalmic preparations which include neomycin and polymyxin B.

Contact your vet for appropriate treatments for your cat's eye infection.

How Fast Treatment Should Take Effect

Once treatment begins, eye infections in cats typically clear up very quickly. That said, it is essential to continue treatment as per your vet's instructions even after your cat's symptoms have cleared up! Do not stop treatment until the end of the prescription period. Stopping your cat's antibiotic medication early could lead to a resurgence of the infection and make it harder to eliminate.

If there is an underlying condition causing your cat's symptoms, the effectiveness and speed of the treatment will depend upon the condition being treated and your cat's overall health. Your vet will be sure to provide you with a prognosis for your cat's recovery.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you think your cat is suffering from an eye infection? Contact our Renton vets today to have your kitty diagnosed and treated.

New Patients Welcome By Referral

Northwest Animal Eye Specialists is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the eye health of animals. Talk to your vet today about getting a referral to our clinics serving patients from Renton, Kirkland, and the surrounding areas.

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