Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Cat Eye Infection: Symptoms & Treatments

Our Renton veterinary eye specialists often see cats with eye infections. In today's post, you'll learn about what causes eye infections in cats, common symptoms and how these conditions can be treated. 

Eye Infections in Cats

Just like yours, your cat's eyes can become infected for many potential reasons, including infectious or non-infectious underlying conditions. Eye infections in cats are also often painful, which makes it essential to have them identified and effectively treated as soon as possible. 

Symptoms of Eye Infections in Cats 

While the causes behind eye infections may vary, many cats display similar symptoms. If your cat has an eye infection, you may notice these signs:

  • Red or inflamed eyelids 
  • Red eyes
  • Pawing at eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Clear, yellow or green discharge 
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge 

A severe eye infection can cause your cat to suffer respiratory distress, in which case they will require immediate veterinary care. You may also consider using your favorite search engine to look for cat eye infection pictures, and comparing them to the appearance of your cat's eye. 

Causes of Eye Infections in Cats 

Numerous diseases can infect your cat's eyes. However, infectious agents are one of the most common triggers. 

Cats who live in close quarters, such as kennels or shelters, with other cats are particularly susceptible to eye infections, as the underlying causes are often highly contagious and difficult to control in crowded areas. These things can cause painful, irritating eye infections in cats:

  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasites
  • Upper respiratory infections (cat colds)

Diagnosing Cat Eye Infections

If you notice that your cat is exhibiting symptoms of an eye infection or condition, it's essential to seek care from your primary vet or veterinary eye specialist as soon as possible to prevent the infection from worsening or spreading to the other eye. Early detection and prevention can also prevent the infection from spreading to other cats who live in your home or neighborhood. 

Your primary vet may refer you to our veterinary ophthalmologist at Northwest Animal Eye Specialists for diagnosis and treatment. 

During your cat's appointment, your veterinary ophthalmologist will perform a thorough eye examination, checking your feline friend's eyes for signs of infection, trauma or other conditions.

The veterinary ophthalmologist may swab or scrape cells from inflamed areas of your cat's eyes to check for infectious agents. If they suspect a secondary underlying cause may be triggering the infection, additional advanced diagnostic testing using a slit-lamp biomicroscope or other equipment may be required. 

How to Treat a Cat's Eye Infection

When it comes to addressing your cat's eye infection, treatment options will depend on the underlying cause. In many cases, your veterinarian will recommend antibiotic drops or ointment to fight the infection and alleviate symptoms. Your vet may also advise you to gently clean your cat's eyes a couple of times per day to remove discharge and keep your cat safely indoors while they recover to prevent the infection from spreading.

If your cat's eye infection is caused by another health condition, your veterinarian's recommended treatment may focus on the underlying health condition than on the eye infection.

Left untreated, eye infections can become severe and lead to serious complications, such as blindness or vision loss.

How quickly will treatment work?

As for how long your cat's eye infection will last and how fast treatment will work, these types of infections typically clear up quickly once treatment has started. Even after your cat's symptoms have cleared up, remember to continue administering medications per your vet's instructions. 

Discontinuing your cat's antibiotic medication early may cause a resurgence of infection and make it more difficult to fight. 

If an underlying condition has triggered your cat's eye infection, the speed and effectiveness of treatment will depend on the condition being treated. Your vet will be able to provide you with a prognosis and time estimate for your cat's recovery.

Note: Northwest Animal Eye Specialists specializes in treating eye conditions and illnesses. The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical or behavioral advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

If your cat has an eye infection or condition that requires an eye specialist's care, contact Northwest Animal Eye Specialists. If your dog has be diagnosed with glaucoma or another serious eye disease, you can also ask your primary care vet for a referral.

New Patients Welcome By Referral

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

Contact Us

Kirkland Renton