Has your cat been winking at you excessively? Is your pet stuck in a perpetual blinking motion? Is there discharge and redness coming from your cat’s eye? If so, unfortunately, it sounds like your cat could have an eye infection. An eye infection for cats is much like an eye infection for humans. Not to worry though, there are a number of cat eye infection home remedies.
An infection in a cat’s eyes is typically caused by foreign agents such as bacteria or fungi invading the eye. A cat eye infection can often be a secondary ailment caused by a much larger underlying medical issue. Because cats can be extremely adventurous, you will likely have to deal with an eye infection in your pet at one time or another. A cat with an eye infection may be extra irate. Before we discuss a remedy and all the ways you can combat and hopefully prevent cat eye infection, let’s break down what it is and how it can affect your furry friend.
What is an Eye Infection?
Eye infections are a result of bacteria, fungi, or viruses that penetrate the eyeball or eyelids. Eye infections are broken down into two categories; infections in the clear front of the eye (cornea) and infections in the thin layer lining the eye and eyelids (conjunctiva). An eye infection in a cat can signify several different things. Typically, eye infections and eye discharge are caused by feline upper respiratory infections. Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as pink eye, is also a common culprit. Infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses and may indicate a secondary ailment connected to something much larger.
Causes of Eye Infection in Cats
There are various causes of eye infections in cats. Many infections are highly contagious and will be passed from cat to cat within seconds of interaction. Your cat is also more likely to contract an eye infection after spending extended periods in communal pet areas such as kennels. A cat cannot transfer their eye infections to humans.
More commonly called Pink Eye, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the lining around your cat’s eye. Much like pink eye in humans, this condition will cause swelling and red eyes. A cat with conjunctivitis along with fever, diarrhea, and labored breathing can point to potentially fatal diseases. Speak to your vet immediately if all those symptoms are occurring at the same time. Cat conjunctivitis is not transferable to humans.
Feline Upper Respiratory Infections
Many times, your cat’s eye infection is the result of a feline upper respiratory infection. Contagious respiratory diseases may include feline calicivirus, pneumonitis, bacteria, and protozoa. Symptoms can include a pus-like eye discharge that affects the vision of your cat.
The cornea can become saturated with bacteria or fungi which will make it inflamed or ulcerated. A cat with corneal disorders may excessively blink, be subject to inflammation, prolonged tear production, and cloudiness.
Dry eye is a severe condition. A prolonged lack of tear production can lead to an inflamed cornea in a cat. Pus-like eye discharge and red eyes typically accompany dry eyes.
Food or Environmental Allergens
Felines are prone to allergies that can initiate redness of the eyes. This type of eye irritation may be accompanied by digestive and skin issues.
This painful condition is the inflammation of the internal structures of the eye. Uveitis is a common symptom of cats with cancer, immune system deficiencies, and other infections.
Symptoms of Eye Infection in Cats
Because a varying number of reasons can cause eye infections in cats, the symptoms also differ greatly. The most common symptoms of eye infections in a cat are:
- Red Eyes
- Excessive blinking or winking
- Inflamed or swollen third eyelid
- Rubbing eyes
- Pus accumulation near the tear duct
- Green, brown, or yellowish eye discharge
- Sneezing or nasal discharge
- Vision reduction
Prevention of Cat Eye Infection
It’s rather difficult to prevent a cat eye infection outright. If you are aware of another cat with an eye infection, keep your cat far away from it. A cat will typically groom their eyes itself, but owners can help by using cotton swabs to wipe away built-up gunk. Making sure to take care of your cat’s immune system will go a long way toward preventative measures. Vitamins A, C, and E are good antioxidants that also assist with eye health. Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish oils, are also great for eye health. Vitamins and supplements are great for your cat’s eyes, but will not prevent infections outright.
Owners should keep up with yearly vaccinations to help regulate eye health. Make sure to avoid placing your cat in community pet areas that are overcrowded, and do daily check-ups at home for irregularities. To clean your cat’s eyes, we recommend dipping a cotton ball in room temperature distilled water (don’t use tap water). Owners can then wipe the damp ball from the corner of the eye outward. Grab a fresh, dry cotton ball to dry the eye. Be sure to use separate cotton balls for each eye.
Preventing Allergy Related Eye Problems
If you suspect your feline’s eye infection is due to food or environmental allergies then you need to remove the allergen to stop the problem. Although the solution sounds easy, figuring out what the allergen is can prove difficult. With food allergies, you might be able to figure out what food or ingredient is causing the problem by careful observation or by using the process of elimination. You might be able to figure out potential environmental allergies by paying attention to what the cat came into contact with when a reaction occurs. Of course, you can always have a veterinarian run tests to determine possible allergens. Once you know the allergen you can remove it from the environment or diet to stop the problem at the source.
Cat Eye Infection Home Remedies
Because bacteria has been a common affliction throughout the world, there are plenty of home remedies to deal with eye infections in cats. You can purchase most of these remedies at your local pet store in the cat section.
Feline herpesvirus is a common upper respiratory infection in cats that causes eye infections. L-Lysine is popular among the health community for use in both cats and humans to dispel the herpes virus symptoms. L-lysine is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized inside the body, so it must be attained through food and supplements. It can be purchased at most pet stores and used at home.
Distilled Water Rinse
Moisten a cotton swab with distilled or sterile water. Wipe the goo out of your cat’s eyes, start from the tear duct and then slowly and gently wipe outward. Repeat this process to help with eye discharge and eyesight, although the infection may still persist. This method is best for getting debris out of your cat’s eyes at home.
This technique may be difficult to pull off, but it is rewarding. Soak a cloth in very warm water then wring it out so that it is not dripping. Press the cloth to your cat’s eyes and hold it there for 60 seconds. You can repeat this process separately for each eye until you start to see redness or irritation decrease.
Cat Eye Rinse
There are plenty of commercial cat-eye rinse products for sale at local pet stores for use at home. Make sure that when shopping for eye rinse for your cat, you are buying products with good reviews and legible labels!
When topically applied, honey is known to help lessen inflammation and irritation in your eye. Owners can mix two tablespoons of organic honey with two tablespoons of distilled or sterile water. Make sure to shake and stir until the honey looks like it has disappeared. Owners can put 2 to 3 drops of the solution into the infected eye twice a day.
Oregon grape has antibacterial properties that can help fight conjunctivitis. Owners can place two drops of Oregon grape tincture into a half an ounce of distilled or sterile water. After the mix is complete, apply 2 to 3 drops of the solution into the infected eye twice daily.
Final Thoughts – Cat Eye Infection Home Remedies
Next time you see your cat winking at you too much, it may not be a friendly greeting. Eye infections in cats are common, but can usually be easily remedied. As an owner, you should be able to take care of your cat’s eye infection at home. If your cat has reoccurring eye infections, please see a vet as this may be a sign that there is something else wrong.
Feline upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, corneal disorders, dry eye, Uveitis, and Feline herpesvirus, are the most common causes of eye infections in cats. The best way to prevent these ailments from befalling your pet is to keep a healthy and balanced diet filled with Vitamins A, C, and E. Also make sure to be cautious of shared pet areas.
Thoroughly clean bedding and pillows that may have been infected or shared with infected pets. It doesn’t take much to get an eye infection, but luckily there are plenty of home remedies to assist you in such a predicament. Additional information.