Cat eye infections are a relatively common condition seen by our Los Angeles vets. In today's blog, our vets share some of the causes of eye infections in cats and how they are treated.

Conditions That Can Affect Your Cat's Eyes

Your cat's eyes, like a person's, can become infected for a variety of reasons. Eye infections in cats are frequently painful and, depending on the underlying cause, can be contagious.

Symptoms of Eye Infections in Cats

While the causes of eye infections vary, the symptoms are typically very similar. If your cat has an eye infection. symptoms may include: 

  • Red eyes
  • Pawing at eyes
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge
  • Red or inflamed eyelids
  • Repeated excessive blinking
  • Green, yellow or clear discharge

In some more severe cases of your cat suffering from an eye infection, they may experience respiratory distress and require immediate veterinary care.

You can also google "cat eye infection pictures" and compare the pictures to your cat's eye.

Causes of Eye Infections in Cats

There are a number of diseases that can affect your cat's eyes, however, infectious agents are one of the most common.

Cats who live in close quarters with other cats are especially vulnerable to eye infections because many of the causes of eye infections are highly contagious and often difficult to control in crowded environments. Cats can get painful, irritating eye infections from:

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

Diagnosing Cat Eye Infections

If you notice that your cat is displaying symptoms of an eye infection, it is essential to seek veterinary care as quickly as possible in order to prevent the infection from spreading to the other eye, or to other cats who live in your home or your neighborhood.

At the appointment, your vet will perform a thorough examination, checking your cat's eyes for signs of trauma, as well as checking the state of your cat's overall health, looking for signs of an upper respiratory infection or other underlying medical conditions.

Your vet may swab or scrape cells from the inflamed areas of your cat's eyes to look for infectious agents, or if your vet suspects a secondary underlying cause for your cat's eye infection, additional diagnostic testing such as bloodwork may be recommended.

Treatment for Cat Eye Infections

The cause of your cat's eye infection will determine how it is treated. 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.

In cases where your cat's eye infection is caused by another health condition, treatment may be more focused on the underlying health condition rather that the eye infection.

Eye Care for Pets in Los Angeles

If your cat requires specialized eye care, request a referral from your veterinarian to see our board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Los Angeles. Our veterinary ophthalmologist will collaborate with your pet's primary care veterinarian to treat any ocular diseases that may be present in your pet.

If your cat is experiencing an eye emergency, contact our Los Angeles vets for veterinary eye care.