Conjunctivitis in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Conjunctivitis in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Conjunctivitis in cats

Conjunctivitis in cats refers to the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the inner membrane of the eye. It is the most common eye problem in cats. All cats at some point in their lives will experience conjunctivitis. When your cat catches conjunctivitis, he will feel pretty uncomfortable, so apply treatment as soon as possible.

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Causes of conjunctivitis in cats

Conjunctivitis is an infection and it is commonly caused by the herpes virus. It can also be caused by a series of other viruses, such as Feline calicivirus. Actually, these viruses produce cat flu, which is in itself a cause of conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis can also be a consequence of a bacterial infection. A chlamydial infection is the most common form of bacterial infection. Besides this, allergies can also trigger a reaction to a foreigner allergen, which could be something as simple as a tiny stone lodged in the eye. Other allergens can be pollen, cat foods, and cat flea. Purebred cats are more prone to catch conjunctivitis. The infection is passed on between cats when they come close to each other.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in cats

The common signs of conjunctivitis are swollen, red, irritated, and painful eyes. Very often, the third eyelid, which is commonly hidden in the inside of the eye, will protrude due to the inflammation.

If your cat has a cat flu, you will regularly hear him sneeze, he’ll be lethargic and will decrease his appetite due to ulcers on the tongue and gums. Other symptoms associated with conjunctivitis in cats include:

  • Excessive blinking
  • Eye discharge
  • Buildup of fluid upon the eye
  • Persistent squinting


To properly address the issue, the veterinarian will first diagnose what is the cause of the infection. If the cause is a foreign body, removing it should help. If the infection is viral, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics, including oral and topical.

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