Veterinarians Explain Cat Eye Infections

Our South Bay Veterinarians Discuss Treating Cat Eye Infections -

veterinarians in south bayCats’ eyes are legendarily beautiful & mysterious. A cat’s eyes can communicate pure love to their owners – or disdain to the neighbor’s dog. However, a cat’s eyes can also be prone to illness and infection.

Symptoms of Cat Eye Infections

Eye infections caused by both bacteria and viruses are unfortunately quite common in cats. If your cat starts “winking” (closing just one eye) it could well be the first signs of infection. Rubbing of their eyes, or discharge from one or both eyes, can also be a sign of an eye infection.

The whites of your cat’s eye may also appear more red than normal. Or in some cases the “inner eyelid” may be visible and covering part of the irritated eye. Eye infections may also be accompanied by respiratory symptoms such as sneezing or nasal discharge.

 Causes of Eye Infections In Cats

Cats who come into close contact with other cats – such as outdoor and shelter cats – are at a higher risk of exposure to infectious eye diseases.

In kittens and younger cats, cats with weaker immune systems, and cats in high-stress environments (such as shelters) both bacterial and viral infections are common. These infections include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Mycoplasma
  • Feline herpesvirus type 1
  • Calicivirus

In older cats, however, the sudden onset of an eye infection may be an indication of an underlying health problem. An injury to the eye, certain autoimmune diseases, cancer, leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) may be underlying contributors to the eye problem. So any suspicious changes in your cat’s eyes should always be brought to our veterinarians’ attention immediately.

Treating Cat Eye Infections

It is important to get your cat to the vet soon if they are showing signs of eye infection. With prompt treatment and the proper medication, a cat’s eyes will heal quickly.

Our veterinarians can also make sure that the problem is not something more serious such as Glaucoma,  and can check to make certain there is no foreign bodies in your cat’s eye(s).  Additionally, your veterinarian can run any additional tests to make certain that the eye problem is not the result of another underlying medical condition that is more serious.

If the eye infection is determined by our veterinarian to be bacterial it can usually be treated with topical antibiotics – and oral treatment is not usually necessary.

“Conjunctivitis” in Cats

Conjuntivitis does not refer to a specific bacteria or virus, but means any inflammation or infection of the  tissue (“conjunctiva”) that lines the eyelids and attaches to the eyeball near the cornea.

The conjunctiva in cats can become irritated by a virus or bacterial infection – but also by allergies induced by pollens, grasses, etc., or by certain fungi. In addition to noticeable redness, conjunctivitis often causes the eye to discharge or ‘weep.’

If the discharge is thick and yellow or greenish – and/or the eyelids stick together – the Conjunctivitias is likely caused by bacteria or virus. With allergies, on the other hand, the discharge is usually clear or water. Regardless of the cause, conjunctivitis is painful for your kitty.

Normally, conjunctivitis is not life threatening- but if not treated it can advance and the organisms can spread and damage other structures of the eye, permanently impairing vision.  So all cases of conjunctivitis should be treated at once.

It is important not to try and diagnose your cat’s eye problem without consulting a veterinarian. Certain medications – such as hydrocortisone-containing agents – can make some conditions much worse and actually hinder the healing. So do not attempt to treat Kitty’s eyes with over-the-counter medication, or medicines meant for dogs or humans.

Our Veterinarians Can Treat Cat Eye Infections

If your cat shows any signs of winking, blinking, eye rubbing or eye redness or discharge, bring them in right away. Don’t let your beloved cat suffer with eye pain, or risk losing their eye site! Schedule a consultation with our veterinarians to discuss the right treatments to clear up your kitty’s eye infection right way. Call us today at 310-536-9654.


Our South Bay veterinarians treat dogs and cats from the entire Los Angeles area, including:
Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Marina del Ray, Palos Verdes, Gardena, Carson and the surrounding areas.

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with one of our caring and experienced vets.


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  Manhattan Beach, CA 90266



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