Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that can infect both humans and animals. In cats, it is most common in young kittens. In this condition, a thin mucus membrane ( moist pink tissue ) is formed lining the eyeballs, inner corners of eyelids, and the third eyelids. When this thin moist tissue is inflamed, the eye becomes infected with redness, tearing, watering, and irritation in the eye. In humans, the eyes become pink. It must be treated immediately to avoid any danger to the cat’s eyes. It can spread to other cats as well.
There are some common symptoms that may appear in one or both eyes of cats:
- Watery, cloudy, or dark yellow eye discharge
- Redness in cornea
- Excessive blinking
- Swelling in eyelids
Cats having contagious conjunctivitis may also show some respiratory infections like sneezing, fever, runny nose, or less appetite.
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The term ‘feline conjunctivitis’ refers to conjunctivitis that happens in cats. It can be divided into two categories; infectious and non-infectious.
- A virus named feline herpesvirus can be spread to other cats from an infected cat. Since most young kittens do not have a strong immune system so they are most likely to be infected by this virus. Even after their initial exposure to the virus, many cats do not show any symptoms of this disease throughout their life.
- It can be caused by a bacterial infection as well. In cats, it is spread through Chlamydophila and Mycoplasma.
- Conditions related to a weak immune system may also be the cause of this disease like immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, or any other underlying disease.
- If the cat is living in stressful conditions like a sudden change in home, traveling to unsuitable environments then stress can also be the factor behind the contraction of this disease.
Non-infectious feline Conjunctivitis
There are some non-infectious causes of feline conjunctivitis as well which are as follows:
- Allergies related to the environment like pollen energy
- Dust particles, smoke flares, dirt, or chemicals
- Injuries in or around the eyes
- Tumors or other abnormalities that may cause inflammation in the eyes
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This condition can easily be diagnosed by a veterinarian by just looking into the eyes. However, the cause of the disease may only be determined by diagnostic testing. A series of tests may run on the cat to diagnose the actual cause of conjunctivitis.
Common tests include:
- A thorough examination of the cat’s eyes such as taking the measurement of tear production and eye pressure. Testing for eye ulcers or scratches.
- Tests for eye infections like FIV or FeLV.
- Blood tests for any suspected underlying health condition
Treatment of feline conjunctivitis
After the early diagnosis, when the cause of the condition is known, treatment can be started right after. Most kittens respond well to the treatment and may recover from the condition in one or two weeks. Some serious infections or late treatment may result in cats developing eye ulcers that can cause permanent eye damage. Mostly, this condition may go away by simply washing the cat’s eye with water and then cleaning it with a dry cloth but this can only happen when the cat shows mild symptoms. If there is a severe eye allergy then it is highly recommended to consult a vet.
A visit to the vet may comfort the irritation in the eyes. Precautions must be taken if there are other cats in the house to avoid the spread of the disease.
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Some common treatments to treat feline conjunctivitis are:
- Ointments or eye drops that contain antiviral or antibiotic medicines. You can easily order pet meds online from a good pharmacy like 90daymeds.
- Oral medications include some antiviral or pain killer medications given through the mouth
- Supplements like L-lysine to help slow down the feline herpesvirus multiplication
- Washing the eye area with a warm, wet clean cloth. It helps prevent the formation of eye gunk inside the eyes.
- Isolation of the infected cat from other cats inside the house. Always wash hands after feeding or touching them. Avoid sharing toys and supplies with other cats. Hygiene is the key.
Being a pet parent may be stressful at times if you have an infected pet at home to care for. You can just ask a vet for a demonstration of putting eye drops in cats. This condition happens to cats once in their lifetime so there is nothing to worry about. Some common precautions can be taken like:
- Getting the cat vaccinated on a routine basis as recommended by the vet
- Maintaining overall hygiene of the animal
- Feeding the cat with the immune booster and balanced food.
- Giving supplements to the cat in case of traveling, boarding, grooming, or moving into a new home to avoid stress
- To reduce the risk of contracting this condition, always choose boarding or grooming facilities that go in the favour of the cat’s health.
- Put air diffusers around the house and keep your home dust and dirt-free. Set the curtains aside from the windows so that sunlight can come into the room.
In order to conclude, seeing your pet in a discomfort situation is painful for you as well. Your furry friend may need you to take care of them so it is better to monitor your cat all the cat and seek any medical check-up if you see any signs of infections. Cats need to be monitored all the time. They go in places that are filled with filth and dirt like in gardens, mushy roads, or wet and damp areas around the house. It is important for pet owners to keep the cats indoors as much as possible especially in summers as they have a tendency to go out during their play time. Conjunctivitis always spreads through contact with a filthy or dirty thing. In unfavorable environments, cats feel detached from their owners and may be subjected to harmful things around the house. Remember! Hygiene is the best solution to keep the cats away from any infection.