Conjunctivitis in cats, how to treat it?

Conjunctivitis in cats, how to treat it?

Sometimes benign, conjunctivitis in cats can also raise suspicion of a more serious pathology. It must therefore always be the subject of a consultation with the veterinarian. Although it is quite common in small felines, this inflammation of one or both eyes must in all cases be treated without delay in order to limit the risk of complications. It is of course necessary to identify its exact cause so that the cat benefits from the treatment best suited.

Conjunctivitis in cats: the causes

Conjunctivitis is defined by a inflammation of eye tissue. It can be from:

    • Allergic : the allergen is often difficult to identify. It can be a chemical product, a material or a pollen for example.
    • Traumatic : this is the case when the inflammation is due to a scratch having caused a lesion. But the cause is sometimes dry eyes, a foreign body in the eye. Conjunctivitis of traumatic origin can also be due to ectropion or entropion. In the first case, the eyelid rolls outward, in the second – it rolls inward.
    • infectious : in this category we find:
        • the original conjunctivitis bacterial (chlamydia),


        • the original conjunctivitis parasitic,


        • the original conjunctivitis viral (leucosis, coryza, feline infectious peritonitis).


Each form of conjunctivitis in cats deserves the full attention of the veterinarian. As for the master, he must take the necessary measures so that his other cats are not contaminated because conjunctivitis spreads very easily from one cat to another. It may be useful to keep the affected cat at home for a few days, if possible for the entire duration of the treatment.

Conjunctivitis: the main symptoms

Depending on the type of conjunctivitis, the cat may exhibit some of the following symptoms:

    • Tearing in one or both eyes
    • The discharge of a clear or on the contrary thick liquid either greenish or yellowish, with or without pus,
    • Conjunctival hyperaemia, i.e. localized redness accompanied by swelling which testifies well to the inflammatory phenomenon,
    • Involuntary closure of the eyelid. These are lateral or bilateral hemifacial spasms. This is called blepharospasm.
    • Respiratory disorders.

In the majority of cases, the cat with conjunctivitis frequently passes his paw over his eye but this does not manage to relieve him. He even risks making things worse because his hair may be more or less soiled.

Treatment of conjunctivitis in cats

After having identified the cause of the conjunctivitis, the veterinarian can administer the appropriate treatment to the animal. If the inflammation is due to the presence of a foreign body, this should be removed from the eye with the utmost care. In this regard, it is strongly advised not to take care of it yourself because it requires the use of perfectly adapted equipment in order not to injure the animal and to avoid the risk of aggravation. The eye should then be cleaned with eye drops and an sterile gauze whose fibers are not likely to stick together unlike those of absorbent cotton. Finally, we apply locally and for a few days a ointment special.

Anti-inflammatories, antihistamines and sometimes even corticosteroids may be prescribed if the conjunctivitis is of allergic origin.

When its cause is infectiousthe veterinarian first seeks to identify the virus, bacterium or parasite responsible and administers to the cat a specific treatment in the form of an ointment.

In case of dry eyethe little feline must receive several times a day artificial tears allowing to compensate for the lacrimal insufficiency at the origin of the conjunctivitis.

Caution should be exercised in the presence of this type of inflammation. You should never decide yourself to administer eye drops to the cat or even to use an ointment to relieve it (and even less an ointment intended for humans). It can be serious. As we have seen, before treating conjunctivitis it is imperative to be sure of its origin. Only a veterinarian can do that.

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