Pink Eye in Cats: Understanding Conjunctivitis

Sep 12, 2023 | Health & Wellness

Have you ever had a cat with pink eye? Pink eye in cats, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is something to take seriously.

As a pet parent, you always want your furry friend to be happy and healthy. However, just like humans, cats can suffer from a range of health issues, including conjunctivitis or pink eye.

Pink eye is an eye infection that affects cats and can cause redness, swelling, discharge, and itchiness in their eyes. It is vital to understand the symptoms, causes, and treatments of pink eye in cats to provide proper care for your feline friend.

Understanding the Causes of Conjunctivitis in Cat’s Eyes

As cat owners, seeing our furry friends suffer from any kind of illness can be quite distressing. Among the most common eye problems that cats experience is conjunctivitis, which can be uncomfortable and painful for cats. Conjunctivitis refers to the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent tissue covering the white part of the eyes and lining the eyelids.


Like humans, cats can have allergies that can trigger conjunctivitis. Allergens such as pollen, dust, mites, and certain foods can cause the inflammation of the conjunctiva. In some cases, the conjunctivitis can be accompanied by other allergic symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and itching.

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Viral and Bacterial Infections

Cat conjunctivitis can also be caused by viral and bacterial infections. Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) and the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) (which can cause feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR)) are common viral causes of conjunctivitis in cats. The viruses are highly contagious and are transmitted through direct contact with an infected cat or through contaminated objects.

Feline chlamydia and mycoplasma are bacterial organisms that can cause conjunctivitis. These infections can also be highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with infected cats. Infectious conjunctivitis typically come from some type of viral infections. Feline conjunctivitis are easy to treat, but in some causes they can be because of secondary bacterial infections, so watch for the clinical signs of eye infections.


Eye injuries and trauma can also cause conjunctivitis in cats. Scratches to the eye or foreign objects such as dirt or dust can irritate the conjunctiva, leading to inflammation and redness. In some cases, the inflammation may also be accompanied by discharge from the eyes.

Congenital Defects

In some cases, a cat may be born with a congenital defect that predisposes them to conjunctivitis. For example, cats with flat faces such as Persians and Himalayans may be prone to conjunctivitis because they have a shallow eye socket that can cause irritation and inflammation of the conjunctiva.

Environmental Factors

Finally, environmental factors such as poor hygiene, exposure to smoke, and dusty environments can also cause conjunctivitis in cats. These factors can irritate the eyes and cause inflammation of the conjunctiva, leading to redness and discharge.

Symptoms of Pink Eye in Cats

Pink eye in cats can usually be identified by the following cat’s symptoms:

  • Redness in the eyes

  • Swelling in the third eyelid

  • Eye discharge

  • Excessive blinking or squinting

  • Cloudy or hazy eyes

  • Increased tear production

  • Respiratory symptoms

  • Itchiness and irritation

  • Corneal ulcers

close up of cats tongue and eyes

How to Treat Conjunctivitis in Cats

Treatment for conjunctivitis in cats depends on the underlying cause of the infection. However, most treatments focus on easing symptoms and promoting healing. Some common treatments for when conjunctivitis occurs are..:


If the pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection.


In case your cat has allergic conjunctivitis, your vet may recommend antihistamines.

Administer Eye Medications: Eye Drops or Ointments

Eye drops or ointments can alleviate itchiness and irritation and promote healing. These may contain antibiotics, antihistamines, or steroids, depending on the specific condition.

Warm Compresses

Applying a warm compress to the affected eye can help reduce swelling and promote healing.

Environmental Changes

Cat conjunctivitis can be caused by environmental factors. Your vet may recommend changes to their living conditions or dietary habits to prevent future infections for you cat’s eyelids.

Preventing Pink Eye in Cats

Prevention is always better than cure, which is why taking these preventive measures can help preserve your cat’s eye health:

Regular Vet Visits

Regular check-ups with your vet can identify health issues in your cat and help prevent them before they become serious.

Good Hygiene

Regularly cleaning and disinfecting your cat’s bedding, toys, and grooming equipment can prevent the spread of infections.


Vaccinating your cat can help prevent severe diseases, including pink eye.

Good Nutrition

Feeding your cat a healthy, well-balanced diet can help keep their immune system strong and prevent infections.

Cat sleeping

How to Keep Your Cats Healthy: Tips and Tricks

As cat owners, our furry friends are not just pets but a part of the family. It can be distressing to see them go through any kind of health troubles or illnesses. Healthy cats are happy cats, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they are in the best of health. Cats are independent creatures, but they still need their owners’ love and care to keep them healthy and happy.

Give Your Cats Nutritious Food

It’s important to feed your cat with nutritious and healthy food that meets all their dietary requirements. Cats are carnivorous animals, and their diet should consist of protein-rich meat. Commercial cat food is a convenient way to provide for their dietary needs, but it’s best to go for high-quality food brands. It’s also important to avoid feeding them human food, which could cause digestive issues or allergies.

Provide Them with Clean Water

Cats require clean and freshwater to drink. Make sure to clean their water bowls daily and replace it with fresh water. Dehydration can cause health issues in cats, so make sure to keep an eye on their water intake. If you notice your cat isn’t drinking enough water, you can add some wet food to their meals or invest in a pet water fountain to encourage them to stay hydrated.

Provide Opportunities for Exercise

Physical activity is crucial for your cat’s overall health. Regular exercise not only keeps your cat in shape but also prevents obesity and other health issues. Provide your cat with toys to play with, such as balls, strings, or laser toys. You can also install a cat tree or scratching post to give them a place to climb, jump, and stretch.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

Regular veterinary care is important to maintain your cat’s health and prevent any potential illnesses. It’s recommended to take your cat for an annual check-up to keep track of their overall health and well-being. A veterinarian can also provide you with preventative measures such as vaccinations and flea control.

Keep Their Environment Clean

Cats are clean animals, and it’s important to keep their environment clean and hygienic. Regularly clean their litter box to prevent any potential urinary tract infections or other health issues. Also, make sure to keep their living space clean and dust-free to prevent respiratory problems.

Black cat with orange eyes


Pink eye is a common infection in cats that can cause redness, swelling, discharge, and itchiness in their eyes. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments of pink eye in cats can reduce the risk of serious health complications.

If your cat is showing symptoms of pink eye, seek veterinary care immediately to diagnose and treat the infection correctly. With proper care, your feline friend can quickly recover from pink eye and return to their playful and healthy selves.

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Kate’s K9 Pet Care

As a cat owner, sometimes it can be tough to balance our busy lives with the needs of our furry companions. Whether it’s working late hours or going out of town, we all need a little help taking care of our cats. That’s where Kate’s K9 Pet Care comes in.

Not only can we check in on your cat while you’re away, but we can also provide any necessary supplies to make sure they’re well-fed and comfortable. No more stressing about leaving your cat home alone – let us take care of them and give you peace of mind. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services.


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