If you have a cat, you might have wondered at some point if conjunctivitis in cats is common. It’s true, cats can get pinky eye just like humans and this condition is just as contagious and irritating.
At the same time, what should you know exactly about conjunctivitis in cats?
In this article, we take a look at the symptoms and main cause of pink eye in cats, and precisely what you can do to help alleviate this highly irritating condition.
The Main Symptoms and Reasons for Pink Eye in Cats
As you may know, there are two types of conjunctivitis in cats – infectious and non-infectious.
However, both types of pink eye have precisely the same symptoms.
When cats get pink eye, you might notice excessive fluid or redness around the eye. What’s more, your cat might be blinking more than usual and white discharge will sometimes flow from the eye. Similarly, conjunctivitis in cats will often lead to excessive wheezing, sneezing or heavy breathing.
At the same time, these symptoms do not always happen and you might need a professional opinion to confirm conjunctivitis in cats. As if that’s not enough, certain eye problems can produce symptoms of other issues such as blocked tear-ducts.
But what causes conjunctivitis in cats?
Main Causes and Reasons for Conjunctivitis in Cats
Bacteria or a virus is the most common cause of infectious conjunctivitis in cats. For instance, feline herpes (FVR) can cause inflammation which can then turn into pink eye. On the other hand, feline chlamydophila is the most common bacteria that can cause this same inflammation.
That being said, there are other forms of bacteria that can lead to this irritation. As for the non-infectious conjunctivitis, dust and allergens can irritate your cats eyes. Meanwhile, certain toiletries, smoke or even mold can lead to conjunctivitis in cats.
Either way, it’s always a good thing if you can identify what caused this pink eye and relay this information to your local vet.
How to Treat Conjunctivitis in Cats
You can obtain a prescription for conjunctivitis in cats but otherwise, time is the only way to heal pink eye. In this sense, the cat owner will often need to apply eye drops several times each day and this is usually a tricky process as your cat is unlikely to sit still during the process. Alternatively, some medication can be mixed into food or gently squirted into your cats mouth using a small syringe.
Can You Catch Pink Eye from Your Cat?
Just so you know, you cannot get pink eye from your cat as feline viruses do not affect humans. That being said, you can unknowingly help transmit pink eye from one cat to another and this happens through feeding, grooming or petting. For this reason, it’s important to wash your hand as much as possible and even toys or objects with which the cats are likely to interact.
Stopping Your Cat from Getting Pink Eye
If your cat does happen to get pink eye, you can sometimes identify the root cause of the problem. Are you using toxic chemicals for cleaning? Is there a lot of dust in certain rooms? Is pollen drifting in through the windows?
As you might expect, kittens are most susceptible to pink eye and this is why regular checks with the local vet are important. Conjunctivitis in cats can also happen frequently and when this is true, it’s best to spot the underlying reason and go about removing the main cause of pink eye.
As for how long it takes to go away, pink eye will usually disappear after two or three weeks and this is especially the case when you seek professional help. Either way, awareness is key to spotting this infection when it happens and even the simplest steps can help alleviate the issue for your beloved cat.