How Can You Tell if Your Cat Has an Eye Infection?
18 October, 2017
Cats don’t have as many eye problems as dogs because most of our cats live indoors which reduces the risk of an eye injury or infection. Outdoor cats have about the same risk as dogs who are always outside. But if your cat’s immune system is weakened for any reason or if your cat endures a stressful situation, your cat could get an eye infection.
The most common eye infection in cats is conjunctivitis
There are many different types of eye infections, but the most common one is conjunctivitis. As always, the first thing to do if your cat has an eye infection is to take her or him to your veterinarian to find out what kind of infection it is. If your cat is blinking a lot or you see any type of discharge or white mucus around the eye area, call your vet immediately.
Vets generally recommend eye drops for your cat and they will typically cure the infection. However, when an eye infection isn’t resolving on its own, it’s important to identify the cause of so you know how best to treat it. Infections caused by a virus, a bacteria or a fungus are all handled differently, usually with antibiotics.
Symptoms of an eye infections in cats
Symptoms of an eye infection in your kitty can be a tricky to detect, because cats are very good at hiding their discomfort. You might notice your cat slowly blinking her eyes or holding them closed to try to self-lubricate the corneas. You might notice some redness, which can be a sign of a condition known as conjunctivitis.
Sometimes an eye infection will cause a smelly discharge; crusting around the eyes is also common. You might also notice your cat pawing at her eyes.
Keeping your cats indoors can really help prevent eye infections
The best way to keep your kitty safe from viral, bacterial and fungal infections is to keep her indoors. There is some exposure indoors, but it’s minimal. You can reduce your pet’s risk of acquiring an eye infection by at least 75 percent by simply keeping her inside.
Home treatments to help ward off eye infections:
There are also some treatments that you can try at home to help your cat through the infection. Again, your veterinarian is the best judge of how to treat the infection, but the below can help ease your cat’s eye pain and speed up the recovery.
Try using a soft cloth on your cat’s eyes
A wet cloth used to wipe away any discharge from your cat’s eye is an effective means of keeping the infected eye clean. Use the same type of cloth you would use for a warm compress and wet it with warm water. Wipe your cats’ eyes as often as necessary and discard the cloth after use. You should repeat the compress every hour until the infection clears.
You can also try some herbal supplements to help fight the infection and relieve the itching and redness in your cat’s eyes. These supplements usually include aconite chamomile, calendula and eyebright. Your veterinarian can recommend the appropriate dose.
An eye wash is an effective treatment for cats with infections caused by a foreign object stuck in the eye. Simply rinse your cat’s eye with saline solution, which is available in the eye care section of any drug store or pet shop. This flushing of the eye is often enough to remove the object and speed up your cat’s recover.
A healthy diet can help prevent your cat from getting an eye infection
If you feed your cat a well-balanced, high quality diet, it will help his or her immune system. Diets rich in vitamins A and C are excellent for eye health in cats. Providing vitamin A or C supplements (ask your vet for recommendations) or feeding a diet with plenty of vegetables such as spinach, kale and carrots guarantees your cat’s daily recommended intake is met.
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