Conjunctivitis in cats is one of the most common diseases of feline characterized by inflammation of the Conjunctiva, redness of the eye, swelling, and lacrimation. Conjunctive is the outer lining of eyeball, sensitive structure, and cats experience this condition at any point of their life.
Important Information on Conjunctivitis in Cats
The Conjunctiva of the cats is the epithelial cell lining mucous membrane like the oral and nasal cavity. The mucous membrane lining the inner part of the eyelids over the eyeball. The color of the healthy Conjunctiva is pink and remains moist. During any disease condition of the eye, the color and condition of the conjunctiva changes.
Causes of Pink Eye in Cats
The causes of conjunctivitis may be classified into three broad categories; bacterial, viral, and non-infectious or environmental.
The bacteria that are responsible for eye infections in cats are:
- Streptococcus spp.
- Mycoplasma spp.
- Chlamydophila felis.
Viral conjunctivitis in cats is caused by:
- Feline Herpes Virus.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
- Feline Rhinotracheitis virus.
- Feline Calicivirus.
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
The non-infectious or environmental causes of pink eye in cats are:
- Trauma to the eyelids.
- Foreign bodies in the eyes of cats like dust or sand.
- Tumor or neoplastic growth in eyelids.
- Some cat allergens.
- The genetic causes disease of certain cat breeds like Himalayan, Persian, or long-haired cats that turn the eyelids, called entropion.
Clinical Signs of Conjunctivitis in Cats
Conjunctivitis may appear in one or both eyes of cats. The disease is seen in all age groups of cats and the third eyelids. Older cats are mostly affected, and young cats get infections from the older ones. The general clinical signs are:
- Redness and swelling of the Conjunctiva.
- Itching and cats try to lick or scratch with nails.
- Frequent blinking.
- Lacrimation or oozing from affected eyes.
- Cat keeps close of their eyes due to light intolerance (photophobia).
- Dusty white or yellow color discharge may come out from eyes.
- Non-specific signs like anorexia, dullness, loss of body condition, and weakness may also appear.
Diagnosis of Pink Eyes in Cats
A tentative diagnosis of feline conjunctivitis is made by a veterinarian basing on the following:
- History of exposure to environmental factors.
- The living condition of the cat and the presence of a diseased cat in the vicinity.
- Specific clinical signs.
- Inspection of the cat’s eye with an ophthalmoscope.
- Collection of a swab from eyes and culture for bacteria.
Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Cats
The treatment of pink eyes is a little bit easy if the disease is diagnosed early. The treatment protocols may be:
- Application of broad-spectrum antibiotic eyedrops on both eyes.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Steroids can be given to boost the immune system of cats.
- A warm and clean wet cloth can be used to clean the eyes of affected cats.
Control and Prevention of Pink Eyes in Cats
Conjunctivitis in cats is a common condition and can be prevented by following hygienic measures.
- Keep your cat’s litter box and house clean.
- Groom your cat daily and especially clean the eyes daily with cotton or soft-clean cloths.
- Separate the affected cats from healthy cats.
- Avoid contact with wild cats and other animals.
- Vaccinate your cats against potential viral diseases.
- Consult your vet immediately if you noticed any abnormality.
Concluding Remarks on Conjunctivitis in Cats
Cats are love pets in the house. They are susceptible to any disease condition. Conjunctivitis is one of the widespread diseases that may affect your cat at any time of their lives. In my article, I have discussed briefly almost all causes of the disease. The preventive measures that I have mentioned, please try to abide by yourself. You will have a healthy cat and will give your mental peace.