Cats have the most attractive and hypnotising eyes. They vary in shape and size, and the mix of rare colours are absolutely stunning! However, cat eye infections cause their usually beautiful, bright eyes to look dull and become gunky. In addition, eye infections can be very painful. Make sure you know the signs, so your feline friend receives proper treatment right away.

Cat Eye Infections: What To Look For


Bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites can cause cat eye infections. The two most commonly diagnosed bacteria are Chlamydia and Mycoplasma. For viruses, it’s the feline herpesvirus type 1, which is usually found in younger cats with weaker immune systems and those exposed to high-stress environments such as shelters.

The sudden onset of eye infections in older cats and those in stable environments may indicate secondary underlying health problems such as an autoimmune disease, cancer and eye trauma.

Since cat eye infections are highly contagious, having close contact with an infected agent like another cat or animal increases your cat’s risk of contracting it.


  • Excessive eye rubbing
  • Eye swelling and redness
  • Excessive winking and squinting
  • Sneezing, nasal discharge, other signs of respiratory disease
  • Presence of clear, yellow or green discharge


While eye infections are common in cats, other diseases such as Glaucoma, Cataracts and other anatomical defects manifest similar symptoms and look identical to the untrained eye. An accurate diagnosis is crucial to provide the proper treatment. DO NOT treat your fur baby on your own. 

Upon noticing signs, take them to the vet and provide a good history to help your vet ascertain appropriate diagnostic for your cat. It can include a physical examination to evaluate the eye structure and see signs of trauma or other respiratory infection. 

The vet can also take a small swab or scrape cells from the inflamed areas to determine the actual cause and treatment. For example, bacterial infections can respond to antibiotics in the form of a topical ointment or drops. Proper anti-viral medications can treat cat eye infections caused by a virus.

Preventing Eye Infections In Cats

There are many reasons your fur baby can develop eye infections, and unfortunately, there is no foolproof way of preventing it. As a pet parent, what you can do is pay attention to your cat’s behaviour and do regular eye checks. If you notice their eyes are not as magnificent as usual, perhaps it’s time for a visit to the vet.

Related article: A Pet Owner’s Guide to Ear and Eye Care

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