Swelling, redness and/or a discharge in one or both of your cat’s eyes could be caused by a number of things, such as a foreign object in the eye, damage (such as a scratch) to the cornea or even a blocked tear duct. Another common cause of those symptoms is feline conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, which is caused by a bacteria or an infection. A thorough examination by your cat's vet will be able to determine the exact cause and the appropriate treatment.
What is pinkeye?
By understanding what feline conjunctivitis is and what causes it, pets owners will be able to better look for the signs their cat has pinkeye and seek early and appropriate treatment.
The causes for conjunctivitis in cats fall into two primary categories - infectious and noninfectious. Trauma, foreign objects, allergies or other irritants are some of the common noninfectious causes of conjunctivitis. There are three main sources of infectious causes of conjunctivitis. Two of those include feline mycoplasma and feline chlamydia. But the most common infectious cause of conjunctivitis in cats is feline herpesvirus 1. While not transferable to humans, feline herpesvirus 1 is very common in cats. For most cats, the virus remains dormant and it's not an issue. But for some cats, especially when stressed, the virus can flare up, causing conjunctivitis and sometimes other symptoms of respiratory infection, such as sneezing.
Signs of pinkeye
So what are the signs that your cat has pinkeye? According to the Web site Petwellbeing.com, there are a variety of symptoms of feline conjunctivitis, the most common of which is a redness in the affected eye or eyes that is frequently accompanied by tearing and swelling. You may also notice that your cat is squinting or, because of the pain and discomfort of conjunctivitis, frequently rubbing its eyes. You may also see a puslike discharge from your cat’s eye. The discharge could be green, gray, yellow, dark red or clear. In some cases, the iris (the colored part of the cat’s eye) may change color, usually becoming a darker and/or duller color than normal. Also, some pets with conjunctivitis might also display the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as sneezing.
Pinkeye is not only painful for your cat, but if left untreated, it could also lead to serious eye damage, including blindness. Knowing the signs that your cat has pinkeye will enable you to get your cat treated early, improving the qualify of life for your pet and preventing the condition from becoming even more serious. If you believe your cat may have an issue with its eyes, always have a vet check the cat to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment.