What is a cat eye infection?

Cats can get eye infections from a number of different causes, and they usually show similar symptoms as in people. First, injuries to the eye are a major cause. Cats may get scratched on the eye in a fight, or bump into something, or they may get foreign material in the eye (dirt, etc.) that causes infection. Second, often the eye can get infected without any injuries at all. The biggest source for this is feline pinkeye or conjunctivitis. Third, there are viral infections that can cause eye problems in cats. Feline herpes and a cat version of chlamydia are two of the big ones. They result in eye infections, and in the case of herpes, they may be chronic and recurring for the rest of the cat's life, although those are usually less serious.

   

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What are the symptoms?

Cats who have an eye infection will show redness and swelling. Your cat may look like it's squinting and be unable to fully open or close its eye. You will often see discharge from the cat's eye.

What is the treatment?

It depends on the cause. You will need to take the cat to the vet. If it is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are the usual prescription. If it is viral, such as herpes, then it is more likely that the vet will want to try to boost the immune system of the cat in general, but they may also give you drops to alleviate the pain.

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