Most people surely have heard of pink eyes, but not when it comes to cats. Pink eye or Conjunctivitis is the most prevalent illness among cats, and most of them suffer from this irritating eye illness once in their lifetime.
Various cats get prone to pink eye and could catch the disease numerous times.
Is it possible that cats can have pink eyes from humans? No, cats cannot acquire pink eyes from humans. The reason behind this, the illness is not due to any zoonotic virus. Certain related viruses could cause human pink eye but are not transmissible.
How Do Cats Get Pink Eyes?
Before diving into other details, let us know about the cat’s pink eye illness. Cat pink eye happens when the conjunctiva, a thin membrane of the cat’s eyelid, becomes enlarged.
This membrane protects the cat’s eyes from bacteria, dust, and other harmful substances.
If the membrane gets destroyed, it could make the cat’s eyes swollen, red, and painful. Cat pink eye could be infectious due to bacteria or viruses or noninfectious when some substance enters the eye and irritates it.
Cat conjunctivitis proves to be the most common problem among cats that could make them uncomfortable. This problem could affect one or both of the cat’s eyes.
So, if you love your cat, contact a vet and make sure to give them proper treatment.
But, how would you know if your cat is suffering from this problem or not? For that, keep a regular watch over them. If you catch your cat pawing at the affected area or are continuously blinking or feeling uncomfortable, your cat has pink eyes.
One of the primary causes of pink eye is cat flu – a type of respiratory disease. Moreover, a cat could catch this problem due to various viruses, like Feline Herpesvirus.
Chlamydophila bacteria could also take part in pink eye and cause upper tract respiratory infection, due to which the cat sneezes, ultimately leading to watery and red eyes. Several skin allergies, trauma, and eyelid disorder might cause the pink eye to flare up.
Anything that irritates a cat’s eyes, like shampoo, mold, and air fresheners, could enhance the risk or cause eye redness. However, contact with some plants could also trigger allergic pink eye.
While a non-infectious cat’s pink eye occurs due to certain irritants in the cat’s environment, even a tiny dust particle could pave the way to enter your cat’s eye, which is enough to flare up the reaction.
Is Cat Pink Eye Contagious To Dogs?
Eye infections are the rarest conditions in dogs. If you have suffered from pink eye, you might
know how contagious and uncomfortable it is. Certain bacteria and viruses that cause cat pink eye do not get transmitted to humans, but dogs might be susceptible to them. But, if you own several cats, you could catch an infection due to brushing, petting, or feeding.
Staphylococci bacteria are easily shareable among animals. Hence, your cat could catch and share various bacterial agents, such as Staphylococci, Mycoplasma, and Streptococci, with dogs.
If your cat has Feline Herpesvirus, Chlamydophila Felis, and Feline Calicivirus, your dog is safe as cats cannot share the virus with them.
Moreover, the pink cat eye is not so contagious to dogs if it is non-infectious, while the infectious pink eye could become contagious.
To prevent the pink eye of your dog and cat sharing the same eye infection, immediately consult a vet.
Ophthalmic medicines with antibiotics can control any bacterial infection. Anti-inflammatory medicines also lessen inflammation and deal with these uneasy eye infections.
Cat Pink Eye Symptoms
Cat pink eye consists of two varieties – non-infectious and infectious. For both conditions, symptoms are almost the same. In the case of pets, catching a medical issue sooner or later ensures a better and more positive outcome. So, it becomes pretty important to get aware of symptoms or signs of pink eye in your cat.
- Excessive watering.
- Reddened eye.
- Cloudy yellow, white, or green discharge.
- Feeling uncomfortable.
- Sunlight sensitivity.
- Visibility of the third eyelid.
- Fluid in the eye.
- Continuous blinking.
- Eyelid swelling.
Your cat might not show all these symptoms to grab your concern. But, if in any way you see your cat’s eyes irritated, run to a vet without wasting any time.
Your vet can only diagnose if these symptoms are pink eye or other problems, most probably tear duct blockage. If your cat is continuously wheezing and sneezing along with watery and red eyes, talk with your vet. At times, upper respiratory infections come along with pink eye.
Diagnosis of pink cat eye
The symptoms and appearance of pink eyes are not sufficient to diagnose the disease. Your vet should check your cat’s entire medical history along with the cat’s examination.
In certain cases, a vet needs to perform some tests to measure tear production, eye pressure, and cornea visualization to rule out another type of eye injury. Once other eye injuries are ruled out, your cat undergoes bacterial infection diagnosis, as there is a quick requirement of treatment.
The diagnosis procedure varies as per the cat’s medical history, health condition, lifestyle, and various other factors.
After seeing your cat’s pain, the vet could start the diagnosis process by using anesthetic eye drops to numb that particular area before inspecting it for wounds, foreign bodies, and scratches. At times, green dye is used to illuminate with bright blue light and properly shows the origination point of eye problems.
Treatment of cat pink eye
The treatment process varies as per the condition, the cat’s health, and how severe the problem is. While particular cats develop complications like eye ulcers, leading to permanent damage.
Luckily, specific cats respond well to treatment, with symptoms vanishing in two weeks. Sometimes, with mild symptoms, a cat’s pink eye would vanish by itself, but to be on the safe side, always consult a vet.
If the cat has pink eyes, but the cause is unknown, a vet would refer to general treatment that includes antibiotics – controls secondary infection, and anti-inflammatory medicines – lessens swelling.
It usually involves applying eye drops for a few weeks or days, depending on the condition’s seriousness.
These eye drops might be lubricating eye drops to heal non-infectious cases sooner or could be antibacterial eye drops to fight against certain bacteria. Let us look at some other possible treatments other than eye drops.
- According to your cat’s diagnosis, other treatments might consist of antibiotics, antiviral, or pain-relieving medicines. You can give these medicines to your cat in pill or eye ointment form.
- Placement of a collar around the neck to avoid a cat scratching their eyes near the infected area, as it could lead to an eye ulcer.
- Holding a wet and warm cloth over a cat’s closed eye breaks down eye gunk, especially for cats with crusty eye discharge. The warmth of the material might be soothing over the eye.
To remain updated with cat vaccinations, particularly for Feline Herpesvirus, could lessen the risk of pink eye.
Ensure not to miss any cat flu vaccination deadline, as cat flu acts like the common cause of pink eye in cats. Although there are fewer chances for its transmission to humans, you would follow basic hygiene rules, like:-
- Washing off your hands.
- Washing off any tool or toy.
- Usage of gloves when giving topical medicines.
- disposing of gloves immediately after treating your cat.
- Use pet-safe disinfectant as your cat might rub it onto home things without you realizing it.
- Ensure to wipe your cat’s infected area with a warm cloth every day to remove dust particles.
- Make sure to isolate your cat in their room, as the infectious pink eye could spread rapidly.
Pink eyes in cats come and go. So, if your cat has this problem frequently, your vet needs to prescribe some proper treatment or should see for any serious difficulties.
Getting treatment as soon as you notice the problem is the best way to overcome this illness. Give your cat a happy life with proper treatment.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.