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Kitten Eye Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What Does a Kitten Eye Infection Look Like?

Kitten Eye Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies

A kitten eye infection manifests with red, teary, and inflamed eyes. The whites of the eye will look inflamed, and there will probably be eye discharge or crusts at the corners.

While cat eye infections are pretty common, the symptoms are non-specific and usually indicate a range of health problems. Therefore, it is important to get the right diagnosis from a vet. In most cases, the infection will usually resolve on its own. But eye infections can quickly become worse, and your cat might need emergency care.

Given below are some of the common signs that your cat has an eye infection. This can be used to indicate a diagnosis and make it easier for your vet to decide a course of action:

  • The white part of your cat’s eye might have some redness
  • There might be some eye discharge that’s either clear, yellow, or green 
  • Your cat might resort to excessive blinking, or it may look like your cat is winking at you 
  • The cat’s third eyelid might be covering its eyes more than usual.
  • If the eye problem is linked to an upper respiratory infection, you might also observe sneezing or nasal discharge.

Can Kittens Go Blind From Eye Infections?

Yes, a kitten eye infection may culminate in blindness if left untreated.

While most eye problems go away on their own, many conditions can be a lot more severe. This can then lead to problems in the eye, including blindness in rare cases. As a result, it is crucial to get a diagnosis from a vet.

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What Causes Eye Infection in Kittens?

Kitten eye infection develops in the mucous membrane (conjunctiva) that lines the inner surface of the eyeballs. These infections are usually fueled by infectious vaginal discharge in the birth canal of the mother. Living in unhygienic conditions can also result in a kitten eye infection.

The most common causes of kitten eye infection are:

  • Infectious Causes of Kitten Eye Infections: bacterial Infections (Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp.) and viral infections (Feline Herpesvirus or Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus).
  • Non-Infectious Causes of Kitten Eye Infections: corneal ulcers, foreign bodies in the eyes, ocular tumors, tear duct issues, problems with the eyelids (and the third eyelid), allergens, etc.

While infectious agents can attack all cats, the non-infectious underlying causes of eye infections are more common in flat-faced cat breeds (Persians and Himalayans).

Interestingly, kitten eye infection is also more likely to occur in kittens with heavy worm (intestinal parasites) infestations. The presence of worms, weakens the kitten’s immune system and increases the risk of infection or pink eye.

How do I Know if My Kitten’s Eye is Infected?

In most cases, the symptoms of the eye infection will vary depending on the cause of the infection. But some of the common signs of the same include:

  • Red inflamed eyes and eyelids
  • Eye discharge (clear or pus-like)
  • Eyelids sticking to the front of eyes
  • Swollen eyelids that bulge outward
  • Sores on the surface of the eye
  • Collapsed eyeball

In such cases, your vet might prescribe an eye ointment in addition to topical antibiotics and other beneficial supplements. Furthermore, they might also prescribe blood tests to understand the condition much better.

How do You Treat a Kitten’s Eye Infection?

Kitten Eye Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies

One of the most common treatments for kitten eye infection is L-lysine, available in the form of supplements (oral gel, cat treats, powder, and liquid tincture). Other treatments include oral and topical antibiotics, ointments, eye drops, and antiviral medications.

Additionally, there are some over-the-counter products that help treat a cat’s eye infection.

BestLife4Pets Eye Care and Vision Support: Holistic Kitten Eye Infection Treatment. This product works great against eye pain, pink eye, blurry vision, and nerve damage. This natural cat eye care solution not only helps reduce cat eye discharge, pain, and inflammation but also addresses the root cause of many feline eye problems, including allergy and respiratory infections.

This supplement comes in tiny, scentless, and flavorless pills that are easy to take and leave no side effects. This works great against cats that do not like taking medicines.

These cat eye infection pills have been formulated in a registered dietary supplement facility without any artificial ingredients, flavors, preservatives, or sugar. Pet owners give this product 4.1 out of 5 stars.

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Arava Pet Eye Wipes for Puppies & Kittens. These wipes gently and effectively remove any leaky discharge from your pet’s crusty “sleepy” eyes while preventing new tear stains even before they start.

Additionally, these pet eye wipes are effective on a wide variety of animals, including puppies, adult, and senior dogs, kittens, cats, and even horses. The allergy-free ingredients are good for pets with allergies or those with sensitive bodies. They have been fashioned to be soft, non-irritating, and soothing so that your pet will love them.

Arava pet wet wipes are made especially for cleaning around sensitive eyes to prevent tear stains. They work great against most eye discharges. Pet owners give this product 4.2 out of 5 stars.

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Vetericyn Plus All Animal Eye Wash. With the help of this eye wash, you can provide safe, effective relief to your pet’s eye irritations and wounds. Additionally, it can also be used to remove debris or for regular eye care.

This eye wash has been approved for use on all animals ranging from cats and dogs to horses and livestock. The product is produced with the help of scientific research and a standard of excellence and has been manufactured under strict international guidelines and in an FDA-registered, state-of-the-art facility in the USA.

This product is safe for use around the mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. It also helps prevent tear stains with regular use. Pet owners give this product 4.6 out of 5 stars.

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PetSilver Eye Wash Drops for Dogs and Cats. This wash can help support the issue of unsightly tear stains from the fur under your cat’s eyes. The product has been specially formulated to not cause any pain or stinging to your cat’s eyes.

There is no alcohol, no artificial scents, and no perfumes, or preservatives in the product. Also, it includes only water and chelated silver. Overall, it is easy to administer this eye drop thanks to its convenient bottle.

This product contains Chelated silver, which is highly effective in blocking the effects of some kinds of particles on open wounds and sores. Pet owners give this product 4.4 out of 5 stars.

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Do Kitten Eye Infections Go Away on Their Own?

Minor cat eye infections usually clear up on their own without any treatment.

But as pet parents, it is crucial to keep a close eye on your cat’s symptoms so that you can track the progress of the infection. If the situation does not resolve itself in two weeks, it is time to take your cat to the vet.

Can Kitten Eye Infection Spread to Humans?

In most cases, it is uncommon for your cat’s eye infections to spread to humans.

However, certain bacterial causes of conjunctivitis in cats can be transmitted people. It is important to note that eye diseases in cats often have a viral cause and are not contagious.

How Long Does Eye Infection Last in Kittens?

An uncomplicated kitten eye infection heals quickly. With treatment (antibiotic ointments or eye drops), it should not take more than two weeks for the infection to heal.

How Can I Prevent Kitten Eye Infection?

The right cat eye infection treatment ultimately depends on the root cause of the infection. There are various ways you can go about treating a cat’s eye infection, such as:

Depending on the root cause of the infection, the right cat eye infection treatment will be decided by your vet. Treating these infections can take various steps, something that your vet will decide –

  • Cleaning the Cat’s Eyes. According to most vets, the best cat eye infection home remedy is to keep your cat’s eyes clean. This helps clear out the eye discharge that usually accumulates in your cat’s eyes.
    This can be an uncomfortable experience for them and should be done regularly. Use a cotton ball to wipe the discharge away. Make sure you use a fresh cotton ball for each eye and never directly touch the eyeball itself. If the discharge is not being cleared, it is best to talk to a vet for the same.
  • Medication. Your vet might prescribe topical treatments, including ointments and drops. These are to be directly applied to your cat’s eyes, usually with the help of a second person. Additionally, oral antibiotics can also be prescribed if there is any infection present.
  • Treating the Root Cause. If there is an underlying condition for your cat’s eye infection, your vet might also prescribe oral antibiotics that can help clear the eye infection easily.