If you ever had conjunctivitis or pink eyes, you know how annoying and irritating the disease can be. You also have to keep a distance from everyone because it is highly contagious. So let’s look at how to get rid of pink eye in cats.
But did you know that your cat can get pink eyes too?
The diagnosis and treatment of pink eyes in cats is not as easy as it is for humans. Over-the-counter, medicines meant for human conjunctivitis should not get used on cats. Therefore you must know about the symptoms and treatment of the disease so that you can get rid of it. You also want to be able to reduce costs as much as possible, the price of a ragdoll cat is high enough.
Symptoms of Pink Eye
Some of the symptoms that you must look out for are:
- Red appearance of the eyes
- Presence of fluid in the eyes
- Pus-like discharge in the corner of the eyes
- Excessive tears in the eyes
- Repeated blinking or squinting the eyes
The symptoms vary according to the severity of the disease. Your cat might not have all of these symptoms, but even one or two of them can be concerning. If you notice the presence of any of these symptoms, take your cat to a veterinary doctor immediately.
He or she will be able to run the tests and confirm whether your cat is suffering from conjunctivitis or not. There can be other problems that might be causing these symptoms, such as a blocked tear duct. Red and inflamed eyes might also be an accompanying symptom of respiratory issues, so watch out for wheezing or sneezing. A doctor will be able to confirm the exact cause of the disease and prescribe a remedy accordingly.
Causes of Conjunctivitis, or Pink Eye
On our journey to find out how to get rid of pink eye in cats, we learn that pink eye disease or conjunctivitis can be infectious or non-infectious.
The non-infectious pink eye is usually caused by dust particles or allergens gathered from the environment. Other factors such as smoke, mould, or grooming products can also cause pink or red eyes in your cat.
The infectious form of the pink eye called conjunctivitis can be the result of bacterial or viral infection. Both are contagious, but viral conjunctivitis is more infectious and takes longer to cure.
The virus that causes conjunctivitis in cats is called the Feline Herpesvirus also called Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. The bacterial form of conjunctivitis is caused by Feline Chlamydophila and is often accompanied by respiratory problems.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis can also be caused by bacteria, like Streptococci or Staphylococci.
It is advisable to bring your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any symptoms. The doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of the disease and prescribe the treatment accordingly.
What to do to Get Rid of Pink Eye in Cats
As we mentioned before, the treatment of the disease will depend on the cause of conjunctivitis in your cat. The most common treatment prescribed by vets is Neomycin Polymyxin Dexamethasone eye ointment for cats. The ointment can treat several types of infection, as well as the non-infectious forms of conjunctivitis. It has three primary ingredients. Neomycin and Polymyxin b Sulphates are antibiotics that treat the infection in your cat’s eye.
They also help in preventing the spread of the infection. Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory steroid that reduces the inflammation and swelling of the eyes. It also helps in reducing the redness and swelling in the eyes. Together they can treat most forms of eye infections, including conjunctivitis or pink eyes.
Your vet might prescribe another form of treatment if the conjunctivitis is viral. Some other medicines can be in the form of eye drops or pills.
A viral infection is often not affected by most forms of medication. Your cat’s immune system will heal the infection on its own. That is why younger cats who are still developing their immune system are susceptible to viral conjunctivitis. It can also be found in cats that have diseases that affect the immune system.
However, you can use antiviral medication to slow down the spread and replication of the virus. Cats suffering from viral conjunctivitis can also develop bacterial infections along with respiratory problems in their upper chest. In such cases, they are usually treated with oral antibiotics along with topical antiviral medication.
This is definitely one of the things that you want to buy for your cat.
Cat Pink Eye Prevention
Preventing infectious conjunctivitis can be a tough job for pet parents. However, there are some ways to make sure that the chances of your cat getting a pink eye gets reduced. Keep your cat’s vaccination up to date, along with the one for the Feline Herpes virus.
Cat flu vaccination will also help in reducing the risk of pink eyes in cats. Also, ensure that your cat doesn’t get stressed too much. Stress can weaken the immune system, which can make it susceptible to infection.
If you notice an animal with pink eye, make sure your cat stays away from it. With a kitten, you need to wipe its eyes and eyelashes occasionally with a warm towel. If the pink eye is non-infectious, prevention might be more necessary. Investigate the reason behind the allergy or the pink eye.
Is there pollen coming in through the open windows that are causing the symptoms?
Or is it allergic to an ingredient in the new shampoo?
There might be mould forming in the basement that is causing a reaction. You would need to find the origin and eliminate it.
What about Ragdoll Kittens
Kittens are extremely susceptible to pink eyes. So if you are taking care of a litter, lookout for signs of the disease while they are growing. If conjunctivitis is recurrent in your cat, there can be underlying reasons behind it. Your veterinarian might need to conduct a further medical investigation to find the hidden causes. Your cat might need aggressive treatment if the disease is recurring frequently.
The feline conjunctivitis bacteria or virus cannot affect human beings, so don’t be scared if your cat has pink eyes.
But if you have multiple pets, it is best to keep your affected cat away from the rest. The infection can spread to other cats or dogs. And as we emphasized before, take your cat to a veterinary doctor immediately.
So here’s the thing when considering how to get rid of pink eye in cats, you will need to know the symptoms, and also be able to clean your cat’s eyes and get some eye drops. Your vet will be a significant help. With my ragdolls cats, I have had this issue a number of times, and usually it just goes away in a couple of days. Other times we need to clean the eye and then it goes away.