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Can Cats Get Pink Eye? (Everything You Need To Know!)

A common eye condition cats can develop is conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye. Every cat owner should know about the symptoms of pink eye and when to contact their vet. Although humans can contract conjunctivitis, they cannot catch it from cats.

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Can Cats Get Pink Eye?

What Are the Signs of Pink Eye in Cats?

The hallmark sign of pinkeye1 in cats is inflammation of the eyeballs and eyelids. This inflammation can make it difficult for a cat to fully open or close its eyes. Cats with pink eye may also blink more often or appear to squint. Discharge from the eye is common.

Depending on the cause of pink eye, affected cats may sneeze, have a runny nose, eat less, and act lethargic.

cat with irratated eye
Image Credit: Sheila Fitzgerald, Shutterstock

What Causes Pink Eye in Cats?

Cats typically develop pink eye1 from infectious viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Rarely do cats develop the condition due to allergies, eye conditions like glaucoma, and abnormal eye anatomy.

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What Is the Treatment for Pink Eye in Cats?

Your vet will prescribe a treatment based on the cause of pink eye. You may have to administer eye drops, eye ointment, and oral medication. Follow your vet’s instructions for how long to give your cat the medication.

Vet dripping drops in cat's eye
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

Are There Home Remedies for Pink Eye in Cats?

Pink eye is not a condition you should attempt to treat at home. A vet must identify the underlying cause of conjunctivitis and prescribe the proper treatment. Pink eye can progress and lead to blindness if improperly treated.

Will Pink Eye in Cats Go Away on Its Own?

No, conjunctivitis won’t clear up without treatment. Consult your vet if your cat shows any symptoms of pink eye.

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Can Cats Spread Pink Eye to Humans?

The viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause conjunctivitis in cats cannot be transmitted to humans. However, you should still wash your hands before and after handling a cat with conjunctivitis.

Can Cats Catch Pink Eye From Other Cats?

Pink eye can spread from one cat to another. If you have more than one cat at home, ask your vet if you need to quarantine the infected cat for any length of time.

a kitten with eyes infection
Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

Are Some Cat Breeds More Susceptible to Pink Eye?

Any cat of any age or breed can develop pink eye. Himalayan and Siamese cats are more susceptible to abnormal eye anatomy, called entropion, which can cause pink eye. Cats with entropion1 have eyelids that roll inwards.

Your vet will discuss treatment options if entropion is the cause of your cat’s pink eye. You can treat entropion with medication. Sometimes surgery is necessary.

Can Indoor Cats Develop Pink Eye?

Yes, your cat can have pink eye even if they stay indoors and do not have contact with other cats. Cats can develop pink eye from non-contagious conditions like environmental allergies, primary eye illnesses, and abnormal eye anatomy.

Kitten with eye infection Kristi
Image Credit: Blokhin, Shutterstock

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Cats of any age and breed can develop conjunctivitis, a condition commonly called pink eye. Signs of an infection include swollen and red eyes and eyelids, eye discharge, and squinting. Your vet can determine the underlying cause of pink eye and prescribe proper treatment. Pink eye does not go away on its own, nor are there effective home remedies.

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Featured Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock