Is Cat Pink Eye Contagious?

Cat pink eye, also recognized as conjunctivitis, occurs when there is active infection in the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is made up of mucous and is used to protect the eye against infection and harmful irritants. The conjunctiva will absorb any infection in order to prevent the eye from being harmed. However, when the conjunctiva becomes infected, it requires treatment so that the infection does not spread throughout the eye and lead to other harmful conditions.

Symptoms of Cat Pink Eye

Pink eye is usually very easily recognized in cats. Because the conjunctiva is not normally something that can be seen, when it becomes infected, it will be pink to red in color and very swollen. This appearance will be very obvious in your cat because the conjunctiva can actually be seen at this point.

When your cat is infected with conjunctivitis, you will notice some other changes in his eyes other than general redness. You will notice that a clear liquid-like fluid is draining from his eyes; which is the infection. Additionally, depending on the severity of the condition, your cat's eyes may crust up and close and be very difficult to open.

Most cats with pink eye experience a lot of itching in the eyes, as well. When they attempt to scratch at their eyes, it can be very harmful to them because it can allow the infection to spread and they can cause serious damage to their eyes.

Transmission of Pink Eye in Cats

Cat pink eye is highly contagious. Not only is it contagious between cats, but also from cats to humans. However, it is important to remember that the infection can only be transmitted through direct contact. This is why animal shelters and pet stores are very common breeding grounds for conjunctivitis. Because the animals spend so much time together in confined quarters, it is very easy to transmit it from one cat to another.

The transmission from cats to humans can also be made by direct contact. You can contact the infection by touching your cat's eyes and then touching your own. It would not be a good practice to do this anyway, but it is important to keep in mind that the infection cannot be transmitted through the air; only by direct contact. When you are treating your cat for pink eye, it is important to keep clean hygiene in mind to prevent the spread of the infection to you or your family.

Diagnosing Cat Pink Eye

There is no diagnostic test available that will detect a pink eye infection. But because the condition creates such extreme appearances in the eye, it is very easy to identify. Diagnosis will usually begin with a review of the symptoms and a general physical examination. After that, the diagnosis can be made and treatment can begin.

If an underlying bacterial infection has cause conjunctivitis, it will not usually be noticed until the treatment of pink eye has been deemed ineffective.

Treatment for Cat Pink Eye

Treatment of pink eye is a very simple process. Your cat will most likely be prescribed an antibiotic ointment to be administered directly into his eyes. Treatment will usually last between one and two weeks and there should be significant improvements in the condition during that time. If the treatment is not effective, underlying conditions will need to be explored.