Is a Cat Eye Infection Contagious?

Cat eye infection occurs due to the presence of bacteria, viruses and certain fungi in the pet’s body. While some infections aren’t contagious, others can be easily transmitted from one pet to the other. Some cats become carriers of certain viral diseases for life. They shed these contagious viruses in the environment when they suffer from severe illnesses or during times of stress.

The virus can then infect other pets and lead to severe eye and nose infections. If your cat shows any signs of an eye infection you need to get it diagnosed promptly in order to avoid complications that could arise if the condition is left untreated.

Symptoms of Eye Infections Include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Eye discharge
  • Swollen eyes or eyelids
  • Inflammation around the eyes
  • Cat finds it difficult to see
  • Redness in the eye
  • Cat paws face or eyes 
  • Pet rubs the eyes against objects or furniture

Contagious Cat Eye Infections

If your cat is suffering from feline calicivirus or feline herpesvirus he will most likely suffer from secondary bacterial infections, eye infections and rhinitis. This type of eye infection is most commonly known as cat pink eye or conjunctivitis. The pet will suffer from most symptoms of an eye infection along with the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection. Although the vet will treat your cat’s eye infection with medication, your pet may remain a carrier of the virus for life and infect other pets in the future.

Apart from these viral infections, cats also suffer from eye infections caused by bacteria like Chlamydia. Since felines are infected by certain strains of Chlamydia, your vet may do a lab test to find out the severity of the bacterial infection present. Although this infection is contagious to other pets, it cannot be transmitted to humans.

Other Causes of Cat Eye Infection

In addition to the viruses and bacterial infections mentioned above, cats are susceptible to several other types of eye infections caused by other bacteria. Some cats may also develop infections after they’ve suffered from eye injury or trauma. In such cases, the vet will perform several diagnostic tests to find out the true cause of the infection. Oral antibiotics and medicated eye drops are generally prescribed, but some pets may require surgery, particularly if the infection is more serious in nature.

Treatment of Feline Eye Infection

If the vet prescribes certain antibiotic medications you will have to administer them on time. You will also have to use eye drops to bring relief from the itching and inflammation. Make sure you read and follow all the instructions that are listed on the package before you administer the eye drops. Also wash your hands thoroughly after you touch your pet’s eyes as you could contaminate other surfaces even though you may not contract the infection yourself.

Tips for Pet Owners:

  • Wipe your cat’s eye discharge at regular intervals and discard used towels in an appropriate manner.
  • Keep your cat’s food and water bowls in a separate area in your home.
  • Don’t allow other pets living in your home, to come in contact with your sick cat.
  • Take your cat for follow up vet checks to find out if he is responding to the medication that’s been prescribed.
  • If the antibiotics are prescribed as a course, avoid discontinuing the drugs, unless otherwise directed by the vet.

Cat eye infections can cause your pet a lot of discomfort. In order to protect your cat’s eyesight you need to make sure that the infection doesn’t progress. You should therefore seek medical help soon after the symptoms arise.