Swollen Eyes in Cats

Swollen eyes in cats could be caused from any number of viruses, infections or other bodily illnesses. It's important to notice any other symptoms that may accompany swollen eyes to attempt at figuring out what may be causing:

There are several different treatment methods available, depending on what factors are contributing to the cause, and you may find a combination of traditional medication and at-home remedies can easily treat the problem or prevent it from happening in the future.


Conjunctivitis is one of the most common causes of swollen eyes in cats. This particular ailment can be caused by many things, including feline herpes, infection or congenital defects, such as in cats with small or absent tear ducts.

Conjunctivitis results in inflammation of the eye membranes, causing:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • watering
  • sometimes a crusty or mucous-filled discharge

Conjunctivitis can be chronic for some cats, but can be easily treated as well. Frequent washing with saline solution can help to clear bacteria from the eye. If feline herpes is the culprit, adding a supplement of the proper amino acids can alleviate symptoms and help to strengthen the immune system.

Eye Damage

Another event that can cause swollen eyes in cats is damage from fighting, a scratch to the eye or contact with a foreign object. If the eye is damaged during an incident or something becomes lodged in the eye, this can create infection or abscess which leads to pain and other symptoms. Before treatment, be sure that the eye is clear of debris, as any foreign objects must be removed to prevent further complications.

Administer frequent warm compresses to the eye to help reduce swelling. Additionally, antibiotics and ointments are available that can reduce the threat of bacterial infection and therefore assist with the swelling and discomfort. You may also find appropriate herbal remedies to alleviate symptoms, but be sure to research carefully which herbs and homeopathic treatments are suitable for use with cats.

The use of essential oils for cats should always be avoided, no matter what symptoms are being treated.


In order to prevent your cat from experiencing the pain and disadvantage of swollen eyes, it's important to uncover the cause. If you cat has a tendency to fight, you may need to discover a way to keep him/her away from other neighborhood cats or separate from other felines within the home. If an underlying infection or problem with the immune system is to blame, you might look for other symptoms in order to help come to a proper diagnosis. Treating an underlying condition successfully will help to prevent eye problems and serious infection in the future. If a cat has swollen eyes coupled with other symptoms, such as coughing, fever, loss of appetite, runny nose and sneezing, feline herpesvirus may be to blame. There is no cure for this virus, but proper treatment with a healthy diet and medication or dietary supplements may keep the immune system strong to fight off symptoms and other consequences.