Symptoms of Eye Irritation in Cats

Eye irritation in cats can be caused by a wide range of factors such as allergic reactions or infections. The symptoms of eye irritation are easily recognizable and shouldn't be ignored. Eye problems can worsen over time if left untreated, leading to permanent eye lesions or even blindness.

Red Eyes

The most common symptom of an eye irritation in cats is red eyes. As you may know, the cat has an extra eyelid, which can be red just like the eye whites and the area surrounding the ocular globe.

Excessive Tearing

Cats suffering from eye irritation will be producing tears in excess. This may be due to the fact that the gland producing the tears is also affected by the allergic reactions, or by the infection that causes the eye irritation.

Ocular Discharges

Ocular discharges are a clear sign the cat has an eye problem. The problem may be an allergic reaction, a simple bacterial infection or a virus.

  • If the discharge is clear and the cat experiences no pain and his eyes are not red, his tear drainage system may be causing the problem.
  • If the cat has additional symptoms such as red eyes and pain, she may have allergies or an infection.
  • The color and consistency of the ocular discharges should be carefully monitored.
  • If the discharge is clear, the cat may have an allergic reaction to an environmental factor.
  • A discharge that is thick or contains pus can indicate the cat is affected by an infection.

Excessive Blinking or Squinting

A cat that has an eye irritation will be blinking in excess. You may find that the cat is squinting when faced with powerful sources of light. He may also look for hiding spaces to reduce the irritation caused by light.

Pawing the Eyes

If your cat is pawing his eyes or face, this can signal that the pet feels pain in the area. The pawing of the facial area may indicate also that the cat has a dental problem, so you will need to look for additional symptoms to determine the problem your pet is having.

Film over the Eyes

An opaque or white film over the eyes may indicate a problem with the inner eye, or the cat may have one of the following eye problems:

These conditions are severe and the cat needs immediate veterinary care, otherwise he may lose his vision for good.

Additional Symptoms

The cat can present a range of additional symptoms, which will depend on the underlying condition causing the eye irritation:

  • Sneezing, runny nose, coughing, dermatitis, which can indicate the cat suffers from an allergic reaction
  • Foul odor of the skin, if the cat has a skin infection that has affected the eyes as well
  • Presence of external parasites such as fleas or mites

See if you detect any symptoms that could help in diagnosing your pet and getting him the treatment he needs.