Why Do Cats Eyes Turn Red – Diagnosis & Treatment – FAQcats.com

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Health problems, arising as a reaction to symptoms such as red eyes or a runny nose, are semi-common in many feline homes. If the symptom you notice is obvious, such as red eyes, there is probably something wrong with your cat’s well-being. So why do cats eyes turn red?

Cats eyes turn red as a symptom of an underlying health condition or infection. Eye redness can be caused by physical irritation caused by a small foreign body. Conjunctivitis and uveitis are serious bacterial infections that cause red eyes in cats.

As your cat’s eyes can turn red for several reasons, it is imperative to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will need to perform tests to determine if your cat has red eyes as a symptom of a serious health condition. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the common reasons your cat’s eyes turn red and tips to help you treat your pet safely.

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Why is my cat’s eye changing color?

Before we get into the most serious infections a cat can have as a cause of red eyes, we’ll discuss some common causes.

In some cases, your cat’s red eyes can be relatively harmless. Maybe it has dirt or fur stuck in it. When one of my kitten’s eyes turned red, it turned out he just had a piece of his hair stuck in it; the redness disappeared within an hour.

On the other hand, red eyes in cats could be a symptom of a respiratory tract infection.

In this case, your cat’s eyes will be squinted and red around the edges, with a considerable amount of discharge.

Often, cats with a respiratory tract infection also get conjunctivitis. A quick trip to the vet and a week of antibiotics are sure to clear it up.

In more serious circumstances, redness and swelling of the eyes can be symptoms of health issues such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. It can also be caused by various fungal, bacterial or viral infections.

As the possible causes of your cat’s red eyes are virtually endless, it is necessary to bring him to the vet for an appointment as soon as possible for a checkup.

What does a cat eye infection look like

In general, a cat with red eyes may exhibit this symptom due to several complex health issues. However, the symptom itself is hard to miss.

Cats with eye infections often have redness around or on the eye itself. Most of the time, there is inflammation of the eye and eyelids, which makes the cat look like it is squinting. Clear, yellow or green discharge may also be present.

Identifying eye infections can be difficult simply because cat owners may be in denial. Maybe they’re terrified their pet is sick or they can’t afford a vet bill.

It is crucial to notice the signs of an eye infection and act quickly. Even if there’s only dust in your cat’s eye, it’s worth making sure it won’t cause anything more serious, especially if it seems painful to your cat.

conjunctivitis in cats

Conjunctivitis is usually of little concern. It is a minor eye infection characterized by the inflammation of the transparent membranes that cover the eyelid and the eyeball.

Usually contracted by a bacterial or viral infection, conjunctivitis can become a more serious problem if it or the disease is left untreated. Infectious conjunctivitis can spread to other cats, so be sure to keep your house cats separated before and during treatment.

But will conjunctivitis go away on its own? yes IIn mild cases, conjunctivitis in cats may go away on its own. However, in most cases you don’t want to try to find out if this is the case. The longer you leave infected eyes untreated, the longer your cat will suffer.

The last thing you want to do is leave your cat in a constant state of irritation.

Conjunctivitis in cats is just as painful as in humans. Those who have contracted it can attest to the intense sting it inflicts and the crusty eyelids that have to be pulled apart after sleeping.

Your cat may not meow or howl in pain, but you should recognize that even if he is silent, he may still feel discomfort.

If you were getting medication to treat conjunctivitis, you should provide the same care to your cat.

Your vet will prescribe eye drops if you have a bacterial or viral infection, or if a foreign body has caused the irritation. It can take a few days to two weeks to settle.

Uveitis in cats

Uveitis is much more about the inflammatory problem. Usually, it signals the presence of a variety of serious health conditions, such as tumors, cancers, autoimmune diseases, and serious viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.

Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea or front of the eye, including the iris and pupil. Although it may be more difficult to identify in its early stages, uveitis in cats is characterized by redness, swelling and cloudiness of the eyeball, as well as discharge.

So how does a cat get uveitis? A cat can get uveitis from scratching their eyes, eating poorly, or getting fungal infections in unsanitary conditions. Most healthy cats won’t get it, but those that aren’t well cared for can be prone to this disease and many others.

Visit your veterinarian at the first sign of eye redness; ruling out or catching uveitis early is crucial.

Treatment involves reducing the inflammation of the eye with eye drops or ointment while treating the underlying cause.

How can I treat my cat’s eye infection at home?

Unless your cat is showing eye irritation and redness from a piece of dirt or dust stuck in it, you shouldn’t give her any treatment at home. If you can identify the object that may be irritating your cat’s eyes, safely remove it and perform an eye wash.

If you’re worried about the cost of treating your cat’s eye infection, I implore you to take her to the vet anyway. Even a $100 vet bill is better news than losing your cat’s sight, or worse, its eye and surrounding tissue.

In milder cases, you may be able to get away with herbal treatments. Apple cider vinegar applied to the back of the neck three times a day can help fight bacteria in an infected cat’s eye.

Of course, if your herbal treatment of choice still hasn’t worked after a few days, it’s time to go to the vet.

Many “homemade” or “herbal” eye infection remedies either don’t work or are just plain dangerous. It’s worth consulting a professional rather than relying on amateur processing with no sound data to back it up.

Avoid touching the cat’s eye to remove secretions, as you may transfer more bacteria to the infected eye. A warm washcloth or cotton ball will do.


A cat’s red eyes can be worrisome. All we want is for our fur babies to be completely healthy.

Part of your cat’s well-being is accepting that getting sick is out of your control. What you can control, however, is the treatment and TLC they receive on their way to recovery.

The bottom line with eye infections is that the vet is your friend. Whatever the cause of the symptoms, it is the veterinarians who will be able to identify what is causing your cat so much discomfort.

Hit the road safely and get your cat the professional help they deserve. Even if their infection turns out to be minor, rest assured that you have prevented it from getting worse or causing them more pain.

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