Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Kitten Eye Infection

Kitten Eye Infection

While the causes may vary, it is common for some kittens may experience eye infections around the time that they first begin to open their eyes. In this post, our Fairhaven vets share the causes behind these eye infections and how a kitten will be diagnosed and treated for this issue.

What is a Kitten Eye Infection?

Newborn kittens often experience infections of the mucous membrane (conjunctiva) that lines the inner surface of the eyeball and eyelids. These infections can be due to contact with infectious vaginal discharge in the birth canal of the mother, or simply from living in unhygienic environments where the kitten is exposed to a host of viruses and bacteria.

Common Kitten Eye Infections

Homeless kittens that are brought to animal shelters often have eye infections that require treatment. Some of the common eye infections in kittens are caused by bacteria such as:

  • Staphylococcus spp. (bacteria)
  • Streptococcus spp. (bacteria)
  • Herpesvirus (Feline viral rhinotracheitis or FVR)

Kitten Eye Infection Symptoms

While the symptoms of an eye infection can vary depending on the condition that your kitten is experiencing and the type of infection, some of the most common symptoms are::

  • Red inflamed eyes and eyelids
  • Discharge (clear or pus-like)
  • Eyelids sticking to the front of the eyes
  • Swollen eyelids that bulge outward
  • Sores on the surface of the eye
  • Collapsed eyeball

Diagnosing a Kittens Eye Infection

To begin the diagnostic appointment your vet will perform a complete physical examination of your kitten, focusing on the eyes and looking for any potential signs of an infection. At that time the vet will ask for any information you may have regarding the mother's health and the kitten's living conditions. 

If your kitten's eye infection may have been caused during birth, your vet may want to do a culture of the kitten's eye discharge and the mother's vaginal discharge (if possible) in order to more accurately identify the type of infection.

To check your kitten's eye for signs of trauma your vet may use eye drops containing a yellow dye to help make any scratches, or foreign objects easier to spot.

If your vet suspects that your kitten may have a systemic disease blood tests and urinalysis may be recommended to pinpoint any serious health conditions that your kitty may be suffering from. 

Kitten Eye Infection Treatment

The vet will begin treating your kitten by opening their eyes with the help of a warm damp cloth. After your kitten's eyes are open the vet will continue to clear away any signs of infection such as pus. When the eyes are clean your vet may apply a warm compress to help prevent the lids from sticking together again, then apply an antibiotic ointment to begin healing the infection.

You will need to continue to care for your kitten's eyes at home but don't worry, your vet will send you off with detailed instructions on this care. Typically your vet will instruct you to gently wash your kitten's eyes a couple of times a day to ensure that discharge doesn't build up, applying a warm compress, and then applying eye ointment or drops as prescribed.

Be sure to follow the vet's instructions just as they have them listed. It is essential to finish the entire round of antibiotics as instructed, (finishing treatment before the infection has fully cleared could lead to a recurrence or other complications), and be diligent about keeping the bedding extra clean wherever the mother and kittens eat and rest.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you are concerned that your kitten is suffering from any condition or illness, including eye infections, please contact our Fairhaven vets to schedule an exam.

Veterinary Care in Fairhaven

Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Fairhaven cats and dogs. Get in touch today to request an appointment for your pet.

Contact Us

Book Online (508) 996-6700