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Feline Viral Conjunctivitis… AKA Cat Eye Infection… symptoms and costs.

Does your cat appear to have excessive “gooks” in her eyes? Do her eyes look red, or are her eyelids inflamed? If so, feline viral conjunctivitis may be the cause. And while it may be painful for your kitty, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to treat, provided that you know what to look for and have them checked out by a professional.

This is why…

In this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss precisely what feline viral conjunctivitis is so that if you think your cat may be suffering from this, you’ll know what to look for and what to expect while treating them.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Feline Viral Conjunctivitis Defined.

Simply put, feline viral conjunctivitis is a fancy medical term to describe an eye infection. Some usually cause an infection merely to treat disease, which could become serious if left untreated for too long.

Clinical Signs of Eye Infections in Cats

It could be viral conjunctivitis if you see any noticeable difference in how your cat’s eyes look. For example, your cat may have a problem with:

  • Persistent squinting or excessive blinking,
  • Redness of the tissue surrounding the eye,
  • Eye discharge,
  • Persistent “pawing” of the eye,
  • Fluid buildup within the eye.

You may also notice that your cat will try to rub their eye against objects to “clear” the vision of whatever bothers it. Also, it’s standard for a cat to get an upper respiratory tract infection and an eye infection because their immune system is compromised. Additionally, if there is nasal discharge, the diagnosis may be something else, such as allergies or a kitty cold.

Who is at risk?

Pretty much any cat is susceptible to suffering from feline conjunctivitis. However, because a viral infection causes feline viral conjunctivitis, it is safe to assume cats with a compromised immune system will be at a greater risk for developing this condition. Kittens and older cats will also be at an increased risk as well.

What causes feline viral conjunctivitis?

The name “viral” should tip you off a bit: this common eye infection is usually caused by exposure to a virus that leads to an eye infection. Most of the time, this is a feline herpes virus. It’s not exactly what you’re thinking; there are hundreds of strands of herpes, and they are transferred between animals in several ways. Even when two cats play fight, they could be spreading the herpes virus.

  • Chlamydophilia felis is another bacterium that is easily spread among cats. It can easily result in feline conjunctiva.

Diagnosis of Eye Infection

If you suspect there’s something wrong with your kitty’s eye(s), take her to the vet ASAP! She’ll need treatment to get better, so there is no point in delaying it. Your veterinarian will most likely be able to identify this disease without any invasive diagnosis process. They will look at the eyes and eyelids to see if there are any visible problems, including any signs of corneal ulcers.

From there…

They may consider environmental exposure that could be causing eye irritation related to allergies rather than infection. It’s also important to note that a virus causes all eye infections. Another disease caused by feline herpes is feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), which has similar symptoms.


This could also be a bacterial infection – these are things for your veterinarian to determine before giving treatment options.

Treatment Options

Treatment options will largely depend on the cause. The most common treatment options are antibiotics or antiviral treatments. Sometimes, your cat will be given a topical medication or eye drops rather than an oral. Most cats will get better rather quickly.

Vet Costs

Although this isn’t a severe disease or a deadly problem, the costs associated with feline viral conjunctivitis can add up pretty quickly. Between vet visits and medication, don’t be surprised if the total price is more than $300 when it’s all said and done. That’s a lot of money to have to spend unexpectedly! But these costs can often be reduced if you’re quick to act and get your pet to a vet at the first sign of problems because their treatment will likely be minimized.

Now, at this point…

We like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. All we are is a bunch of folks who happen to be passionate about animals and only what’s best for them. So, if you think your cat may suffer from feline viral conjunctivitis or any other medical condition, please have a professional check them out immediately. Not only could it help reduce your pet’s pain and suffering, but it could also help you save a whole lot of money in the long run.

And while we’re…

On the topic of money, we would also encourage you to take a moment and check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article. A pet insurance policy on your loved one could save you thousands of dollars if your pet ever really becomes seriously sick or injured.

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