Conjunctivitis In Cats How Long Does It Last?

Cats are prone to conjunctivitis for several reasons. It’s a very common eye disease in felines. And it can occur in the eye or both eyes in various ways. The common name for conjunctivitis in cats is also the Pink Eye.

Pink eye is the inflammation of the tissues that circles the eye. This pink tissue is also known as conjunctiva so that’s where the term comes from. It’s as likely to get conjunctivitis in one eye as it is in both the eyes.

In cats, conjunctivitis can be infectious and non-infectious. It can show symptoms right away or it only shows up when the situation gets worse.

The diagnosis and treatment of conjunctivitis are the same for most cats. But this also depends on the symptoms and the severity of the symptoms.

Having said that, let’s get a deeper understanding of conjunctivitis. And how long does it last in a cat?

Does Your Cat Have Conjunctivitis?

There are plenty of signs to look for when a cat has conjunctivitis. Excessive blinking, redness, and swelling around the eye, watering, and discharge.

Your cat can make this worse by scratching and pawing the eye. It can cause pus discharge which is either white or yellow in color. It can also cause the skin to tear or bruise due to excessive pawing at the eye.

If for a minor conjunctivitis infection, it’s necessary to take your cat to the vet right away. It’s only a matter of time your cat’s eye will become red and swollen. If your cat is the fidgety kind, then even faster is the worsening of the condition.

This brings me to another important question. How do you diagnose conjunctivitis?

Surely, you won’t be able to know for sure by yourself. Take an appointment with a vet to get this confirmed. They will also give you the correct treatment plan for conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis, even if it’s non-infectious, is painful for a cat. The doctor might give your cat some anesthetic eye drops to ease the pain and discomfort. This should numb the area quickly so that the doctor can perform a thorough check-up of the eye.

If there is any dust or irritants stuck on the eye. If the conjunctiva has been scratched or bruised. Or if there is an underlying wound that is not visible directly.

All this is possible only when your cat is unable to feel the stinging pain in the eye. Hence, you must go to a professional vet’s clinic to diagnose the problem.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

This determines whether the conjunctivitis is infectious or otherwise.


If the conjunctivitis is caused by viruses, it is the infectious type. It can also cause respiratory problems. And if you have other cats around the house, it can spread easily.


This is also an infectious cause of conjunctivitis. It can infect the cat’s eyes and other sensitive areas such as the ears. It spreads just as quickly as conjunctivitis caused by viruses.

Allergens & Irritants

This is the only type of conjunctivitis that isn’t infectious. Dust, poor air quality, mold, and exposure to chemicals can cause this. Cat shampoos and soaps that have strong chemicals and scents in them. Air fresheners or detergents can cause this type of eye infection.

How Long Does Conjunctivitis Last?

This depends upon the severity and treatment of conjunctivitis. But the average time for conjunctivitis to completely heal is 1-3 weeks. It may take longer if the condition is serious.

Eye drops and other antibiotic meds are prescribed for the treatment of conjunctivitis. If there is an underlying cause such as a virus, then vaccination is also a safe treatment option.

E-collars for cats are necessary during the treatment. The eyedrops can bother your cat. And this will compel her to rub and paw at her infected eye even more. So it’s best to keep your cat’s paws away from her eye with the help of an E-collar.

What Not To Do

If you want to prevent conjunctivitis in your cat, do not do this.

Skipping out on vaccinations

Giving your cat the correct vaccinations when it’s due is necessary. It can prevent serious infections including conjunctivitis. It also reduces the chances of flu, flare-ups, and feline herpes.

Letting your cat play in dirty mud

Damp and dirty mud can carry pathogens and viruses. If they come into contact with your cat’s eye, it can lead to an infection. Keep your cat away from mud and dirt if your cat is prone to such sensitivities.

Giving your cat a bath rarely

It’s not okay to give your cat a bath once in a few months or so. Keeping your cat clean means keeping him away from harmful bacteria and viruses. It’s a good idea to give your cat a bath or a sponge-bath once every 2-3 weeks or so.

If your cat goes outdoors, wiping her eyes and ears on a regular basis is also necessary.

Keeping your cats together

Do you have multiple cats at home? If one of your cats has conjunctivitis, keep her in a separate room. You don’t want all of your cats to get infected. Make sure you keep the rooms clean and hygienic. And that you do not keep a single water bowl and food bowl for all your cats.

Final Thoughts

Can humans get conjunctivitis from a cat?

Well, the chances of that happening are very low. The virus or bacteria to get transmitted to a human and cause the same infection is not likely. However, you must still practice safety and wash your hands after treating your cat’s eye.

Cat conjunctivitis is not a very serious condition. But it can be worse if left undiagnosed and untreated. In the worst situations, it can lead to blindness. Even though blindness caused by cat conjunctivitis is rare. You have to be vigilant about it.

Delaying consulting with the vet about your conjunctivitis is a problem. It can delay the recovery time as well. If you had gone sooner, conjunctivitis would have lasted for half the time. So don’t be lazy and keep a lookout for such nasty infections for the sake of your cat.

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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