Has my cat got conjunctivitis?


Do you think your cat may have conjunctivitis? Or is it just sleep? Vet Andrea Harvey explains the differences.

(Q) My cat Angel has had mild conjunctivitis in the past but she still gets tiny brown scabs on the skin on the corner of one eye, which sometimes spread. The vet suggested I clean her eyes, but the only way I can get these off is very carefully with my nails. Do you have any idea of what these scabs are?

A Vet Andrea Harvey advises: It is difficult to know what this is without seeing it for myself. It is common and normal for cats to get 'sleep' in the corners of their eyes, like people do, and in cats this is often quite a dark colour.

This sticky material collects any foreign materials such as dust, so that they do not remain in the eye and scratch the surface or cause irritation. What you describe may simply be 'sleep' that, as your vet suggested, just needs cleaning away.

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If it seems to be more than just 'sleep', then discuss this with your vet again as he or she may need to take some samples of the scab/hair to look for infectious organisms. For example, there is a virus that causes a skin disorder in cats called 'pox' and this can present as scabs on the face.

Examination by your vet will be needed to find out if this may be a possibility. If it has been happening for some time, it sounds like it will not be anything to worry about.