Treatment for Cloudy Eye in Cats: Causes, Diagnosis, and Management

icon September 1, 2023

Cats are known for their captivating eyes that often reflect their mood, curiosity, and health. Cloudy eyes in cats can be concerning for any pet owner, as they might indicate an underlying health issue that requires prompt attention. While it's essential to consult a veterinarian before attempting any treatment, understanding the potential causes of cloudy eyes and the available options can empower cat owners to make informed decisions about their feline companions' well-being.

Treatment For Cloudy Eye In Cats

The treatment for cloudy eyes in cats depends on the underlying cause. Here are some general approaches that veterinarians might recommend:

1. Topical Medications: If the cloudiness is due to conjunctivitis or an infection, your veterinarian might prescribe topical antibiotics or antiviral medications to address the issue.

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2. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: In cases of inflammation or uveitis, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort and reduce cloudiness.

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3. Pain Management: Conditions like corneal ulcers or glaucoma can be painful for cats. Pain management strategies, including medication, can help improve your cat's comfort.

4. Surgery: If cataracts are causing cloudy eyes and significant vision impairment, surgical removal of the cataract might be considered. However, not all cats are suitable candidates for surgery, and this decision should be made in consultation with a veterinary ophthalmologist.

5. Management of Underlying Conditions: Cloudy eyes can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health issue, such as feline herpesvirus. Treating the root cause can help alleviate the ocular symptoms.

At-Home Care

While specific treatments should be guided by a veterinarian, there are some general at-home care practices you can follow to support your cat's eye health:

1. Keep the Eye Clean: If discharge is present around your cat's eyes, gently clean it using a damp, clean cloth. Be cautious not to cause additional irritation.

2. Environmental Enrichment: Providing a stimulating and stress-free environment can support your cat's overall health, including their eye health. Minimize exposure to potential irritants and ensure your cat's living space is clean.

3. Proper Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can contribute to your cat's overall health, including eye health. Consult your veterinarian for dietary recommendations.

4. Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular veterinary visits can help catch any eye issues early and ensure your cat's well-being.

Why Is My Cat's Eye Cloudy

Cloudy eyes in cats can stem from various causes, ranging from minor irritations to serious medical conditions. Some of the most common reasons include:

Conjunctivitis: Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva (the thin membrane covering the eye's surface) becomes inflamed. This inflammation can result from infections, allergies, or irritants and may lead to cloudy or discolored eyes.

Corneal Ulcers: Corneal ulcers are open sores on the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) that can lead to cloudiness, redness, and excessive tearing. They can be caused by trauma, scratches, or infections.

Cataracts: Cataracts are a common cause of cloudy eyes in older cats. They involve the clouding of the lens inside the eye, leading to impaired vision. Cataracts can be hereditary or develop due to other underlying health issues.

Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye. It can cause cloudiness, redness, and pain. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.

Uveitis: Uveitis refers to inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. It can result from infections, trauma, or autoimmune disorders, causing cloudiness, redness, and sensitivity to light.

Feline Herpesvirus: This viral infection can cause conjunctivitis and cloudiness in the eyes. It's a common respiratory infection in cats that can lead to recurrent flare-ups.

Trauma: Direct trauma to the eye, such as scratches from sharp objects, can cause cloudy eyes.

Foreign Bodies: Foreign objects like debris or small particles can become lodged in the eye, leading to irritation, redness, and cloudiness.

Will My Cat's Cloudy Eye Go Away

Whether your cat's cloudy eye will go away depends on the underlying cause. Some cases, like minor irritations or infections, might improve with treatment. However, if the cloudiness is due to more serious issues like cataracts or corneal ulcers, it may require specific medical interventions such as surgery or ongoing management. It's crucial to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan to address the root cause of the cloudiness and determine the best course of action for your cat's eye health. Early intervention and proper care can increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Can Cat Cloudy Eyes Be Contagious

Cloudy eyes in cats can be caused by various factors, including infections, injuries, cataracts, glaucoma, and other underlying health issues. Whether cloudy eyes are contagious depends on the root cause. Infectious causes like conjunctivitis or herpesvirus can be contagious among cats through direct contact or shared items. However, non-infectious causes like cataracts or age-related changes are not contagious. If you suspect your cat has cloudy eyes, it's crucial to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If the cause is infectious, isolating the affected cat and practicing good hygiene can help prevent spreading to other cats. Regular veterinary care and maintaining a clean environment are key to overall eye health and preventing potential contagion.

When to Seek Emergency Care

While some cases of cloudy eyes might not require immediate attention, certain symptoms warrant emergency care:

  • Severe Pain: If your cat is displaying signs of extreme discomfort, squinting, or pawing at its eyes.
  • Sudden Vision Loss: If your cat experiences a sudden and significant decline in vision.
  • Unusual Discharge: Excessive or colored discharge from the eyes could indicate a serious infection.
  • Change in Behavior: If your cat becomes lethargic, loses appetite, or shows other signs of illness alongside cloudy eyes.

Preventing Cloudy Eyes in Cats

While not all causes of cloudy eyes can be prevented, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk:

  • Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean your cat's living area to reduce the likelihood of exposure to irritants or infections.
  • Eye Protection: If your cat is prone to eye injuries due to a specific activity, consider using protective gear recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Prompt Veterinary Care: If you notice any changes in your cat's eye appearance or behavior, seek veterinary care promptly.



Cloudy eyes in cats can be a cause for concern, but they are often treatable when addressed early and appropriately. As a responsible pet owner, it's crucial to consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the cloudiness and receive proper guidance on treatment options. While there might be home care practices that can support your cat's eye health, the well-being of your feline companion should always be entrusted to the hands of a veterinary professional. Remember, a cat's eyes are not just windows to their soul, but also indicators of their overall health and happiness.

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