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ERAnimalNurse, Emergency Critical Care Nurse
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2302
Experience:  16+ years of veterinary experience
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The area around my cats eyes seem a bit red and irritated.

Customer Question

The area around my cats eyes seem a bit red and irritated. I can see it in both eyes, but it seems to look worse at some times and then an hour or so later seems much better. Hid energy seems a bit low, but for the most part he is behaving normally. I have seen him "paw" at his eyes once or twice, and sometimes he appears to be squinting, but other than that they don't seem to be bothering him all that much. I have an appointment with his regular vet on Wednesday (earliest I could get). Does this sound like something I need to take him to the emergency vet for?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  ERAnimalNurse replied 8 years ago.



I am sorry your kitty is having trouble.


Is the white part of the eyeball itself irritated, or the fur around the eye?


Is there any discharge from the eyes?


Is he eating well?


Let me know and I will try to help......

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Th eye itself looks fine, and he doesn't seem to be having any trouble with his vision. It's the area right around the eyes (the skin/fur) that is pink/red. Sometimes it seems more pink/red than other times. (I'll look at him and think it looks better and then the next time it looks more red again.) The white part of the eye isn't visible (unless I pull his eyelid back and specifically look at it and then it looks white).

Occassionally it looks like he is having a bit of clear discharge, but mostly no. He has had some dried discharge in the corners of his eyes when her first wakes up, but it brushes off pretty easily and doesn't seem to bother him.

He has been eating and drinking and even playing when I engage him. Other than being a little lower energy than usual his behavior has mostly been normal.

Hope that helps.

Expert:  ERAnimalNurse replied 8 years ago.
Does he go outside at all?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No, he is a totally inside cat. I have another cat, but she too stays inside and she is fine.
Expert:  ERAnimalNurse replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information and for putting up with all of my questions. I do not think that your kitty needs to see an emergency vet at this point, but I do think that a trip to the vet is a good idea sometime next week. There are several things that could be going on. First, your kitty could be experiencing some discomfort with his eyes, and is rubbing them as a result. It is comforting to hear that the eyeball itself is looking good, but I am concerned that he is squinting occasionally. Older cats are prone to illnesses of the eye just like people are, and some of these are pretty uncomfortable. Your kitty may be experiencing a decreased in tear production which is called dry eye. He may be in the very early stages of glaucoma. He may be experiencing neurological difficulties that are affecting his abilities to control his eye lids, and his eyes are drying as a result. If the eyes become too dry your kitty can develop pin point abrasions to the surface of the cornea, and this can cause quite a bit of discomfort.


Something else to consider is that he is a geriatric kitty now (cats are geriatric at the age of 8), and he may be suffering from a systemic illness that is weakening his immune system, making him more susceptible to secondary infections or prone to illnesses of the eye. The 3 most common ailments known to afflict elderly cats are diabetes, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, increased urination, dehydration, weakness, weight loss, poor hair coat, muscle wasting, changes in appetite, changes in behavior and increased vocalizations. Diabetics are particularly prone to glaucoma and eye issues.


Step one will be an exam by your vet. From there additional diagnostics will be suggested. Your vet may want to test the tear production and stain the corneas to look for abrasions. Blood and urine tests will rule out systemic illness. Hopefully it will not be anything too serious. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. If this has been helpful, please hit the green accept button. Good luck, keep me posted!

ERAnimalNurse and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks so much for your advice. I have an appointment for him on Wednesday, so hopefully we'll get some more answers then.

Thanks again!
Expert:  ERAnimalNurse replied 8 years ago.
You're very welcome, let me know how it goes!

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