Long story short, a cat with an eye infection needs to go to the vet
several different types of eye infections which can be uncomfortable and disfiguring, and can even lead to blindness in the long term if left untreated for too long.
Signs Your Cat Has An Eye Infection
You are probably familiar with the cat's so-called "third eyelid," the nictitating membrane which can usually just be glimpsed in the inner corners of your cat's eyes. These membranes may be visible if your cat is sleeping with its eyes slightly open, or if it is very happy and relaxed.
Eye infections can cause a low-grade fever, which in turn can make your cat feel poorly. Your cat may stop eating, and may retreat to a safe area or be unusually lethargic. A sick cat loses interest in its normal routines. Other cats become extremely clingy, and refuse to budge from your side.
However, if only one eye has the membrane visible, or if the membrane looks red or swollen, this may indicate an eye infection or damage. An eye infection will often only infect one eye (at least at the beginning) but if the third eyelid is very visible in both eyes, this can be a dual-eye infection.
An eye infection may also cause your cat's eyes to be "weepy," either with a clear fluid, or with a pale yellow pus-like discharge.
What To Do About Your Cat's Eye Infection
An eye infection needs to be treated by a vet. Your vet can prescribe antibiotics, either oral or eyedrop form or both, depending on how bad the infection is. An eye infection is as serious for a cat as it would be for a person. If you think your cat might have an eye infection, do not delay.
If left untreated, the eye infection can spread to other parts of the eye. It can cause partial or total blindness, and it can even result in the cat needing to have that eye removed.
In addition to antibiotics, your cat may find it soothing to have a warm damp washcloth gently laid against its infected eye. The heat can help with the itching and discomfort that an eye infection causes, and it can also help clear out some of the gunk. Then again, some cats want nothing to do with this procedure. If your cat isn't interested, don't push it!