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Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats: Symptoms & Treatments

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats

What Is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats?

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, commonly known as dry eye, is a condition in which the eyes of a cat do not produce enough tears, resulting in dry and irritated eyes.

This condition can be very uncomfortable for cats and can cause a number of other health problems if left untreated.

Fortunately, there are many treatments available for dry eye in cats, and with proper care, most cats with this condition can live happy and healthy lives.

Clinical Signs Of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats

The symptoms of dry eye in cats can vary depending on the severity of the condition.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Redness or inflammation of the eyes
  • The cloudy or hazy appearance of the eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Squinting or blinking excessively
  • Rubbing or pawing at the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Corneal ulcers or erosions
  • Pain In Eyes
  • Eye Irritation
  • Shut Eye
  • Dull Surface In Eyes
  • Mucus Discharge In Eyes
  • Tearing Eyes
  • Swelling In Eyes
  • Loss Of Vision
  • Bumping Into Things
  • Depression

Treatment Options For Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats

Treatment for dry eye in cats will depend on the underlying cause of the condition.

In cases of immune-mediated keratoconjunctivitis sicca, medications such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and stimulate tear production.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected tear glands. Artificial tears can also be used to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye and provide moisture to the eyes.

It is important to use an artificial tear product specifically designed for cats, as some human products can be harmful.

Home Remedies For Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats

While there are no home remedies that can cure dry eye in cats, there are some steps you can take to help alleviate the symptoms and provide relief for your cat.

Keeping your cat's eyes clean and free of discharge can help prevent further irritation, and providing a humid environment can help keep the eyes moist.

Additionally, feeding your cat a high-quality, balanced diet can help support overall eye health.

How To Prevent Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats?

There is no surefire way to prevent dry eye in cats, as the condition can be caused by a variety of factors.

However, ensuring that your cat receives regular veterinary care and monitoring for any signs of eye problems can help catch and treat dry eye early.

Affected Cat Breeds Of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

Dry eye can affect cats of any breed, but some breeds may be more predisposed to the condition. These include Persian cats, Burmese cats, and Siamese cats.

Causes For Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats


A dry eye can be caused by a number of different factors. One of the most common causes is an immune system disorder called immune-mediated keratoconjunctivitis sicca (IMKCS).

In this condition, the cat's immune system attacks and destroys the tear-producing glands in the eyes.

Other causes of dry eye can include infections, trauma to the eyes, medication side effects, and certain systemic diseases.

When To See A Vet For Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats?

If you notice any of the symptoms of dry eye in your cat, it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Left untreated, dry eyes can cause permanent damage to the eyes and lead to other health problems.

Food Suggestions For Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Cats

Food suggestions for cats with keratoconjunctivitis sicca include:

  • Wet food: Wet food has a higher moisture content and can help to keep your cat hydrated, which is important for preventing dry eyes.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your cat's diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve tear production. You can find omega-3 supplements specifically formulated for cats or add foods like salmon and sardines to their diet.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants like vitamins E and C can help to protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. You can find supplements or foods that contain antioxidants.
  • Limited carbohydrates: High-carbohydrate diets can contribute to inflammation, so it's important to limit your cat's intake of grains and other carbohydrates.


Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a common condition that affects many cats.

While there is no cure for the condition, there are several treatments available to help manage symptoms and improve your cat's quality of life.

It's important to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment plan for your cat and to monitor their condition regularly to ensure that they are responding well to treatment.

With the right care, many cats with keratoconjunctivitis sicca can live happy and healthy lives.

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