Need a natural remedy for eye conjunctivitis in cats?

Phil with his now-perfect peepers

I really get a kick out of finding a better way to do things. The discovery of simple, wholesome tips that work—is there anything better?

This week I learned about one of those tips, which you can try (or share) if you know a cat suffering from feline conjunctivitis (a.k.a “goopy eye”).

We went through the conjunctivitis mystery with Phil when we first got him as wee guy. It’s a condition that can be painful and needs to be addressed.

Before you do anything

Be sure to have a vet check the condition, because this tip should help in many cases, but not all of them.

For example, if the cause is bacterial, FIV, or a corneal ulcer, you’re going to need some veterinary assistance fast.

What Dr. Jean revealed about treating feline conjunctivitis

In a recent radio show interview, Dr. Jean Hofve shared this tip that made a lot of sense to me based on something I had learned as a nutritionist.

I quickly found some data that verified her tip at and PubMed.

Dr. Jean said that very often conjunctivitis in cats is caused by a herpesvirus.

When the cause is herpesvirus, it’s going to be aggravated by stress (e.g., adapting to a changes) and–more importantly–it’s going to be suppressed by the amino acid Lysine.

Lysine is an old nutritionist trick I learned for herpes in humans.  As this article explains:

Without arginine, a herpesvirus cannot reproduce. The amino acid lysine is taken up by the virus in favor of arginine. We can take advantage of this situation by saturating the virus with lysine and thus suppressing the virus’s ability to replicate.

Yes, Lysine is a cheap, simple, safe supplement you can pick up in places like Whole Foods Market. It’s just an amino acid, which means it’s a building block of protein.


Dr. Jean explained the dose is 1000mg/day during flare-up, and 250mg day as maintenance afterward, mixed into wet food.

From what I’ve read, I’d give the maintenance 250mg for about a month, and then not need to dose the lysine again unless symptoms show up again. (It won’t hurt to continue the maintenance dose for longer though. Lysine is good for the immune system and may even reduce anxiety!)

Another remedy that might help?

In the case of our cat Phil when he was little, his vet gave us an antibiotic application to try for his conjunctivitis.

We had the damnedest time trying to get that into his eyes–he hated it! It didn’t seem to help much in his case.

Since we didn’t know about Lysine solution at the time, we tried a tip that people were swearing by on Apple Cider Vinegar on back of the neck.


Basically, you take some Bragg’s (the raw kind of ACV), dilute with some warm water, soak a cotton ball in it and part the fur on the back your cat’s neck or between shoulder blades and apply some dabs of the stuff.

The thing is, I cannot for the life of me figure out why this ACV method would work, but it seemed to help–just as folks said it would. (He had a few flare-ups and we’d have to use it again. Then the conjunctivitis finally went away for good.)

What do you think?


Now Foods, L-Lysine capsules (inexpensive but solid brand; get capsules so you can open them and mix them into food)

Vetri-Lysine Plus For Cats, 120 Bite-Sized Soft Chews (Lots of good reviews of this product on Amazon! These are ideal if your cat doesn’t eat wet food. Simple supplement capsules are more economical and just as effective though.)

Dr. Jean interview on Natural News Radio. Her interview doesn’t start until over half way through the podcast. It’s a great interview–lots of interesting and helpful insights.

Do you have a cat conjunctivitis story?

I hope you’ll share it, especially if you think it might help others.

83 Responses to Need a natural remedy for eye conjunctivitis in cats?

  1. Carol Nelson April 2, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

    Our cat developed conjunctivitis when her brother was dying of pancreatitis. I treated the conjunctivitis with many rounds of antibiotics to no avail — the conjunctivitis kept returning. Then I gave my cat a homeopathic grief remedy called Ignatia 30C, a few drops on her food or in her mouth twice daily. The conjunctivitis cleared up and has not returned in almost two years.

  2. T January 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm #

    My cat has FHV-1 and gets flareups every 1-2mos.. Always localized to one eye getting very red and teary and swollen, and which eye it is varies. I have a tube of ophthalmic ointment from the vet, so my treatment tends to be to give him a few Lysine treats, wrestle him down, apply a warm compress to the eye for a few minutes (just a clean washcloth or soft paper towel dipped in warm water), then apply some of the ointment and put a cone on for an hour or two to let it soak in. I also apply apple cider vinegar to the back of his neck with a cotton ball once a day.. Doing all this, it tends to clear up in 4 days or so. It’s annoying, though.

  3. Debbie January 19, 2019 at 8:44 am #

    how often do you put the acv on their neck

  4. Rae January 10, 2019 at 9:05 pm #

    I read a tip on the internet to dip your cat’s paw in acv solution. Please be careful as my young guy, immediately rubbed his eye and has been so angry at me. He kept his eye shut for about 5 minutes and is now hiding :’(

  5. Annie Conway January 5, 2019 at 10:49 am #

    I’ve had my Quinn at the vets. They gave him Idoxuridine, which has been discontinued in the US but still available here in South Africa. Problem is, the day you stop using it the herpes tears and swelling comes back. I’ve tried apple cider vinegar and homeopathic remedies. Nothing, just NOTHING works!?

    • Tammie Stovall May 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm #

      Terramycin works the best. It’s cleared up in 2 or 3 days. Apply it a few times a day to eyes. It is expensive though. It’s around $17 for a tiny tube. I got mine from Tractor supply. Right now I have a lot of kittens to treat and can’t afford anymore. So, I’m on here looking for homemade remedies.

      • Annie May 17, 2019 at 2:42 am #

        Unfortunately Teramycin is not availale in South Africa 😰

  6. Liliane Pinheiro January 2, 2019 at 7:59 am #

    Apple Cider helped my cat as well, I love my Max, he is my everything.

  7. Sasha January 1, 2019 at 6:31 am #

    Wow, my 14 week old kitten suddenly got watery eye and then the second day it was goopy and I freaked out, FOUND THIS FORUM- tried the Apple cider vinegar on the back of her neck & she immediately started purring and loving on me, the. She curled up on me and is fast asleep, her eye isn’t gooping and she’s sleeping peacefully. I am DELIGHTED! THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this. I have been up all night feeling terrible about her being in pain. Thank you!

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