Feline conjunctivitis is fairly common and signs are often seen about the time kittens begin to open their eyes (around seven to ten days). Sticky yellow discharge is present that often seal the eyelids shut until you or the mother cat cleans them, and soon after being cleaned away it returns. In some instances the infection is so severe that the lids do not open and severe damage to the eye itself occurs.
Conjunctivitis is contagious so if one kitten has it then the other kittens will be at risk
When conjunctivitis occurs before the eyes are open (usually in seven to ten days) you may not see discharge however the eye will be swollen and require treatment.
To reduce the swelling and loosen the lids wipe gently with a soft cloth, tissue, or cotton ball moistened with warm water. Follow this by gentle separation of the eyelids and removal of the discharge that has become trapped behind them.
If the eyes have not yet opened gently separate the inside corner of the eye only after wiping with cotton ball moistened with warm water.
The best procedure is to take the whole litter to your veterinarian who can tell you whether actual eye damage is present or likely to occur. If the infection is simple he or she will provide you with an appropriate antibiotic ointment that you will be instructed to instill into the eyes several times a day after removing the discharge.
Antibiotic ointments can cause irritation to a kitten’s eyes so the infection may be gone but the eye still looks irritated after using the eye ointment. There are several different antibiotics that a veterinarian can use so if one ointment irritates the eyes excessively another can be tried.