Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy for Eye Infections in Cats

| Modified on Jun 13, 2024
Apple cider vinegar is an effective natural remedy for conjunctivitis (pink eye) in cats. This home cure usually works very quickly and it doesn't even have to be put directly into the eye!

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Conjunctivitis in Cats

  • Mix 1/2 cup raw and organic apple cider vinegar with 1/2 cup pure water.
  • Soak a cotton ball with the apple cider vinegar solution.
  • Apply to the back of the infected cat's neck (the scruff) twice a day.

If your cat's eyes are particularly gunky or uncomfortable, you can use a VERY DILUTED apple cider vinegar solution on the eyelids.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of warm water.
  • Gently use a clean cloth or cotton ball to clean the cat's eyes.
  • It isn't necessary to get the solution directly into the eyes. Some will end up under the eyelids incidentally.

Learn How to Apply ACV Topically to Your Pet

Watch Earth Clinic's video on how to apply ACV topically to your cat or dog. It's gentle, non-traumatic, and effective!

14 User Reviews

Posted by Julia C. (United States) on 09/18/2019

I actually got this remedy from you 6 years ago for my cat. He was having recurrent eye infections every 2 weeks that only responded to the vet's antibiotic drops for a short while.You had a whole blog about how to treat this with ACV: Dilute the vinegar with the " mother" 1:1 with water, saturate a cotton ball and rub between the cat's shoulder blades. I did this once and his infection was 75% gone. After using twice a day for a few days, I went to once a day, then every two days, etc. I found that a maintenance dose is giving that treatment every 3-4 days. No recurrent infections in 6 years since then. If I forget his eye might get watery and I know to treat more frequently for a few days. One vet had even suggested having his eye out. Thank you Earth Clinic!

Replied by Natalie

Fantastic!! I love natural remedies. Great knowing it works. My cat has an eye infection 😢😞

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Ashley (Texas, US) on 02/05/2015

I used a 50/50 mix of organic Apple Cider Vinegar and water. I just put a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar in a cup, added a couple drops of water, to where its barley got any color, and dropped in a cotton ball. Then I dabbed the soaked cotton ball between his shoulders and a little on his paws, it's okay to let them lick it off. My Harley's pink eye was nearly cured by the following morning. I kept doing the Apple Cider Vinegar treatments for a couple more days to make sure the virus was gone. I would do treatments while he was eating wet food. It's the only way I could do it without him running away or being pissed at me. Lol. Good luck!

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Scott (Miami Beach, Florida) on 03/05/2012

Apple Cider Vinegar for eye infections in cats: Please remember. NEVER use the ACV at full strength. It's highly corrosive and I'm certain it burns like hell. I have 6 rescue cats and I use 1 capfull of ACV to 1 cup water applied to their closed eyes for the stuff that starts to build up and ultimately turn into something nasty. The same solution on a clean cotton ball for ears and again the same mixture on hot spots on 1 cat that is always getting them. Have also used the ACV and water solution on the same cat for contact dermatitis and have used it on myself for seasonal allergies (eyelids and nasal openings).

Replied by Mary
(Port Ewen, Ny)

Well, so funny I have 9 cats and 2 chiuahuahas and I had the same exact problem. 3 of my kittens are white got them with servere upper respiratory infections and antibiotics cleared that up it took 6 weeks. BUt because of the upper respiratory infection they got servere pink eye and eyes were glued shut with puss yellow n then green used antibiotics from vet and 6mnths later their eyes still get a black drainage that has to be cleaned a couple of times a day. So I'm now using the Apple Cider Vinegar due to the vet bill are getting pricey and it clears up in one cat but goes to the next so I'm keeping it on hand and using it instead

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Worried Cat Owner (State College, Pa) on 12/02/2011


Make sure you buy the ORGANIC apple cider vinegar WITH THE MOTHER!

I have 8 yes thats EIGHT cats. One got a SERIOUS infection in both her eyes so bad they were pasted shut almost all the time. Vet visit cost $64 and eye drops that I didn't see much improvement with.

Every day another one of my cats came down with an infection in their eye. I was so worried about how I was going to get ahead of this crap running rampid thru my beloved cats.

I found this website and went and got a container of the organic apple cider vinegar for $3.67.

To apply the vinegar I used a very small syringe. I put vinegar in it and then applied it to the back of their neck making sure it got down to the skin. A cotton ball works too but the syringe works really good. I also used the syringe and gave the cat with the worst infection some of the apple cider vinegar in her mouth - followed it up with kitty treats.

I did apply some to the tops of their front paws (this is so they will lick it off) too.

I've only applied the vinegar to the cats about three times (I apply it morning and evening) and I SEE A DEFINITE DIFFERENCE! I can only hope everyone else sees the results I have. It's unbelievable.

Replied by Misty
(Selma, NC)

I just want to say thank you for this information! Cat started with watery left eye. Progressed to both eyes and thick discharge. Vet said no need to bring her into the office. I applied ACV to her neck and then her paw. Cleared her eyes up in 3 days. Use it once a day. Thank you again. This was so helpful.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Naturalpetmom (Canton, Ohio) on 08/30/2011

I am now a believer in the power of natural remedies, including ACV. My dog developed a UTI after 2 days of icy snow that made him fearful to go out. At the same time my dad died and I was busy making funeral arrangements. There was simply no time for a veternary visit. I diluted 2 tsp of ACV in a half cup of water twice a day and mixed it with his food. Within 24 hours the symptoms were gone and he was urinating normally. I recently used diluted ACV on his hives to prevent secondary infection after an allergic reaction to frontline drops. I now use an all natural flea preventive with clove oil, lemongrass and peppermint oil. It works well and I can spray the carpet with it if I need to. I also take ACV for symptoms of a UTI. It sure beats drinking several glasses of cranberry juice or taking cranberry tabs, which tend to upset my stomach.

Many people today are demanding natural cures for their families and themselves. While my mom's physician prescribes antibiotics for a UTI, mine prescribes vitamin C or cranberry tabs. If we can make such choices for ourselves why shouldn't we do so for our pets. I sprinkle garlic powder on the lawn once a month in the summer and early fall to keep fleas from coming in on the kids and pet. (We probably wouldn't even consider putting a product like Frontline on our kids). My neighbor uses it because his wife has asthma and can't tolerate chemicals.

I recently applied ACV on the back of the neck of an 8 week old rescued kitten for conjunctivitis. The results were amazing. A bottle of organic ACV with mothers costs around $5 in the organic section of the grocery. It takes about six months to go through a bottle and does not interfere with the immune system like many drugs can. Those who think every health issue warrants a trip to the vet don't realize most vets won't prescribe a natural cure and sometimes the prescriptions for pets have an effect on human health. I'm not totally against antibiotics and standard treatments as they do have their place. I believe frequent use or overprescribing poses serious consequences for humans and pets.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Mk (Brooklyn, Ny) on 03/12/2011

Thank you so much for the suggestion of apple cider vinegar. I first tried "regular" Apple Cider Vinegar for my 13 yo cat's infected eye, but it didn't work. Thankfully, living in Brooklyn allowed me to walk to the corner bodega in the middle of the night and purchased organic Apple Cider Vinegar and it worked in a day.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Dianna (Austin, Tx) on 12/15/2010

A feral mommy cat sort of dropped off three of her feral kittens on my porch one night. They were about a month or so old and tiny and all of them had bad eye infections and ear mites. First I tried my grandma's old remedy of borax/water on a cotton ball for their eyes and ear mites. It wasn't helping. Then I remembered that ACV is good for this and put some straight ACV on the backs of their necks and (ouch) cleaned out their ears with the ACV and then put a few drops of castor oil in their ears. I also wiped off their eyes with diluted ACV. The very next morning no stuck closed eyes!!! Then it was only a couple of days til they were back to normal!!! And the combination of cleaning with ACV and then castor oil also got rid of the ear mites!!!

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Diana (Los Angeles, Ca) on 10/28/2010

Just wanted everyone to know that ACV works! I had a 6 week old kitten that seemed to have a leaky eye, with some help of google I figured out that he had conjunctivitis, aka pink eye. Not wanting to wait till I could get him to a vet, I found this site and figured I should try putting ACV on him. I did as several others suggested, rubbing ACV onto the back of his neck. I used the Organic ACV with mother in it. Some people talked about putting some ACV right below the eye but I was hesitant on the idea of getting it into his eyes, so I didn't do that. I put on at night and first thing in the morning, the kitten started to look better by the time I had to go to work. Then a couple more times at night, after work. I think it may have taken 3 or 4 days total, but with less frequency each day. The ACV got rid of the conjunctivitis and we have had no re-occurrences.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Annie (Sydney, Nsw Australia) on 02/25/2010

Yes - acv is a miracle cure!!! It is unbelieveable - and pure fabulous really really works. We have a brand new 2.5 month burmese kitten, and she has had chronic 'pink eye' (ala conjuntivitis / herpes), and we had been struggling with antibiotics and eye cream and not getting anywhere (never mind the cost of it all). So to find out about ACV (organic being the best) was just brilliant. A little on the back of her neck twice a day, and a cap in her water bowl......and she is so much happier now....... (from Annie, Sydney Australia)

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Vcanfield (San Antonio, Tx, Usa) on 10/24/2009

I started giving my cat 2 capfuls of ACV (the kind with the mother) in about 2 T of canned cat food for his UTI. I already took him to the vet and after pumping him with antibiotics, he still had symptoms. He has slowly getting better with the UTI, but the amazing thing was his weepy eye is gone. He has had the weepy eye for years and I have tried all kinds of ointments from the vet for his eye, but nothing has ever helped until he started drinking the ACV.

Replied by Martha
(Dunbar, Wv)

Can someone please tell me what is the "mother" term mean in relation to ACV.

Replied by Bonnie
(Ravenna Ohio)

The "mother" in apple cider vinegar means it is unfiltered--so all the good stuff is in there. It may look cloudy on the bottom, shake it a little then pour. It may cost a few pennies more but worth it. I put a few drops in water for my pets--and take it everyday myself. Hope it helps.

Replied by Theres

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with the mother. It will say on the bottle with the mother. This means it is in natural for and not strained. Aldi's and anywhere that sells organic stores. It has a ton of uses.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Jewlz (Troy, MO) on 01/04/2009

Hi, just wanted to post my support for ACV for cats. I have 2 cats, one female approx. 9 years old, and a male approx. 4 years old. Both were strays that "adopted" us :o) My female had that goopy stuff in her eye the other day and I assume it was conjunctivitis. I soaked a cotton ball in ACV and rubbed it in on the back of her neck. I was expecting her to turn tail and run to sulk for a while, but she seems to actually like it. She kept sniffing at the cotton ball and not running away. The next day my daughter commented how her eye was all better and it is now back to normal. Her coat is also looking better and her appetite is raging. I just put my hand down in front of her and she stood up on her back legs and clawed and gently bit at my hands thinking I had food for her.

My male cat also got uninary blockage some time ago and I got some expensive vet bills on that one. When he developed another one, I found the ACV remedy but couldn't get him to drink it from water. I did find another natural rememdy for some stuff you sprinkle in their food and I also used cranberry supplements. I also switched both of the cats to a more natural semi-raw diet. They eat twice a day now and do NOT get any dry food. Mornings they get tuna fish w/raw chicken livers and in the evenings I give them salmon w/raw gizzards, hearts or livers, just depends on what I have. They just absolutely love this diet. They stand meowing through the door when they know it's time to eat :o) Drives my hubby crazy. I also make sure I add additional water to their meals to make sure they are getting enough liquid. I can't get either one of them to just drink from a plain bowl of water.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Posted by Casey (Lancaster, PA) on 02/23/2008

Dreading another vet bill, I looked online for a home remedy to clear up a "goopy" looking eye infection developing in one of my cat's eyes. I read that if you massage a little ACV into the scruff of the neck, it clears up within minutes. Very hard to believe, I know - but I decided to give it a try. I massaged some into his neck and he promptly ran off to hide for awhile. He came back out about an hour later, running around and playing. I looked at his eyes and honestly couldn't even tell which one had the problem. Two days later, still all clear. I don't know why or how it worked, but it did and I'm very thankful someone posted the suggestion and I wanted to pass it on.