There isn’t a cat in the entire universe who enjoys being restrained and watching a significant drop of anything come at her eye. Because of your cat’s strong aversion to eye drops, you may believe that you need to take her to the veterinarian to get the job done correctly. On the other hand, eye drops can be administered at home with a bit of patience and moderate constraint. It would take a few tries before your cat agrees to participate, but her eyes will feel significantly better once you have successfully administered the eye drops.
There are various reasons for cat eye infections, including bacterial and viral infections, traumas, and underlying medical disorders. The veterinarian will recommend a medication for your cat’s eye infection based on the source of the infection.
Causes of Eye Infections in Cats
It is possible to classify cat eye infections into two categories: infectious illnesses and non-infectious conditions.
Some of the most frequent infectious disorders that can cause eye infections to include bacterial infections, viral infections, feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and feline vaginosis virus (FVR), to name a few (feline viral rhinotracheitis).
Additionally, several non-infectious disorders can cause cat eye infections. These conditions include allergies, genetic conditions, tumors, ocular trauma, a foreign body caught in the eye, and autoimmune disease.
Symptoms of Cat Eye Infections
If the cat has an eye disease, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms in addition to those listed above:
- The whites of your cat’s eyes may appear to be turning crimson.
- Eye discharge is a condition that occurs when the eye is irritated (clear, yellow, or green)
- Making a wink or squinting face
- The third eyelid may be bulging and covering a portion of the inflamed eye.
- The act of rubbing or pawing one’s eyes or both.
Note that the cat’s symptoms may affect one or both of her eyes, depending on how severe they are. Often, a cat will only show signs of infection in one eye, but the condition will progress to the other healthy eye.
Cat colds, also known as upper respiratory infections (URIs), are a common source of eye irritation in felines. Sneezing and nasal discharge are common signs of upper respiratory infections (URIs) in cats, just as they are in humans.
Any of the symptoms listed above indicate that it is time to take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination. It is critical to treat eye infections as soon as they occur to avoid the illness from spreading to the other eye, getting more serious, or spreading to other pets in your household or community, among other things.
The Best Way to Treat Eye Infections in Cats
Depending on the results of the inspection and your cat’s overall health, your veterinarian will choose the most effective treatment for your cat’s eye infection.
As long as the eye infection is the primary concern and no underlying health problems have been identified, your veterinarian may offer a topical therapy for your cat’s eye, such as Terramycin® or Vetropolycin®.
Alternatively, if your cat’s eye infection is caused by an underlying problem such as FeLV or Calicivirus, the medication may be tailored to address the underlying condition. Treatments for underlying diseases will vary depending on the severity of the sickness, but they may include oral antibiotics, immune boosters, and other therapies, among other things.
Giving Eye Drops to Your Cat in the Proper Manner
The proper administration of eye medication is crucial in assisting your cat in recovering as quickly as possible from an eye injury or infection. Make certain that you have thoroughly read the medication label and that you understand the prescription instructions.
To avoid contamination or the potential transmission of infection, wash your hands before taking the drug and after that. Make certain that the applicator tip of the eye medication is clean and does not contact the animal, the surface of the eye, the eyelids, or any other surface. This can be avoided by wiping the tip with a clean cloth after it has been contaminated and asking your veterinarian for unique cleaning recommendations.
If your cat’s eye is sore, you may require the assistance of another person to keep it restrained. A typical incident is that as soon as the medication begins to take action, the pain subsides and the need for assistance diminishes.
To make giving your cat’s eye meds easier, we’ve put together some helpful hints and step-by-step instructions for you:
Keeping Your Cat in Your Arms
- Hold your cat in your lap for comfort. The degree to which you can restrict your cat will significantly impact your ability to administer eye drops to her. One method of holding her is to place her in your lap. When she is securely lying in your lap, cross one of your forearms across her body to secure her position. The length of her body should rest against the center of your stomach.
- You can choose where you want to sit, whether it’s on a couch, a chair, a bed, or anything else.
- If you believe she will scratch, wrap her in a towel so that just her head is visible.
- If sitting on the floor with your cat in your lap is not an option, try situating her so that she is trapped between your knees and unable to escape.
- Placing your cat on a table or other elevated area is recommended. Having your cat on a surface approximately at your waist level may be more convenient and comfortable for you. Alternatively, if the surface is a little slippery, throw a towel down beforehand to give your cat some traction under her. You could also use a towel to wrap her up.
- It may take some trial and error to establish if holding your cat in your lap or restraining her on a table will be the most effective method of restraint.
- Adjust the position of your cat’s head. To administer eye drops to your cat, you will need to hold her head firm with your non-dominant hand while applying the drops. Using this hand, place the thumb on one side of her jaw and your fingers on the opposite side of her jaw. To put it another way, her head should be firmly cradled in your palm, with your hand underneath her chin.
It will be easier to administer the eye drops if she has her head gently tilted upward.
Using Cat Eye Drops on Your Cat
- Make sure your cat’s eyes are clean. Your cat’s eyes must be free of discharge for the eye drops to be most effective. When cleaning your cat’s eyes, use a cotton ball to apply a little amount of sterile eyewash solution around her eyes.
- Your veterinarian would have already advised an eyewash solution to use with the eye drops to keep your cat’s eyes clean.
- Open the eyelids of your cat. Pulling down the bottom eyelid of your cat with the thumb of your non-dominant hand is a good technique. This will result in creating a bit of bag into which you can place the eye drops.
- It is unnecessary for the drips to be placed in the pouch, even though it is convenient. This means that you won’t have to worry about putting the drops in a specific area on your cat’s eye because the drips will disseminate fast throughout her eye.
- Make sure the applicator tip is directly above your cat’s eye. Make sure the applicator tip is roughly two centimeters (one inch) above your cat’s eye before applying the product. It might be best if you didn’t come into contact with your cat’s eye with the tip. As well as being annoying to your cat, this would also result in the tip becoming contaminated with bacteria.
- If you’d like, you can point the tip of the pen at the pouch you made with your thumb.
- It may be beneficial to place the heel of your dominant hand on top of your cat’s head to relieve pressure. Allowing you to have a steady aim for the drops and prevent you from accidentally contacting your cat’s eye with the applicator tip will help you get better results.
- Apply the eye drops as directed. Squeeze the bottle and swiftly dispense the required quantity of eye drops into your cat’s eye with a bit of pressure. Be cautious not to allocate more than the amount that has been prescribed.
- If she requires treatment for both eyes, repeat the procedure for the other eye using the same drops as for the first.
- If your cat appears restless and unwilling to remain still, consider trying again later when she seems to be more relaxed. Her movement should be limited so that you can get the drops into her eye as effectively as possible.
Recognizing What to Do After Administering Eye Drops
- Maintain complete stillness for your cat. Your cat, even if she cooperated during the eye drop procedure, will most likely not want to remain still once you have completed administering the eye drops to her. She may feel the need to touch the corners of her eyes. You must keep her lightly confined until the drops have had a chance to distribute over her eyes and for her to blink.
- Do not massage her eyes in any way. You could believe that massaging your cat’s eyes will aid in distributing eye drops throughout the eyes. The drips, on the other hand, will dissipate swiftly on their own. Although your cat may enjoy having his or her eyes massaged after receiving the drops, it is not necessary from a medical aspect.
- Do something nice for your kitty. Giving your cat something pleasant to eat after administering the eye drops is a smart approach to divert her attention away from the eye drops. After being subjected to the perceived indignity of receiving eye drops, your cat would relish the opportunity to indulge in a tasty treat such as a small piece of tuna. Additionally, you may be timing the delivery of the eye drops with meals so that you could reward her with a meal following ward.
- Remember that you will most likely need to give your cat eye drops multiple times a day, so choose your treats wisely. You don’t want her to become accustomed to getting rewards every time you give her the drops.
- Lookout for any signs of discomfort in your cat. Generally speaking, eye drops are not unpleasant for cats. The most that will happen is that your cat will blink a lot when the drops have reached her eyes. If the drops are bothering her, she may paw at her eyes or even try to rub her face on the floor to relieve the discomfort. If your cat feels highly upset after receiving the eye drops, you should consult your veterinarian.
Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment
Terramycin, an eye ointment, is a broad-spectrum treatment for eye infections in cats suffering from various eye conditions ranging from conjunctivitis, keratitis, and pink eye to corneal ulcers blepharitis, and bacterial inflammatory disorders that can happen as a result of other infectious diseases. Terramycin eye ointment is available in a variety of strengths.
Vetropolycin Veterinary Ophthalmic Ointment
In cats, Vetropolycin® for cats is a triple antibiotic ointment commonly used to treat bacterial infections of the eyelids and conjunctiva, among other things.
Tetracycline Ophthalmic Ointment
Tetracycline for cats is used to treat eye problems caused by Chlamydophila conjunctivitis or Mycoplasma conjunctivitis, both bacteria.
Azithromycin Oral Antibiotic
Treatment for Chlamydophila or Mycoplasma conjunctivitis in cats, as well as any underlying bacterial illnesses that could impact your cat’s eyes, such as upper respiratory infections and Bartonella, may be administered with azithromycin.
Topical Corticosteroid Drops and Ointments
Corticosteroid drops or ointment can often be used to relieve the irritation in the cat’s eye. This medicine is often used to treat conjunctivitis, episcleritis, scleritis, pannus, and eosinophilic keratitis, among other conditions. It is also used to treat rosacea.
Depending on whether a feline herpes virus infection causes your cat’s eye infection, your veterinarian may recommend that you administer L-lysine to treat it. Although research into the efficacy of this product is still ongoing, there is some anecdotal evidence that L-lysine may be beneficial in suppressing the symptoms of a viral infection.
For cats, interferon alfa is an immunomodulatory (immune response booster) and antiviral medication that veterinarians use to treat viral illnesses like Papillomatosis and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Although research into the effectiveness of this medication is still underway, your veterinarian may decide that it is worthwhile to try to aid your cat’s immune system in fighting infections.