Eye care​​
Common signs symptoms of eye problems in cats
A healthy cat's eyes should be clear and bright, without any discharge, and the whites of the eyes should be exactly that - white.

  • Redness of the conjunctiva (inside membrane of eyelids)
  • Matter 'stuck' on the surface or in the corners of the eye
  • Cloudiness within the eyeball
  • A dull eye surface
  • The 'third eyelid', which is like a curtain of pink, coming across the eye
  • Excessive tearing or unusual discharges
  • Tear-stained fur around the eyes
Eye tests used to diagnose eye problems in cats

  • Fluorescein stain to identify the presence of corneal ulcers or defects in the eye surface.
  • Schirmer Tear Test to determine the level of tear production.
  • Ocular pressure to detect glaucoma.
  • Ophthalmoscope to see in the eye chamber.
Common cat eye conditions


Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the inner lining of the eyelids. This inflammation may extend to involve the white of the eye. It may be caused by allergies or by bacterial, fungal or viral infections. In fact, recurrent or chronic conjunctivitis in cats is often the result of herpes viral infections which can return - again and again. It can be contagious, so keep an infected cat away from others.

Corneal Ulceration can occur when the shiny surface of the cornea is scratched or damaged. Again erosion and ulceration, also known as a keratitis, can be associated with a herpesvirus infection of the cornea.

Epiphora occurs if your cat's eyes constantly "weep",due to an increased tear production or the normal tear flow through the tear duct is blocked. The fur around the eyes becomes "stained"due to the constant wetting effect which is often the sign that owners notice more often as a consequence of the problem.

Cataracts. Cats, just like humans, can have these serious eye diseases. Cataracts, which cloud the lens inside the eye can sometimes be seen in elderly cats. A thorough evaluation by your veterinary surgeon is necessary as surgery is the only treatment.

Glaucoma stems from too much pressure being exerted upon the eye's interior as a result of a decrease in the amount of fluid draining from it. This increased pressure can damage the sensitive retina inside the eye which can lead to blindness.
How to give your cat eye drops
  • Remove any discharge from around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water.
  • Hold your cat sideways on your lap or place him or her on a table at a comfortable height (you may want someone to help restrain your cat if you choose the second option)
  • See the instructions on the bottle for dosage. Shake if necessary.
  • Use one hand to hold the bottle between thumb and index while using the other to support the cat's head.
  • Tilt the head back and, to prevent blinking, use your free fingers to hold the eyelids open.
  • Hold the bottle of drops close to the eye but DON'T touch the eye's surface.
  • Squeeze the drops onto the eye and once the drops are in, release the head.
  • Your cat will blink, spreading the medication over the eye's surface.

How to apply your cat's eye ointment
  • Remove any discharge from around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water.
  • Hold your cat sideways on your lap or place him/her on a table at a comfortable height (you may want someone to help restrain your cat if you choose the second option).
  • Check the instructions on the tube for dosage.
  • Gently pull back upper and lower eyelids.
  • Hold the tube parallel to the lower eyelid, squeeze out the ointment onto the edge of the eyelid.
  • Massage upper and lower eyelids together to spread the medication.
  • Release the head and let your cat blink.