Applying Eye Drops to Cats

The proper administration of eye medication is critical in helping your cat quickly recover from an eye injury or eyedrops_catinfection. Make sure you have carefully read the drug label and understand the prescription instructions. If you have any questions, contact your veterinarian for clarification prior to administering any medication.

"Wash your hands before and after administering the medication to prevent contamination and/or the potential spread of infection."

Wash your hands before and after administering the medication to prevent contamination or the potential spread of infection. Be sure to keep the eye medication’s applicator tip clean and do not allow it to contact the cat, the surface of the eye, eyelids, or any other surface. If this occurs, clean the tip by wiping it off with a clean cloth, and ask your veterinarian for specific cleaning instructions.

If your cat's eye is painful, you may need to have someone assist you with restraint. Usually, as the treatment begins to take effect, the pain lessens and assistance becomes less necessary.

Here are some helpful tips and step-by-step instructions to make administering your cat's eye medications easier:

  • Gently clean away any debris around your cat's eyes with warm water and a washcloth prior to administering the eye drops. This can be soothing and prepare your cat for administering the medication(s).
  • If you are administering the medication on your own, you may find it easiest to place your cat in your lap. It may be helpful to restrain the cat by wrapping it in a blanket or towel with only its head exposed. The first few times, or if your cat's eye is painful, it may be helpful to have someone else gently hold the wrapped cat while you apply the drops.
  • Hold the bottle using the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards. You may want to rest this hand on the top of the cat's head for stability.
  • Use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the cat's jaw to support the head. The lower eyelid will act as a pouch to receive the drops.
  • Hold the bottle close to the eye but DO NOT touch the eye's surface with the applicator.
  • Squeeze the prescribed number of drops directly onto the eyeball, aiming for the center of the eye, and then release the head.
  • The cat will blink, spreading the medication over the surface of the eye.
  • It is common for cats to blink or paw at the eye after administering the drops. It is also common for cats to drool or salivate after receiving the drops. If rubbing at the eye persists or if the eye appears more inflamed or red after administration of the medication, consult with your veterinarian.

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