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Medicating Eyes

kitten_sitting_downAfter cleansing, specific prescription therapy may need to be instilled into a cat’s eye in those cases when illness is present. These eye preparations are generally liquid or ointment formulations.

Liquid Eye Medication

  • For treatment with liquid medications, steady the cat (especially her head), and apply gentle pressure below (+ above the eye) to help keep the eyelid open. Using the other hand, gently express a drop or two of medication so that gravity will carry it into the eye.
  • One wants to have the dropper distance far enough away so Kitty does not panic and think she will be getting a nasty poke in the eye, but close enough so that the drop impact will be minimized. The optimal distance is about 1 cm away from the eyeball. In the picture below, our assistant is slowly moving the medication bottle towards the eyeball, pictured at about 2 cm away. Slow movement of the bottle is paramount! Otherwise Kitty may head for the hills.
  • Warming the drops to room temperature before treatment time will also help to reduce the sensation of the drop hitting the eye. Holding the bottle in your hand for a few minutes ahead of treatment will bring medication to body temperature—that's even better.
    • EyeMedication1

      Ointment Eye Medications

      If ointment needs to be applied, consider the following tips to help you get it in the eye, and not on you.

      • Warm ointment to room or body temperature before treatment.
      • Avoid touching the ointment tip to the eye or hairs around the eye. This will help prevent injury or sudden movements due to sensitivity. Keep applicator tip about 1/2-1 cm away from the surfaces.
      • Lay ointment gently on the surface of the eyeball between the lids and gently rub the medication around by using fingers above and below the eye on the lids to massage it.
      • Restrain cat in the same fashion as for eye cleaning or liquid eye formulation administration.
      • Come from above and behind the eye to reduce the chances he will have a strong adverse reaction due to reflexes associated with protection from being hit in the eye.

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