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What Are the Different Types of Cat Eye Drops?

Cat eye drops.
An adult housecat.
Cats may be prescribed eyedrops with specific medication.
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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 05 July 2014
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Cat eye drops come in two general varieties. Some are prescribed by a veterinarian and contain specific medication to treat particular problems. A second broad category of cat eye drops consists of products that are available without a prescription, which are used to treat certain minor conditions or to clean and soothe a cat’s eyes. Some natural or homeopathic eye drops are also available for cats and may help in treating certain conditions.

A number of different ailments can afflict the eyes of cats. Bacterial infections are quite common and can cause eyes to become red and puffy. A veterinarian will often prescribe antibiotic cat eye drops to treat this type of condition. If used correctly, these eye drops should eliminate a bacterial infection over the course of a little more than a week.

Cats can become infected with viruses and other parasites in addition to bacteria. In some cases, such as when dealing with the feline herpes virus that is common among housecats, cat eye drops may be used to aid in removing crusts from the eyes but are not able to directly treat the underlying condition. In other cases, such as when treating parasitic infections, medical eye drops may be available.

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Many stores sell over the counter eye drops for cats. These cat eye drops serve primarily to irrigate and sooth eyes that may be irritated from allergies or from minor trauma. Cat owners should consult with a veterinarian before employing these treatments to make sure that the use of such cat eye drops is appropriate.

Natural medicines and supplements are available for cats just as for humans, and cat eye drops based on natural substances are marketed widely. These eye drops should be evaluated based on the specific ingredients that they contain. If unsure about the properties of a specific substance, a cat owner should consult with a trained veterinarian in order to err on the side of caution, as the natural substances in these supplements are subject to much less regulation than are medical drugs but can have very powerful effects on a cat.

In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe a mild ointment in place of cat eye drops. This is done because an ointment will typically transfer a larger dose of medicine and require less-frequent application. This may be a preferable option in some cases because not all cats tolerate the application of eye drops well, and the frequent administration of drops can be traumatic for a sick animal.

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Discuss this Article

anon343862
Post 4

Teramycin powder -- they call it a puffer -- can be found at feed stores and is a fine powder that is puffed into the eyes. According to label instructions, if you have used it for four days and you see no improvement, then the infection is most likely not bacterial and is possibly viral and you need to see your vet. It is safe for both dogs and cats. My vet recommended it to me because we live on a ranch and the dust blows things into their eyes.

If your cat has a virus such as FHV-1, two very important things to help boost their immune system are l-lysine and L-arginine. The l-arginine is an essential amino acid and is usually found in their food, so check your food label and make sure if you have a cat with a compromised immune system.

As far as dosage goes, everything I have read and been told says the L-lysine is recommended 500mg once or twice daily. Vitamin A is also important to eye health, so a multivitamin is important. It must contain vitamin D to aid the absorption of the Vitamin A.

ysmina
Post 3

@turkay1-- Not every eye drop can be used for cats. I once asked my cat's vet about saline eye drops and he said that it's okay to use it on my cat, as long as it doesn't have preservatives. Apparently some ingredients like propylene glycol in eye drops are bad for cats.

fBoyle
Post 2

The only eye drops I've ever used for my cat was antibacterial eye drops. My cat got in a fight with another cat and almost got a scratch in her eye. She had some eye irritation and the vet gave this eye drop to prevent a possible infection.

candyquilt
Post 1

From what I understand, almost every type of eye drop that's available for human use is also available for cats. In fact, sometimes human eye drops are used for cats.

My cat has an eye allergy right now and the vet gave her an anti-allergy eye drop with antihistamine. He said that it's actually for human use but they use the same ones for cats. Just the doses vary for cats, they need smaller doses that are usually prescribed for infants.

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