Newborn Kitten Eye Care

One thing owners immediately notice about their newborn kittens is that they are born both blind and deaf. In this article, we will discuss newborn kitten eye care, how to tackle your kitten’s eyes problems and what types of eye diseases it may develop if cared for improperly.

If your kitten’s eyes are still closed, then they are most likely 1-10 days old. The first thing to remember is to never ever open your kitten’s eyes manually. This could cause potential damage, and may greatly affect your kitten’s eyesight. Let your kitten develop by itself. Their eyes will usually open around the age of 12-14 days. A common eye problem that kittens have is the presence of pus, or a thick, colored discharge. This may cause the eye to turn red, and can also keep the kitten’s eyes glued close even after the 14 day period.

Clear discharge is common and can easily be removed through gentle cleaning. The case is more serious however when the pus is colored. It is not wise to attempt to clean the kitten’s eyes by yourself in the case of colored pus. The best thing to do is to bring the kitten to a veterinarian, for the kitten needs antibiotics in order for the condition to be treated. A clean piece of cotton gauze, soaked in a sterile eye irrigation solution, will be used to dab the eyes clean. If you are doing this by yourself, note that you should dab at the eyes, and not wipe at them, in order not to push the pus further back into the eye. After cleaning, the vet will now check for signs of ulcers, which may be caused due to scratches or other forms of abrasions.

If an eye ulcer is present, antibiotic ointments or eye drops will be prescribed in order to treat the infection. Applying eye medicine may be tricky. It is best to hold your kitten against your stomach, with its head facing away from you. This way, your hand will come from behind the kitten, and not scare or intimidate it with a fingertip coming at it head-on. Hold the kitten’s eye open with one hand and apply the ointment with the other. Simply draw a line across the kitten’s eye, being careful to be extra gentle while still coating the whole eye. In the case of eye drops, retain the same position. Hold the bottle a few centimeters away from the kitten before administering the prescribed number of drops.

A simple tip for taking care of your kitten’s eyes is through providing them with as clean and as sterile an environment as possible. Replace the towels, mats, or pillows they sleep on regularly, and do not be afraid to bathe newborn kittens regularly, especially in the case when they are separated from the cleansing tongue of the mother cat. It is also a good idea to always observe your kitten’s eyes for signs of swelling or pus during their first few weeks of life. The faster you notice signs of eye disorders, the faster they can be treated. If one of your kittens shows signs of eye infections, immediately keep them separated from other kittens, to avoid spreading the disease. Going to the veterinarian is always the best decision to make in cases when you are unsure of what steps to take in the case of eye inflammation, swelling, or discharge.