Sight is one of the most powerful senses in cats, so it is essential to take care of it and make sure that nothing can affect your pet’s vision.
When we talk about eye disorders in cats, we often think of congenital problems or problems that appear with age, such as cataracts. However, dirty eyes in cats can have serious consequences, in particular, because of the bacteria contained in the dirt, hence the importance of cleaning cat’s eyes properly.
There are many reasons your cat has dirty eyes, and each benefits from its own treatment. Warning! If you have any doubts, never hesitate to call a veterinarian or a specialized groomer!
What breed of cat should you clean your eyes regularly?
What are the flat-faced cat breeds?
The cat breeds affected by regular dirt at the corners of the eyes are the flat-faced cat breeds, that is to say, cats whose very protruding eyes and the little volume of the face favor the crusty clump due to tear discharge, hence for example the importance of regularly cleaning the eyes of your Persians.
Here are the most well-known and popular breeds of flathead cats:
his very soft cat with a majestic coat requires special attention since dirt tends to cling to its long hairs. Make sure to thoroughly clean your Persian eyes once a day.
The Exotic Shorthair:
If this cat has eyes all around and without marked corners, it’s a very flat face and its very protruding eyes make it however subject to eye scabs.
The Scottish Fold:
Although it looks more like a European cat than a Persian, the Scottish Fold has bulging eyes and sharp corners, favoring the clump of dirt to clean up.
This superb cross between a Siamese and a Persian has eyes more sunken in their sockets than its cousins, however, its long coat allows the rapid accumulation of dirt.
The Selkirk Rex:
This big plush-looking cat has very round, protruding eyes and a dense, curly coat that makes it harder to remove dirt naturally.
The British Shorthair:
This short-haired cat has a round and very flat face, its eyes although protruding are quite deep in their sockets and allow crusty clusters to accumulate around the eyeball.
This tiny, very short-legged cat has fairly marked eye corners, which promotes the accumulation of crusts caused by tear flow.
Many conditions can cause significant eye discharge that will require proper cleaning of the sick cat’s eyes.
- Prolapse or conjunctivitis: These diseases caused by viruses and bacteria cause inflammation of the eye and more or less discharge swelling and discomfort. The severity of these diseases depends on their initial cause, so it is always necessary to consult a veterinarian. Poor or untreated conjunctivitis can lead to feline chlamydia which is treated with antibiotics.
- Herpes: Herpes is a terribly aggressive virus that attacks all mammals. It is more easily contracted when the immune system is not very strong or the cat is fragile. Kittens are, therefore, particularly at risk. The major concern with herpes is that it never goes away from the system and manifests itself as soon as the cat is less fit. During seizures, the cat’s eye produces red or brown discharge. Herpes is one of the causes of Coryza in cats. This disease, mistakenly called cat flu, is caused by several viruses, including the herpes virus, and can cause discharge from the eyes. The manifestation of this disease is not caused by the herpes attack itself. The eyes of a cat with Coryza should be cleaned thoroughly with physiological serum and suitable eye drops
- The Burmilla: At first glance, one would not classify this cat among the breeds of a flat face, but its Persian half makes it just as sensitive as its congeners with dirty eyes.
How do I clean and maintain my cat’s eyes?
Scabs at the corners of the eyes are not only unsightly (hence the interest of regularly cleaning the eyes of a white-haired cat) but can be dangerous in the long term. Indeed, these clumps of dirt are markers for bacteria. These can multiply and invade the eye, or even the upper respiratory tract, then seriously threatening the vision and even the general health of the animal.
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It is therefore imperative to provide daily care for the eyes of your flat-faced cat and to remain very vigilant. Despite regular cleaning, pay attention to the slightest changes: if you notice more clumps than usual or your cat’s eye is a little red, it could be that despite your special attention, bacteria have gotten into it. proliferate and that a veterinarian should be consulted!
Cats do not like having their eyes cleaned, so you need to get your pet used to the daily toilet as soon as he is a kitten. To clean your baby cat’s eyes, hold it firmly, but gently against you, use a dry compress and gently peel off the crusty clumps by pushing them out of the eye.
Try not to touch the eye again after the pad is soiled to avoid spreading bacteria again, and use a new pad when caring for the other eye.
Cleaning my sick cat’s eyes
While some breeds are naturally prone to scabs without this suggesting any health problem, it, unfortunately, happens that dirty eyes or runny (since dirt results from a discharge that would have dried) are a sign of a disease. or a more or less serious allergy.
Certain allergies in cats, for example to dust or pollen, can – as in humans – cause more or less severe reactions. In these cases, the cat may have runny eyes. This discharge is above all symptomatic and the allergy must be relieved more generally. You can clean your cat’s eye frequently with a dry or saline-soaked compress to prevent buildup. Just be careful not to damage the eye with too frequent passages.
The small filthy scabs are very unsightly and you may be tempted to remove them as soon as you have the opportunity, but it is better to stick to the washing rhythm imposed by your veterinarian at the risk of irritating the eye of your animal.
How to care for and clean the cat’s eyes on a daily basis?
If your cat regularly suffers from small, relatively benign ailments and you have the agreement of your veterinarian, you can simply clean his eye with a natural product, physiological serum, or suitable eye drops.
To do this, take the prescribed product, hold your cat gently, but firmly against you, and gently press on his forehead to push his head back.
Place a few drops in the corner of the eyes, or follow the care instructions. You can also disinfect the eye with a compress (a cotton ball may leave small residues.) Soaked in physiological serum.
Always work from the inside to the outside so as not to bring dirt and bacteria back to the eyeball.
There are natural products that allow you to clean the eyes of a sick cat, such as tea bags or chamomile to apply to a dirty or swollen eyelid.
However, even if these treatments have proven their effectiveness, they should be carried out in addition to conventional medical treatment, or after a visit to an animal health professional. If your cat is showing symptoms of eye disease, your first instinct should always be to consult.
My cat gets dirty
Eye discharge is perfectly normal, moistening the eye helps rid it of dirt and other impurities. There is no point in wanting to excessively clean a healthy eye, even if your cat has white hair, at the risk of drying it out. If it is recommended to pay special attention to the flat-faced cat breeds of the Persian or British shorthair type, other cats are not very prone to dirty eyes.
However, if your cat is used to going outside, do not hesitate to inspect it on its return, especially if it shows signs of discomfort (for example, it keeps its eye closed, does not open it.
only partially or scratched). If you spot an impurity, try to remove it by cleaning the eye with clean water with a clean compress, always going from the inside to the outside. You can use a cotton swab.
Much more precisely, the small cotton swab, however, requires a certain mastery of his animal who will probably not appreciate that we approach his eye with an unknown object and risk struggling.
If your cat gets dirty while walking or snooping around in a particularly dirty area of the house, proceed in the same way as when cleaning the eye of a flat-faced cat like the Persian and gently apply a dry compress per eye.
Eye dirt in cats can be caused by many factors, and not all of them are pathological or require an urgent consultation. Depending on its breed, or its activities, your cat may have dirty eyes and gentle cleaning will do just fine!However, if there is the slightest doubt, or if the dirt or the discharge is accompanied by other alarming signs, it is necessary to consult so as not to miss an infection that could have serious consequences. Your veterinarian will then prescribe eye drops adapted to the pathology of your animal and will provide you with precise instructions as to the hygiene measures to be applied.