Cleaning Your Cat’s Eyes – Pet tip 219
When it comes to eye cleaning, most cats are good at cleaning their own eyes when they get dirty. Many cats have some blackish dirt buildup in the corners of their eyes. This is the result of dust particles and other debris that enter the eye. Luckily due to the eye’s shape, design and function the debris settles at the corner of the eye and does not obscure vision. When the buildup becomes large enough, it often falls off, or the cat removes it when it grooms itself. This is completely normal and we humans get similar deposits in the corners of our own eyes. If the cat’s eye dirt is bothering you because it looks unattractive you can remove it carefully. Just take a clean cotton ball and moisten it with some warm water. Carefully push the debris away from the cat’s eye and be careful not to touch the eye ball itself. The debris should fall off easily. If the debris is not being removed by the cat and keeps getting larger, then you should remove it. If it gets too big, it can form a crust, and then when it is removed, it can tear off some skin which can be painful.
There are many eye problems in cats though where you should not intervene and let a veterinarian take a look. Any discharge or pus that is coming from the eye is a sign of a problem. Feel free to wipe away the discharge using the technique described above and wash your hands afterwards. It might be a problem that is fairly easy to treat, but it can also be due to other more serious eye problems. Conjunctivitis, uveitis and glaucoma are just a few reasons for eye discharge in cats and all cases of discharge need to be seen by a veterinarian.
Some eye problems that lead to dirtiness in cats are breed specific. For example; due to the special shape of Persian, Himalayan, and Devon Rex cat faces, they are prone to runny eyes or excessive tearing. This excessive tearing can cause staining around the eye that may be hard to clean with just warm water. There are commercial products to clean these types of stains but be very careful when using them. If the tearing is excessive then there are surgical options that you can discuss with your veterinarian that can effectively cure this condition.
Like most medical problems in pets, if you notice a problem and bring your pet to the vet ASAP, the treatment is usually simpler and less costly. If the problem is simple dirt in the corners of your cat’s eyes, feel free to take care of this yourself. Any problem that causes you to question what is going on though, should be solved with a veterinary consult.