Administering Eye
Drops to Your Cat

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After your consultation, your cat may be prescribed several different eye drops or ointment for you to apply. Correct administration of eye medication is crucial to give your cat the best chance of a speedy recovery.

Carefully read the drug label to advise you on correct handling, storage, and frequency of the eye drops.

Treatment planning sheets are available from us. These may help you organise the administration of multiple medications at different times of day. Unless advised otherwise, please space out the medication equally throughout the day. If giving eye drops at the same time interval, ensure you allow at least 10minutes between drops and follow advice on which ones you should administer first.

Administering eye medication

  • Start by gently cleaning away any ocular discharge with cooled boiled water and a soft cloth or cotton pad.
  • If alone, you may find it easier to place your cat on your lap, between your legs on the floor or to use a towel or blanket to restrain them, leaving just the head exposed. It may be helpful to initially have someone else help hold the cat until you establish a routine.
  • Raise their chin slightly with your thumb and use your forefinger to raise their top eyelid (reversed as pictured if alone).
  • Hold the eye drops in your other hand and position the tip towards the eye.
  • Administer one drop directly onto the eye (it is unnecessary to apply multiple drops unless you missed the first time).
  • The cat will blink, spreading the medication over the surface of the eye.

Things to consider

Most eye medications are not painful, but your cat may flinch as the sensation is unexpected. This is more likely to occur if the medication has been refrigerated.

It is important to administer the drops with care to avoid touching the surface of the eye. Accidental contact with the surface of the eye can be painful, lead to resentment for ongoing treatment, and can also become a source of trauma and infection.

Keep the applicator tip clean. Do not allow it to contact the cat, the surface of the eye, eyelids, or any other surface. If this occurs, clean the tip by wiping it off with a clean cloth.

For some conditions, eye drops are necessary long term so keeping it as stress free as possible is really important. This may include treats both before and after administration, as well as giving lots of praise and cuddles!

Finally, if your cat is uncooperative and you are concerned about the efficacy of the treatment/your safety, please speak to our ophthalmology nurse for additional advice on handling techniques.