How to Safely Clear Your Cat’s Eye Infection with Home Remedies
If you’re like me, your cat’s health and safety are of the utmost importance. After all, they’re part of the family, right? Although they’ll never admit it, cats appreciate our efforts to make sure they are well taken care of! When cats get an eye infection, it’s important to treat it quickly, as they are very contagious and can cause permanent eye damage. Luckily, there are effective cat eye infection home remedies.
When I saw that my cat had thick, runny discharge coming from one of her eyes, I got very concerned, and went in search of home remedies (at the time I couldn’t afford to take her to the vet!) I found some great advice online, and now I’d like to pass them along to you.
Causes of eye infections
There are many different reasons your cat could have an eye infection. These include:
- Pink eye, also known as Conjunctivitis
- Trauma to the eye
- A reaction to medication or food
Symptoms of eye infections
Symptoms of eye infections include:
- Redness and inflammation around the eye
- Your cat may rub his eye frequently, either with his paw or against objects
- Thick mucus-like discharge from the corner of the eye; the discharge could have a slight green tinge to it
- Inability to completely open his eye
- If your cat has pink eye, the symptoms may be more severe and include a pink coloration around the eye
Cat eye infection home remedies
Here are some home remedies to choose from, you may have to try more than one to gauge its effectiveness. Some are stronger than others, so for severe infections, such as pink eye, you’ll have to use a ‘stronger’ home remedy.
Step 1: Before you administer any type of eye drops, clean eye as best you can. Mix up a saline solution, by combining ½ cup warm water and ½ tsp salt. Stir vigorously and apply the solution to your cat’s eye using a cotton ball and gently wiping the area.
Step 2: Choose a home remedy and apply accordingly. Here are some of the most effective yet gentle remedies.
Home Remedy #1 - TEA
This can be used if the infection is not severe. This can be applied up to 3 times a day. Simply brew the tea and allow to cool so the tea is lukewarm. Several different teas can be used: chamomile tea, decaffeinated green tea, eyebright tea or rooibos tea.
Use an eye-dropper to dispense 2 -3 drops into the affected eye, up to 3 times a day. Alternatively, you can place a cold teabag on the eye several times a day, for 10 minutes at a time.
If you’re wondering how to get your cat to co-operate when you’re trying to administer the eye drops, you can watch this how-to video for tips:
Home Remedy #2 – Nutraceutical Treatments
There are several different options for nutraceutical treatments:
- Combine 4 drops of organic apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized) with 4 tbsp distilled water and stir well. Administer eye drops 2 – 3 times a day until the infection clears. This should not be used for pink eye.
- Combine 4 drops of lemon juice (freshly squeezed) with 2 tbsp distilled water and stir well. Again, 2 – 3 drops every 2 – 3 times per day. This should not be used with pink eye.
- Combine 2 tbsp organic honey (unpasteurized) with 2 tbsp distilled water and stir well. Administer 2 – 3 drops 2 – 3 times per day until the infection clears. This can be used with pink eye.
- Combine 4 drops of Oregon grape tincture with 1 ounce of distilled water and mix well. Administer 2 – 3 drops 2 – 3 times per day until the infection clears. This shouldn’t be used to treat pink eye.
Home Remedy #3 – Extra Strength Herbal treatment
Combine ½ cup distilled water with 5 drops of ONE of the following teas: Chamomile, calendula, eyebright, or red clover; Allow the tea to cool so that it is only slightly warm; Add 5 drops of St. John’s Wort , ½ tsp salt; and 1 tbsp. of aloe vera juice. As with the other remedies, administer 2 – 3 drops into the affected eye, up to three times per day until the infection clears.
Home Remedy #4 – Enhanced Diet
Along with one of the above home remedies, you should be giving your cat some extra nutrition while treating the eye infection. There are several foods you can add to your cat’s diet to speed the recovery of the infection, and supports eye-health.
- Vitamin A supplements, or foods that contain vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, carrots or butternut squash. Turkey and chicken are also high in vitamin A.
- Vitamin C – these can be given as supplements, or in foods such as fresh papaya.
Duration of Treatment
For each of the home remedies above, it will typically take three or four days to clear; if it doesn’t you can switch to a stronger home remedy and administer that treatment for three to four days.
When to take your cat to the vet
Here are some signs that you should take your cat to the vet:
If you have administered the extra strength treatment and the eye infection hasn’t cleared, or you think it’s beginning to get worse, it’s time to call your veterinarian for professional assistance.
If your cat is experiencing a loss of appetite or is lacking energy and these symptoms last for more than a couple of days, it’s time to get fluffy checked out by a vet.
While the above home remedies will cure almost 90% of eye infections, there are some cases in which something stronger is needed; only your vet has access to these and will prescribe them for you. Also, if you started treatment in an advanced stage of the eye infection, something stronger may be needed to clear it up.
Preventing Future Eye Infections
Regular checkups with your vet are vital in making sure your cat is as healthy as possible. If he has been diagnosed with allergies or hayfever, then eye infections may be a more common occurrence. If your cat goes outdoors, the chances of him getting into a scrap with another neighborhood cat is higher than if he were strictly an indoor cat.
While you can’t prevent all instances of infections, you can keep him as healthy as possible with a good diet, regular checkups and a limited outdoor experience. Have a list of ingredients on hand from the home remedies list so that you can mix up a solution as soon as you notice any sign of eye infection. The quicker you take action, the more likely it will heal without having to go to the vet.
As a pet owner (or cat guardian!) you know how important it is to keep your cat as healthy and happy as possible. It isn’t always easy to know what to do when our pets don’t feel well. With the tips above, you can at least have peace of mind knowing that eye infections can be cleared up quickly.
Do you have any home remedies you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Share your stories and tips below.