Eye drops - administering your cat's eye drops

Administering eye drops in most cats can be tricky business. Mastering the process of holding your cat and the eye drop bottle in the correct position whilst ensuring the medication makes its way to the eyeball can take a few attempts. Learn how to make administering eye drops a more stress-free event for you and your cat.

Before you start

Make sure that you wash your hands before and after administering the medication to prevent the spread of infection. Also it's a good idea to carefully read the label and instructions on your cat's medication before you start.

Your veterinarian may ask you to clean your cat's eyes before administering drops. Do this by gently cleaning your cat's eyes with warm water and a tissue.

Correct holding position

If you are administering the medication on your own, you may find it easier to place your cat in your lap. If your cat is restless or irritable, you can wrap him/her in a blanket or towel exposing only the head. For the first few times or if your cat's eye is painful, it i

s a good idea to seek the assistance of someone else to hold your cat safely while you apply the drops.

Administering the drops

Hold the bottle using the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards. Be sure to keep the tip clean and do not allow it to contact the cat, the eye or any other surface. If this does occur, clean the tip by wiping it off with a clean cloth or ask your veterinary healthcare team for specific cleaning instructions.

Use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the cat's jaw to support the head. The lower eyelid will act as a pouch to receive the drops.

Hold the bottle close to the eye but ensure you DO NOT touch the eye's surface.

Squeeze the prescribed number of drops onto the eyeball, aiming for the center of the eye, and then release the head.

Your cat will blink, spreading the medication over the surface of the eye.

Your cat is blinking or pawing at his/her eyes, should you be concerned?

It is normal for your cat to blink or paw at the eye after administering the drops. If this persists or if the eye appears more inflamed or red after administration of the medication, consult with your veterinarian.

You have tried everything, but your cat just won't stay still

Please don't give up with giving your cat his/her eye drops. We know it can be frustrating so the best thing to do is give us a call straight away. One of our nurses can administer the drops for you or give you a few pointers and tips on how to administer the drops effectively.