Eye care

Cleaning the Eyes of a Cat

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: May 15, 2018
Cleaning the Eyes of a Cat

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Cats hate bathing and in fact, apart from certain breeds, they do not really need it because they can spend up to four hours a day preening themselves with their rough tongue. However, there is an area that cats cannot reach with their tongue to clean: the eyes.

The task we explain below will not be easy to perform because most likely the cat will not be receptive. Read this AnimalWise article to learn how to clean the eyes of a cat.

You may also be interested in: How To Clean Dog’s Eyes


  1. Frequency with which you have to clean the eyes
  2. Preparation of the necessary material
  3. Cleaning process
  4. Other tips

Frequency with which you have to clean the eyes

The frequency with which we wash our cat's eyes should be twice a week. Still, some types of cats require daily cleaning because of their breed, especially the so-called brachycephalic cats.

The brachycephalic breeds of cat tend to accumulate a lot of tears because they have a very broad head and a snub nose like Persian cats, the Devon Rex or the Himalaya cat. Keeping a good level of hygiene is important to prevent infections resulting from the rheum they generate.

Cleaning the Eyes of a Cat - Frequency with which you have to clean the eyes

Preparation of the necessary material

To clean the eyes of a cat we must properly prepare all the kit before we start working. A recommendation that will serve us well if the cat tries to flee, as we will not have to go searching the house for materials.

What do I need to clean my cat's eyes?

  • Cloth
  • Cotton ball
  • Distilled water
  • Salt
  • Two cups
  • A towel
  • A treat or reward for the cat

Once we have everything we have to fill the two cups with distilled water, add a little salt to each one (a teaspoon full will be enough), stir and check that the little mixture is cool.

Cleaning process

Let's start with the process of cleaning your cat's eyes:

  1. The first thing you have to do is wrap the cat in a towel so that it does not revolt and start to scratch us and we don't end up having to use the salt solution on our own wounds.
  2. Once you have it wrapped, pick up some cotton balls, dampen them in one of the cups and begin to wipe the cat's first eye. Avoid touching the eye itself and just clean around it, because that could cause pain and even though it is wrapped up in a towel it will start twisting to try and escape.
  3. Use as many cotton balls as necessary to clean the eye and always dampen them in the same mug for that first eye.
  4. We will use the other cup to clean the other eye. This will avoid transferring infections from one eye to another if any are present.
  5. Once the same process is carried out for both eyes, run the cloth over them to dry them.
  6. Take the reward you have chosen to give the cat and reward it for its patience while you clean it. This way it will think that 'suffering' this process at least holds some reward, so it will be more receptive the next time around.
Cleaning the Eyes of a Cat - Cleaning process

Other tips

It is important that the cat gets used to this process from a young age, so it will not seem strange and it will end up getting used to it faster.

Should the cat not make it possible to wipe its eyes, you could ask someone to help you by holding it while you clean its eyes, as this would greatly facilitate the process. If you see any kind of reaction in the cat's eyes, such as swelling, pus or secretions, or that it cannot open its eyes or any other anomaly, take your cat directly to the vet for observation.

If you want to read similar articles to Cleaning the Eyes of a Cat, we recommend you visit our Eye care category.

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Cleaning the Eyes of a Cat