Last Updated on: July 21, 2023 by Crystal Uys
Cats’ eyes can be quite beautiful, especially when they are lit up with a love of life. Make-up artists often use cats’ eyes as inspiration to create some of the most gorgeous cosmetic looks ever seen. We are used to associating cats’ eyes with elegance and style—and maybe that’s why there’s nothing quite as unsightly as a cat with crusty, dirty eyes.
Often the culprit behind the grossness is something as simple as eye boogers. But what is it about these little balls of mucus that causes cats to produce them in such great quantities? And what is the very best way to get rid of them? Read on to learn my simplest and safest ways to de-gunk your kitty’s peepers and have their eyes looking stunning again in no time.
Before You Begin
If your cat has discharge coming from its eyes, it is important to rule out a serious health issue. The discharge could be a sign of an infection, which can be serious if left untreated. Other possible causes of eye discharge in cats include allergies, tumors, and a dry eye condition. If your cat’s eyes are swollen or red, or if they are having difficulty seeing, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
In the event that your cat does not require a prescription, your vet may OK you to clean their eyes at home. You’ll have to gather your supplies and steel your nerves because many cats don’t take kindly to having their eyes cleaned.
What You’ll Need
- Room-temperature sterilized water and cotton balls or a clean cotton washcloth
- Eyewash pads
- Pet-friendly eye rinse
- Eye ointment
The 6 Steps to Remove Cat Eye Boogers
1. Clean Hands & Equipment
Before you touch your cat’s eyes, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure the water is sterilized, and you use clean towels or cotton balls. You can sterilize tap water by boiling it to kill any microbes and then allowing it to cool completely. Ensure that you use fresh supplies for each eye so that you do not spread dirt and germs between them.
2. Remove Debris
For this step, you can either use a cotton ball or an eyewash pad. If using a cotton ball, dip it in the sterile water and saturate it. If you’re using an eyewash pad, such as Miracle Care Sterile Eye Wash Pads for Dogs & Cats, there’s no need to wet it. Gently wipe the wet cotton ball or wipe over the eye discharge. You may have to make one or two passes, very gently, to loosen and remove the goo.
3. Work Inside to Outside
To remove dirt, debris, and discharge more effectively, start at the inner corner of your kitty’s eye and work your way out. This motion goes with the grain of your cat’s fur and therefore follows the pattern of the discharge. Working against the grain of fur might cause your cat more discomfort.
4. Flush Eyes With Rinse (Optional)
Using a specially formulated eyewash or rinse, gently flush your pet’s eyes with a rinse, such as Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash for Pets. Eye rinses can help to take down redness, inflammation, and discharge, if used regularly. Your cat probably won’t enjoy having liquid squirted in their eye, but hold on firmly and calmly.
5. Follow Up With an Eye Gel (Optional)
To give your furry companion’s eyes an extra treat, administer a few drops of lubricating eye gel. A product such as Optixcare Dog & Cat Eye Lube Plus Lubricating Gel provides artificial tears to further moisturize and soothe irritated, dry, or infected eyes.
6. Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Maintaining a regular cleaning routine will keep bacteria from building up in your cat’s eyes. As a result, your beloved pet is kept happy and healthy. Cats won’t like it, but you’re sure to think it’s worth it once their eyes are bright, comfortable, and pain-free.
What Causes Eye Boogers in Cats?
In conclusion, cat eye boogers are a normal part of a cat’s life and should not be cause for alarm. While they may be unsightly, they are usually harmless and can be cleaned up with a little bit of patience and a few simple supplies. By following the steps I have outlined, you will be able to clean cat eyes quickly and easily, and help your furry companion stay healthy and comfortable.
Featured Image Credit: Yaroslau Mikheyeu, Shutterstock
About the author
Cat mom to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that is her one and only child. For now! Throughout her life, she has been introduced to the special love that can be found in the bond with a cat. Having owned multiple felines, she is more than certain that their love is unmatched, unconditional and unlike any other. With a passion to educate the public about everything, there is to know about felines, their behavior, and their unique personalities, Crystal is devoted to making sure that all cats and their owners know the importance of conscious living – and loving!