Why won’t my kitty open her eyes? Sometimes kittens and cats don’t open their eyes wide. The causes or reasons why they do not do so are diverse, although in general it is usually due to an infection. These are situations in which you have surely asked yourself:why won’t my kitty open her eyes? And what to do if my cat does not open its eyes well?
From aHOWTO we will explain the causes and what to do through a series of tips and recommendations, although it is always a good idea to take him to the vet for an examination and pertinent medical tests to determine the possible cause, prescribe a treatment and the kitten is well again.
Why Won’t My Kitty Open Her Eyes?
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The age at which cats open their eyes
One of the reasons why a kitten does not open its eyes It’s because he’s still so young. In fact, they are animals that are born with their eyes closed and that they develop their sense of sight as they grow. The normal thing is that around 10 days of life begin to open their eyes and in their second week of life they can already recognize their mother and avoid some obstacles. By the time they are three weeks old, they usually have independent mobility, but it is not until they are twelve weeks old that they can see perfectly.
In this way, at first, the kitten will not open its eyes so it is not a cause for concern. However, if he is already three weeks old and has not yet opened his eyes, it is advisable to go to the vet as soon as possible for a clinical examination and rule out possible pathologies or visual problems.
Find out more details in this other OneHOWTO article about When do newborn cats open their eyes and about cats’ vision.
Kitten eye infections
Another reason why the kitten does not open its eyes is because of an eye infection that causes discomfort and inflammation so it will tend to close them. This is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as blinking, secretions and the gesture of cleaning the eyes more frequently. In these cases, we can talk about three main types of infections for which the kitten will need the medical treatment that the vet indicate, which are usually eye drops.
- Viral eye infection: are infections caused by the feline herpes virus, which causes conjunctivitis, redness in the eye and inflammation in the membrane that covers it. The vet will most likely prescribe antiviral medications, although it is also common for the kitten to take some supplements to strengthen its immune system.
- Bacterial eye infection: the infection is usually caused by the chlamydiosis bacteria, although there are other species of bacteria that can affect the eyes of cats. In order for the kitten to be able to open its eyes again, it will take antibiotics.
- Fungal or fungal eye infection: when the infection is caused by a fungus, in general, the culprit is the so-called cryptococcosis, which is present in the air. For these situations, there is a vaccine although, once infected, it must be treated with antifungals. The best precaution is that the cat is not in contact with other kittens that live outside or on the street.
How can I get my kitten to open her eyes?
In addition to veterinary treatment, it is also necessary to provide home care for the kitten to open its eyes, which consist of removing secretions and keeping the area very clean. This eye cleaning can be done in different ways:
- Physiological serum: The most advisable thing is to wash the kitten’s eyes with physiological serum, for which you can help yourself with a gauze. It is better that you do not use cotton because it is possible that some fiber or remains remain, which will only make your problem worse.
- Chamomile: As long as the veterinarian does not say otherwise, you can also use chamomile infusion to calm the possible pain, itching, inflammation and discomfort that the kitten has. This infusion should be applied cold to the cat’s eye area with gauze. This will in turn reduce eye inflammation.
- Eye baths: Another remedy to take care of the kitten’s eyes at home is to perform an eye bath. The system is similar to that of people, but it has to be specific for cats. In the same veterinarian or pet store they will guide you on which is the most appropriate.
Tips for treating kitty eyes at home
Before touching the kitten to clean its eyes, it is necessary wash your hands well with soap and water, and even use hydrophilic alcohol, and dry them completely so that no other bacteria, virus or fungus, among other infectious agents, are transmitted. These hygiene measures also have to be adopted before putting the drops or giving the medication. Even if you can it’s better wear gloves single-use latex. Once it is finished, you will have to throw away all the gauzes, remains of infusion, etc., and wash your hands well again.
With these tips from OneHOWTO, you will no longer have to wonder what to do if my kitten does not open its eyes. But never forget to always consult a veterinarian.
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