A lot of cat owners take for granted how amazing their pet’s eyes really
are, and specifically how clean they tend to be. A lot of dog owners will be quick to lament their pet’s
weepy eyes, but cats don’t usually have the same problem. Still, they’re not exempt from getting some eye
drainage now and then. Here’s what you should know about your cat’s eyes and how to clean them if need
Cats, like humans, have a simple pair of eyelids that open and close vertically to shield
them from light or dust or what have you. However, unlike humans, cats have an extra eyelid called the
haw lid that moves horizontally across the eye from the nose-side and is used to help avoid most
instances of dust, dirt, and makes for an even more peaceful rest.
Because of that extra eyelid, cats aren’t known to have a lot of problem with grit in
their eyes as the haw lid protects them, though there may be times when you’ll have to clean your cat’s
eyes nonetheless. In these instances, you’ll need nothing more than a clean cotton swab, perhaps some
diluted eye wash, or some cooled boiled water. All you’ll have to do is wash the eye out like normal and
swab the eye if need be, though woe be upon the individual that has to do this to their kitty. Knowing
how much they freak when being forced to take a pill, get their nails clipped, or take a bath, the hell a
eye-washed cat will unleashed is frightening. Most times it’s best to just let their tear ducts work
As previously mentioned, cats don’t usually have the problem of weepy eyes in the same way
that a basset hound owner will mention having to clean eye goop from the former of their pooch’s eyes.
This is less true for breeds with very flat faces, such as Persians or Himalayans though as their eyes
are, well, less efficient at doing the job. Beyond that, it is still possible for a cat to have a blocked
tear duct, so you’ll need to once again go in with your eye washing kit and endure the suffer that will
most likely bring.
Something to note though is that even though you won’t typically have to worry about your
cat’s eyes, they are a good first indicator that something else is wrong in terms of illness. If you
check your kitty’s eyes and see that one has the haw lid covering it, that could just indicate some dust
or dirt, but both eyes having the haw lid covering them may mean illness. If the haw lids don’t retract
within a day or so, it’s time to take your pet to the vet.
Cats are lucky with their eyes, and cat owners are just as lucky as they’ll rarely need to
clean out their cat’s eyes. But you should still be aware that someday the stars will align and you’ll
have to wash out your kitty’s tear ducts. Good luck to you when that day comes!
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