If your cat is showing red, itchy eyes you might think of giving them some of your eye drops. If you have the kind that are saline solution only, that is fine, but any sort of medicated drops would be ill advised.
Cat’s eyes are wonders of evolution, and are one of the most beautiful features they have. They have excellent night vision, and can even see some colors. The thing you want to be careful of is whether or not your cat has an eye infection. So it really gets down to why you’re asking if you can give your cat eye drops.
If their eyes are red and crusted over you will want to take them in to the vet. Eye infections are common in cats, and you want to make sure that you are not overlooking a potentially serious condition that will only worsen if left untreated, or treated with human medication.
Can I Give My Cat Eye Drops? Answer: Non-Medicated is OK
There are drops out there that are purely saline and water. These can flush out any debris that is in the eye, and can also add instant moisture, just like tears do. These are the only sort of eye drops that you should give your cat. There are others that contain additives that are meant to get rid of red eye, or to help with allergies, but these would not be recommended to give your cat.
What If They Have an Infection?
If your cat is suffering from eye infection, it’s best to go to the vet to get a prescription that is specifically formulated to treat feline infections. Viruses and bacteria on cats and dogs are not the same as those in humans, which is why many diseases and infections are not communicable between pets and owners. Some are, but most aren’t, and this means that the things we get prescribed for our ailments are not going to work on your pet anyway, so there’s no use giving it to them.
Luckily, your vet has seen everything under the sun when it comes to cats and the sort of infections they can get all over their bodies. They will be able to quickly diagnose what type of infection they have, and also give them a prescription either internally or topically that will knock and out and get them back to normal as soon as possible.
Are Human Medications Really Dangerous?
You will see a lot of cat owners out there say that they give their cats human medication all the time with no consequences, and you will also find a lot of people vehemently opposing the use of any over the counter medications in cats. The question everyone should be asking is not really can you give it to your cat, but should you. The fact of the matter is that we know a great deal about cats and dogs and there are a lot of researchers and scientists out there developing medications that are meant just for pets. Sure, there’s profit motive behind it, but the point is that there is a safer alternative than testing out human meds on them.
A truly responsible owner will not just self-medicate every minor ailment their cat has, because most things will blow over with enough time, nor do they avoid taking their pet to the vet when they need to. It’s a delicate balance sometimes, but it’s not that hard to get a handle on, if you observe your pet, and try to keep a hands off approach most of the time.
The reason this is the best way to help your pet is that they wouldn’t have your help if they were left in the wild, so they can deal with most conditions on their own. If something does get to the point where they require assistance, it’s usually that of a professional, and not you. Be humble enough to admit that you’re no veterinarian, and seek their advice during times that your cat really needs some help.
Your real job is to just enjoy their company, and help them out as best you can when they require it.
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