Can You Use Human Eye Drops on Cats? Are Human Eye Drops Safe for Cats?

Our cats mean everything to us, so naturally, we would want them in tip-top shape. Sometimes, just like humans, cats can develop eye diseases. You may be tempted to pull out a bottle of your eye drops from the fridge to use on your cat, but is it such a good idea? Can You Use Human Eye Drops on Cats

Other than artificial tears, human eye drops should never be used for cats. This article is all about different types of cat eye ailments, what you can do to treat them and when it is vital to see a vet.

Are Human Eye Drops Safe for Cats

Is It Safe To Use Human Eye Drops For Cats?

Before determining if human eye drops are okay to use for your cat, we need to discuss the different types of eyedrops out there:

Is It Safe To Use Human Eye Drops For Cats
  • Artificial Tears: Artificial tears contain chemical compounds that mimic the composition of natural tears. They have a similar pH to the pH of human and cat tears. They are instilled to lubricate the eyes and preserve their moisture levels.
  • Anti-Allergy Drops: Anti-allergy drops contain an antihistamine solution that reduces the amount of histamine produced during an allergic reaction. They are effective in reducing redness, itchiness, and watery eyes.
  • Anti-Redness Drops: Anti-redness drops contain a steroid solution that works by reducing the diameter of blood vessels in the eye. This reduced blood flow decreases the red appearance of the eye.

The only drops that are safe to use for your cat are artificial tears. Because human and cat tears have very similar pH and composition, they are harmless for felines. Anti-allergy and anti-redness drops should never be for a feline’s eyes. They have not been tested on cats and can significantly aggravate your cat’s itchy, watery eyes.

Before putting anything in your cat’s eyes, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

When Do Cats Need Eye Drops? When Can I Use Human Eye Drops On My Cat?

When Do Cats Need Eye DropsWhen Can I Use Human Eye Drops On My Cat

Of course, not all eye conditions in cats require eye drops, so it is best to consult a veterinarian. For example, if your feline has cataracts, it may require eye surgery. Feline conjunctivitis requires an antibiotic ointment. Sometimes, cats seem to have something wrong with their eyes, but it turns out to be a sign of something more systemic, like high blood pressure. 

Nevertheless, there are some scenarios where artificial tears might come in handy:

1. Blocked Ducts

If your feline has blocked ducts, you will notice tears spilling from its eyes. Tear ducts drain tears from the eyes to the back of the nose. If they are blocked due to a small obstruction, artificial tears can help dislodge them. However, in most cases, a vet will have to take a look and perform a procedure to unblock your cat’s tear ducts, most probably under general anesthesia.

2. Keratoconjunctivitis (Dry Eye Syndrome)

Keratoconjunctivitis, also known as dry eye syndrome, is a condition where your cat’s eye is not producing enough tears necessary to keep it moist. This leads to inadequate removal of foreign bodies and dust from the eye. Some signs are:

  • Redness and irritation
  • Squinting
  • Excessive blinking
  • A dull look
  • Discharge from the eyes

Artificial tears can be useful here to replenish the lack of moisture in your cat’s eye. Regardless, a visit to the vet is mandatory to find out and treat the underlying cause. Keratoconjunctivitis can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. It can also be auto-immune. So treating the underlying cause according to the causative factor is necessary, along with artificial tears for symptomatic treatment.

3. Foreign body

Have you noticed one eye of your cat more squinted, closed, or inflamed than the other? The discharge could be coming out of the affected eye, or your cat might be pawing it often. If this is your case, your furball probably got something stuck in the outer layer of its eye while exploring its surroundings, causing it pain, redness, and discharge. Some possible foreign particles could be dust, debris, seeds, dirt, or pieces of plants. 

In this case, artificial tears can help dislodge the foreign object from your cat’s eye, allowing it to heal. However, if you notice the same symptoms after using artificial tears for a few days, you should take your cat to the vet; as the foreign body might have caused an infection that will now need antibiotics.

4. For Cleaning your Cat’s Eyes

Your cat doesn’t need to have an ailment for you to use artificial tears. Sometimes it’s a good idea to clean your cat’s eyes, especially after they wake up, to get rid of the black stuff at the corner of their eyes. You can use a clean cotton ball and tap water to do so; artificial tears are not necessary for daily cleaning. On noticing the slightest redness, you can use artificial tears to help alleviate any developing eye conditions.

When Should I See A Vet?

When Should I See A Vet

When it comes to your feline’s delicate eyes, the matter should never be taken lightly. If you are constantly putting artificial tears in your cat’s eyes and it is not resolving the issue, or if you are uncertain of what is wrong with your cat’s eye, it’s best to seek professional help and visit the vet.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, you should not put Visine in your cat’s eye as it has not been tested on animals.

Human eye drops should never be used on animals. When in doubt, always consult your vet.

The Bottom Line on Can You Use Human Eye Drops on Cats

Other than artificial tears, human eye drops should not be used for feline eye conditions. Artificial tears can help alleviate the discomfort of some eye conditions, but for definitive treatment, a vet needs to be consulted.

LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who Is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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