How to give eye medication to a cat

How to give eye medication to a cat

Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn. I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver BC and I’d like to welcome you to my
series of practical skills for pet owners. I’m here with Lancelot to show you how to administer eye medications to a cat. Now before we get going please remember to hit like and subscribe below. And don’t forget to squish that Bell notification icon so that you get updates on all my future videos and livestreams. So giving medications to a cat is- it’s always a little bit intimidating to owners, and Aww look at those squints I think Lancelot approves of being here. Giving eye meds can be a little bit scary mostly because we’re all a bit- kind of touchy about the eyes,
you know they’re such a fragile organ but really giving eye meds is not that hard. I would say it’s probably easier than
giving oral medications to felines and like with anything else like any other skill around pet handling or medicating it’s just a question of practice
the first couple times you do it are difficult and then it gets to be easy. Now before we get going, let me talk to you a little bit about the kind of indications where you might use eye medications. Typically in cats we use them for infections, cats can also get allergies that are expressed in the eyes. Occasionally if your cat gets an eye ulcer they can use medications to treat those. That’s probably the most common indications and of course they’re also used for the treatment of glaucoma. Now if you have a dog the technique is exactly the same as it is in the cats. I think you will find watching this video to be quite useful because you can certainly do the exact same thing. And one more thing I’d like to say before we get going here is- and this is a bit of a plug for animal welfare. Most eye problems need to be treated as emergencies. But there’s one particular thing that if you see that you really, really should go see a vet about right away and what that is- is one eye squinting. if one eye is squinted shut and I’m not just talking about a slow blink that cats will sometimes do when they’re falling asleep and they
kind of blink with one eye really slowly. That’s just a cat being really relaxed around you and affectionate. But if an animal is looking at you with one eye squeezed shut or just one eye kind of obviously squinting relative together that is typically interpreted as a sign of pain. And should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. It is also a presenting sign of glaucoma, which is a very painful eye condition. And so if you see one squinting eye on your pet you really should get to a vet. Treat it as an emergency. Because these are very- particularly glaucomas, are very time sensitive. You really just have- It’s really just a question of hours for you to intervene to save vision in that eye and potentially save the eye itself. Lancelot is getting a little too relaxed here. Don’t worry mate. We’ll get to you in a second. So please watch out for those squinting eyes, you know otherwise people usually come with eye problems with animals have discharge from the eye or kinda crustiness or redness and that’s all– that’s all well and good but if it’s one squinting eye that you really want to watch out for. Right? All right, so to demonstrate here I have some just eye lube. This is going to be our proxy eye medication. Now, you can get eye meds either as drops or as gels. Gels typically work better because it stays in the eye longer and more reliably. Drops are typically easier to administer in a really contrary patient. So I always try to use gel medications. And there’s very, very few cases where the owners can’t give them and then I’ve used eyedrops. I know a lot of vets will prescribe eyedrops. But from my training that phlebologist I trained under always preferred eye lube, and he made a really rational case for it. So I think it’s a really good idea to use gels for eye treatments if you can and if not, then drops will probably do but there you have it. Eo we’re gonna use this eye lubricating gel as a proxy for a medicated ointment to put into the eye. I guess when I say gel I mean ointments or gels or anything that’s gonna gummy and just stays in the eye for a while. And we’re gonna position ourselves for success by having Lancelot in our cat administration position or a cat medication administration position. That’s a very awkward mouthful, but essentially facing away from you. Maybe like, I’m right-handed, so he’s tucked a little bit into my left arm. I can squish him if need be. And I’m just gonna gently position my hand under his chin. I’m gonna give him a little chin tickle. He thinks this is just me being really affectionate. I’m gonna guide him to look up. Now you have to be a little bit careful doing this in older cats cats with neck pain or osteoarthritis in the neck. You really don’t want to crank their head up like this. You got to be really careful and those cats you just have to kind of reach- reach forward and kind of strain a little bit to get the medications in the eye, but in any cat with a comfortable neck you just tilt the head up like that with one finger under the chin just a little gentle tickle. Really kind of taking it easy, but be gentle but firm. Good idea to have the cap off your meds first. Hey Mr. Lancelot. and then we’re just gotta squeeze this directly into the eye. Now a lot of people like to put medication on their finger and then squeeze into the eye. I used to do that when I was just starting out as a student. Honestly putting meds directly into the eye is actually much, much faster and honestly I think safer and more effective because if you just put it on your finger you’re not really gonna touch the finger to the eyeball. You end up smearing it around their eyelids most of the time. So just tilt the chin up for the medication. And just squeeze it right into the eye. And you can expect that kind of reaction and if it goes all over the place you can give it a little- smear around, then into the other eye. Boop just like that. That’s– that was an ideal administration. Notice, feels a little funny, it’s a little cold in the eyeballs, but that’s basically how you do it. You’ll notice how the second time the second eye I just got it right on the eye there good little dollop of medication, you know the label will often say one quarter-inch or give you some specification, but really you just want to squeeze some gel or some ointment onto the eyeball and your job is done. It’ll go all over the place and get to everywhere it needs to be. Hey Lance, I’m so sorry. *smooch* So yeah, so you see you can see if you get a close-up on his eyes that the ointment is just gonna melt it on the eye and it’s kind of all over the place. This whole eye is lubricated. It probably feels really nice right now. I mean, though obviously there’s a little bit of a startle there. But that’s how you do it. And I recommend doing this right before you put down a cat’s food. If you’re going to do this for several weeks twice a day just do it right before you give them a little kibble or whatever their favorite food is that way they start associating the medication with the food. It’ll make your life a little bit easier going forward. But you know, I think just making, you know, sometimes with eye medications you’re giving them four or five times a day and that’s not possible. But if you can associate it with a positive thing like getting food or giving your cat a tiny little treat. That’ll always make things a little bit better for you and the cat. But I think just positioning yourself for success is so important in these cases. Just getting that posture where you’re really comfortable and then getting the cat positioned and you can just get the medication right into those little cat eyes. Well, I hope you found that to be educational and helpful if you’d like to see more videos like this I would really appreciate your support which you can express by joining me on patreon where I have a wonderful community of patrons already or by getting some “squish that cat” merchandise like this t-shirt. I also have mugs and a bunch of other stuff. So please support me. I look forward to making more videos like this and until next time have fun with your pets and I’ll see you again.


100 thoughts on “How to give eye medication to a cat”

  • Very Berry Cram says:

    He is totally bob Ross but in veterinary cat loving type he is also so pure nothing but good things come out of my mouth about him. He is so positive and happy I hope you and him have an amazing year because of the good mood he put me in 😊😊😊😊😀😀😀😀🙂🙂

  • What if the cat is clawing at the meds, or strongly pulling away? Also, when you say squinting one eye, what if a cat does that once in a while? Do you mean a constant squint?☹️

  • Frank Costello says:

    You hadn't uploaded in forever I was getting worried about you. Glad to see you're a-ok!👍 (Still hoping for that cat spanking video btw… I think it's just cuz I wanna see you paddle those two fluff pumpkins that's all. 😃 That's not weird right? 🙄)…

  • Lancelot, what an angel. Can you maybe do a video on how to get a cat in their carrier to go to the vet without them FREAKING OUT the entire time they’re in there? One of my cats is incredibly triggered by it.

  • Thank you for the video. I actually have to admisnister gel into cat's eye, but someone convinced me that putting it on the lid or into eye corner is fine that it will absorb in somehow. Is this true? I have a stray cat that I have to squish really hard to administer it (putting gel onto finger) and even so I do not go off unscathed sometimes 🙂 Putting it right into his eye would be probably my death 🙂

  • Lancelot is a superb catte. Dr Burstyn, are you going to share Part 2 of Why I can't touch that cat? There was the mystery that you were going to explain about another cat who appeared. =^..^=

  • 0:34 In case anyone here is unfamiliar with cats – pretending to doze off (slowly closing their eyes for a second) is a sign of trust.
    Lancelot really likes this particular 'Clumsy-Loud-Cat'

  • Federico Silano says:

    I had to administrate eye drops to my cat once because he used to sharpen his claws onto a wooden surface and once got a wood splinter in his eye and overnight he kept rubbing his eye with his paw and in the morning the eye was inflamed. The first couple times it was pure hell, he wouldn't allow me to get close to that eye no matter what.

    Then I developed this nice trick of distracting the cat with a toy so that he would lift its head and just drop the medication from a higher position directly into its eye, worked like a charm 😀 Took a couple tries to get the aim right for the medication tho!

  • Dr. Uri, do you think that cats and dogs behave much better if the person treating them is very calm? I feel like animals can sense a change of mood in the air and anything negative makes them feel a little uneasy. Although I feel like I've gained more trust from my cat, I still think our relationship could be better if I treated her more calmly. She is very dramatic but a good girl. 🙂

  • This channel is a balm on my soul and the thing that keeps me going
    Thank you for sharing useful things in a cute, calm, and positive manner

  • My cat sadly started hating his favourite treats when I tried using them as rewards after medication. Of course it was a different situation, he had to take oral medicine and hated it so much.

  • Martini Pistache says:

    I have a question about the squinting eye you mention if it's ok for me to ask. I have a cat, he's a male 8 years old and has an eye that is alway teary, sometimes clear and sometimes not. I've had several vets because i moved a lot recently and they all told me that it was nothing, probably the lacrymal canal that was obstructed.
    So I clean it everyday or when necessary. My question is this: if one day it's a glaucoma does the eye stays shut even after I clean it? Because now I'm afraid to maybe overlook the situation if that happens because he often has one eye shut. What are other signs of glaucoma or other eye medical emergencies? Thank you for your answer and sorry for the long comment

  • my cat has a squinty eye! ever since i adopted her a year ago (she was 4 months old then) she's had one eye that has teary discharge (she doesn't have a squished persian face), and often i notice her squinting that one eye or blinking it even at moments when she isn't sleepy or anything. i also sometimes notice her kind of pawing at it more intently when she grooms her face. whenever i have brought this up at the vet, it was mostly ignored or dismissed, but this video scared me! how can i bring it up at the vet in a way that won't be dismissed??

  • I had a problem with my cat constantly closing his eye. Turns out he repeatedly gets his own hairs into his eyes and I have to fish them out.

  • SomeInterestingName says:

    Hi Dr Uri, your videos are all so helpful and entertaining. I'd love to see some rabbit care videos some day, as I think they're one of the most poorly understood of the popular pets. I'd be interested to know what expertise you have to pass on for rabbit handling and care!

  • How do I get my kitty to feel as happy when I'm petting her as yours looks when you're petting him?

    My friend's poor kitty has no eyes at all. They had to remove them because she got an infection in both eyes and I don't understand how the pet shop owner, where she got the infection, didn't notice until it was so bad she lost both eyes.
    I've seen pictures of it and, even as a former paramedic of people for over 10 years, it was bothersome. I don't understand how a PET store owner didn't notice. He lost the sale. You think he'd care for THAT risk if no other.

  • Sean Not-telling says:

    Handsome boy. I have an off topic request. Can you talk a little about some of the hybrid cats and the wild side parent and any health issues they might have.
    I enjoy the tips. Thank You.

  • M is for Margaret says:

    Suggestion from someone who hasn't made any video… =p For this one, maybe you could've done a close up of you putting the gel into Lancelot's eyes. For the first drop, a three quarter view close up (the audience sees three quarters of Lancelot's face and your hand) then the second drop, a maybe the top perspective – the cameraman shooting from above so we see Lancelot's upturned face as if we are right on top of him (your view). Then you can talk about what you did, with that video running beside you – video in video where it can be freezed or slow motioned as you explain what you did or why you use gel instead of liquid. That way, Lancelot, good ole patient Lancelot, put in an awkward position and squeak out a whatcherdoin meow or owie meow.

  • Hello from Tampa, FL! I love your videos for two reasons: 1. I have three cats and they are all different personalities so I love any tips on caring for them even better. 2. You have an amazing bedside manner with your patients. I have had less than stellar experiences with some vets because they don’t seem to be “cat people” (my diagnosis based on the experience). They seem to prefer dogs but are accepting cat patients and then they just aren’t great with handling them. I had one cat spayed twice because the vet removed only one of the two ovaries the first time. For another cat, we had the fear that he was having bladder crystals but never confirmed because the adult sized vet was unable to figure out how to get a sample from my 13 lb cat. So thank you for your care and attention to your patients, and for uploading videos for us pet owners!

  • Poor little guy. Up until the eye lube came, he looked so content, like he was thinking "this is how things are supposed to be, me being petted", then he looked so surprised. I'm sure it was just a bit of a shock, and he didn't mind really. He didn't look too annoyed afterwards. I imagine him feeling a bit betrayed though. He was looking so lovingly at you at the begining.

    He's a very handsome kitty. I bet people love to pet him. How is he with strangers?

  • Kayleigh Saunders says:

    could you do a video on how to care for a cat with down syndrome. im cat kitten carer and i have just got given a kitten with this syndrome and not sure if his care is any different to other kitten he is 4 weeks old . latches well and is healthy other than this syndrome

  • lancelot is so beautiful!! my poor baby got foxtails in her eye last summer..lots of eye drops (liquids and gels both.) hopefully never again!!!

  • Юлия Гирфанова says:

    Thank you, Doctor Burstyn. Would you also please show how to administer ear drops to a cat? I and my cat have a big problem with those. Some people say I should wrap him in a sheet or a sweater, but should I really?

  • Me: put treat on the floor
    cat walk in
    Brother: grab the back of the head
    Cat: o-O oh god I fall for that
    Brother: Medicine time!

  • Why do I watch this?! I don't even own a cat!!
    But stuff was learned. Gotta run off and give eye meds to all the cats in town!

  • Donteatacowman says:

    My vet tried to show me how to give my cat eye drops, but it wasn't very effective! My cat still struggles with me but she trusts me more so I've had an easier time of it than the vet did. Wish she knew these tips. I'll keep this in mind next time, thanks so much!

  • Generic And Unfunny says:

    You seem like a pretty funny dude who has great relationships with cats, you can see it’s there and it’s adorable

  • Julien Legault says:

    Please do a video on chronic kidney disease in cats. My boy is getting senior and his kidney are showing signs of possible early kidney disease and i really want to do everything i can to prevent it or slow it down. Much respect for everything you do.

  • Iloizamae Logronio says:

    Hi Doc! Could you please make a video about how to properly give a cat a bath when it is needed?

    When I wash any of my cats when needed, I do it as fast as I can, and cover them with towel. Lately, my white cat went home dirty, I gave him a bath but I wasn't able to do it properly because his meows are getting louder and i felt bad for him, that's why i have to finish it already tho the dust stain on his fur is not yet removed. Right now his fur is still grayish. How can we properly give our cats a bath? Thank You and God Bless!

  • hey i just wanted to say that i am in absolute love with pirate he's an absolute unit and so cute when he just wants to lay on your shoulder

  • Could you do a video about pneumonia and owning a cat? My little one is a short hair shedding to no end. I used a furminator indoors very often (ie most days) on her which is a great product…. But, i just got out of the hospital with pneumonia. She's such a sweet cat and want to do what is best for us to live together. Can you talk about ways to prevent pneumonia and manage asthma/lung disease/bad allergies for those in my situation? What are the risks/harms of using a deshedding tool? How much is too much during peak shedding season? Thanks! Wish me luck with my recovery and just happy to be back home

  • You have such a gentle and conforting presence that even my two cats sit near to hear your voice whenever I watch your videos.

  • I have a question. I gave a cat some flea treatment (spray with fipronil) he started licking it when it was wet. He only licked 3-4 times before i realized and put a collar on him. After the licking he got really lethargic and a bit of drool appeared. Thank Lord the drooling stopped but he is still lethargic and I am really scared. Don't have a vet where I am. Could you please help. I don't know what to do 😢

  • Could you do a video in which you show us how to get a cat in a box for transport? My cats hate those boxes and there's absolutely no way getting them in there without fearing them and getting my arms scratched.
    Thank you!

  • Abbie Airlie says:

    This reminded me of my first cat, he had an eye infection and never struggled against the medication! He was such a calm boy!

  • Could you do a video on whether or not it's a good idea to use acupressure for cats in heat? Both ethically and scientifically?

  • I squished the subscribe and notification button, doc! really excited to see the cat content and learn more about cats. 🐱👏🏻

  • Sorry, I had to trick you <3 You wouldn't have let me had you known what I was going to do. lol How I feel when I put drops into my kitty's eyes bc she had a hair inside. Sometimes I've noticed for my cat she's squinting with one eye and its usually a hair but I'll be more attentive. I didn't know It was a sign of pain :c but she seems okay right now and happy c: =^-^=

  • I dont even have a cat or any pet (fucking allergies man), but I love watching these videos. So soothing..

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