Our lovely golden oldie Tortie has recently had a very sore eye and this is a fairly common condition in cats that go outside. It might be caused by a fight with another cat, an allergy, something in her eye (a grass seed?) or an infection the cat has caught. Eye troubles should never be neglected because they can lead to more serious problems, even blindness. A vet should always be consulted if you think the sore eye is anything more than a minor condition. Before reaching for the eye ointment, we try bathing the eye using a clean cotton wool pad and some cold tea. Yes, it sounds a bit strange, we make ourself a cuppa and pour some into a pot to bathe the cat’s eye, no milk in hers of course and be sure to let it cool first. We use this as first aid with any animal, horses, dogs, chickens and humans! If there’s a small foreign body in the eye, it may wash it out and all will be well.
Usually the eye drops the vet prescribes are very effective and clear the infection within a few days. Sometimes eye problems are caused by other illnesses and if this is the case bathing and putting on eye ointment or inserting drops won’t work. We had a young rescued cat with a persistently sore eye and it was only when he had dye put in that it was discovered that he had a tiny piece of grit stuck inside. An operation to remove it did the trick and he was soon well again.
Tortie’s eye was very sore. We took her to the vet and eye drops were prescribed. She is a good patient and we managed to get them in successfully. Her eye didn’t improve, it swelled up even more and became very red. Tortie went off her food and we began to be very worried about her. When the vet saw her again it was suspected that the problem might be in her mouth. There was no way Tortie would let anyone look in there now. Ouch! It hurts! She was booked in for an anaesthetic so they could have a good look.
An infected tooth at the back of her mouth was causing the trouble. The vet extracted it and decided to keep Tortie in overnight. She’s an elderly cat and this was quite an ordeal for her. She’s made a full recovery now – but this is an example of the cause of the sore eye being quite different from the symptoms.