I’m known around pretty much every area I’ve ever worked/gone to school as either the “Unlicensed Veterinarian” or “Homeopathic Vet” not so much because I run around offering pet advice, but because for some reason I end up talking about pets with other people quite often, and enjoy sharing ideas or ways to help my pets live longer, happier lives. (I may also freak out every time we try to feed our animals something new, because I absolutely must know if that Burger King french fry has been cooked in anything that can, could, or might possibly ever harm my puppy.)
One question I get a lot (especially with people who recently located a box of kittens) is in regards to weird crusts that seem to cover the kitten’s eyes. I’m not sure of the medical term, but I have seen it called feline conjuntivitis. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here are some examples [example 1], [example 2], and [example 3]. Warning: Sad pictures!
I’ve seen this infection over and over again over the years with multiple litters of kittens. The best way to remove the problem is with Antibiotics; however, many people cannot afford to take all stray kittens to the vet, so this is the 2nd best way to handle the problem.
All you need is regular antibacterial soap, a few Q tips, and some warm water.
- Dispense a few drops of the soap onto your hand, and roll the Q tip around lightly in the soap, then wet the Q tip with warm water.
- Hold the kitten firmly but gently and rub your finger softly above the eye so that the kitten will completely close it’s eye.
- Gently move the Q tip across the affected area. Re-wetting the Q-tip as needed to keep the tip at least lukewarm from the water. Keep applying to the affected area until all of the eye crust is gone.
It takes a few days to fully remove all visible evidence of the bacterial infection, but after at least 1 week of repeated treatment with the antibacterial soap, the infection should go away 100%. In my experience once treated the infection does not return later on in a cat’s life. I have never seen adult cats with this type of infection, only kittens. And it is my assumption that since they develop the problem so shortly after birth, it comes from a transfer of bacteria from the mother cleaning the kittens, and the kittens are still too young to have a strong enough immune system to properly fight off the infection.
It is important to treat this type of infection early, as it can spread to a kittens nose and respiratory system, which can cause kittens to literally suffocate. Remember that if you have the option to do so, it is best to take your pet to a veterinarian or specialist, in case there are any other infections/diseases that the kittens have been exposed to before you found them.