How to Clean Matted Kitten Eyes

Kittens often get a matted eyes when they are young. It’s important to see a veterinarian to determine if the problem is something more. Matted eyes with pus could be a sign of infection or disease. In the meantime, you can offer your kitten some relief with these steps. 

You Will Need:

  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Blanket  

Steps to Clean the Kitten Eyes:

  1. Some kittens are cuddly, and others are frightened by handling. If you kitten is jittery, wrapping it gently in a blanket will help prevent scratches and keep the kitten calm.
  2. Moisten a soft cloth with warm water. Take caution not to make it too hot.
  3. Place the moist cloth on the matted eyes. Hold it there until the matted crust begins to loosen. This typically takes a couple of minutes.
  4. VERY gently wipe the eye. Do not apply pressure or pull at the matted crust.
  5. If needed reapply the cloth to soften it more.
  6. If it is working, and the kitten is tolerating it well, continue applying the cloth until the eye is able to open.
  7. If the kitten is agitated or it is not showing improvement, stop and allow the kitten to rest. Try again the next day.

 Additional Tips and Advice

  • Do not rub the eyes or pull at the matted build up. You don’t want to damage the eyelid or eye.
  • When in doubt, contact a veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice for your particular situation.

Comments

  1. Jody says:

    To clean a kitten’s infected eyes, brew one teabag worth of tea. Don’t add sugar, of course. Dip a corner of a soft clean cloth into the tea while it’s still lukewarm, and don’t squeeze it out much. Swab one eye, then use a different corner and do the other. Store the tea in anything with a lid and keep it in the fridge. Warm just enough for one use at a time. My kitten’s eyes were both full of infection, and sealed shut every few hours. I did both eyes last night, and this morning one eye was clear and the other was much better!

  2. Amanda says:

    Another great way to do this, is to run a paper towel under warm water and wipe the gunk away. Do this several times a day, to keep the kitty’s eyes clean. Within a few days they should have clear eyes. Of course if they aren’t, you should head to the vet to get some eye drops!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    OMG!! I just wanted to add here that just yesterday afternoon I went online and Googled how to clean my kitten’s eye that was all watery and gunky. I read the tea bag thing and decided to try it. When I did, I noticed the other eye was beginning to look gooey also so I cleaned out making sure some of the tea got IN his eyes. I did it again before we went to bed and this morning it’s like a miracle; his eyes are completely better! I also want to mention that tea bags work miracles on diaper rash. I learned this when my niece was in the hospital as a baby and she had a rash, the nurses put tea bags on her bottom and it cleared right up. I later tried it when I had my kids and found that it worked better than ANY diaper ointment out there!

  4. Elaine says:

    First off, Thank You Elizabeth for your suggestion of using tea bags. I just got through treating four of the feral kittens (which I love, & my husband said it was divorce if I brought them inside). That’s how we got our three cats now, plus we have two pugs and my 15-year-old cat, Punky. Oh yeah, and my mom who lives with us, she has Alzheimer’s disease, so needless to say my plate is full… lol. We’ll see this evening if there is a change in my lil’ angels’ eyes. Thanks again and for all you people who say go to the vets… shame on you for presuming everybody has the money to do that… home remedies have cured people from the very start of time!!!!

  5. DW says:

    Thank you so much… I just got a baby kitten two days ago and its eyes were really matted. I thought I was going to have to take it to the vet, but I used the tea bags yesterday and this morning I could tell a huge difference in the cats eyes. They are still a little matted, but it didn’t take me 30 minutes of wiping the eyes to get them open like the morning before. It only took a couple of wipes and they were open. I’m using the tea again today; hopefully they keep getting better.

  6. Lorie says:

    I will try the tea next time, but I have always kept a tube of kitty eye ointment on hand and I clean the matting and pus off and then use the ointment. But I recommend that you hold the warm cloth to the eyes and let it soften up the gunk so you don’t rub the eyes so much or so hard. I have all but three of my outside cats spayed and four neutered – the other 25 are all altered (I have my own shelter). My vet comes to the house and does my annual shots for them. Anyway, lo and behold, I was talking to my cousin on the phone about a mama and two kittens she had rescued and I told her that I hadn’t had any kittens in awhile but I knew I still had a few chances waiting to happen. I hung up, went to the back door and there on the deck was a little long-haired buff/orange female kitten about five weeks old (has little teeth) so I doctored her eyes and gave her a little milk and rinsed her for fleas (no shampoo used) and the next morning I put her back on the porch for her mama to get. That was night before last and I didn’t find her last night. I will look again this evening though. I love cats – obviously!

  7. Tess says:

    Your local pet store probably sells kitten eye wash for around 6-8 dollars. Most of the eye washes have a small amount of boric acid in them; this will help with itching and irritation. You can soak cotton balls in the eye wash and use them to clean the gunk from the eye area. You can order the kitten eye antibiotic off the internet or pick it up at at local pet/feed store for a fairly inexpensive price of around 10-15 dollars. I know the Pet Club stores here carry it.

    Terramycin.

    If there is no improvement or other symptoms, of course, see a vet.

  8. Cheri says:

    Thank you so much for the tea bag tip! I am pet sitting the neighbors’ animals and there are four three-week-old kittens that have their eyes mattered very bad. I did the tea wash in the eyes and will find out in the AM how it did. Thanks again!!!

  9. Kathy says:

    I just wanted to say that giving a cat only milk to drink will cause kidney stones to form. My friend only gave her cat water to drink. It may have had milk at times.

  10. Gogreen says:

    FYI, humans… used tea bags are great for cold sores. Place a wet used one on a cold sore for 15 minutes four or more times per day and they should disappear in three days. Sore leakage is also minimized, as is pain.

  11. Emily says:

    It works really well actually. All five of our kittens have crusty eyes and we use the tea bags every night before bed, and in the morning we just use warm cotton balls.

    I can’t imagine how bad their eyes would be without it.

  12. Nadia says:

    What tea should you use? I have green tea – will that work?

  13. Angel says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone for discussing and confirming the tea bag trick! I just got two 8-week old kittens (brother and sister) from a farm and my lil’ guy, Bear, had matted eyes right when we got him home! I was so upset because I instantly fell in love with him when we got them and thought something was seriously wrong!! I saw this forum at work yesterday and went home and tried it… ALL BETTER!! Once again, thanks!!! Bear is bright-eyed and smiling!

    -Angel

  14. Kim says:

    Thank you so much for the tea tip!!!! I tried it on my kitten and after two treatments, no more eye problems. I’m so thankful I found your tip, I just lost my job and didn’t have the funds to take her to the vet.

  15. Granny T says:

    The feral cat I adopted had five kittens, and the three littlest ones all have crusty eyes. I have been using warm water and lubricating eye-drops, but the smallest one’s eyes are not getting much better. I will try the tea bag this evening and keep my fingers crossed!! I am also feeding him with a medicine dropper and kitten milk (he will not take a bottle). They are five weeks old and I cannot get him to eat food yet. Think he is going to be my favorite – he is just so small and sweet!!!

  16. Jan says:

    I went to the vet and she said it was an infection so I went home and had five with matted eyes. I took one capsule of minocycline 100 MG and mixed with a eighth of can of cat food. Gave them two doses one at night and one the next morning with a plastic knife and gave each like 3 mouthfuls. Cleared them up and they have been that way for a week. Amoxacillion or just about any medicine for infection will do. Just give them a small amount at a time. Vet just wants to charge big money for a simple cure.

  17. Bethany says:

    What kind of tea should I use? I would like to try this on my baby kitten.

  18. Jan says:

    Mine was using an antibiotic mixed in an eighth or quarter of a can of feed. I have had cats for 20 years and live on a farm. It clears them up within two days, even if their eyes are full of infection. One 100 mg capsule of like amoxicillin will treat five cats for two treatments. Just clean their eyes with a warm damp cloth so they can see and give them a antibiotic. The vet says it’s a respiratory infection that does that to their eyes. Let me know how they do after you treat them and it will clear their eyes up. Good luck. If you don’t have any antibiotic, ask a friend or a neighbor. One pill goes along way. If not, the vet will sell you some. Good luck with the kittens.

  19. Debbie says:

    Hi, I have five kittens; they are two weeks old now and last night, I noticed one of them had an eye shut. I looked at it and it was sealed shut with what looked like crust. I panicked because this is all new to me so when I looked on this page this morning, I thought I’d give the tea a go.

    I made a pot of tea, left it to cool, then I dipped a small piece of cotton wool in the tea and gently wiped my kitten’s eye. A load of yellowy matter came out, so I’m hoping that is OK.

    I’m going to try the tea again this afternoon, then gently wipe the matter again with some lukewarm boiled water and see if that helps. If anyone can help, would you please let me know what else I can do?

  20. Morgan :) says:

    Thanks for the tea bag suggestion! I JUST did it to my two 8-week-old kittens! I hope it works!!! :) Thanks again!

  21. Debbie says:

    Hi, I tried the teabag trick yesterday on my kitten with the matted eye and this morning, I went in the bedroom to check on it and it’s eye is a lot cleaner and better. It can now open it, so thank you so much for the teabag idea – it’s brilliant.

  22. Lawrence says:

    Will try this. Have been trying to rescue cats and save them from the pound, and ended up with a litter and their eyes keep getting crusty. Been cleaning them twice daily and will try the tea bags; thank you for the advice! And thanks for caring about our furry little friends…

  23. Renee says:

    So far I have tried the tea method and it has not worked for me. Been cleaning my kitten’s eyes out for the past week twice a day. What else could I do, as it is too young to be taken to a vet?

  24. Jan says:

    Just use a little infection medicine, like amoxicillin, and give it two small doses of it – like a tenth of a pill. Their eyes have a respiratory infection in them. It will clear them right up.

  25. Jacob says:

    Use a lukewarm wash cloth and wipe their eyes; do this every couple of hours.

  26. Andrea says:

    We live in the country and our home is on a hill in the woods, and we just found a kitten. She’s about 6 or 7 weeks old and healthy, except for the fact that her eyes are closed shut. We are going to try the tea bag trick now. We used a warm wash cloth and most of the gunk is out, but it’s coming back. Thanks for the tip. I’ll let you all know if it works tomorrow. =) So glad I searched about this!

  27. Cheyenne says:

    I was at my great-grandpa’s house and there was this cat always hanging around. She was kinda mean, so I named her Rosalie since she ignored me (you know, from Twilight) and then like a month or two later of her coming around, we were doing some work in his garage and my dad and I heard meowing. I saw Rosalie, but then I saw little tiny heads poking out of the garage behind her. She had babies in my grandfathers garage! So it was so hard to get them all out because they have matted eyes and they were hiding. I’m taking them all to an animal shelter because I already have two cats and they’re boys, so they would end up having a domination match, but luckily, the animal shelter doesn’t put their animals down, in case they don’t get adopted. Anyways, thank you for the tea bag trick. I will use it on them and that way people will want to adopt them in a heartbeat! Thanks!

  28. Cheyenne says:

    I cleaned their eyes out several times with chamomile tea and this morning I woke up and they had clean wide eyes. It does work very well. Just make sure it’s lukewarm, not too hot or too cold, because it will bother the kittens. Thanks for the advice.

  29. Bevon says:

    The tea bags REALLY WORK! I tried it with my two kittens and it really worked. Today, when I woke up, their eyes were wide and they could see clearly!

  30. Renee says:

    Thanks to all of you for your responses! This did work as far as the tea bag goes! But, now I have a new problem; how do I get fleas off of her, as she is too young to got to the vet? She is only eight weeks old.

  31. Grammy46 says:

    I have four new kittens that are four weeks old and a couple of them have matted eyes. I clean them with water and that helps, but I’m going to try the tea thing before I call a vet. Thanks!

  32. Courtnie says:

    I have a kitten and he had matted eyes and… tea works; just dip a paper towel in the tea and it works. But remember, never put sugar!

  33. Liz says:

    I tried the tea on my two ten-week-old kittens and it is working. Thank you.

  34. Lisa says:

    Going to try the tea bag thing tonight, but Renee, in regards to the fleas, we used Dawn on our kittens and a fine comb. If they will let you, dip them in water than rub them with the Dawn and let it sit on them for at least a couple of minutes. Then wash it out. Warning: the fleas will jump off, so if you can, I would do it outside and use rags that you can throw away outside or they will get in your house. Use the fine-tooth comb like a head lice comb to comb out the dead ones and live one. The fleas will go to their head and try to go in their month and nose, so keep watch.

  35. Kevin says:

    Just tried it on a five(+/-)-week-old kitten who has had matted eyes for about two or three weeks now and finally got them cleaned up. Got them open and she can apparently still see. So I’d say the tea bag method works. Going to clean her eyes later tonight before I go to sleep if I can find her. So yea. Thanks for the method.

  36. Kari says:

    My mom and I just found two kittens and one of them had a matted eye. We tried wiping it out with a warm rag, and it worked, but in a few hours it was closed again. I just read about using tea bags, and we are going to go and buy some, and try it tomorrow. I hope it works, because we don’t have the money to go to the vet. Thanks for the advice!

  37. Lisa says:

    I have a new white Persian kitten, 12 weeks; tear stains are bad, what can I do?

  38. Kathy says:

    After a little Google searching, I’ve found references to both green & white tea as having both antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties. If you don’t have either type of tea, try getting a tea bag from a neighbor or friend. Both types of teas are wildly popular these days, someone is sure to have some on hand.

  39. Dana says:

    I’ve always heard that you can use a soft cloth with peroxide to wipe the tear stains & with repeated use & time they will fade away. Be sure not to get it in their eyes. Also, one of my clients said she only gives her Maltese & Persians bottled water. She said that something in city water causes the stains. Her animals had no tear stains AT ALL!!! If that don’t work, they have a product on the market called Crystal Eyes, you can get it at most pet stores (I manage Petco & we carry it). It’s not very expensive. Maybe four or five bucks. Good Luck!

  40. Deidra says:

    My kittens had matted eyes both eyes. I used the tea theory I learned here and I want to say thank you. It cleared their eyes. Just for FYi, if you treat them once a month, it’s also a preventative.

  41. Mandi says:

    What kind of tea do you use??

  42. Sarah says:

    We just got a little boy kitten last night & his eyes are matted with green leakage. I was reading all the responses & I’m going to try the “tea” thing tonight. Send luck this way! I really hope it works, I feel awful for him. I cleaned his eyes last night & this morning but hopefully the tea works (minus sugar). :) Thanks for the advice because we have no $$ for a vet.

  43. Scorpio11 says:

    For fleas on kittens:

    You can only give mommy Frontline Plus. Make sure this is where she can’t lick the back of her neck and ingest.

    Any kitten under 8 weeks is not recommended to wash if not absolutely necessary. If you have flea problems, buy Adams flea spray. Make sure you get the kind for cats. This is about 12 bucks. Remove and wash the bedding. Then, under new bedding, spray the Adams flea spray. DO NOT spray directly on the surface of the bedding the kittens and mommy will be on. I sprayed a towel with it, then placed an un-sprayed towel over it. Then take one kitten at a time, (usually best to do this where mommy cat can see) and VERY lightly spray a hand towel. Wrap the kitten in the hand towel, but make sure the entire head is out of the towel. If they get it on their face, they can lick or inhale it, or pass to the teat thwarting the kittens from nursing. Hold each kitten in for about two minutes. Discard or wash the towel when done. This should only need to be done once, twice at most. Chamomile or green tea should work on the kitten eyes, wipe VERY gently, a few times a day, more important to dampen the crust so it wipes away easily. Use a different part of the tissue for each wipe or eye. The fresher the tea is and the more natural, like crushed tea leaves, the better it will work. Make sure it’s not too cold, or too hot. Hope this helps! If the eye goo or crust ever has a green or yellow look, get to the vet ASAP. It is normal for a kitten to get a little crust when opening eyes, and does need to be tended to, but pussy, runny, yellow or green is not good and is a sign of an infection. Good luck everyone!

  44. Chen says:

    Brenda, I have the same problem with some of my kittens also. I have used warm water and a little bit of Opticlear – it is sold in pet stores. I just want to know if I can do any more and if it will clear up?

  45. Gloria says:

    I used a very damp tissue and I let some water drip first so that the crust will soften and it will be easier to wipe, then I just wipe them and help them open their eyes with my hands (thumbs). You have to repeat this process every time they sleep because they usually don’t open when they take a long nap. If you don’t clean them, they will get more infected and they could lose their vision. Please clean them asap.

  46. A Reed says:

    I have kittens that are three weeks old. I notice my white kitten had puffy eyes. They were very crusty as well. I used baby oil to make the crust soft. All of a sudden globs of pus started draining out. A week later my second cat has the same problem. Now I keep there eyes soothed with baby oil and I also use warm water at times, because I don’t want their eyes to get infected or worse. I begin to put antibiotic drops in their eye as well. It would be wise to clean their eyes before they go to sleep.

  47. Alexa says:

    Brenda, just use HOT water and salt in a small bowl and do that at the same time every day at the same time for a week or two.

  48. Randy says:

    Thanks everyone for the tea tip! I just saved a little kitten from my pap’s farm and she had a cold in her eyes. I have been wiping them clean with a wet warm cloth, but it just isn’t clearing up 100%, so I’m going to try the tea and see if that does the final trick! Thanks a million!

  49. Norma says:

    Have the tea bags helped?

  50. Sarah says:

    First, it’s called a cold, this happens when a cat gets sick, and the eyes crust up and they can’t open them – but it may not get this bad.

    What I find works 99% of the time is:
    YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING

    *KETTLE WATER
    *Cup or bowl
    *Black tea
    *Pinch of salt
    *Some tissues or toilet paper

    Boil the kettle and let it cool until its warm. Always use kettle water so it kills any bugs from in the water. Put the water in the bowl or cup, add the tea bag and the pinch of salt. Stir well.

    Get the tissue and put half of the tissue in (it does not need to be dripping wet). Put 1 drop over the kittens eye (shut 1 or both) and let sit for a little so it softens. Then wipe as much as you can.

    repeat daily until symptoms are gone

  51. Sandy says:

    Can I use Epsom salts instead of table or sea salt?

  52. Betty says:

    Mix 1/4 teaspoon of boric acid, found in drug stores, and 32 oz. of water. Boil the water and add boric acid, making sure it mixes well. Let it cool, then clean their eyes with the mixture 3-4 times a day using a cotton ball. If you have a dropper, this is better – a few drops, than wipe the eye or eyes never using same cotton ball.

  53. Kali says:

    The tea bag trick worked on my kitten in just one use. I was amazed. Thanks again!!

  54. Susan says:

    I am definitely going to try the tea bag idea…I was using contact solution (just the storage solution for the lenses) Someone gave me this suggestion, and it too works well, and is a lot cheaper than pet store alternatives. I would flush their eyes twice a day with the contact solution.

  55. Heather says:

    For fleas on kittens, I used warm water and dish soap. Leave the dish soap on for about five minutes. Rinse the kitten and pick off the dead fleas. It worked for me!!

  56. Arian says:

    Will Earl Grey tea work? I’m out in the country and thats all I have for tea.

  57. Jenny says:

    Can you do this teabag trick on kittens whose eyes are crusty and swollen badly?

  58. Karen says:

    Talk about the benefits of tea bags (black, green or Jasmine). My dog broke a tooth off, so before going to the vet, I heated a tea bag and placed it over the tooth. She appreciated the pain relief so much, she would bring me the tea bag to heat up again, AND she would hold it over her broken tooth until it was cold, then we’d start over. I tried it on a tooth ache, and it really does help. I find Jasmine is better for pain relief, black and green teas are better for infections. Give it a try!

  59. Michelle says:

    I used jasmine tea-dipped cotton balls and held them to my kitten’s eyes, and they opened up within a matter of minutes.

  60. Lisa says:

    My friend has a farm that is becoming over run with feral cats. He ended up with two small kittens that are sick, I’m assuming from what I’ve researched they have an URI. The first one died about two weeks ago as it was wheezing and wouldn’t eat. It only lived 1 day after bringing it home. The second one, which he just found yesterday, is eating but just has the matted goo on it’s eyes, and it is pretty skinny. I also believe it is dehydrated. We are mixing mothers replacement milk with wet food. Hopefully we can bring it back to good health. I’m going to try the tea bag to clean the eyes and see if it works. I also read from a different site (Earth clinic) to mix a 50/50 solution of organic apple cider vinegar and apply to the back of its neck and it’s supposed to work wonders for infection. Will comment back with how these methods work.

    For a previous poster who had a question about ridding kittens of fleas. Give them a bath in Dawn dish soap. Do not apply the Dawn directly to their body. Us a small flea comb to get the dead fleas/eggs out, or just pick them off. Make sure to keep them warm until they dry.

  61. Fifi says:

    I took in a stray who had five kittens, who are now four weeks old. One had his umbilical cord wrapped around a leg and lost the lower part. His eye keeps crusting over, and I’ve seen a little gunk come out of it. I freaked when I read it could be a respiratory infection which might be fatal, since i love my little Tripod.

    I’ll try the tea trick tonight – if it’s not better by tomorrow night, it’s off to the vet!

  62. Kathy says:

    Hi, I am trying the thing with the eyes (the tea bags) today. I have a 11 kittens and four mom cats here, whom are all stays. This lady that live across from me moved out and left them all there at the house, so now I have been taking care of them all. My kittens are from eight weeks old, all the way down to four weeks old. I have five kittens whose eyes are especially bad, and I have just one that has two bad eyes. He eats good and plays all the time though. I have still another one, whose eye is bad, and this one is not eating very well; I have called the vet here to see if they have room for kittens and they said no, and the another places are kill places so I will not take them there. I am going to try this tea bag stuff and get some kitten milk for the one that is not eating. I am hoping I do not lose her. -From KY

  63. Hank says:

    I would like to know about not only those trying the tea remedy for crusted eyes, but for how long and if it has worked. It obviously takes more than one treatment to say that it has worked the following day. Anyway, I have done a lot of research and have found that (Amox) dosage is about 4-7 mg, which equates to about the size of the head of a matchstick, perhaps just a bit less. I discovered this after separating a 500mg capsule into 50 equal parts. Just thought it may help others with unnecessarily high dosages.

  64. Kathy says:

    Hi, my boyfriend gave me a Siamese kitten that is about eight-weeks-old, and her eyes are crusty. I have been using warm water but it doesn’t seem to be working. She is having a hard time seeing. You can see the stuff in her eyes, so I will go buy tea tomorrow morning and try that. A trick for fleas is Dawn dish soap; it works the best and kills them on the spot, then you just pick the dead fleas off and it doesn’t dry out the kitten’s skin either. I will let you know if the tea bag trick works.
    Kathy

  65. Jess says:

    Kathy, if your kitten’s problem remains, I highly recommend calling your vet and having her checked out. It could be serious.

  66. April says:

    Can I use any kind of tea bag? Also, why does my cat always act like she is starving?

  67. Nancy says:

    “Tea bag trick” should read “science!” I, too, use tea bags for this condition. Surely it is the tannin in tea that is the healing element. In grade school years, we kids had styes from time to time. Mother’s treatment was to lay the damp, warm tea bag right on the eye and let the warmth, moisture, and cleansing properties speed the healing.

    Since it is an infection, hygiene, TLC, and the organic qualities of the tea make a satisfactory remedy! (Of course, Jess is right—the vet is the final word if the condition persists.)

    Go to Wikipedia, type in “tannin” and read about this wonderful natural substance. I like tea, but not the funny film it leaves on my teeth—from the tannin.

  68. Chesca says:

    OMG! Thank you so much for recommending the tea! I’ve been worried for the past few days because my two- week-old persian kittens were having matted eyes and I was planning to take them to the vet until I came across this site. I used a Japanese green tea and cotton balls. While I wiped their eyes the second time, one of the kitten’s eyes fully opened! I feel so happy. :) I will update you with the other kitten too. Thanks a lot again. Bless you.

  69. Melanie says:

    April,
    All true teas (black, green, white, etc.) are made from the same plant, just processed differently. Herbal teas are not considered true teas. Any type of true tea is fine, however, it is very important that you research any added ingredients or flavors of your particular tea to ensure they are non-toxic to your cat. For example, lemon is toxic to cats. Grapefruit, orange, apple, peach and plum are also toxic to cats. Chamomile, a common herbal tea, is also toxic to cats. Although the toxic ingredient would not be ingested, it could still enter the bloodstream through the eye or skin.
    If you have plain green tea or black tea; that would be ideal.

    There are several reasons your cat may act like she is starving.
    First, she may be craving a single nutrient (like iron or omega 3s) that is not readily available in the brand of food that you have. Be sure that your cat has a fully balanced diet and provide your cat with a variety of nutrient sources.
    Second, cats often do not drink as much water as they ideally should and thirst often presents itself as hunger, particularly if your cat is receiving wet food. Provide your cat with a fountain (running water) to entice drinking and consider providing your cat with a special drink each day, such as mashed tuna or salmon water. This is particularly true if you live in an arid climate, like Denver. (Note: milk is actually not healthy for cats.)
    Third, your cat could have a medical problem, such as hypothyroidism, which is increasing her appetite. Take your cat to the vet for a medical exam to rule out any medical problems.
    If your cat has ever had fleas in the past (and was not treated for tapeworms afterward), it is possible that she has tapeworms, which would be depleting her nutrients and requiring her to eat more. Check your cat’s bed or napping spot for hard, little, yellow/white balls – that is a definitive sign of tapeworms. You will need to check every week for about eight weeks to ensure that your cat is tapeworm-free.
    Lastly; boredom. Some cats overeat simply out of boredom.

    Source: ASPCA – Chamomile
    Source: The Republic of Tea – What is Herbal Tea?
    Source: PetSide.com – Is Milk Bad for Cats?

  70. Misti says:

    I sure hope the tea works. I have a two-week-old kitten with one eye closed. Do I use the tea bag itself after brewing or just the tea on a cotton ball?

  71. Melanie says:

    Misti,
    I have heard about people using both methods (mostly with the tea bag as a poultice and the cotton ball for an eye wash) and some say that the tea bag itself is more potent. However, I would caution against using the actual tea bag for a cat, and especially for a wiggly kitten, in case there are any tiny twigs or something in the tea bag (or a sharp corner of the bag itself) that could accidentally poke the kitten in the eye. A cotton ball or soft cloth should be sufficient.

  72. Melanie says:

    Arian,
    Earl grey is a black tea that has been infused with oil from bergamont oranges. Bergamot oranges are toxic to cats, so I would not recommend using earl grey.

    Source: Wikipedia – Earl Grey tea
    Source: ASPCA – Bergamot Orange

  73. Kyla says:

    Thanks for the tea bag idea; it helped a bit to clean up my Persian kitten’s eye. I took him to the vet today and it turned out he has the cat flu! Symptoms are: runny, gooey eye or eyes and sneezing! That’s the only symptoms my boy had so far, but there are a few more symptoms like loss of appetite, temperature and loss of energy too. My vet said that green tea has an antibacterial ingredient in it that will help get rid of the germs to clear the eyes up; she said I can carry on with that or if I wanted to, she can prescribe eye drops, so I got the eye drops too!! But for anyone else out there who can’t afford the vet, I do suggest to try the tea bag idea!! It cost me $99 at the vet to be told he had cat flu and to get antibiotics! GREEN TEA is cheaper and has an antibacterial ingredient in it as well; give that a go before going to vet!! Get the green tea that doesn’t have lemon or orange in it, just 100% pure green tea, and boil the jug and put a tea bag in and add hot water and wait till lukewarm, then dab a cotton ball or cloth in the cup of tea (NO sugar or milk) and wipe the cat’s eye with it.

  74. Crystal says:

    Does it have to be a certain tea bag? I have chamomile tea – can I use that?

  75. Melanie says:

    Crystal,
    According to the ASPCA, chamomile is toxic to cats. The rule of thumb for this tea cat eyewash trick is to use a true tea – green tea, black tea, white tea or oolong tea. All true teas come from the camellia sinensis plant, they’re just processed differently. Any tea that doesn’t come from the camellia sinensis plant is called an herbal tea (not a true tea). Chamomile is an herbal tea. Rooibos is an herbal tea. Rose is an herbal tea. Etc.
    Another good rule is to only use a plain tea, rather than something flavored, as most common tea flavors (lemon, orange, etc.) are also considered toxic to cats (for example with Earl Grey being a black tea infused with orange). Just do a quick search online to learn more about your tea before you use it.
    Source: ASPCA – Chamomile

  76. Lorrie says:

    I got a kitten yesterday from someone who posted on a ‘for sale’ or free website and when I picked him up, his eyes were so bad that he couldn’t open them at all. I did the warm rag and that got them open, but there is still a lot of gunk in his eyes; he is real skittish, but he will let me wipe his eyes. I’m going to try the tea bag trick in just a bit, waiting for the tea to cool…lol. I pray this works because I hate seeing this poor kitten look so miserable.

  77. Levi says:

    Thank ya’ll so much! This site is a God-send, and there are many of us who cannot afford to race to the vet every time our beloved little pet has an ailment! But it doesn’t mean we love them any less! We used the tea bag remedy on one of our tiny stray kittens, and it worked like a charm!!! Home remedies are the best! Thanks again; I will be back, and will faithfully pass this site along to anyone I know!!! <3 <3 <3

  78. Eileen says:

    Some people let their cats go & they roamed into our yard so I just had to feed them. The two girls had kittens in one of our garages and after they were weaned & came out in the open, we noticed the glued-shut eyes. Found this website and rounded up the kittens the next day, praying it would work. One treatment of the tea & the eyes were open & they have stayed that way. Thanks so much for the help. I can’t tell you how happy I was when those little eyes opened up.

  79. Mandy says:

    Wanted to add, I have given milk to my cats (& dogs), BUT its never given as full pasteurized, it’s mostly either skimmed or semi-skimmed, and if that’s not on hand and I do only have pasteurized, then I make sure it’s watered down. In the past, when given to my dogs, it’s given them diarrhea, so I learned my lesson then and manage not to make the same mistake again with them or my cats. Otherwise, stick to specifically bought cat milk.

  80. Tanya says:

    I have a mum and her two baby kittens who moved into my spare room; one of the cats has really, really bad eyes. They’re not just closed and crusty; the eyelids are all swollen so he can barely open one of his eyes. They are still wary and it’s a struggle to get ahold of them to clean their eyes, but I persevere and I manage to do it. I’ve tried the tea bags. I can’t really see much of an improvement though; I’ve done it three days in a row now. I will keep trying and hoping for the best, but does anyone else have a tip that I can try?? The main problem is the swelling on the eyelids. I’m in Corfu at the moment and vets are slim to none and very expensive; I can just about afford to feed myself and now I have a family of four cats to feed, so can’t afford to go to a vet, but I am desperate to make them better!! Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!!!!

  81. Melanie says:

    Tanya,
    - Research cat or animal aid in your current location. I typed in “Corfu Greece Cat Aid” and found CARE, the Corfu Animal Rescue Establishment. Call around to all the places like that you can find and ask for help.
    - If you can’t find aid from an organization, try asking your neighbors. They might have a suggestion or know of a local person who can help – a retired vet, person with several cats, etc.
    - I tried to figure out what herb/food might help a sick cat just generally, and determined that honey might be a good choice. Honey is an antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory, is safe for cats according to credible sources, and it has other healing benefits as well, in particular for the immune and respiratory systems. You can probably get a packet of honey from McDonalds for free with your breakfast (I’ve never been to the McDonalds in Corfu, but in the U.S. they have honey packets) or ask your neighbors. Feed the honey to the cat on your finger, mix it into some water, broth, commercial kitten milk or even the tea, or wipe it onto a few pieces of food, etc. You can even water down the honey and put some on the mom’s nipples. Definitely be sure to water the honey down though; I just put some on my arm and the stickiness really pulls at the hairs if it isn’t watered down.
    - Also, direct sunlight is a natural antibacterial – just 20-30 minutes might help. (Take note of when/where sunlight is shining directly on the floor of your house and bring the kittens to lay there, or just take them to a safe place outside if possible.)
    - If you could get some fish or meat for them, that might help – improving their nutrition as much as possible could boost their immune systems. The fish especially could be beneficial because of the fish oil; just make sure it is plain (unseasoned) fish/meat.
    - The only other thing I can suggest (in thinking about the eye infection as a possible symptom of a respiratory illness) is that you could try to improve the air. See if there is anything near the cats that could be wiped/dusted and use unscented laundry soap to wash their bedding. You could also try airing out the room, but make sure the room temperature stays at the necessary level for the kitten’s age. You can also set a large bowl of water with a towel over it near the family to increase the humidity for them if needed.
    Good luck!

    Source: Diane Stein – Natural Remedies for Cats and Dogs
    Source: The Huffington Post – Honey in Integrative Veterinary Medicine
    Source: Science Daily – Healing Honey: The Sweet Evidence Revealed
    Source: The Pet Health and Nutrition Center – Bee Propolis Spray for Pets
    Source: Results Scorecard – Create your own “Natural Humidifier” for Free!

  82. Claudia says:

    Hi, I am in Europe and I came across a few kittens at a farm. They all looked healthy at first, but now one of them has got matted eyes and the rest are getting matted eyes. I don’t now what to do; they’re not mine, but I can’t help but felling responsible for them. The owner doesn’t speak English and they are all getting worse. Plus, they are barn cats so the owners don’t take very good care of them.

  83. Tori says:

    FYI: Regular cooking oil will drown/suffocate fleas, killing them off without irritating kitty, plus I have noticed 1 cup lukewarm water + 1/4 tsp. salt (saline solution) will help de-gunk. Not saying it’ll clear up the entire infection. I’m trying the tea bag thing now. Also, if your litter box(es) smell, put some unused tea bags or a baking soda/mint leaf mixture in it. Either way, they leave it alone and it works. Aside from possible stones, milk/dairy products shouldn’t be given to kitty because it can cause diarrhea. On that note, should kitty have diarrhea, BOIL a small amount of plain chicken, cut it up and give it to kitty, feeding them nothing else, and keep their dishes, water and litter box squeaky clean. Litter training? Don’t punish them as kitty won’t respond to punishment. Instead, familiarize them with the box, and reward them when they use it. This may take a while, even if you have another, more litter trained, kitty as an influence. But it is effective as long as you have at least one box per kitty.

  84. Wes says:

    My girl just had kittens three weeks ago. Two days ago I got a bit alarmed as their eyes were still closed. I’ll try the tea bags…one of my little baby is completely fine now while the two other baby girls are much better. I’m gonna do this tomorrow again, and get some antibiotic ointment…thanks a lot ;)

  85. Camie says:

    I have a cat whom just had kittens. It’s been a week I think. There’s three kittens. One’s eyes are fully opened. One has only one eye open, but the one that isn’t is a little crusted. And one’s eyes are both closed. I heard one yelping, so I checked on it. A piece of the crust was hanging off so I scuffed it by the neck and took the crust off. When I did a LOT of pus come out of it’s little eye. I’m so afraid that it’s not normal. Someone let me know something.

  86. Mel says:

    My two kittens are two weeks old today and the last four days I have been cleaning both kitten’s eyes out. Someone at work told me to dab baby Benadryl on my finger and give it to them. Has anyone heard of doing that? I will be trying the tea bag out the next time I clean their eyes out.

  87. Andrea says:

    I read everyone’s posts, and it prompted us to try the tea bags. It seemed to work for the first day. I also read someone’s post about giving them amoxicillin, and within the first day, after treating all five kittens and momma with very small doses, I am pleased to say that they are all wide-eyed and 98% gunk free!!! Thank you for all your suggestions! They have been very helpful! Also, we’re trying coconut oil for fleas. They all got a good covering dose of it today. Momma had some cuts on her body from scratching. She was treated with coconut oil last Wednesday, and I’m happy to say that the cuts are healing nicely and there are no new ones due to fleas.

  88. Becky says:

    The teabag worked wonders. It was an overnight miracle as a matter of fact. There are 6 kittens and I was afraid their eyes would be damaged for sure. To give you an indication of how bad their eyes were…two of the kittens had thick milky drainage coming out of their eyes just by gently touching them around the eye. I tried the lukewarm tea water and clean clothes to clean the eyes out with and the kittens are all fine. No problems whatsoever. I have been keeping a check on them and I do continue to wipe their eyes out on a daily basis with clean tea water. I am very happy to have found this remedy and these kittens are happy too. :)

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