Can You Use Human Eyedrops on Cats?

By Betty Lewis

If you have a rough night's sleep or overdo it the night before, it's easy to dip into the medicine chest for some eyedrops to clear up your eyes. However, if it's your cat's eyes, it's a different story. Don't be tempted to use your own eyedrops on your cat if her eyes are red, inflamed or irritated. Instead, make an appointment with the vet so you can learn what's up.

The Vet's Eyes for Your Cat's Eyes

It's risky to use human medication on your cat, especially if you don't know what's ailing her. When there's something not quite right with her eyes -- they're red, swollen or are emitting a discharge -- it could be for any number of reasons, including serious illness, infection or injury. At worst, an over-the-counter eyedrop runs the risk of damaging her delicate eyes because it's the wrong medication for her condition and at best, she's delayed in getting proper treatment. If you want to give her a little relief until you see the vet, gently dab at her eyes with a warm, moist cloth.

Cat Meds for Cat's Eyes

The vet will prescribe appropriate medication -- and there's a wide range to choose from, including ointments and drops to produce tears, decrease swelling, treat infections and relieve pain. If this is a repeat performance and you want to use some old medication to clear up things, do a double check: once with your vet to make sure it is appropriate and once for the expiration date to ensure it's still a good, effective product.