Q. What can I do if my cat’s eye is red and squinting?
Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, D.V.M., says: A red, squinting eye is painful, so your cat may be reluctant to have you look at it. If you have saline eye drops available, you can attempt to flush the eye. However, a veterinarian should examine the cat to determine the specific cause. This often requires staining the eye, measuring tear production, applying a topical anesthetic so the eye can be better examined and the lids probed, and using an ophthalmoscope, or special lense, to look at deeper layers of the eye. Conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, ocular foreign bodies, uveitis and trauma are all possible causes. Once your veterinarian determines the cause, he or she can recommend appropriate treatment. Cats tend to rub an uncomfortable eye, which can potentially damage the eye further, so you may need to use a protective Elizabethan collar.
Reprinted from Ask the Vet About Cats © 2003. Permission granted by BowTie Press.