Eyes are of paramount importance for a cat, whose sight is the most honed sense. A cat's vision allows them to spot the smallest of movements, both during the day and night. The cat is perfectly comfortable in the dark, thanks to the tissue that covers the retina which amplifies the night light.
Despite this incredible sharpness, the cat is slightly long-sighted meaning they are able to see things clearly that are far away but not things that are nearer.
Cleaning your cat's eyes is very important to remove ocular secretions that can flow on either side of the chamfer and leave brownish traces. These secretions can also form annoying crusts. Cats with long hair are more prone to irritation as their hair can cause friction and damage the eyes.
A daily clean isn't necessarily needed, except for certain short faced breeds such as the Persian, who are more susceptible to runny eyes.
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How do I clean my cat's eyes?
It is imperative to use a specialised veterinary product. Saline can also do the trick, but never use an ocular solution for humans: the pH is different and could do more harm than good.
To clean, spread your cat's eyelids and pour the liquid in the eye, without touching it. Open and close the eyelids to properly distribute the product, then wipe and repeat the process on the other eye. Do not use cotton: the fibers may stick. To remove deposits from the eye area, wipe with a dry pad first, then dab with a liquid-soaked pad.
If your cat suffers from conjunctivitis, make sure you know the cause of the infection. Conjunctivitis can result from coryza, a viral disease that is transmitted from cat to cat. A veterinary diagnosis will confirm or not the presence of the disease. Conjunctivitis can also be chronic, with several episodes during the year.
Note also that cats can suffer from cataracts. This disease, also common among humans, is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. Surgery is the only way to keep the disease in check.