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Cat Scratched Your Eye? Here’s What to Do!

Nicole Cosgrove

Most of the time, cats will not scratch people unless they are provoked or frightened, but accidents happen occasionally. Rough play with your kitten or cat can easily result in scratches, which can be rather nasty, especially in sensitive areas like your eye.

If your cat has scratched your eye, you’ll need to act quickly, even if it’s just your eyelid that got scratched. Cats can carry bacteria under their claws that can quickly cause infections in even the smallest scratches, so if your cat has scratched your eyeball, this can quickly get serious.

If you or someone you know has been scratched in the eye by a cat, follow these listed steps.

What to do after a cat scratches your eye

These methods can help with a scratched eye, but no matter the severity of the scratch, we highly recommend seeing an eye doctor as soon as possible to make sure there is no permanent damage or chance of infection.

1. Rinse your eye

The first step after getting scratched in the eye by your cat is to clean it thoroughly. Use either a mild saline solution or warm, clean water to rinse it. Saline is preferable because it can help keep bacteria from taking hold. Make sure your eye is wide open, and wash it out with the water solution for 1 or 2 minutes.

wash little boy face
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Blinking

It may hurt at first, but once you’ve rinsed your eye out, try to keep blinking. This will help remove any leftover dirt and bacteria from your eye and assist in preventing infection. After the initial discomfort, blinking will actually provide relief once the dirt and debris have been removed and may help soothe the pain.

You can also try pulling your upper eyelid over your lower eyelid to help remove dirt. Your lower eyelashes can act like a brush and help remove any debris stuck underneath your top eyelid.


3. Don’t rub your eye!

No matter how tempting it may be, try to avoid rubbing your eye because this can easily make the situation worse. Scratches from cats can get extremely itchy, and this can be super frustrating when the injury is in your eye. Unfortunately, you’ll need to bear with the itch and avoid rubbing your eye as much as possible.

Also, do not patch your eye. Bacteria thrive in warm, dark places, so infection can set in quicker with a patch.

Man resting eyes
Image Credit: Pixabay

4. Avoid eyedrops

You may be tempted to use redness-relieving eyedrops to help with the pain, but this is not a good idea. These types of eye drops are not meant for open wounds and will likely cause a great deal of pain should you try them. It’s far better to wait until you can see a doctor, as they will be able to prescribe soothing eye drops meant for injuries.

You should also avoid putting in contacts if you use them because they can also cause further damage. Glasses are the best bet; otherwise, get a friend or relative to help you drive. It’s a great idea to put on a pair of sunglasses for the trip to help with light sensitivity too.


5. Go see a doctor

No matter the severity of your scratch, we highly recommend going to see a doctor for proper treatment. Small, surface scratches will not need much attention and will usually heal after few days. A serious scratch is potentially dangerous, though, and you don’t want to take any risks when it comes to your vision. If the scratch is not treated properly, it can easily result in infection and cause a partial loss of eyesight. Your doctor will be able to assess the severity of the scratch and prescribe a proper remedy, likely in the form of antibiotic eye drops or other prescription steroid eyedrops and even oral antibiotics.

Related Read: How to Stop a Cat from Scratching Your Couch

Final Thoughts

No matter how light the scratch may seem, we highly recommend seeing a doctor if your cat has scratched the inside of your eye. Infection can happen so quickly, and when it comes to your vision, it’s far better to be safe than sorry. Before rushing out to the doctor, follow these steps to make things easier and help prevent infection from setting in.

If you’re looking to give your cat something to scratch other than your eyeball, we recommend one of these great cat scratching posts!


Featured Image Credit: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.