How to raise an orphaned kitten baby

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Orphaned Kitten Care

Eyes and Infections Orphaned Kitty Care

Eye infections are quite common in cats, even indoor kitties can contract them from time to time. They're easy to treat, but if they get out of hand the cat may lose the sight in one or both eyes.

Eye infections, like conjunctivitis (pink eye) in humans, are contagious and need to be monitored. If you notice your cat is closing one eye, if the eyes are runny or weepy and have a greenish/yellowish goop coming from them, make an appointment with your vet.

S/he'll give you an antibiotic ointment and will tell you how to administer it. Make sure you complete the treatment for the recommended number of days!


A change in pupil size may indicate several different medical problems and should not be ignored. Your cat may have a problem with the eye itself such as an inflammation of the iris which may cause the pupil to dilate. A neurological problem such as an inflammation in the brain may also cause uneven pupils. Even a viral infection may cause the changes that you are seeing in your cat. Therefore, please schedule a veterinary examination to determine the cause of the problem and get appropriate treatment.

A kitten winking at you means she trusts you, wink back with both eyes!
A kitten winking at you means she trusts you, wink back with both eyes!

Opening Eyes

A kitten will open their eyes sometime between the second and third week after they are born. On some occasions it may take a bit longer. If the eyes are not opening, there could be a medical reason such as an infection that is preventing the normal opening of the eyelids. If you notice swelling, discharge or odor, then your veterinarian should examine the kitten.

Brown Discharge

A small amount of occasional discharge from the eye is probably normal. If it occurs daily and is fairly copious, that usually indicates some sort of irritation or abnormality of the eye. Therefore a veterinary visit is necessary to determine the cause of the discharge and get the appropriate treatment.

Third eyelid

Cats have an inner, third eyelid, called a nictitating (blinking) membrane or haw, which is located in the lower inside corner of the eye. It serves to protect the eye from dryness and/or damage. Behind the third eyelid are tear and lymphatic glands.

The glands of the third eyelid provide 30 to 60 percent of the watery portion of the tears. Sometimes this third eyelid is more visible than normal and this is called a protrusion of the third eyelid (veterinarians will sometimes call this a “cherry eye”).

It may be the result of damage to the gland or the membrane or as a secondary sign to systemic disease. But, curiously enough, a very happy cat will also show the nictitating membrane. If the third eyelid is red and protruding, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.


If your kitten has discharge from her eyes, she might have an infection. You can try using a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away the discharge, but if it reoccurs either the same day or the next then she should be examined by your veterinarian.


Eye infections in young kittens can be serious, and if left untreated, may result in damage to the eye. The kittens should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.


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