Kitten Care 101: Tips for Eyes, Ears and Teeth

If your kitten is tearing excessively or has a gooey discharge around his eyes, visit your veterinarian.

Your new kitten's socialization begins as soon as you bring him home. Along with acclimating your kitten to having his hair brushed — and being bathed — you need to get him used to having his ears, eyes and teeth checked and cared for. Not only is this important for future grooming but for present and future trips to the veterinarian.


Healthy eyes require very little attention except to use a moist cloth to clean away any crusts that may accumulate overnight. But some kittens may develop conjunctivitis. The discharge may be so profuse that it makes the lids stick together. If this happens, you will need to take the kitten to his veterinarian for treatment. Timely vaccinations can help prevent some causes of conjunctivitis.

Healthy kitten eyes are wide open, free of discharge, with a moist, glistening surface. The pupils appear round in dim light and look like vertical slits in bright light. If your kitten is pawing at his eyes, squinting, holding one or both eyelids shut, blinking or tearing excessively, or has unequal pupils, he needs to be seen by his veterinarian.

If you need to apply eyedrops, wait until the kitten is drowsy and then tip his head back and place the drops or ointment in the inner corner of the infected eye (or eyes). Follow with a treat immediately.

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