Can I Use Polysporin Eye drops On My Cat? (Caution)

If you’ve ever had a run-in with pink eye, you know how miserable it can be. The itchiness, the burning, the constant need to rub your eyes…it’s enough to drive anyone crazy.

Now imagine how your poor kitty feels when they come down with conjunctivitis. Their little eyes are sore and swollen, and they can’t even tell you what’s wrong. All they know is that their eyes hurt!

As a pet owner, it’s natural to want to do everything you can to soothe your cat’s discomfort. But before you reach for that bottle of Polysporin, there are a few things you need to know…

What Is Polysporin Eye Drop?

Polysporin eye drop is a type of antibiotic eye drop used to treat bacterial eye infections. It contains two antibiotics, polymyxin B sulfate and bacitracin zinc, which work together to fight against bacteria that cause infections.

Polysporin eye drops are typically used to treat conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye and other types of bacterial eye infections. The drops are applied directly to the affected eye(s) several times a day as directed by a veterinarian or healthcare provider.

What Are The Signs Of Eye Inflammation In Cats?

A variety of factors such as allergies, infections, or irritants can cause eye inflammation in cats. Common signs of eye inflammation in cats include eye discharge (clear, yellow, or green), squinting, blinking a lot, redness, and rubbing at the eyes with their paws. The third eyelid may protrude and cover part of the irritated eye.

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Conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the moist eyeball lining and inner eyelids, is the most common eye infection in cats. Symptoms include redness, swelling, discharge from one or both eyes and crusty build-up around the eyes. If your cat is displaying any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent the infection from becoming more severe and spreading to other pets in your household.

Can I Use Polysporin Eye drops On My Cat?

While Polysporin eye drops can be used to treat eye infections in cats, it is generally not recommended due to the potential risk of a fatal adverse reaction in some cats. A safer choice for bacterial eye infections in cats would be tobramycin or erythromycin.

However, if Polysporin is the only option available, using an artificial tears drop such as Systane or Genteal until a veterinarian can prescribe a more suitable medication is advised.

Ultimately, the decision to use Polysporin on a cat should be made after considering the potential risks and benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Polysporin Eye Drops On Cats?

Using Polysporin Eye Drops on cats can offer several benefits for their eye health. While it is essential to consult with a veterinarian before using any medication on your cat, here are some potential benefits of using Polysporin Eye Drops for cats:

The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

1. Treating bacterial eye infections

Polysporin Eye Drops contain antibiotics, such as polymyxin B sulfate and bacitracin, which can help combat bacterial infections in the eyes. Bacterial eye infections in cats can cause symptoms like redness, discharge, swelling, and discomfort. Polysporin Eye Drops may be prescribed by a veterinarian to help clear up the infection and alleviate these symptoms.

2. Reducing inflammation

In addition to their antibacterial properties, Polysporin Eye Drops may also have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflamed eyes can be caused by various factors, including allergies, irritants, or infections. By reducing inflammation, eye drops can help relieve discomfort and promote healing.

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3. Soothing and lubricating the eyes

Some eye conditions in cats, such as dry eyes or minor irritations, may benefit from the lubricating properties of Polysporin Eye Drops. The drops can provide moisture and help alleviate dryness, itching, and discomfort in the eyes.

4. Promoting healing

Polysporin Eye Drops can support the healing process by providing a clean environment for the eyes. The antibacterial properties of the drops can help prevent further infection and allow the eyes to heal more effectively.

5. Easy application

Polysporin Eye Drops are typically available in convenient dropper bottles, making them easy to administer to cats. The drops can be applied directly to the affected eye, following the veterinarian’s instructions.

Despite the potential benefits, it is crucial to remember that cats have unique physiological differences compared to humans, and some human medications may not be safe or suitable for feline use. It is always essential to consult with a veterinarian before using Polysporin Eye Drops or any other medication on your cat. The veterinarian will evaluate your cat’s condition and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options tailored to your pet’s needs.

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What are the side effects of using Polysporin eye drops on cats?

Using Polysporin eye drops on cats may result in fatal adverse reactions in a small percentage of cats. Some possible side effects include:

  1. Allergic reactions
  2. Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  3. Difficulty breathing
  4. Hives
  5. Severe itching
  6. Rash
  7. Redness
  8. Blistering
  9. Peeling
  10. Burning
  11. Stinging

It is always best to consult with a veterinarian and use a safer choice such as tobramycin or erythromycin if a bacterial eye infection is suspected. If you only have Polysporin, use an artificial tears drop like Systane or Genteal until you can get to a veterinarian for an examination and a more suitable prescription medicine is recommended.

What are the side effects of polysporin eye drops on cats?

How To Use Polysporin Eye Drops On Cats

Step 1: Choose your medication

Polysporin offers two types of eye drops for cats: Polysporin Antibiotic Eye Drops and Polysporin Pink Eye Drops. The Antibiotic Eye Drops are used to treat bacterial infections such as blepharitis and conjunctivitis, while the Pink Eye Drops are specifically formulated to relieve the symptoms of viral conjunctivitis.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best option for your cat’s eye condition.

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Step 2: Read the instructions for use

To properly administer Polysporin eye drops to your cat, always follow the instructions on the label and wash your hands before and after administering the drops.

Step 3: Wash your hands before and after use

It is crucial to wash your hands both before and after administering Polysporin eye drops to your cat. This step is essential to prevent contamination and the spread of infection. Failure to wash your hands can transfer harmful bacteria or viruses from your hands to your cat’s eyes, potentially causing further harm. Remember to wipe the tip of the tube with a clean tissue before recapping it.

Step 4: Give your cat the medication

Administering Polysporin eye drops to your cat requires proper technique and precautions. Before starting, make sure to wash your hands to prevent contamination. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gently clean any debris around your cat’s eyes with warm water and a washcloth.
  2. Approach your cat from behind and gently hold them against your body.
  3. With one hand, lift your cat’s chin so that the eye is more horizontal.
  4. With the other hand, gently pull down the cheek to lower the lid.
  5. Hold the Polysporin eye drop bottle in your dominant hand.
  6. Using whichever hand is most comfortable, apply gentle pressure to open the upper lid.
  7. Squeeze one drop of Polysporin into the eye, but do not let the bottle touch the eye.
  8. Release your cat and let them blink, which will help spread the medication.

Remember that cats may blink frequently or paw at their eye after the medication has been applied. If this persists or if the eye appears more inflamed or red, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Step 5: Use a disposable eye cup

When administering Polysporin eye drops to your cat, it’s important to use a disposable eye cup to ensure proper administration and avoid contamination. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the eye drops and eye cup.
  2. Fill the disposable eye cup with the prescribed amount of eye drops.
  3. Gently tilt your cat’s head back and hold the eye cup against its eye.
  4. Allow the drops to enter the eye by gently squeezing the cup.
  5. Release your cat’s head and discard the disposable eye cup.

Using a disposable eye cup can help ensure the correct amount of medication is administered and minimize the risk of spreading infection.

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Step 6: Wait at least 10 minutes before getting any treatment under the eye

It is important to wait at least 10 minutes before administering any other treatment under the eye after using Polysporin eye drops on cats because allowing sufficient time between medications ensures that the first medication has enough time to be absorbed and take effect.

Administering a second medication too soon may interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of the initial medication. Waiting 10 minutes between medications also reduces the risk of adverse reactions that could occur from combining different medications.

Step 7: Keep out of reach of children and pets

It is crucial to keep Polysporin eye drops out of reach of children and pets after administering them to cats. This medication can be harmful if swallowed, and if someone overdoses or experiences serious symptoms like passing out or trouble breathing, immediate medical attention is required.

It is also important to note that this medication should only be used for the cat’s current condition and any unused medication should be thrown away. Proper storage is also essential, and medications should be kept away from children and pets.

Step 8: Keep a journal of any symptoms that occur while using the drops

It is essential to keep a journal of any symptoms that occur while using Polysporin eye drops on cats. This will help you keep track of any changes or improvements in your cat’s condition, and allow you to provide detailed information to your veterinarian if necessary.

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To organize the journal, consider noting the date, time, and dosage of the medication, as well as any observed symptoms or side effects. A clear and systematic journal can help you and your veterinarian make informed decisions about your cat’s treatment.

Step 9: Follow up with a Vet if necessary

It is crucial to follow up with a veterinarian after using Polysporin eye drops on your cat. While the medication is effective in treating eye infections, it is important to ensure that the infection has been completely eradicated. Failure to do so may lead to a relapse of the infection.

Additionally, if your cat’s condition does not improve in a few days or if you notice any new or worsening symptoms such as discharge, swelling, redness, or pain, it is essential to seek further medical attention. It is recommended to use a concerned and informative tone when discussing the importance of follow-up care with a veterinarian.


Is it safe to use Polysporin Eye Drops on my cat?

While Polysporin eye drops can be used to treat eye infections in cats, it is generally not recommended as a small percentage of cats can have a fatal adverse reaction to this type of medicine. Safer choices for treating bacterial eye infections in cats include tobramycin or erythromycin.

If Polysporin is the only option available, using an artificial tear drop such as Systane or Genteal until a veterinarian can provide a more suitable prescription medicine may be a safer alternative. It is important to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for any eye infection in a cat.

What other treatments are available for my cat’s eye condition?

There are various treatments available for feline eye conditions, and the type of treatment your cat needs will depend on the underlying cause of the infection. Here are some commonly used treatments:

  1. Topical antibiotics: Drops or ointments such as Terramycin or Vetropolycin are often prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the eyelid and conjunctiva.
  2. Oral antibiotics: If the infection is caused by an underlying bacterial infection, your vet may prescribe oral antibiotics like Azithromycin.
  3. Topical corticosteroid drops or ointment: These medications are used to treat inflammation caused by conditions like conjunctivitis, episcleritis, scleritis, pannus, and eosinophilic keratitis.
  4. L-lysine: This supplement may be prescribed to help suppress the symptoms of feline herpes virus infections.
  5. Interferon alpha-2b: This immunomodulatory and antiviral medication may be prescribed to treat viral conditions like Papillomatosis and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

It’s important to note that some treatments may not be suitable for all cats, and your vet will determine the best treatment plan for your cat’s specific condition. Additionally, it’s crucial to follow your vet’s instructions carefully and to complete the full course of treatment, even if your cat appears to be feeling better.

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Finally, it’s important to monitor your cat for any adverse reactions to medications and to report any concerns to your veterinarian.

What should I do if my cat has an allergic reaction to Polysporin Eye Drops?

If you suspect that your cat is having an allergic reaction to Polysporin Eye Drops, discontinue use immediately and contact your veterinarian. Common signs of an allergic reaction in cats include facial swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care right away.

Your veterinarian may recommend an antihistamine or other medication to treat the allergic reaction and alleviate your cat’s discomfort. It is also important to identify the cause of the allergic reaction, which may involve testing for allergies or eliminating potential allergens from your cat’s environment.

In the future, consider using alternative eye drops that are safer for cats, such as tobramycin or erythromycin.

Are there any other products I can use instead of Polysporin Eye Drops for my cat’s eye condition?

According to a licensed veterinarian, using Polysporin Eye Drops for cats is not recommended due to the risk of fatal adverse reactions. Instead, safer alternatives for treating bacterial eye infections in cats include tobramycin or erythromycin eye drops. If you only have Polysporin, using artificial tear drops such as Systane or Genteal can help until you can take your cat to the veterinarian for a suitable prescription.


As a general rule, it is not recommended to use any medication on your pet without consulting a licensed veterinarian first. Even if the medication is safe for humans, it may not be safe or effective for animals. Therefore, it is crucial to seek professional advice before administering any medication to your cat, including Polysporin Eye Drops. Always prioritize your pet’s health and well-being by seeking the guidance of a qualified veterinarian.

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