Categories: Uncategorized

Newborn kitten’s eyes not opening after 14 days

by Daisy Duke
(Stevenage, UK)

My nan has a cat that gave birth to 5 beautiful kittens 2 weeks ago. That same day, 3 died. There were two left. They were healthy and feeding well. Unfortunately, one of them died.

The reasoning is unknown. The one that is still alive is living well now, 2 weeks on. It is learning to walk, and it is feeding VERY well.

The only problem is that it hasn’t opened its eyes yet. I have done some research. It is said that normally, depending on the type of cat, they open there eyes between 5-8 days since the birth.

If not, 10-14 days. It has been 14 days and still hasn’t opened its eyes. I think the gunk may be keeping the eyes from opening. I am not completely sure.

If the gunk is keeping the eyes from opening, what can I do?


Hi Daisy… thanks for visiting and asking. You are correct that a newborn kitten’s eyes open at about 10 – 12 days of age.

Before they open there is a closed space behind the eyelid that can become infected if bacteria has entered the bloodstream or via small scratches around the eyes.

If the eyelids bulge this is probably the case. You refer to “gunk” keeping the eyelid closed so this indicates that this is what has happened.

Feline herpes virus can cause neonatal infectious conjunctivitis. “Neonatal” means relating to newborn. The mother transmits it to the offspring.

If this is the case the eyelids must be “teased open”1. The doctors suggest using a toothpick but great care should be exercised.

This allows the pus to drain. If left there could be permanent damage to the eyes. Once drained the eyes should be flushed with “boric acid eyewash” or a sterile opthalmic irrigation solution. This can be bought at Boots for example. Then the eye should be medicated with antibiotic drops 4x daily1.

This is quite complicated so a visit to the vet is definitely indicated. Or at least a phone call for further advice. Sorry. I wish you and the kitten the very best of luck.


Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook by Drs Carlson and Giffin page 133 – 134.

From Newborn kitten’s eyes not opening after 14 days to Cat Health Problems

Click here to post comments.

Simply click here to return to Cat Health Problems Submissions.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Fed on cat food and “caged” for 26 years, attractive 42-year-old woman looks young for her age

Nadezhda Bushueva's mother, Tatyana (a pensioner), forced her daughter to live off cat food while she caged her at her…

3 hours ago

Domestic cats: relationship versus ownership

The quality of a person's cat caretaking depends upon whether the person regards themselves as an owner of cats or…

8 hours ago

Women are less likely to swipe right on men with cats – observations

I would like to make some observations about the Colorado State University's study of 708 straight women aged between 18-24…

12 hours ago

Gentle interactions between toddlers and cats are charming

It is time for a bit of cuteness and charm. This video has both and it is also instructional. I…

13 hours ago

This man needs a taste of his own medicine after he terrifies his cat causing him to pee

This is not hot off the press news (11th March 2020) but it is interesting and sad from a number…

24 hours ago

Do cats get frustrated?

I am referring to domestic cats. Two well-known experts on cat behaviour have more or less made presumptions that domestic…

1 day ago