I just found a shivering little stray kitten on the inside of air conditioned building and thought it must be feeling cold so I took out in the sun and then ended up just bringing it home.

Its eyes are weird and seem to be covered up with something. Please take a look at the image below.

Graphic image. Click the box below to reveal at your own discetion.

cat with covered eyes

cat with covered eyes (close-up)

Is it blind, or infected? I don't have easy access to a vet's place for now! So any cat-expert opinions? If it's an infection, is there any way to help it cure at its own pace, using honey maybe? (The way that honey helps cure cough/cold-type infections with humans too).

What should I do with this kitten? And it's really dirty but I'm afraid to give it a bath because it was shivering back in the building and if it has a cold I don't want it to die of it.


I wasn't able to get to any vet immediately so I tried to heal her at home. And then she started improving. It turned out it really was a lot of dirt and a bad infection. I carefully patted it with a wet cloth and gently rubbed it off. But her eyes kept forming strands of pus and kept filling up quickly with it.

I searched online and found the following to be very effective:

  • Warm compress. Hold a warm washcloth against the eyes for 2-3 minutes.
  • Honey-water saline solution. Mix a teaspoon of honey with a tablespoon of water. Then add a pinch of salt. Apparently if honey isn't available, milk can be used as a substitute, although not nearly as good. Anyway I used honey and the kitten's eyes got much better, she had longer periods of time without pus forming in her eyes. Then we found antibacterial eye drops and her eyes really cleaned up after that. Here's a close-up of her eyes after 5-6 days:

enter image description here

Sorry for the bad picture, it was clearer in real life but I'm not much good at taking photos.

So as you can see, she seemed fine! With her eyes alright, and her general physical health seeming to be improved (because she had started eating more and was taking calculated leaps around the house), I was planning to drop her back around the area where I found her, basically a few blocks down from my house.

But then tragedy struck... I don't know what went wrong. She didn't eat much one day, and when we checked on her the next morning, she was so exhausted and panting she couldn't hold her head up straight. We tried to get emergency contacts to the nearest vet. There was one, but office hours hadn't started yet. And she died before we could get there.

It was really sad. I don't know what went wrong. Someone in my family (not knowing that kittens are sensitive) put her in the shower for a couple of minutes the day before she died. But we dried her immediately after that and she seemed alright too, all fluffy and fine and sitting around with us.

Maybe she was already ill and suffering from something... Or can a kitten really die from a shower?

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    It looks like really bad conjunctivitis but I am not a vet...You should take it to a vet as soon as possible, and if you can't afford it, tell them that...I doubt they will turn you away. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 17:43
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    that's pretty brutal. I strongly recommend going to a vet. Seconding @DavidWilkins's advice, most vets (and humans) are soft-hearted, they don't want to see animals suffer. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 22:29
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    @user961627 Sorry to hear about what happened. From your update it sounds like you have a different question. It would be appreciated if you asked as a new question, that way your original question (and answers) don't get changed. You don't have to retype everything, just link to this question in your new one as the background information, and ask your question.
    – Spidercat
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 17:27
  • This is so sad :( looks like an upper respiratory infection which can be fatal when not treated in kittens. Please in future if you find an animal that is clearly suffering, seek veterinary help immediately! It looks like she needed some painkillers and the correct diagnoses/treatment may have saved her life
    – Kate
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 17:33
  • What you did was basically what kitty was doing with better equipment to clean the area a bit better than kitty. Which means the bacteria was in the blood. Antibiotics would of been the only thing that would of cleared it up unless it was feline leukemia or the other fatal viruses. Poor thing. Although it was a kitten it probably never got any shots which leads tommy things kitty could of had. The vet or like the others suggested free vets they also have at the store "tractor Supplies" an inexpensive vets phone number plus once a week the vet comes to the store. They do in our area. I guess ch
    – Vivian
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 11:53

4 Answers 4


Dude, don't try to treat that cat yourself, no matter what the advice you get on here. Get it to a vet as soon as you can, or find someone else who can. It looks pretty bad (a lot worse than "encrusted dirt and dust").

I realize you are trying to help the poor guy - and I applaud you for that - but please be careful to be sure you are doing more good than harm (and really, only a vet can tell you that). A little sustenance (water and a small amount of wet cat food) I'm sure is good, but beyond that, get him to a pro.

Also, shivering/tremors can be caused by things other than being cold, so take caution overheat him if he feels warm. Also, don't listen to me - I'm not a vet! :)


Still hard to tell from the pictures and I wouldn't be able to just diagnose in any event (I'm not a vet), but it does look a bit like encrusted dirt and dust (I don't think that's what it is, just looks like it) from the photo. However, there are a few things I think you should do:

  1. Give the kitten access to water, a shallow bowl would be ideal.
  2. Go out and pick up some wet cat food if you haven't already and make some available to her/him.
  3. Put down some blankets or towels on the floor for her to lie on and maybe snuggle into.

As soon as you can contact a vet, make arrangements to see them. Many vets will treat strays for free and, failing that, the humane society or similar (I'm not sure where you are) can often help if you don't have the funds to treat her yourself.

As an aside, you can check on the eyesight by moving your finger in front of the cat and seeing if her eyes follow you. They look pretty bad, but not being able to tell what's going on, I can only really suggest a vet needs to look. If she does lose her eyesight, she can still have a good life, you'd just need to be very careful with furniture moving on her going forward.

  • 1
    You could also try some vitiman E or Antibacterial eye ointment... but it looks bad enough that I agree with John that the kitty really needs the help of a vet. Contact a local shelter and see if they can point you to a vet that is willing to work with rescues for free or low cost if that is the issue.
    – Critters
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 13:12
  • The anti-bacterial worked... see my update. Unfortunately I think she died of something else...
    – user961627
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 21:03

I concur with all the answers that say "take this cat to the vet, do not try to treat this on your own". The pictures are poor quality -but- to me it looks like some kind of infection.

I would also say: quarantine this cat, do not let it near other cats until this medical problem is taken care of, and have a vet give it a general exam (in addition to finding out and treating this problem) this cat could have any number of diseases that could prove detrimental or fatal to another cat.

Before you touch any other cat make sure you've washed your hands really well... and probably just avoid other cats for the time being (you could carry germs on your clothing or if you don't wash your hands well enough on your skin).

Thank you for your looking after this cat.


(Sorry for my bad english, I'm just learning it). Poor little boy! Please take him to a vet as soon as possible. But until then... Its eyes seem to be infected (something really common in kittens, that greyish green mucus is bacteria). You can clean its eyes with a bit of warm chamomile tea (WITHOUT sugar or honey, of course). Just soak a clinical cotton ball in the tea and gently and carefully rub its eyes, from inside to outside, so you can clean them. You can rub its hair with a sightly (very sightly) wet towel to clean its hair, but avoid giving it a bath for now. Once it's clean, keep it into a warm and soft lightened place and (as someone earlier suggested) give it access to water, kitten food, and a blanket or something it could use as a bed. It can be sick, so handle it with care, and wash your hands before and after touching it. And congratulations, you have a very kind heart.

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