If your cat's eyes are looking sore and inflamed you may be tempted to use Neosporin as a way to fight an eye infection, but using Neosporin on your cat's eyes could lead to some serious consequences. It's never a good idea to use medications designed for human use on cats without first consulting your veterinarian.
What is Neosporin?
Neosporin and Neosporin Ophthalmic are common treatments frequently found in the first aid kits of families across the country.
- Neosporin topical ointment is a common treatment for cuts and scrapes which found in many people's first aid kits. Neosporin topical ointment and similar triple antibiotic ointments are designed to help fight infection in humans and contain 3 active ingredients; neomycin, polymyxin B, and bacitracin.
- Neosporin Ophthalmic eye drops are specially formulated to treat bacterial eye infections in humans and contain a combination of gramicidin, neomycin, and polymyxin B ophthalmic.
Although both of these treatments are very effective in treating humans, they are not approved for use on cats or recommended for use on cats!
Why not use Neosporin to treat my cat's eye infection?
The simple truth is that cats are biologically different from humans in countless ways. Many medications that people reach for on a regular basis can be extremely toxic to our feline friends. Not only that, the compact size of house cats means that even small amounts of a toxic substance can cause severe reactions in cats.
One of the active ingredients in Neosporin (and other triple antibiotic treatments) called Polymyxin B has been linked to anaphylaxis and death in cats. Although such reactions are rare, the majority of these cases have been linked to the ophthalmic products administered to cats to treat eye infections.
Caring for Your Cat's Eyes
If your cat is showing signs of an eye infection call your vet to book an examination. There are a host of causes of eye issues in cats, getting the right treatment for your cat as quickly as possible could help to prevent complications from occurring down the road, and may help to preserve your pet's eyesight.