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Kittens are born with their eyes closed. At this stage, they are very helpless, and as they are also unable to hear, they use their powerful sense of smell to navigate the world. Most kittens open their eyes within eight days of being born, while some kittens take as long as two weeks. While a kitten who has not opened its eyes at all within two weeks should be taken to the veterinarian, you can help a kitten that has one eye open but not the other.
Inspect the closed eye. If there is yellow pus oozing from the eye, take the kitten to the veterinarian.
Dampen a cotton ball with warm water.
Wipe at the kitten's eye very gently with the wet cotton ball. This helps remove anything sticky that may be keeping the eye closed.
Take the kitten to the veterinarian if the eye does not open with gentle washing.
- Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images