Help! My Cat’s Eye Watering! Causes & 5 Remedies To Try

Have you noticed that your cat’s eyes are a little more watery and runny than normal? Don’t worry, your cat’s not emotionally compromised.
 
Unlike us humans, cats cannot really cry. If you’ve noticed your kitty’s teary eyes, that means the tear film, or the coating around your cat’s eyes, is doing its job of keeping your cat’s eyes healthy.
 
It helps to keep any debris from irritating your cat’s eyes, maintain moisture in the eyes, provide nutrients and fight bacteria.
 
The watery discharge is a sign that your cat is fighting off a threat to their health. This can vary from something pretty common to being potentially serious. In this post, I’ll give you an insight on what these possible causes are and how you could respond.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is the medical term for when the inner part of your cat’s eyelids have irritated membranes. It’s also more commonly known as ‘pink eye’. This is the most common eye problem for cats. It’s so common and contagious that you must rule this out first before moving on to other possible causes for your cat’s eyes watering.
 
Let’s have a closer look at conjunctivitis to see if this is the reason for your cat tearing up.

Symptoms

  • Inflamed and red eye tissue, can affect one or both eyes
  • Watery discharge

Causes

  • Feline viral respiratory infections
  • Hereditary: your cat may have been born with excessive tear production or without a proper drainage system for their tears
  • Physical trauma: could happen when your cat has gotten injured in a fight or by other means
  • Feline herpes virus: can get aggravated by stress

Treatment and Prevention

Pink eye can clear up without much intervention, unless it’s the herpes related kind. In this case, you can get your cat a vaccine to help ease the symptoms. Cats with feline herpes virus are infected for life, but the vaccine, along with some prescribed antibiotics and antiviral drugs can help reduce flare ups and ease your cat’s discomfort.

Infection

If conjunctivitis has been ruled out, your vet can consider checking if your cat has an infection. You’ll see that the symptoms vary depending on the type of infection that your cat is probably dealing with. The good thing is this can be healed relatively easily.

Symptoms

  • Sticky or yellow discharge
  • Clear mucus or green or yellow mucus

Causes

  • If the mucus is clear, it’s most likely caused by a viral infection
  • Yellow or green mucus can mean that the infection is of a bacterial nature

Treatment and Prevention

Viral infections can clear up after a week or two, while bacterial infections may require an antibiotic in eye drop or ointment form to heal. Vaccinations are also available to help your cat avoid common viruses that can cause their watery eyes.

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Allergy

Like us humans, cats are also susceptible to getting allergies. If this is the reason why your cat’s eyes are watering, then you have to determine what their allergen is and avoid exposing them to it, as well as treat them accordingly.

Possible Causes

  • Grass
  • Pollen
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Some fabrics
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Medicine
  • Dust
  • Flea-control products
  • Perfume
  • Cleaning products

Treatment and Prevention

Your vet can prescribe an antihistamine and tell you to reduce your cat’s exposure to the allergen that will be pinpointed as the cause for the allergy.

Nature

This one is pretty much unavoidable if your cat’s breed really is susceptible to tearing up. However, it can be accompanied by other health issues that may need to be addressed on their own.

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Symptoms

  • Flowy tears
  • Stained fur
  • Irritated or inflamed skin

Treatment and Prevention

You can ask your vet for a product that will treat these stains and affected skin. Some products on the market have non-FDA approved ingredients, so watch out for those. The staining can also be resolved by wiping around your cat’s eyes with hydrogen peroxide, as long as you make sure you’re not getting it into their eyes.

Eye Ulcer

This one is pretty serious and needs immediate attention from your vet. Don’t worry, as this cause for eye watering can be easily determined by the other distinctive symptoms that your cat may be exhibiting.

Symptoms

  • Watery eyes
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Head rubbing
  • Squinting

Causes

  • Blow to the head
  • Scratched eye
  • Infection
  • Exposure to chemicals

Treatment and Prevention

If you suspect that your cat has an eye ulcer, bring them to the vet immediately. If it isn’t treated right away, your cat can be in danger of losing their sight. Keep your cat away from other animals that can pose a danger to them and cause trauma to their eyes.

Epiphora

This is a certain condition that causes an abnormal amount of tears to overflow from your cat’s eyes.

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Symptoms

  • Overflowing tears
  • Face staining
  • Drainage of tears
  • Squinting
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Red and irritated eyes
  • Discharge
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Loose or saggy skin around the eyes

Causes

  • Eye shape of certain breeds
  • Abnormally large eyelid opening
  • Congenital: distichiasis (turning in of the lashes)
  • Congenital: entropion (turning in of the eyelid, affecting either the upper or lower lids, can be since birth or caused by post traumatic scarring or facial nerve paralysis)
  • Absence of eyelid in some breeds
  • Rhinitis or sinusitis
  • Trauma or fracture of facial bones

Treatment and Prevention

Depending on the cause of the irritation, your vet may take measures  to resolve it. This can be done through surgical procedures. Most of these are best done early on to avoid any complications. Medications will also be prescribed depending on the diagnosis and treatment plan for your cat.

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