What Causes Watery Cat Eyes and Do You Have to Visit a Vet?


In case you get up one morning and see that one in all your cat’s eyes looks somewhat odd, you would possibly wonder if it’s something that requires a veterinary visit. What does it mean in case your cat has watery eyes or teary eyes, or in case your cat is squinting or pawing at her eye? We’ve got the inside track on find out how to handle watery cat eyes.

What causes watery cat eyes? Photography ©2002lubava1981 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

First, what causes watery cat eyes?

“Quite a lot of things could possibly be causing your cat to experience excess tearing,” says Ari Zabell, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, director of client advocate support for Banfield Pet Hospital based in Vancouver, Washington. “Generally, it falls into two categories: things that block the conventional flow of tears and things that produce excessive tears.”

In keeping with Dr. Zabell, when things are functioning normally, tears from the eyes drain into the nose. “For this reason your nose runs if you cry,” he says. “This flow could possibly be blocked by various aspects, akin to inflammation, infection, swelling or just the form of your cat’s face. Excessive tears are frequently produced by things that cause inflammation, for instance, infections (bacterial, viral or fungal), allergies, and even something growing into the attention like a tumor and even only a hair.”

Other causes of watery cat eyes include a scratch or injury to the attention, or a foreign body stuck in the attention like a grass seed or tiny little bit of something (just consider how much your personal eye waters when you have got an eyelash caught in between the attention and the lid).

Brachycephalic cats or flat-faced cats usually tend to have issues with watery eyes. Photography ©Bebenjy | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Are some forms of cats and cat breeds predisposed to have watery eyes?

Sometimes, those watery cat eyes might be attributable to the form of the face and eyes. Brachycephalic cats (or flat-faced cats) often experience watery eyes. When a cat has a flat face, a small nose and huge, round eyes, the tears are inclined to spill over the attention rims.

Some cats are also genetically predisposed to producing more tears than other cats. Watery cat eyes and the resulting tear stains (those unsightly brown streaks under the eyes) are common in cat breeds like Exotic Shorthairs, Himalayans and Persians, for example. Normally, this doesn’t harm the cat so long as nothing else is occurring with the attention (at all times check together with your vet to make certain), although you need to commonly wipe the under-eye area to maintain it as clean and dry as possible to forestall skin irritation.

When do watery eyes warrant a visit to the vet?

In case your cat doesn’t generally have watery eyes, but you suddenly notice excessive tearing, visit the veterinarian to resolve things. That is true whether your cat’s eyes have a transparent, watery discharge or a thicker, yellow- or green-colored eye discharge. Other symptoms of watery cat eyes that need vet attention include squinting or blinking, pawing or rubbing at the attention, red or inflamed eye tissue, a cloudy-looking eye, or discharge from the nose in addition to the attention.

“There are various things your veterinarian can do to guage your cat’s eyes, including searching for damage to the structures of the attention (each in and out), measuring the pressures contained in the eye, and assessing the production of tears and the conventional flow of those tears,” Dr. Zabell explains. “After they’ve determined what’s and isn’t normal, they will likely be higher in a position to determine what the underlying cause could be and work with you to develop a treatment plan, as crucial and appropriate.”


In case your cat is diagnosed with a condition that requires medication, your vet might send you home with some eye drops or ointment. Cats will not be at all times essentially the most compliant patients, but your veterinarian or a veterinary technician will show you find out how to successfully administer the medication before you allow the hospital.

”Some general rules include working in a relaxed and quiet area where your cat is less prone to be stressed or distracted; administering medication to your pet on a table as a substitute of the ground; and rewarding your cats before, during and after the treatment, in order that they have positive associations with medication and won’t be quite as prone to hide under your bed before the subsequent treatment,” Dr. Zabell advises.

When using eye drops or ointment, try not to the touch the dropper or tip of the tube to the surface of your cat’s eye. Ointment could be easier to manage than drops, so ask your veterinarian about your options before leaving the appointment.

Thumbnail: Photography ©Maria Diana Gonzales | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

This piece was originally published in 2018.

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