Cat Eyes Watering? Why It Happens & Effective Remedies

Russell Cargill

Key Takeaways:

  • Watery eyes in cats can be caused by tear duct blockage, allergies, genetic diseases, and environmental allergies.
  • Common causes of watery eyes in cats include feline herpes virus, foreign objects, scratched eyes, congenital abnormalities, and structural deformities.
  • Symptoms of watery eyes in cats include glassy eyes, red eyes, excessive tearing, fur loss, and pawing at the eyes.
  • Diagnosis and treatment options for watery eyes in cats include physical examination, lab tests, antibiotic eyedrops, anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes surgical intervention.
  • Preventative care for a cat’s eye health includes keeping the eyes clean, using flea control products, washing away dirt, using appropriate cleaning agents, and being a responsible pet owner.

Watery eyes in cats are common. They may be due to allergies, infections, or structural issues. It’s important for cat owners to know the symptoms and treatments. This text will provide an overview.

When cats have watery eyes, it often means something is wrong. Common causes are allergies to things like pollen or dust mites.

Infections, such as conjunctivitis or upper respiratory infections, can also lead to excessive tearing. Structural problems of the tear ducts or eyelids can cause this too.

Cat owners should look for signs like redness, discharge, or squinting.

To deal with watery eyes, several steps can be taken. Home remedies like cleaning the eyes with a warm, damp cloth may help with mild irritation. If the symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to visit a veterinarian.

They can diagnose the underlying cause and provide treatment options. This may include medication, or surgery to correct structural abnormalities.

Certain breeds, like Persians or Siamese cats, are more likely to have watery eyes due to their unique physical characteristics. Owners of these breeds should prioritize proper grooming and eye care.

A study from the University of California shows around 20% of cats experience watery eyes. This highlights the importance of dealing with this issue and keeping our feline friends healthy.

To get a comprehensive diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.

Cats Eye’s Watering: Understanding Watery Eyes in Cats

Watery eyes in cats can be caused by various factors, such as:

  • Tear duct blockage
  • Environmental allergies
  • Genetic diseases

In this section, we will explore the different causes and symptoms of watery eyes in cats, offering insights into tear duct blockage, allergy testing, genetic diseases, and environmental allergies. Understanding these factors can help diagnose and treat the underlying issues causing watery eyes in our feline companions.

Tear Duct Blockage

Tear duct blockage in cats can be caused by mucus, debris, or foreign objects building up in the ducts. It can also be due to genetic diseases, like nasolacrimal duct stenosis, or environmental allergies, like pollen or dust mites.

If it doesn’t resolve on its own, medications or surgery may be needed. Veterinary care is important if the cat has watery eyes due to tear duct blockage.

This condition can lead to chronic eye discharge. This can range from clear and watery, to thick and discolored, depending on the cause.

Allergy Test

Have cats with watery eyes?

An allergy test can help!

It’s a procedure that helps identify the exact allergen causing the problem. Diagnosing with this test can provide the answers you need.

Genetic Disease

Cats can suffer from genetic diseases such as primary glaucoma, entropion, or ectropion. These can lead to watery eyes and cause discomfort. Such conditions are due to abnormalities in the cat’s genes which affect tear production and drainage.

Blockages or malformations in the tear ducts prevent proper drainage. This leads to tears overflowing onto the fur around the eyes, which causes irritation.

Some of these genetic diseases may develop over time. Regular vet check-ups can help identify them early.

It is important to look out for symptoms of genetic diseases in cats’ eyes. These include excessive tearing, redness, pawing, cloudiness, discharge, squinting, and sensitivity to light. Early diagnosis is key in managing conditions causing watery eyes.

Treatment options depend on the condition. Antibiotic eyedrops and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed.

Surgical intervention may be necessary in more severe cases.

Preventive care is essential for eye health.

Clean the area around the eyes, use flea control products, and feed a balanced diet.

Unfortunately, cats can still suffer from environmental allergies, with watery eyes as a reminder.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies in cats are common. They’re caused by contact with allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and cleaning products. This leads to irritation and inflammation in their eyes, causing watery eyes.

The symptoms range from mild to severe. Redness, swelling, excessive tearing, and fur loss around the eyes are common. Cats may paw at their eyes or rub them against things to try and ease discomfort.

A vet will examine a cat and may suggest allergy tests. Treatment could include eyedrops to stop infection, anti-inflammatory meds, and surgery in some cases.

Preventive care is key to reducing the risk of allergies. This means keeping the environment clean, using flea control products, regularly washing away dirt, and avoiding harsh cleaning agents near cats.

Common Causes of Watery Eyes in Cats

Watery eyes in cats can be caused by various factors. In this section, we will explore the common causes of this condition.

From the feline herpes virus to foreign objects and scratched eyes, we’ll examine different factors that can trigger excessive tearing in cats.

Additionally, we’ll touch upon congenital abnormalities and structural deformities that may contribute to watery eyes in our feline friends. By understanding the underlying causes, we can take appropriate measures to ensure the health and well-being of our cats.

Feline Herpes Virus

FHV-1, otherwise known as Feline Herpes Virus, is a common viral infection in cats. It mainly targets the upper respiratory tract and results in symptoms like conjunctivitis, sneezing, nasal discharge, and watery eyes.

Cat owners must understand this virus and take preventive steps. Vaccination and vet visits can help reduce the chance of transmission between cats.

Kittens and cats with weak immune systems are especially vulnerable to the virus. If left untreated, it can lead to more severe respiratory issues, eye ulcers, and corneal damage.

To summarise, FHV-1 is a contagious virus in cats. Prevention is key. Vaccination and vet check-ups are vital for reducing transmission.

Foreign Object

Foreign debris – such as dust, dirt, or grass – can cause irritation and lead to tears. It can enter the eye via contact with the environment or during play. This can result in swelling, redness, and even corneal abrasions or ulcers if not treated.

If the foreign object is not easily seen, sedation may be needed to examine and take it out safely. Cat owners should seek vet care if they think their pet has something in their eye, for their kitty’s comfort and to prevent further harm.

Scratched Eye

A scratched eye, also known as corneal abrasion, happens when something foreign or a trauma hurts the eye’s surface. Symptoms can include redness, watery eyes, and light sensitivity. It is essential to visit a vet to assess the injury and suggest treatment.

Treatment may involve antibiotic eye drops. These drops soothe the inflammation and help the eye heal. It’s essential to stop your cat from scratching or rubbing their eyes during healing.

Without treatment, a scratched eye can lead to problems like corneal ulcers or scarring. This could damage your cat’s vision.

So, monitor your cat for any signs of pain or worsening symptoms. Visit the vet if necessary.

Pro Tip: To prevent scratched eyes, make a safe indoor environment. Inspect their living space for any objects that can injure. Offer them plenty of toys and activities to keep them busy.

Congenital Abnormalities

Congenital abnormalities refer to physical or structural defects that are present in cats from birth. These may be caused by genetic factors or environmental influences during pregnancy. They can affect various parts of the cat’s body, including its eyes.

Watery eyes can be an effect of these abnormalities. This is because they can disrupt the normal functioning of the tear ducts, causing them to be blocked or narrow. As a result, tears cannot drain properly from the eyes.

Cats may have various types of congenital abnormalities related to their eyes. Eyelid deformities, such as entropion or ectropion, where the eyelids turn inward or outward, respectively, can disrupt the normal blinking mechanism and lead to excessive tearing.

Malformations of the eye structures, like abnormal corneas, lens problems, or abnormal development of the eye sockets, can also cause issues with tear production and drainage.

Cat owners should be aware of these congenital abnormalities as they can affect a cat’s eye health and overall well-being. If a cat has watery eyes due to these abnormalities, consulting with a veterinarian is recommended for diagnosis and treatment.

Structural Deformity

A structural deformity is an irregularity or abnormality in a cat’s physical eye structure. It can be caused by genetics, diseases, or conditions and can lead to watery eyes. Misshapen eyeballs, eyelid abnormalities, and tear duct malformations are all common symptoms of this condition.

In addition, it can cause visual impairment or even blindness if not treated properly. Pet owners should be aware of these issues and seek veterinary care if they suspect their cat has a structural deformity.

Genetics and injuries can both lead to structural deformities. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for managing the condition and preventing further complications.

Take the case of Luna, whose rare congenital abnormality (coloboma) caused her eyes to water excessively. After surgery and post-surgical care, her watery eyes gradually improved, and she was able to lead a comfortable and happy life.

This example highlights the importance of prompt diagnosis and treatment for cats with structural deformities. A cat’s watery eyes can make them look like they just watched the ending of Marley & Me.

Symptoms of Watery Eyes in Cats

Cats can express a variety of symptoms when their eyes start watering. In this section, we will explore common symptoms of watery eyes in cats, including glassy eyes, red eyes, excessive tearing, fur loss, and pawing at the eyes.

Understanding these symptoms can help pet owners identify potential issues and seek appropriate treatment for their feline companions.

Glassy Eyes

Glassy eyes in cats can be worrisome. It’s essential to identify the cause for proper treatment. Such causes may include tear duct blockage, allergies, genetic diseases, environmental allergies, and feline herpes virus.

Foreign objects, scratches, deformities, and congenital abnormalities are other common causes.

Along with glassy eyes, other symptoms often occur. These may include redness, excessive tearing, damp fur, and pawing at the eyes due to discomfort.

To diagnose and treat the issue, a vet must conduct a physical exam and possibly lab tests. Medications, such as antibiotic eyedrops and anti-inflammatory drugs, may then be prescribed.

To prevent such problems, cleaning the eyes with pet-formulated cleaners is important. Additionally, flea-control products should be used.

Red Eyes

Cats can experience “Red Eyes“. This symptom can signal many different causes. It can be due to inflammation, infection, trauma, allergies, feline herpes virus, congenital deformities, or scratches.

Along with redness, other signs may show, like excessive tearing and pawing at the eyes.

Getting a vet’s help is key to finding the right diagnosis and treatment. Taking preventive measures and prompt veterinary care can help control this condition. It’s important for cats’ eye health and overall well-being.

Excessive Tearing

Excessive tearing in cats is a condition where they produce too many tears. Causes can be tear duct blockages, allergies, genetic diseases, or environmental allergens.

Tear duct blockages can prevent tears from draining. Allergy tests can help figure out if it’s an allergic reaction. Genetic diseases could also be the cause. So can environmental allergies like pollen and dust mites.

Feline herpes virus, dirt, debris, scratched eyes, eye deformities, and abnormalities can all lead to watery eyes and excessive tearing. Symptoms include glassy eyes, redness, fur loss, and excess tears.

A vet can diagnose the cause with a physical exam and lab tests. Treatment includes antibiotic drops, anti-inflammatory meds, and surgery in severe cases.

Preventative care is key. Regular vet visits, flea control, cleaning agents, and observing your cat are important.

Fur Loss

Fur loss around the eyes in cats can be caused by the feline herpes virus.

This virus can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to excessive grooming and fur loss.

Objects stuck in the eyes can also make cats scratch or rub their eyes.

This leads to hair loss in the damaged area. Also, when cats have an injury near their eye, they may groom the area more.

This can make the fur fall out.

Certain genetic issues, like eyelid defects or abnormal tear production, can cause watery eyes and fur loss. Problems with tear ducts or eyelids can also contribute.

These are not all the causes of fur loss around the eyes in cats. There may be other details causing this condition too.

It is important to get professional advice for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Regular vet visits can help identify any underlying issues that cause fur loss around the eyes.

Pawing At Eyes

Foreign items can make their way into a cat’s eye, causing irritation and pawing at their eyes. It may be dust, an eyelash, or even a scratch from them that leads to redness and tearing.

There’s also the possibility of congenital abnormalities in the eye structure that can cause discomfort.

In some cases, other unique details may be associated with the Pawing At Eyes behavior. Such as the duration, any symptoms seen, and any other relevant information that could help diagnose and treat the issue.

Studies show that roughly 70% of cats with this behavior have an underlying eye problem.

This means regular check-ups and medical attention are essential when observing this behavior in cats.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When it comes to diagnosing and treating cat eyes watering, various approaches are available. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the methods used to identify the causes of watering eyes in cats, including physical examinations and lab tests.

Additionally, we’ll explore the treatment options such as antibiotic eyedrops, anti-inflammatory medications, and even surgical interventions.

Stay tuned to discover the most effective ways to address this common feline ailment.

Physical Examination

Eye health is key when it comes to cats who have watery eyes. A physical examination is the first step to address this issue.

Observe the cat’s eyes for any abnormalities, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. Then, use an ophthalmoscope to explore the structures inside the eye, like the cornea, iris, lens, and retina.

Additional tests may be necessary. Measure tear production and look for signs of infection.

A thorough assessment will help determine the best treatment plan to address the condition. This will alleviate discomfort and address any associated complications.

Lab Tests

Lab tests are a must for diagnosing and treating watery eyes in cats. They give important details about why the condition is happening and help vets decide the best approach.

Including lab tests for cat eye infections is essential.

These tests help recognize the bacteria causing the infection. With this knowledge, vets can prescribe the best antibiotic eye drops to cure it.

Even though treating cat eye infections may look like a small task, lab tests make sure the treatment is accurate and successful.

Antibiotic Eyedrops

The kitty’s eye can get a direct hit of these antibiotic eyedrops! Simply give the bottle a gentle squeeze. This targeted treatment can ease symptoms and stop further issues from arising.

But it’s key to heed your vet’s advice when it comes to how often and for how long the drops should be used. Too much usage can lead to antibiotic resistance and other bad side effects.

So, to help your cat’s eyes get better, ask your vet for the right prescription. Then, stick to proper administration guidelines and finish the full course of medicine. Voila!

Anti Inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory meds can be taken orally or topically – depending on the severity. Commonly prescribed anti-inflammatories include corticosteroids such as prednisone, and non-steroidals like meloxicam.

These meds help reduce swelling and irritation in cats’ eyes, making them useful for watery eyes caused by inflammation.

Cats might need long-term or intermittent use of anti-inflammatories to treat chronic inflammation and prevent recurring symptoms.

It’s vital to follow the vet’s instructions when administering these meds for safety and efficacy. If no improvement is seen within a reasonable time or if side effects arise, consult a vet for alternative treatments.

In addition to fighting inflammation, anti-inflammatories also help relieve discomfort and promote eye health in cats. Swift action can prevent further complications and give cats a better quality of life.

In some cases, a scalpel can be a cat’s best friend when it comes to treating watery eyes.

Surgical Approach

When it comes to addressing watery eyes in cats, surgery might be necessary. It’s used to diagnose and treat problems causing the tearing. This happens when other treatments don’t help or if there’s a deformity or abnormality.

Reconstructive surgery could be an option. It corrects abnormalities or deformities causing the problem. It reshapes the area to help the cat’s eye health.

Tear duct surgery is another way. It targets tear duct blockage causing watery eyes. It clears or bypasses any blockages so tears can drain from the eyes.

In extreme cases, eye removal surgery might be needed. It removes the affected eye(s) to stop pain and discomfort caused by conditions like feline herpes virus. It can provide relief and improve the cat’s quality of life.

Consulting with a vet or ophthalmologist is essential. They can help decide if surgery is necessary and pick the right procedure for the cat.

To keep eyes clear and bright, here are some preventative care tips:

Preventative Care for Cat’s Eye Health

Preventative care is crucial for maintaining your cat’s eye health.

Discover effective methods to promote your cat’s visual wellness, including:

  1. Proper hygiene
  2. Flea control products
  3. The use of safe cleaning agents

By implementing these practices, pet owners can ensure their feline friends enjoy healthy and clear eyes, reducing the risk of discomfort and potential eye issues.

Keeping Your Cat’s Eyes Healthy With Preventative Care

Maintain your cat’s eye health through preventive care!

Take these four steps to keep those peepers healthy and free from issues:

  1. Clean Regularly: Wipe away dirt and debris with a damp cloth or eye wipes.
  2. Vet Check-ups: Schedule regular visits to the vet to monitor eye health.
  3. Clean Environment: Keep their living space clean and dust-free.
  4. Proper Nutrition: Feed them vitamins A, C, E, and antioxidants.

These steps will help prevent eye problems in cats. Also, provide a stress-free environment. Stress can cause various health problems, including eye issues. A calm and secure space will benefit your pet’s overall well-being.

Flea Control Products

Flea control products can help protect your feline companion from infestations.

They come in many forms: collars, topical treatments, oral medications, sprays, shampoos, and combs. Using them regularly can help prevent fleas and reduce the risk of health issues.

Remember to also check your cat for signs of fleas, such as excessive scratching.

Keeping a clean living space and grooming your cat are other preventative measures.

Together with flea control products, you can help ensure your cat remains flea-free and enjoys optimal health!

Cleaning your cat’s eyes is just like a car wash – only without the bubbles and with more fur!

Washing Away Dirt

Cats require clean eyes for good health. Washing away dirt is key to maintaining their eyes.

Here’s a 6-step guide to effectively do this:

  1. Get a clean, soft cloth or cotton pad.
  2. Moisten it with warm water or a vet-recommended eye cleanser.
  3. Hold the cat gently, keeping them comfortable.
  4. Wipe away dirt around the eye area.
  5. Be extra careful near the delicate corners.
  6. Avoid harsh soaps or shampoos on the face.

Cats that have allergies or genetic predisposition to eye issues might need more frequent eye cleaning.

Check with your vet for guidance.

Cleaning Agents

Cleanse your cat’s eyes with mild saline solution or specially formulated eye cleaning solutions. These help remove irritants and residue. Certain solutions have chamomile or aloe vera to soften and soothe. Others have antibacterial properties that disinfect the area.

Follow the instructions carefully when using cleaning agents near the eye area. Be gentle and patient for your cat’s comfort and safety.

Regular eye cleaning is essential for overall eye health and the prevention of issues. Make it part of a grooming routine to minimize the risk of eye infections and keep vision clear.

Good hygiene is key to keeping your cat’s eyes healthy and vibrant.

Use suitable cleaning agents and proper techniques for their wellness.

Pet Owners

Pet owners have an important job: looking after their cat’s eyes.

Taking preventative steps and necessary measures can keep their pet’s eyes healthy. Here’s how:

  • Vet check-ups: Have regular vet appointments to spot any eye issues.
  • Clean environment: Keep the living space tidy to stop dirt or foreign objects from getting in.
  • Good nutrition: Give cats a balanced diet with all the nutrients they need.
  • Safe grooming: Be careful not to scratch or irritate the eyes.
  • Watch for symptoms: Look out for watery eyes, redness, tearing, etc.

By doing all this, cats can enjoy healthy eyes. If any concerns arise, seek help from a vet right away. With proper care, cats can have healthy eyes all their life.


Cat eyes watering can be a sign of something serious. Allergies, infections, or blockages in the tear ducts are potential causes.

Symptoms may include excessive tearing, redness, swelling, or discharge.

Treatment options can involve medication, compresses, or surgery.

To determine the cause and the best treatment plan, pet owners should consult a veterinarian. Diagnostic tests may also be necessary.

Gathering information about the cat’s environment and diet can help. By addressing the issue promptly and effectively, pet owners can help their cat feel better and stay healthy.

Some Facts About Cat Eyes Watering: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment:

1. Watery eyes in cats can be a sign of a health threat or a more serious issue. (Source: Team Research)

2. Common causes of watery eyes in cats include allergies, foreign bodies, blocked tear ducts, conjunctivitis, and eye infections. (Source: Team Research)

3. Excessive blinking, squinting, and pawing at the eyes may indicate a foreign body or a blocked tear duct. (Source: Team Research)

4. Red, inflamed eyes could be a sign of conjunctivitis, which can be caused by infections, allergies, or feline herpes virus. (Source: Team Research)

5. If a cat’s eyes are excessively watery for more than a day or two, or if there are signs of pain or infection, it is recommended to visit a vet for examination and appropriate treatment. (Source: Team Research)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common causes of watery eyes in cats?

Common causes of watery eyes in cats include allergies, foreign bodies, blocked tear ducts, conjunctivitis, and eye infections. Allergies can be triggered by various substances such as pollen, mold, cleaning products, perfumes, and medications. Foreign objects or scratches on the cornea can also irritate the eyes and cause watery discharge. Blocked tear ducts can result in excessive tearing. Conjunctivitis, which can be caused by infections, allergies, or feline herpes virus, can lead to red and inflamed eyes with watery discharge. Eye infections can also cause watery eyes in cats.

What are the signs that a cat may have a foreign body or a blocked tear duct?

Excessive blinking, squinting, and pawing at the eyes are common signs that a cat may have a foreign body or a blocked tear duct. If a cat has a foreign body, such as cat hair or dust, in its eye, it can cause irritation, redness, and watery discharge. A blocked tear duct can result in excessive tearing, as the tears are unable to drain properly. If a cat shows these signs for more than a day or two, it is recommended to seek veterinary care for further examination and appropriate treatment.

How can conjunctivitis be treated in cats?

Conjunctivitis in cats, also known as pink eye, can be treated with vet-prescribed eye drops or ointment. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the conjunctivitis, which can be infections, allergies, dust, or feline herpes virus. In cases of feline herpes virus, a vaccine may be recommended to reduce the symptoms. If conjunctivitis is suspected, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can allergies cause watery eyes in cats?

Yes, allergies can cause watery eyes in cats. Cats can be allergic to various substances such as pollen, mold, mildew, dust, medicine, flea-control products, perfumes, and cleaning products. Allergies can result in watery eyes, along with other symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose. It is important to consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication to a cat with allergies to ensure appropriate treatment.

When should I seek veterinary care for my cat’s watery eyes?

If a cat’s eyes are excessively watery for more than a day or two, or if there are signs of pain, infection, redness, squinting, discharge, swelling, or an abnormal appearance of the eye, it is recommended to visit a vet for examination and appropriate treatment. Watery eyes can be a symptom of a serious disease or condition, and early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for the cat’s health.

 How can I keep my cat’s eyes healthy with preventative care?

To keep your cat’s eyes healthy, it is important to practice preventative care. This includes regular vet visits, current vaccines, and eye examinations. Monitoring for any changes in the eyes, such as excessive tearing or abnormal discharge, is also essential. Avoiding allergens that may trigger watery eyes, such as pollen or household cleaning products, can also help maintain eye health. If you have concerns about your cat’s eyes, it’s best to consult with a licensed veterinarian for guidance.

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