Watery Cat Eyes: Why Do My Cat’s Eyes Water?


Watery cat eyes… what causes them?

What does it mean if your cat has watery or teary eyes? Or what should you do if your cat is pawing or squinting its eye?

In this article, we are going to share what you need to know about watery cat eyes.

Cats Eye Watering

cat glassy eyes

Watery eyes, also known as ‘epiphora‘, is an abnormal overflow of liquid from a cat’s eyes.

This condition is common in brachycephalic cat breeds (flat-faced cat breeds), such as Persians and Himalayans. These breeds have congenital abnormalities that mean their eyes are more exposed than the eyes of more standard breeds.

Watery eyes are also connected to other problems as well, including entropion and distichiasis. This condition involves the eyelashes or the eyelids turning inwardly causing eyeball irritation.

Causes Of Weeping Eyes In Cats

Here is a summary of some of the more serious reasons for cat eye discharge:

  • Entropion or the inwardly turning of the eyelashes
  • Distichiasis or the irregular growth of the eyelashes
  • Blockage of the tear duct, which is due to a structural deformity or inflammation of the tear duct due to a secondary condition
  • Feline Leukemia Virus
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  • Distemper
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Parasites
  • Trapped foreign entities in the eye
  • Facial bone fractures
  • Scratches
  • Trauma
  • Glaucoma
  • SCC or squamous cell carcinoma
  • Eyelid tumors

What To Look For

This problem is somewhat easy to recognize, especially in the light-haired cats:

  • Ulceration of the cornea
  • Droopy skin all over the eye orbit
  • Eye discharge
  • Squinting
  • Eye inflammation
  • Red eyes
  • Eye scratching

Watery Eyes in Cats: Prognosis

In order to pinpoint the cause of the watery cat eyes, the vet might also perform the following:

my cats eyes are red around the edges
  • Lab analysis of the cultured discharge from the eye.
  • An MRI, a CT scan, or radiographs to check for some internal irregularities within its skull.
  • Tonometry test, which is performed for the evaluation of the intraocular fluid or pressure in the eye. This particular test is usually done for the ruling out or prognosis of glaucoma.
  • A Schirmer test –a test that uses small strips, in order to evaluate the tear levels of the eye.
  • Fluorescein stain test that views the eye trauma, which isn’t easily seen. This one is a non-invasive test, which not cause any pain to the cat. The vet simply stains the eyeball and shines some blue light in the eye for inspecting purposes.
  • Allergy test, which helps in ruling out the allergies as its cause.
  • Physical examination.

Treatments For Watery Cat Eyes

The treatment for the watery eyes in cats will mainly depend on the primary cause, but might include:

  • Pain relieving ointments, which aid the healing of congenital abnormalities, conjunctivitis, and trauma.
  • Topical antibiotics for the treatment of the infection.
  • Antihistamine treatments to manage the allergies.
  • The removal of the foreign entity that’s lodged into the eyes.

In case there is a tear duct blockage, the use of a catheter might be essential in opening the duct and allowing the fluid to pass.

Furthermore, surgical repair of the eyelid might be essential in treating the abnormal formation of the eyelid.


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