The moist outer layer on your cat's eye protects the eye by washing away dirt and debris. But if your kitty's eyes have started to tear or water excessively, or if your feline friend is squinting, it could be an early sign that there is a more serious issue. Here, our Orange Park vets explain a few reasons why cats' eyes water.
Reasons Why One or Both of Your Cat's Eyes Might be Watering
If your cat has watery eyes it likely means that the eye is attempting to fight off some form of health threat such as a virus or a foreign body. In many cases, the cause is minor and will cat eye-watering and should clear up without veterinary care. That said, there are a host of more serious reasons that your cat's eyes could be watering. To find the cause of your cat's eye issue it's necessary to look for other symptoms.
Symptoms of Eye Issues in Cats
Water and Glassy-Looking Eyes
Cats often experience allergies, which can certainly cause their eyes to become itchy and watery. Pollen, mold and mildew dust, household cleaning products, perfumes, and some medications are examples of common allergies that may cause problems for your cat's eyes. Keeping your cat away from the allergen may assist in solving the problem. If you are unable to identify the source of your cat's watery eyes, a trip to the veterinarian is necessary. The more serious potential causes of your cat's watery eyes can be ruled out by your veterinarian, who can also make suggestions for how to make your cat's eyes more comfortable.
Blinking, Squinting & Pawing at Eyes
If your cat has watery eyes and is blinking excessively, squinting, or pawing at their eyes, you should take them to the vet. Your cat could have a foreign body in his eye or a blocked nasolacrimal duct (tear duct). Although nasolacrimal obstructions are less common in cats than in dogs, they can cause tears to overflow and run out of the eye.
Red and Inflamed Eyes
There is a good chance that your cat has pinkeye if its eyes appear red and inflamed. Pinkeye is also known as conjunctivitis. Swollen eyes and increased light sensitivity are two other indications that your cat may have conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is a common eye condition in cats that can be brought on by a variety of things, including an allergy or an infection with the feline herpes virus. While conjunctivitis is typically easy to treat, untreated cases can develop into more serious complications. Because of this, it is always best to visit your veterinarian if your cat's eyes have turned red and watery. Depending on how badly your cat's eyes are itchy, your veterinarian may recommend eye drops or ointment as a treatment.
Sticky, Yellow, or Green Discharge
A goopy or sticky discharge from your cat's eyes, like in humans, is usually an indication of infection. A clear discharge usually indicates a viral infection, whereas a green or yellow discharge indicates a bacterial infection in your cat. When dealing with eye infections, early detection, and treatment can help to avoid more serious complications later on. If your cat has a bacterial eye infection, treatment may include ophthalmic antibiotic drops, gels, or ointments. Oral medications are usually unnecessary unless your cat's eye problem is the result of a systemic infection.
Obvious Pain or Swelling
It's time to take your cat to the vet to be checked for glaucoma if they notice any overt signs of pain, a bulging eyeball, or a noticeable amount of swelling around the eye. The need for immediate veterinary care is indicated by the glaucoma symptoms seen in cats. The onset and progression of this excruciating condition can be incredibly quick. The majority of the time, a cat's eyesight will be irreparably damaged by the time symptoms manifest.
Nasal Discharge and Sneezing
If your cat has typical human cold symptoms like watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose, he or she is most likely suffering from a cat cold or feline upper respiratory infection. Many cat colds resolve themselves within a week without the need for veterinary care; however, if your cat's symptoms worsen or do not improve within a few days, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
When To Take Your Cat to the Vet for an Eye Examination
It's time to visit the vet if your cat's eyes have been watering for more than a day or two, or if your cat is displaying signs of pain or an infection. Your veterinarian will be able to look at your cat's eyes and suggest suitable treatments to help your cat feel better.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.