The cat has watery eyes: causes, signs, treatment


The eyes of pets are a real “mirror of health”. If they are dull, muddy, sunken – your pet probably has major health problems. Yes, and when the cat has watery eyes, the animal does not interfere with bringing to the vet. It is very likely that the health of the pet is shattered by some kind of disease.

Why does a cat get a wet eye?

First you need to tell us why the body of animals (and humans) needs tears. Despite their “emotional” significance, the importance of a lacrimal secret is much more important. It contains many bactericidal and bacteriostatic substances. Simply put, tears protect the eyes, destroying the pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microflora that fall on the surface of the organ. In addition, they mechanically wash out foreign bodies, and also work as a lubricant, reducing friction to facilitate the movement of the eyelids along the eyeball.

Thus, in many cases, a watery eye is a sign of a foreign body that has entered it. This often happens in cats who have free access to the street. Wind blow – and already in the conjunctival cavity of your pet “splashing” a handful of sand, pollen or something like that. The body reacts to this by the expected intensification of tearing. In short, the situation is quite “physiological”. But this does not mean that you can not pay attention to it. If a stubble of grass or a lot of sand has got into the cat’s eye, then it will almost certainly develop conjunctivitis. In addition, in particularly “successful” cases, it is possible to develop keratitis (that is, inflammation of the cornea).

But there are other causes of lacrimation. At the very beginning of the article, we already briefly told what the nature of the tear secret was for. But there is another application. The fact is that the lacrimal ducts flow directly into the nasal cavity. Thus, “surplus tear fluid” is utilized, along with the irrigating mucous membranes of the respiratory system. But if as a result of inflammation, proliferation in the conjunctival cavity of the tumor, etc., the duct will clog, the tears that develop will simply have nowhere to go.

Because of these anatomical features, diseases of the eyes and nasal cavity are closely related. When your pet snot, the causative agent that caused their appearance, can climb up the tear ducts. Of course, in this case, for certain inflammation of the conjunctival cavity (and even the cornea). It is for this reason that experienced veterinarians advise animal owners to immediately go to the clinic even when their pets seem to have “just a slight cold.” Even a common cold can lead to very serious consequences …

Predagonal predisposition

The long experience of veterinarians around the world has made it possible to reliably determine that there are several breeds whose representatives regularly suffer from excessive secretion of tear fluid. These include almost all long-suffering brachycephalic varieties. “Long-suffering” because they already have enough genetic defects.

Particularly prone to the development of problems with the tear glands of the Persian. In the latter, in particular, there is often a congenital twist of the eyelids.

With this pathology, the edge of eyelids with eyelashes is pressed against the surface of the eyeball. Of course, eyelashes deeply injure and scratch the cornea, which leads to the development of inflammatory phenomena and abundant, constant lacrimation. Treatments are treated exclusively surgically. To delay with the reference to the veterinarian it is not necessary: the started cases lead to development of a cataract and glaucoma.

But how is the peculiar appearance of brachycephalos and watery eyes? Fortunately, in this case, no genetically transmitted diseases are not to blame. It happens because of the specific features of the anatomical structure. The fact is that the same Persians have eyes “on rollout”, they seem to bulge out of their orbital orbits. Because of this, they are more susceptible to ingress of foreign bodies, including sand, pollen, other objects that cause increased lachrymation. In addition, because of these same features, Persian and British cats very often suffer from conjunctivitis (which will be described below), which also leads to increased production of tear fluid.

Postoperative “nuances”

It is interesting that in cats, which have undergone certain operations in their time, an incredibly abundant “lacrimation” begins before and after eating. What is the reason for this? The fact is that with some pathologies (for example, neglected keratitis) natural moistening of the eye is no longer sufficient because of plugging or destruction of the lacrimal canal. In such cases, the ducts of the salivary glands are excreted into the conjunctival cavity. Accordingly, when you see a meal, the cat begins to “cry.”

Allergic reactions

A very common reason for the “tearfulness” of the eyes in cats. In animals, these allergic reactions occur more frequently every year. Particularly characteristic of their appearance for pets, constantly feeding on extremely dry food. Many of their varieties just contribute to the development of allergic reactions. If your pet’s eye is swollen and watery, and a large amount of semisolid exudate is released from the nasal passages, then it’s probably about allergies. Note that it must necessarily be combated, since neglected cases can lead to the development of autoimmune pathologies.

If your cat strains sneezes and tears flow from his eyes (and this state has developed within a few minutes), you can try to block an allergic attack. In principle, many “human” drugs are suitable for this, including the simplest dimedrol, Suprastin.

Most likely, to ease the condition of your pet will be enough ¼ tablets. Do not overdo it. In addition, you need to immediately call the veterinarian and have already consulted with him about the permissibility of prescribing such drugs to your pet.

Inflammatory processes (conjunctivitis)

A conjunctiva is a mucosa that covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the anterior part of the orbital orbit. This tissue is constantly moistened with tear fluid, which helps reduce the friction that occurs during blinking and eye movement. In addition, the conjunctiva itself isolates the specific bactericidal substances necessary to stop the development of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microflora.

Not always protective mechanisms work, and in such cases inflammation develops. The eye strongly reddens and swells, there is increased lacrimation, subsequently a large amount of mucous or purulent exudate begins to be released from the eye. There are many possible causes of conjunctivitis, including chemical irritants (cleansers, pesticides). It can cause allergens (dust, soil, grass), the disease is often a consequence of traumatic eye damage, it leads to fungal, viral, bacterial infections.

In particular, the washing of the conjunctival cavity is assisted by the infusion of chamomile, succession, by decoction of the oak bark. All means used for washing should necessarily have room temperature. Warmer formulations can trigger a worsening of the course of the inflammatory process.


In cats, this disease develops rarely and is characteristic, primarily for old and very old animals. Pathology manifests itself in the form of clouding the lens, causing the visual acuity in the animal to drop sharply. The initial stages of the disease are also accompanied by increased lacrimation. Unfortunately, cataract is incurable. Only in cases when the appearance of the disease was noticed at the earliest stages, sometimes it is possible to significantly slow down the process of turbidity. In addition, in many cases, cataracts are not a separate pathology, but only a symptom of a disease already present in an animal.

In particular, cataracts are very often a consequence of uveitis, that is, inflammation of the choroid of the eyeball. In addition, such an outcome is often caused by eye trauma. Sometimes the cause is genetic. In the case when it is possible to determine the predisposing factor in time and to eliminate its effect on the animal’s organism, stable remission can be achieved.

Experienced veterinarians are strongly advised to exclude from the reproduction process all animals with cataracts, as well as their offspring.


The disease is characterized by a sharp increase in intraocular pressure. In normal conditions, part of the intraocular fluid is drained away from the cavity of the eyeball, but with the disease its volume constantly increases, which causes severe pathologies later. Extremely rare, but cats still detect primary glaucoma, i.e. the disease in these cases is not associated with any other pathologies. Most likely, this disease belongs to the category of inherited.

INTERREGIOUS! 90% of the CAT GLAUCOM is a consequence of other dislocations that affected their visual system of the animal. IN MOST CASES, GLAUCOMA FIRST PRINCIPLE IS NOT DETERMINED.

It is necessary to urgently take the cat to the veterinarian if you notice in her abundant lacrimation, accompanied by a critically strong dilatation of the pupil, opacity of the cornea, strabismus. If your pet has a red eye that can not be touched to the eyelids, it should be done immediately. After all, the characteristic sign of glaucoma is precisely the severe soreness of the affected organ – the eye hurts so much that it is impossible to touch it. In severe cases, glaucoma leads to blindness.

Specific prophylaxis is absent, except for a preventive examination by a veterinarian (at least once a quarter). It is also necessary to promptly treat all other eye diseases, since they can lead to glaucoma. In the international veterinary periodical, several cases have been described where the timely administration of pilocarpine helped to cope with the early forms of the disease.

It should be noted that glaucoma, as a rule, affects both eyeballs, so that with the most unsuccessful outcome your pet can remain completely blind. It does not happen right away: first one eye is peeling, but within a couple of weeks (and even months) the pathology “hooks” and the second organ. It is very important not to let this happen! Even if the cat is deprived of one eye, the presence of the second will allow the animal to lead a full-fledged life. With a bilateral glaucoma, the pet is likely to remain disabled.

Formation of corneal ulcers

One of the most dangerous causes of severe tearing is corneal ulcers. The latter, as a rule, result from injuries, but sometimes ulcerative lesions develop against the background of systemic infections of the body. In particular, the feline herpes virus leads to such consequences. As a rule, adult cats are ill. The pet is older, the greater the risk of pathology. At the kitten the probability of occurrence of this illness is insignificant.

With this pathology, the animal tries unnecessarily not to open the eyelids, from under which the tear oozes plentifully. Sharply intensified photosensitivity, the pet can not even look at the dim lights. However, sometimes the eye does not open because of the strongest spasm of the eyelids. The last literally “vibrate”, tremble, which is easy to feel when you palpate.

The diagnosis can only be made by a veterinarian in the clinic. For its formulation, it is required to apply special fluorescing solutions to the surface of the cornea. In UV-cure, such compounds start to glow brightly, simultaneously indicating the location of ulcerative lesions. Treat this pathology in two ways: medicamentous, prescribing anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgical. In the latter case, the ulcer is literally “polished”, cutting off its edges.

It should be noted that even with a successful operation, scar tissue can not be ruled out, which leads to a significant deterioration in the visual acuity of the animal. Running cases lead to complete blindness, sometimes – to the need for surgical removal of the eyeball. Do not delay the visit to the vet “for later”, the consequences may be too heavy!

Other reasons

Also, the cats’ eyes can be watered by the following negative factors of the external and internal environment:

• Tumors of the century.
• Squamous cancer (SCC). Extremely rare in animal pathology, but in the world veterinary practice is sometimes found. Practice has proved that the most susceptible to its development … all white cats, regardless of their breed and gender and age.
• Injuries.
• Abrasions of the eyelids.
• Fractures of the bones of the facial part of the skull. The fact is that with these injuries, the ducts of the lacrimal glands are often destroyed and blocked, which leads to undesirable results.
• Parasitic diseases.
• FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus).
• FIP (feline infectious peritonitis).
• FeLV (feline leukemia virus).
• Respiratory diseases of viral etiology. In such cases, not only lacrimation is observed – the cat usually has a stuffy nose, a large amount of greenish-yellow exudate is released from the nasal passages.
• Specific pathologies of the anatomical structure, because of which eyelashes can grow inward. Often they are confused with a twisting eyelid.

Note that at home, the eyes of a cat may well tear because they have got corrosive and irritating substances. For example – components of household chemicals. If you do the cleaning, try to isolate the pet within the same room, and also rinse thoroughly with clean water all surfaces on which strong chemicals were applied.


Note that mild cases of lacrimation can be difficult to identify. This is especially true for cases when your pet has a dark coat. In white cats, it is much easier to notice the signs of something wrong, because due to the constant secretion of a lacrimal secretion, a noticeable change in the color of both the coat and the skin (most often the latter simply become inflamed) is caused. Other symptoms include:

• Redness of the eyes, the cat constantly squints them, becoming like a pirate.
• Strabismus.
• The pet is constantly rubbing and scratching his eyes.
• In addition to tears, there is exudate (mucous or purulent).
• The skin around the orbit can wrinkle, acquiring parchment texture.

Treatment of watery eyes in cats

Treatment directly depends on the root cause. Most often, the following methods are used:

  • The eye is checked for foreign bodies and, if necessary, performs their removal.
  • In many cases, the appointment of antihistamines is indicated, as they relieve the itching, so that the cat ceases to constantly scratch and scratch its own eyes. For accelerated action, choose those names that can be dripped directly into the eye.
  • Antibiotics of a wide spectrum of action are prescribed. This is done not only for treatment, but also for the prevention of the development of secondary bacterial infections.
  • Often used tetracycline ointment, which helps cope with inflammation and prevents the development of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microflora.

If during the examination the veterinarian finds out that the cat’s tears are constantly flowing due to the blockage of their outflow through the nasolacrimal canal, he can try to “break through the blockage” using a small diameter catheter. With congenital and acquired defects of the structure of the eyelids, only a surgical operation will help. The same applies to tumors, foreign bodies, parasites, etc.

The owner of the animal must carefully observe all the recommendations received from the treating veterinarian. In particular, if you need to wash the cat’s eyes at least twice a day, the frequency should not be reduced to once a day. Failure to comply with the requirements of the veterinarian will lead to a worsening of the course of the pathological process and a slowing of the regenerative processes. In the case when you do not know what to do, when faced with signs of worsening pathology, call the doctor right away.


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