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The Guide to Understanding Watery Eyes in Cats

watery eyes in cats

Have you woken up in the morning and found a pair of odd-looking cat’s eyes staring back at you? It’s time for a visit to the veterinary clinic to treat your cat for its watery eyes. There are several causes of watery eyes in cats. It might range from allergies, congenital abnormalities, viral infections, and overexposure to the harmful sun rays. Read on to know all about it to help you handle the situation with ease.

What are watery eyes in cats?

‘Watery eyes’ is the euphoric term used at vet clinics for tear-filled eyes. They are common amongst specific cat breeds like those of the Persian and Himalayan cats. They might also suffer from conditions like the Entropian and distichiasis defects. Watery eyes can cause quite a lot of irritation and blurry vision for your cats. Some of the major reasons behind watery eyes in a cat include eye infections, allergies, congenital disabilities, and other ailments related to its inner organs. Your cat can suffer from it either temporarily or for a prolonged period.

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Signs of watery eyes in your cat:

It’s quite easy to detect whether your cat is facing a health problem by looking at its eyes. The eyes are the windows to the body, and this is especially true of cats as well. Overflowing tears can stain your cats face and cause him or her to rub or tear at it constantly. Several symptoms enable you to detect watery eyes in a cat. It includes the following:

·         Itchy eyes.

·         Blurry vision.

·         Squinting and scratching of eyes.

·         Red and inflamed eyes.

·         Excess watery discharge from the eyes.

·         Bulgy and puffy eye sacs.

·         Corneal ulcers.

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Reasons behind your cat’s watery Eyes:

Some cat breeds are born with bulging outset eyes that do not offer much protection from dust and dirt, pollutants and free pollen. They enter the eyelids and cause your cats eyes to water. The irritation makes your cat keep scratching and rubbing it with its paws, leading to further damage and eye problems like that of conjunctivitis. Some of the other major causes are:

·         Tumors and cancers in the eyelids.

·         Eye cell carcinoma commonly found in white cats.

·         Glaucoma and age-related problems.

·         Defects in the growth of the eyelashes and eye socket.

·         Entropion abnormality, where the eyelashes of the cat grow inwards.

·         Trauma to the eyes.

·         Scratches or injury to the eyeball or surrounding tissues.

·         Fractures to the facial bone structure.

·         Temper and regression in a cat.

·         Parasitic infections.

·         Feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, and feline infectious peritonitis.

·         Blocked tear ducts.

·         Inflammation and redness to the eye tissues and tear ducts.

Diagnosis at a veterinary clinic:

Once you have seen signs of watery eyes in your cat, you must take him or her to a veterinary clinic for diagnosis and treatment. Only a vet will be able to accurately diagnose what’s wrong with your cat based on its behavior, medical history and the tests performed. At the vet clinic, the veterinarian will be able to carry out the following concerning watery eyes in your cat:

·         Complete physical examination.

·         Tests for allergy.

·        Complete test for traumas in the eye.  The vet performs a safe and non-invasive test without any pain or strain to your cat.

·      Tear tests that detect and analyse the tear levels and its production in your cat’s eye. It is effective in diagnosing any abnormalities and complications.

·        Laboratory analysis of tear samples taken from the cat’s eyes.

·      MRI scans, CT and radiograph, scans that check out the eye tissues and surrounding bone structure.

·        Tonometry test to analyse the eye fluid pressure exerted.

·        Treatment provided by the veterinarian:

·        The treatment provided by the veterinarian will depend on the cause that is affecting your cat. The treatment process includes the following:

·     Pain relievers, sedatives or tranquilizers that keep your cat calm for treatment. It provides relief from pain and swelling.

·        Ointments that soothe the inflamed area and aids in the healing of watery eyes or any other eye-related problems.

·        Eye surgery performed on the cat.

·      Removal of any foreign particle or body that is causing eye irritation and over-working of the tear ducts.

·         Treatment for cat allergies and other health related complications.

·         Injection of antibiotics to treat viral infections in cats.

·       Rupturing tear duct blockages with the help of a catheter. It enables any trapped fluid to be discharged easily without any further complications.

·   Surgical treatment in cases of growth deformities or abnormalities like that of Entropian.

·         Aggressive treatment remedies for eye tumors in cats.

·         Removal of the excess growth of cat fur with cryosurgery.

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Saving your cat’s eyes:

Saving your cat’s eyes from such a condition depends upon the severity of it. With the proper care, attention, regular visits to the vet and the timely intake of the prescribed medication, your cat will recover quickly. Offer your support and care for your cat as it goes through this stage of uncomfortable and excruciating pain. It will help him or her to recover in a few days. Take care of your cat at home or with occasional visits to the vet clinic. If the vet has performed a surgical procedure on your cat, then it might require long and more frequent visits to the clinic for veterinarian attention. A professional vet will be able to track and keep a check on the progress that your cat is making after the treatment.  Maintain a separate health portfolio of your cat’s health tests and any medications.


Having a cat as a pet comes with a huge responsibility to take care of its health, and that includes her eyes as well. Prudent and timely care for your cat can keep its eyes looking vibrant and full of life.