What Does It Mean When A Cat Cries Real Tears?

As a devoted cat parent, you know every little quirk and behavior of your furry friend. So, when you notice your cat crying real tears, it’s natural to feel concerned and wonder what could be going on.

Unlike humans, cats don’t often shed tears, so when they do, it can be a sign that something is wrong. But what does it mean when a cat cries real tears? Could it be a physical condition or a way of communicating their emotions?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the topic of cats crying real tears and explore the various reasons behind this phenomenon. From sadness to pain to medical conditions, we’ll cover all the potential causes for your feline friend’s tears.

But that’s not all – we’ll also look at other behaviors and changes in habits that may be connected to your cat’s tears. Is their appetite different? Are they sleeping more or less than usual? These are all important factors to consider when trying to understand what’s going on with your beloved pet.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about why your cat may be crying real tears and how you can help them, sit back with a cup of coffee (or tea) and keep reading.

What Causes Cats to Cry Real Tears?

Cats are known for their emotional and expressive behavior, and it’s not uncommon to see them shedding tears. Although cats’ tears serve different purposes than human tears, they can still be a sign of distress or pain.

If you notice your cat crying real tears, there could be several reasons behind it. One of the most common causes is an eye infection or irritation that blocks the tear ducts. This can be caused by allergies, dust, or foreign objects that get lodged in the eye. If your cat’s eyes appear red or swollen, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a thorough examination.

Physical injuries or trauma can also lead to cats crying real tears. Although cats are agile and skilled at jumping, accidents can happen. If your cat falls from a height or gets injured in a fight with another animal, it can cause swelling and inflammation of the eyes, leading to excessive tearing.

Cats are sensitive creatures and can experience emotional distress that causes them to cry real tears. Sudden changes in their environment or routine, such as introducing a new pet or changing their owner’s absence for an extended period, can trigger anxiety and stress in cats. They may cry excessively if they feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with the changes.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and seek veterinary care if you notice them crying frequently or excessively. Your vet can examine your cat’s eyes and determine the underlying cause of the excessive tearing and provide appropriate treatment.

Eye Infections or Injuries

You want nothing but the best for them, including good health and happiness. One way to ensure their well-being is by keeping a watchful eye on their peepers. Eye infections or injuries can cause real tears and discomfort for your beloved pet, making it crucial to know the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Cats are no strangers to eye infections or injuries, especially if they roam outside or live with other felines. Common infections include conjunctivitis, keratitis, and uveitis, which can lead to redness, swelling, and discharge in the eyes. Scratches, foreign objects, or trauma to the eyes can also cause tear production.

So how can you tell if your cat is suffering from an eye infection or injury? Look for symptoms such as squinting, pawing at their eyes, avoiding bright light, and crying real tears. These signs indicate that it’s essential to take your furry friend to a veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe complications and even permanent damage to their eyesight.

Preventive measures go a long way in keeping your cat’s eyes healthy. Regularly cleaning their eyes with a damp cloth helps remove any debris or discharge that may accumulate. Keeping their environment clean and safe reduces the risk of eye injuries from foreign objects or accidents.

Emotional Distress in Cats

Cats are often seen as independent and self-sufficient animals, but they can also be sensitive creatures that are easily affected by their environment and the people around them. Emotional distress in cats is a common issue that can manifest in various ways, including crying real tears. This distress can be caused by a variety of factors, such as stress, anxiety, fear, or pain. It is crucial for cat owners to recognize the signs of emotional distress and take steps to address the underlying causes.

Causes of Emotional Distress in Cats

Changes in their environment or routine are one of the most common causes of emotional distress in cats. Moving to a new home or the introduction of a new pet can be stressful for cats. Additionally, changes in their feeding or play schedule can also cause stress and anxiety. Cats may also become distressed if they are left alone for long periods or if their owner’s behavior suddenly changes, such as becoming less attentive or affectionate.

Signs of Emotional Distress in Cats

Cats may exhibit various signs when experiencing emotional distress. One common sign is crying real tears, which indicates stress, anxiety, fear, or pain. They may also become aggressive towards people or other animals or spend more time hiding than usual.

Changes in behavior such as suddenly stopping eating or drinking could also be a sign of emotional distress.

Steps to Address Emotional Distress in Cats

Recognizing the signs of emotional distress in cats is crucial to helping them feel better. Creating a safe and comfortable space for your cat to retreat to when they feel stressed or anxious is a great first step.

Regular play and exercise can also help reduce stress levels in cats by keeping them mentally and physically stimulated. If you suspect that your cat is experiencing emotional distress due to pain or illness, it’s important to seek veterinary care.

In some cases, medication or behavioral therapy may be necessary to help alleviate emotional distress in cats.

Seeking Veterinary Care

One such way is through their body language and behavior. If you notice your cat crying real tears, it’s important to seek veterinary care promptly.

Why is seeking veterinary care crucial? Here are some reasons:

Underlying Medical Conditions

Crying real tears in cats can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as eye infections, allergies, or foreign objects in the eye. Some breeds of cats are more prone to producing tears due to their anatomy. A veterinarian can perform a thorough examination and determine the cause of the tear production. Prompt veterinary care can prevent further complications and discomfort for your cat.

Treatment Options

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options may include topical or oral medications, eye drops, or even surgery. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on how to properly administer medication and care for your cat’s eyes during the healing process.

Prevention of Further Complications

Excessive tear production can lead to staining around the eyes and even skin irritation. A veterinarian can provide guidance on how to properly clean and care for the affected area to prevent further complications.

Natural Responses to Stimuli

As with all animals, cats have innate responses that can reveal a lot about their physical and emotional state. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most common natural responses of cats and what they signify.

Let’s start with tears. Unlike humans, cats do not shed emotional tears. However, they can produce tears in response to physical irritation or pain. One common cause of watery eyes in cats is a blocked tear duct. This can lead to an overflow of tears onto the cat’s face. Other causes of watery eyes include allergies, infections, irritants such as smoke or dust.

Aside from tears, here are some other natural responses that cats exhibit:

  • Purring: A cat’s purr usually indicates contentment or relaxation. However, it can also be a sign of pain or stress. Observe your cat’s body language to interpret the message behind their purring.
  • Hissing: When a cat hisses, it is a defensive behavior aimed at warding off potential threats. If your cat hisses, give them space and avoid approaching them until they feel safe.
  • Scratching: Cats scratch for various reasons such as marking their territory and maintaining healthy claws. Providing them with a scratching post can redirect this behavior away from your furniture.
  • Licking: While grooming through licking is normal for cats, excessive licking may indicate underlying anxiety or other health issues.
  • Kneading: Kneading is when a cat pushes their paws into a soft surface while purring. This behavior is believed to be an instinctive reflex from when kittens kneaded their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production.

Identifying Triggers

What Does It Mean When A Cat Cries Real Tears-2

Cats can experience a range of emotions that can cause tears to flow, including stress, anxiety, physical discomfort, and even excitement.

Stress and anxiety are common culprits for crying in cats. Loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings, or changes in routine can all cause your cat to become anxious and cry out of distress. Separation anxiety may also be a cause for their tears if your cat has bonded with you or other pets.

Physical discomfort or pain is another potential trigger for crying in cats. Eye infections, allergies, and other medical issues can lead to tears as a way for your cat to clear their eyes and alleviate discomfort. Trauma or injury can also cause crying as a sign of distress.

However, it’s important to note that not all tears are indicative of sadness or distress; cats can also cry due to irritation or injury. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the context in which your cat is crying before determining the trigger. If your cat is crying during playtime or while interacting with you, it could simply be a sign of excitement or happiness rather than distress.

To identify triggers for crying in cats, careful observation and consideration of the cat’s behavior and surroundings are necessary. By doing so, you can determine potential triggers and address any underlying issues promptly, ensuring your furry friend’s health and well-being.

Staying Vigilant

Our feline friends are the apple of our eyes and we want to ensure that they are always healthy and happy. However, identifying when something is wrong with them can be a challenge, especially when they appear to be crying real tears. That’s why it’s essential to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for any unusual behavior or symptoms.

First things first, let’s clear up a common misconception – cats do not cry tears like humans do. Instead, if you notice your cat crying real tears, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue or discomfort. Therefore, staying vigilant is crucial.

So, what should you look out for? Begin by examining their eyes for signs of irritation or infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to schedule a visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Apart from examining their eyes, it’s essential to be alert for any other unusual behaviors or symptoms that could indicate a health issue. Below are some tips on what to be vigilant about:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in bathroom habits
  • Changes in their overall mood

By staying vigilant and monitoring your cat’s behavior regularly, you can catch any potential health issues early on and ensure they receive the proper care they need. It’s worth noting that cats are experts in hiding their pain and discomfort. Thus, paying close attention to their behavior is crucial.


In conclusion, witnessing your cat cry real tears can be a distressing experience for any pet owner. While cats do not shed emotional tears like humans, they are capable of producing tears in response to physical irritation or pain. It’s important to understand that excessive tear production in cats can indicate underlying medical conditions, eye infections, or injuries.

To keep your feline friend healthy and comfortable, it’s crucial to maintain a clean and safe environment and regularly clean their eyes with a damp cloth. Additionally, creating a stress-free space for your cat to retreat to when feeling anxious or overwhelmed is essential. Regular play and exercise can also help alleviate emotional distress.

If you notice your cat crying frequently or excessively, seeking veterinary care promptly is crucial. Early detection of health issues can prevent them from escalating into more severe problems.

By staying vigilant and monitoring your cat’s behavior regularly, you can ensure that they receive the proper care they need.