When Should I Be Worried About My Cats Watery Eyes?

As cat owners, we all know that our feline friends can be quite the enigma. One day they’re snuggled up in your lap purring away, and the next they’re tearing around the house like a wild animal. But what about when their eyes start to water? It’s not uncommon for cats to have some discharge or tear staining, but when should you start to worry?

If you’re anything like me, just the thought of your cat being sick can send you into a panic. But don’t fret. By understanding the common causes of watery eyes in cats, you’ll be able to determine whether it’s time to seek veterinary care.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything from minor issues like allergies to more serious conditions like infections that could be causing your cat’s watery eyes. We’ll also cover the signs and symptoms to look out for and discuss when it may be time to take your furry friend to the vet.

Whether you’re currently worried about your cat’s eye condition or simply want to stay ahead of potential health issues, this post is for you. By the end of it, you’ll have all the information you need to keep your cat’s beautiful eyes healthy and shining bright for years to come.

Common Causes of Watery Eyes in Cats

If you’ve ever noticed your cat’s eyes watering excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. While some tear production is normal in cats, excessive tearing or watery eyes can indicate a problem. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of watery eyes in cats and what you can do to help your feline friend.

Eye Infections:

One of the most common causes of watery eyes in cats is an eye infection. These infections are typically caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi and can lead to redness, swelling, and discharge from the eye. Keep an eye out for your cat rubbing or pawing at their eyes frequently, as this could be a sign of an eye infection.


Cats can develop allergies that affect their eyes and cause them to water. Common allergens include pollen, dust, and mold. If your cat is allergic to something in their environment, they may also exhibit other symptoms such as sneezing or itching.

Blocked Tear Ducts:

Blocked tear ducts are another reason why cats can experience watery eyes. This blockage can be caused by a variety of factors such as aging or injury. If your cat has blocked tear ducts, you may notice them constantly wiping their eyes with their paws.


Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin membrane covering the eye called the conjunctiva. This condition can cause redness, discharge, and watery eyes in cats. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or irritants such as dust or smoke. If you suspect your cat has conjunctivitis, contact your veterinarian for further evaluation.

Corneal Ulcers:

Corneal ulcers are open sores on the cornea of the eye that can cause watery eyes in cats. These ulcers are typically caused by trauma, infections, or foreign objects in the eye. If your cat has a corneal ulcer, you may notice them squinting or avoiding bright lights.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

This common condition is caused by the inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies, viruses, bacteria, or even trauma to the eye.

One of the most noticeable symptoms of conjunctivitis in cats is watery eyes. If your feline friend is shedding tears excessively, this could be due to irritation or inflammation of the conjunctiva. In addition to watery eyes, you may also notice a thick and yellowish or greenish discharge from your cat’s eyes, indicating an infection.

Redness, swelling, and inflammation around the eye area are other common symptoms of conjunctivitis. Your cat may also squint or blink excessively due to discomfort and pain. In severe cases, conjunctivitis can even lead to corneal ulcers that can cause permanent damage to the eye if left untreated.

It’s important to note that not all cases of watery eyes in cats are caused by conjunctivitis. Upper respiratory infections or tear duct blockages can also result in excessive tearing. If you notice any of these symptoms in your furry friend, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment plan.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

One serious condition that can impact cats’ eye health is glaucoma. This eye condition can affect both humans and animals, including cats. In felines, glaucoma is often the result of an increase in pressure within the eye, which can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

So, what are the signs of glaucoma in cats? The most common symptom is watery eyes. If your cat has glaucoma, you may notice their eyes appear red and inflamed, with excessive tearing or discharge. Additionally, your cat may squint or paw at their eyes, indicating discomfort or pain. As the condition progresses, you may see a cloudiness or bluish hue to your cat’s eyes, as well as a visible enlargement of the eye itself.

It is important to note that not all cases of watery eyes in cats are caused by glaucoma. Other potential causes include allergies, infections, corneal ulcers, and even dental issues. However, if you notice persistent or worsening watery eyes in your cat, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Early detection and treatment of glaucoma can prevent further vision loss and complications. Therefore, it is crucial to seek veterinary care right away if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above in your beloved feline friend.

Other Potential Causes of Watery Eyes in Cats

One of the most common issues that cats face is watery eyes. While allergies and infections are often the culprits, there are other potential causes that pet owners should be aware of.

One lesser-known cause of watery eyes in cats is a blocked tear duct. This can be due to a congenital abnormality or injury to the eye area, leading to excessive tearing. It’s important to consult a veterinarian if you suspect a blocked tear duct to avoid further complications.

Another possible cause of watery eyes is a foreign object in the eye. This can be an irritating experience for your furry friend, causing excessive tearing until the object is identified and removed. A prompt visit to the vet can help avoid any further irritation or damage to the eye.

When Should I Be Worried About My Cats Watery Eyes-2

Medications or medical conditions can also cause watery eyes in cats. Some medications used to treat hypertension or glaucoma may increase tearing as a side effect. Cats with medical conditions like feline herpes virus or upper respiratory infections may also experience watery eyes as a symptom.

It’s crucial to note that watery eyes may also indicate more serious underlying conditions such as cancer or eye trauma. If your cat has persistent or severe watery eyes, it’s crucial to visit a veterinarian immediately. They can perform a thorough examination and diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

When to Seek Veterinary Care for Watery Eyes

Cats may be cute and cuddly, but when their adorable little eyes start resembling a faucet, it’s time to take action. Watery eyes in cats can be a common issue, but it’s crucial to know when to seek veterinary care to prevent serious health problems.

If you notice thick, yellow or green discharge from your cat’s eyes, this could indicate an infection that requires medical treatment. Redness or swelling of the eyes could also be a sign of inflammation or infection. If your cat seems to be in pain or discomfort or is exhibiting changes in behavior such as lethargy or decreased appetite, this could indicate a more serious issue.

Moreover, if your cat’s watery eyes persist for more than a few days, it is best to seek veterinary care to rule out any underlying health issues. Early intervention can often prevent more serious health issues down the line.

It’s important to note that certain breeds of cats may be more prone to eye problems. Persian cats, for instance, are known for their flat faces and shortened nasal passages, which can lead to tear duct blockages and chronic watery eyes. If you have a breed that is known for eye issues, it’s especially important to keep an eye on any changes in their eye health and seek veterinary care as needed.

Diagnosing the Underlying Cause of Watery Eyes in Cats

One of the primary causes of watery eyes in cats is an infection or inflammation of the tear ducts or conjunctiva caused by bacteria, viruses, and allergens. Other potential causes include blocked tear ducts, foreign objects in the eye, chronic respiratory infections, and genetic factors. Certain breeds, such as Persians, are more prone to eye problems due to their flat faces and shortened nasal passages.

To diagnose the root cause of your cat’s watery eyes, it is crucial to pay attention to any additional symptoms they may be experiencing, such as redness or swelling around the eye, discharge from the eye, or changes in behavior. Your veterinarian may also perform a physical exam and run tests such as a Schirmer tear test or fluorescein staining to evaluate your cat’s tear production and eye health. Further diagnostic testing, such as bloodwork or imaging, may be necessary in some cases.

It’s essential to seek veterinary care promptly if you notice any persistent or concerning symptoms in your cat. Early intervention can prevent complications and ensure the best possible outcome for your furry friend.

Treatment Options for Watery Eyes in Cats

Cats are beloved pets, but like all animals, they can experience health issues. One problem that cat owners may encounter is watery eyes. Although it may seem like a minor issue, it could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Therefore, understanding the treatment options for watery eyes in cats is crucial.

The treatment options for watery eyes in cats will depend on the root cause of the problem. Below are some possible causes and treatments:

  • Infection: If your cat’s watery eyes are caused by an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian to combat the infection.
  • Foreign object: If there is a foreign object lodged in the eye that is causing the watering, your vet will need to remove it. In some cases, surgery might be necessary.
  • Allergies: If your cat’s watery eyes are due to allergies, antihistamines and eye drops or ointments may be recommended by your veterinarian to alleviate inflammation and soothe your cat’s eyes. However, not all human eye drops or ointments are safe for cats, so consulting with a vet before administering any medication is critical.
  • Serious underlying condition: If your cat’s watery eyes are caused by a more serious underlying condition such as glaucoma or a tumor, treatment options will vary based on the specific condition and severity. In such cases, seeking veterinary care as soon as possible is necessary.

Prevention Tips for Cat Owners

Watery eyes in cats can be a sign of an underlying issue, but there are steps you can take to prevent it. Here are five prevention tips for cat owners to keep their cat’s eyes healthy and prevent watery eyes.

Keep Their Eyes Clean

Keeping your cat’s eyes clean is crucial to prevent infections that can cause watery eyes. Use a damp cloth or cotton ball to gently wipe away any discharge or dirt around their eyes. This will prevent the accumulation of bacteria in the area and reduce the risk of infection.

Feed Them a Nutritious Diet

Feeding your cat a well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining healthy eyes. Foods that are rich in vitamins A and C can help prevent eye problems and boost their immune system. Consult with your veterinarian to decide the best diet for your feline friend.

Maintain a Clean Environment

Maintaining a clean living environment for your cat is important to prevent any irritants that could cause eye inflammation or irritation. Regularly clean their litter box and vacuum their living area. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals or strong fragrances around them.

Regular Check-Ups

Taking your cat for regular check-ups with a veterinarian is another important prevention tip. They can assess your cat’s eye health and detect any potential problems early on, before they become more serious.

Observe Any Changes in Behavior

It’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior and keep an eye out for any changes in their eye appearance or behavior. If you notice frequent tearing or discharge from their eyes, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian for a check-up. Early detection and treatment can prevent any serious eye conditions from developing.


In summary, while watery eyes in cats may not always be a cause for concern, it is essential to know when to seek veterinary care. Being aware of the common causes of this issue, including infections, allergies, blocked tear ducts, conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers can help you make an informed decision about your cat’s health.

As much as we adore our feline friends, it’s important to take notice when their eyes start watering excessively. Thick discharge from the eye area or redness and swelling could indicate a more severe condition that requires immediate medical attention. If your cat seems uncomfortable or is exhibiting changes in behavior such as lethargy or decreased appetite, it’s time to consult your veterinarian.

To determine the root cause of your cat’s watery eyes, pay attention to any additional symptoms they may be experiencing. Your vet may perform tests such as a Schirmer tear test or fluorescein staining to evaluate your cat’s eye health and tear production.

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your furry friend healthy. Maintaining clean surroundings free from irritants that could cause eye inflammation or irritation and feeding them nutritious food rich in vitamins A and C can go a long way in preventing eye problems. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are also crucial in catching any issues early on.

In conclusion, being vigilant about your cat’s eye health can prevent serious conditions from developing.