What Causes Watery Eyes in Cats?

Animals of sufficient intelligence are more than capable of feeling grief. For example, some elephants have been observed visiting the site where one of their herd-mates died years and years ago, which speaks volumes about their ability to feel grief. Likewise, the sadness of dogs at the passing of their human masters is storied, while even the supposedly aloof cats can show their sorrow through a wide range of behavioral changes that include but are not limited to hiding, a sense of withdrawal, and even efforts to find their missing companion. With that said, while animals of sufficient intelligence are more than capable of feeling grief, the current scientific consensus is that humans are unique in that we express our grief by crying. In contrast, while a lot of animals are capable of producing tears, they do so for the purpose of lubricating their eyes rather than expressing their grief. Due to this, if a cat seems to be shedding excessive tears, that isn’t a sign of their mourning but rather an indication of a case of watery eyes that needs to be looked at.

What Causes Watery Eyes in Cats?

Unfortunately, there is no simple and straightforward answer to the issue that is watery eyes in a cat. After all, just as how humans can have watery eyes for a wide range of reasons, cats can have watery eyes for a wide range of reasons as well.

Generally speaking, the cause of a cat’s watery eyes falls into one of two categories. First, tears are supposed to drain into the nose, meaning that excessive tears can start flowing from the eyes should some kind of blockage happens to this passage. Common causes range from a rather unfortunate shape for a cat’s face to some kind of inflammation, whether said condition has been caused by infection, by injury, or by something else altogether. Second, there are times when the eyes are irritated enough that they start producing more tears in an effort to remove the source of the problem. The classic example would be some kind of foreign body that has managed to get into the eyes, which can happen to cats with the same ease that it can happen to humans. However, there are also plenty of other potential irritants, which include but are not limited to allergies, infections, and even the growth of tumors. Based on this, it should be clear that there are a lot of potential explanations for a case of watery eyes in a cat, meaning that it tends to be rather difficult for cat owners to figure out what is wrong.

The whole thing isn’t helped by the fact that some cat breeds are just more prone to suffering from watery eyes than others. For example, a a flat-faced cat has a higher chance of suffering from watery eyes, particularly since their tears have higher chances of spilling over their eye rims. Likewise, there are some cat breeds such as Himalayans and Persians that produce more tears, thus increasing their chances of getting watery eyes as well.

What Should You Do about Watery Eyes in Your Cat?

In some cases, a cat’s watery eyes are essentially harmless, meaning that cat owners don’t have to do anything besides perhaps wiping their tears for them from time to time to minimize irritation to the skin beneath their eyes. However, if a cat’s tears start overflowing when they are not prone to this particular problem, their cat owner should bring them in to see the veterinarian sooner rather than later. This is useful because a veterinarian can run a number of tests such as checking the structures of the eye, checking the pressure inside the eye, and measuring the flow of tears, which should provide them with useful information that can be used to derive an answer for exactly what is going on.

Once that happens, veterinarians should be able to point cat owners to a solution for their particular problem. Sometimes, this might mean that the cat owner will have to use eye drops or some other kind of medication to treat their cat, which can be rather challenging to say the least. However, so long as they listen to their veterinarian, make sure to perform the procedure in a calm atmosphere, and use positive reinforcement to make their cat more receptive to it, they should be able to get through just fine.


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