Runny Eyes in Cats – Eye Discharge (April 2019)

Tears are both necessary and constant to ensure the eyes are kept moist and protected, but if you’ve noticed your cat’s eyes are constantly runny and produce a discharge, there may be a problem.

Cats have a layer in their eyes, called the tear film, that naturally removes debris and keeps their eyes safe, apart from the natural tears. It keeps the eyes moist, fights against bacteria, and actually provides certain nutrients.

More often than not, your cat will have runny eyes because the wind blew some dust in them, but there are instances where you need to be concerned and take her to the vet.


There are a lot of different allergens that can cause a cat to have runny eyes, such as dust, pollen, and even mold.

If you know your cat has a specific allergy that can cause runny or watery eyes, make sure you do your best to accommodate them.

You can get additional advice from your vet, as well.


Did you know that cats can get conjunctivitis, known as pink eye, like humans can? Even something as simple as a speck of dust in a cat’s eye can bring it on, but don’t get freaked out.

It’s very common among cats, who will have it at least once in their lifetime, but it’s not serious if you catch it as early as possible and treat it.

However, if your cat has feline herpes virus, pinkeye can become a regular instance due to flare-ups. Fortunately, the vaccine for feline herpes virus can be administered throughout her life to control flare-ups, manage her symptoms, etc.

Either way, with the proper treatment, conjunctivitis will clear up in no time at all.

Eye Ulcers

If your cat’s eye appears to be cloudy, she’s squinting, and constantly rubbing it, you need to take her to the vet to get treatment for an ulcer of the eye.

Chemical contact, infections, scratches, and trauma to the head, all in relation of your cat’s eyes, can cause an ulcer.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

Unfortunately, upper respiratory infections are fairly common among cats. They include rhinotracheitispneumonitis, and feline calicivirus. A major symptom is pus-like discharge from the eyes.

Corneal Disorders

A cat’s cornea can become injured, ulcerated, and inflamed for whatever reason, which can cause excessive tears, inflammation, abnormal blinking, excessive blinking, and cloudiness of the eye. This can also occur due to dry eye, known as keratocojunctivitis sicca.


This type of condition comes from a blocked tear duct that eventually releases an abnormal amount of tears due to the blockage releasing. It can come from multiple conditions that relate to dry eyes.

Infection of the Eye

If your cat has an eye infection, for whatever reason, you will need to seek treatment as soon as possible. Prolonged infection can cause the loss of the eye, so acting as quickly as possible is your best bet.

Yellow or green discharge can indicate a bacterial infection is present, while clear discharge can indicate a viral infection.


Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues and health concerns that contribute to runny eyes in cats. The best way to ensure your cat’s eyes are kept safe is to seek treatment as soon as anything odd occurs.

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