Types Of Cat Eye Discharge And What They Mean | Cloud 9 Vets

Types Of Cat Eye Discharge And What They Mean


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Cat Eye Discharge

Healthy cat’s eyes are bright and clear. The pupils should be about the same size, with the surrounding area a pure white. And the eyelid should be a healthy shade of pink.

When your cat starts rubbing their eyes with paws, or against the furniture, it’s an indication that something is wrong. Accompanied by cat’s eyes watering this could be a simple cold. Or something more serious. Look at the types of cat eye discharge and what they mean here…

Common Symptoms of Cat Eye Discharge

Cat eye-watering may occur on its own. Or may happen at the same time as other symptoms. The discharge can vary in frequency and consistency. And may appear as:


  • Excessive wetness around the tear area
  • Red and swollen eyes that are extremely sore looking
  • Thin and watery or thick and mucus-like substance around the eyes
  • Eye edges having crusty formations pointing to dried discharge

Cat Eye Discharge

Safely Removing Cat Eye Discharge

Before visiting the vet, you can keep your cat comfortable by dipping a cotton wool ball in water and wiping away the discharge from the inner corner of the eye outward. Use a clean ball for each eye.

When Vet Help is Needed

A cat weeping eye could be due to blocked tear ducts – when cat eye discharge will be brown – allergies, or something more sinister. You’ll need to take your cat to see your vet if:


  • The eye discharge carries on for more than a few days
  • The eye discharge gets progressively worse
  • The colour and consistency changes – from clear to a colour – and liquid to mucus
  • The eyes are swollen and can’t be opened
  • Sneezing, decreased appetite, and lethargy, for example, are present as well as the eye discharge

Cat Eye Discharge

Common Reasons for Cat Eye Discharge

Runny eyes in cats can lead to eye problems that can cause blindness. Or require surgery. See some reasons for cat eye discharge here:


A cat runny eye could be the result of an allergy. Cats can be allergic to the same things as people including:


  • Dust
  • Mould and mildew
  • Pollen
  • Flea treatments
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products


Your vet will be able to determine whether your cat is suffering from an allergic reaction by checking your cat’s temperature, and with a standard blood test. Then the appropriate medication will be prescribed.

Cat Eye Discharge
Feline upper respiratory infections

These infections can include pneumonitis, feline calicivirus, bacteria, and herpesvirus. Symptoms can include a sticky pus-like eye discharge. And your cat eye discharge may look black. More importantly, these infections are highly contagious amongst cats so the virus needs to be kept under control.

Specific treatments are determined by the cause of the infection and can include eye medications, decongestants, fluids, and antibiotics.

Cat Eye Discharge

A cat watery eye may be due to conjunctivitis. And the first sign is a pink eye. This is caused by inflammation of the pink lining around the eye. And your cat’s eyes will start to swell and look red. Discharge may be clear and teary, or thick and mucus-like. And your cat will display sensitivity to the light.

Prescription drops or eye ointment may be prescribed to fight off infection. And eye flushes may be carried out to clear the eye of any foreign material.

Cat Eye Discharge
Dry Eye

This chronic lack of tear production can result in a yellow, cloying eye discharge. And can lead to inflamed corneas and red eyes. If left untreated it can lead to blindness.

Treatment can include eye drops or ointments and artificial tears.


The inflammation of the internal structures of the eye can cause a serious and painful problem known as uveitis. And can lead to blindness if left untreated. Trauma, corneal ulceration, and tumours can all cause this. Corneal disorders result in excessive blinking, inflammation, and increased tear production.

Treatment again depends on the underlying cause and could be anti-viral, antibiotics, antifungal, or anti-parasitic medication.

Cat Eye Discharge
Tumour of the eye

There is a large range of symptoms that indicate an eye tumour, and irregular cat eye discharge is one of them. Tumours may be benign or malignant. And depending on the underlying cause the method of treatment will be determined.

Removal of the entire eye may be necessary to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. Your cat will require laser treatment or surgery. Complete elimination will have positive long-term results. If the cancer has spread you may have to consider putting your cat to sleep.

Cat Eye Discharge

End of Life Care

Sadly, cat euthanasia at home may be your final option. You’ll get all the advice and support you need from a caring and experienced vet. Your cat will remain completely pain-free throughout the procedure. A sedative followed by an anaesthetic injection will let your cat pass away peacefully. And in the calm and comfort of your own home, you’ll be able to say your final goodbye.

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We are available to help you with home euthanasia for your pet

In order to safeguard you and our vets and to comply with Government regulations there are some requirements you should be aware of and agree to before we confirm your home visit:
1. If the gentle euthanasia is indoors, only one person can be present during the vet’s visit, other family or friends should say their goodbyes before the vet arrives at your home
2. There should, at all times, be a two meter distance between the family member and the vet.
3. Our process involves sedation, you will be able share closeness with your pet after the vet has given the sedative
4. If you are able to be in your own garden, this greatly reduces the risk of contagion and it may be possible to be more than one person to be with the vet, our vet will advise you.
5. We are doing all we can to ensure there is closeness, care and compassion during the gentle euthanasia home visit. A peaceful goodbye is so important at such a sensitive and emotional time
6. Thank you for your understanding and consideration in these very difficult and challenging times.