If your feline friend has watery eyes, don’t worry -- it’s not because he's sad. Unlike humans, cats don’t have the ability to cry, according to WebMD. You should be concerned, however, because his runny, watery eyes may be caused by an underlying condition that you likely can't cure but may be able to treat naturally at home.
Conjunctivitis, or irritation of the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids -- also referred to as “pink eye” -- affects cats just like humans. Feline viral respiratory infections often cause conjunctivitis that is related to runny eyes in cats. Also, like humans, cats suffer from allergies to common things such as grass, pollen, fabrics and cigarette smoke, which can cause their eyes to water. Sometimes the problem may even be hereditary. For instance, your cat may have been born without a proper tear duct drainage system or he may have overactive tear production. Also, fighting with other cats can cause trauma to your tough guy's eye that makes it water.
Your vet may perform various tests to determine the cause of your furry friend’s symptoms and discomfort. He generally starts with a physical examination to look in his eyes and determine if your cat has any scarring or foreign material causing the drainage. Then, the vet may draw blood and perform lab work to look for a high white blood cell count indicating an infection. Also, the blood work may indicate if Fluffy is suffering from allergies.
You can help soothe some problems with your cat’s eyes -- the hereditary and non-viral or bacterial types -- with natural treatments. To start, wipe your kitty’s eye with a warm, damp cotton ball. Have your vet clip any long hairs that may irritate your furry friend’s eyes. To help remove bacteria and tear stains, clean around his eyes with hydrogen peroxide, careful not to wipe it into the eye. Also, ask your vet if he has any natural eye drops that may offer comfort for your pet. Remember, however, that bacterial infections must be treated with a prescription antibiotic, like Tetracycline.
Vaccinations are your kitty’s No. 1 defense from contracting viruses that cause runny eyes. Make sure you follow your vet’s vaccination schedule and your feline friend is up-to-date on all of his shots. Remove any possible allergens from Fluffy’s living area, including cigarette smoke if that is an issue, and wash his bedding at least once a week to help clear up his allergies. Keep your tough fella inside to prevent fighting with other cats.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Amanda Maddox began writing professionally in 2007. Her work appears on various websites focusing on topics about medical billing, coding, real estate, insurance, accounting and business. Maddox has her insurance and real estate licenses and holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting and business administration from Wallace State Community College.