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Cat Eye Discharge: Possible Reasons

Cat Eye Discharge: Possible Reasons

Are you cat’s eyes clear and bright? Look out for epiphora in cats and what it could mean.

You might have noticed that your cat has tear stains on its face. It might even appear to be like blood, with a reddish-brown color. Some cat owners have even seen tears roll off their pets’ faces. Your pet most likely isn’t crying; most likely, it has a condition that could need attention from the vet. Below are the most common possible reasons for cat eye discharge.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye is not a condition to dismiss. If your cat has dry eyes, it lacks the ability to produce enough tears to keep its eyeballs well. A symptom of dry eye would be a yellowish eye discharge, along with red and inflamed eyes. Eye drops, artificial tears, and ointments could help your cat. Of course, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Cat eye discharge from an upper respiratory infection could look black and is likely to have a sticky consistency. The infection could be from different sources, such as bacteria, herpesvirus, and pneumonitis. You should take your cat to the vet and isolate it from other cats, as these infections could be highly contagious to other felines.


Cats can have eye discharge due to allergies, just as people can. Common allergens include mold, dust, pollen, and chemicals such as household cleaners and perfume. Your vet can best diagnose whether your cat has an allergy or not. If so, your vet can then prescribe appropriate medicine.

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink eyes are the first sign of conjunctivitis, followed by eye inflammation and eye discharge. The discharge may look clear or thick and mucous-like. Conjunctivitis is a type of infection and should receive prompt treatment, which could include eye drops and eye flushes.


Uveitis is an eye condition that could stem from a tumor, ulceration, or traumatic eye injury, manifesting through eye inflammation and discharge. The cause of these conditions could be force, fungus, bacteria, or parasites. Uveitis could lead to blindness if the cat owner does not treat it, and is very painful for the cat. The vet will treat the uveitis depending on the root cause.

When to See the Vet

It is best to see the vet if the cat’s eye discharge does not clear up after a few days or if your cat is displaying other troubling symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, excessive scratching, etc. Everhart Veterinary Medicine is here for your cat’s health in Baltimore, MD!

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At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 at 12:46 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.