If you're a cat parent, you might have noticed your feline friend's eyes watering occasionally. It's a common concern among cat owners, leading to questions like "Why is my cat's eye watering?" or "Why are my cat's eyes watery?"

Understanding the reasons behind this can help you better care for your beloved pet. In this article, we'll explore the various causes of watery eyes in cats, providing insights and tips to keep your feline friend comfortable and healthy.

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  1. Reasons Why Cat Eyes Water
  2. Symptoms of Eye Issues in Cats
  3. What Do You Do When Your Cat’s Eye Is Watering
  4. How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment
  5. FAQs
  6. Final Thoughts

Reasons Why Cat Eyes Water

Cats, much like humans, can experience watery eyes (called epiphora) for several reasons. It's important to observe their behavior and physical symptoms to determine the cause and find the appropriate solution. Here are some common reasons why your cat's eyes might be watering:


Just like people, cats can have allergic reactions to things like pollen, dust, or certain foods, leading to watery eyes. If you suspect allergies, consider any recent changes in your cat’s environment or diet.


Bacterial or viral infections can cause eye discharge in cats. Look out for symptoms like redness, swelling, or a change in the color of the eye discharge. Several infections can cause epiphora, but a common one includes Feline Pneumonitis and cat herpesvirus (FVR).

Blocked Tear Ducts

Sometimes, a cat's tear ducts can get blocked, leading to excessive watering. Veterinary sources cause this nasolacrimal disease. This can be a result of an injury or a congenital issue.


This is an infection of the eyelid that can cause swelling, redness, and discharge. In cats, blepharitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, infections, or even autoimmune disorders. If your cat's eyelids appear inflamed or they're constantly scratching at their eyes, it might be time to consult a veterinarian.

Entropion and Ectropion

These are conditions where the eyelids turn inwards (entropion) or outwards (ectropion). Science Direct research shows that short-nosed breeds like Persians are particularly prone to these issues due to their facial structure. But the Burmese and Siamese are also more prone to being born with eye issues that can cause eye watering in kittens.

Entropion can cause the eyelashes to rub against the eye, leading to irritation and watering, while ectropion can expose the eye to more environmental irritants.


Smoke, chemicals, or foreign objects in the eye can irritate a cat’s eyes, causing them to water. Ensure your cat's environment is free from such irritants. If only one eye is watering and your cat is showing no other symptoms, there may be something stuck in the eye.

You can try gently squirting the watery eye with water to see if you can flush it out. However, be careful because any foreign object can scratch the surface of the eye and cause infections or damage. So, it’s often best to get a vet to help you clean the eye out safely.

Eye Injuries

Scratches or trauma to the eye can lead to watering and other serious symptoms. It's crucial to seek veterinary attention if an eye injury is suspected.


Also known as pink eye, research shows this condition can cause watering, redness, and itchiness. It may be contagious, so it's important to address it promptly.

Environmental Factors

Weather changes, exposure to wind or sun, and other environmental factors can also lead to watery eyes in cats.

Keeping an eye on your cat’s health when you're away is crucial. That's where the Petcube Pet Camera comes in handy. This innovative device allows you to monitor your cat remotely, ensuring they are safe and healthy even when you're not there. You can check for signs of discomfort or unusual behavior that might indicate a problem with their eyes or overall health. The Petcube Pet Camera is an excellent tool for pet owners who want to stay connected with their pets and be proactive in their care.

Symptoms of Eye Issues in Cats

Identifying the symptoms of eye issues in cats is crucial for timely and effective treatment. Cats can't tell us when something's wrong, so it's up to us to watch for signs of trouble. Here are some symptoms you might notice if your cat is experiencing eye problems:

One Watery Eye

If you notice that your cat has one watery eye and no other symptoms, it could be a sign of mild irritation or a blocked tear duct. However, it's still important to monitor for any changes or additional symptoms.

Sneezing and Watery Eyes

A combination of sneezing and watery eyes can often indicate a respiratory infection or an allergy. Feline herpes virus is a common cause of respiratory issues in cats and can lead to chronic sneezing and watery eyes.

One Watery Eye and Sneezing

Similar to the above, if your cat has one watery eye accompanied by sneezing, it could suggest an allergy or a mild upper respiratory infection.

Eye-watering and Squinting

This combination of symptoms can be a sign of discomfort or pain in the eye, possibly due to an infection such as uveitis, injury, or a foreign object in the eye.

Sneezing with Watery Eyes and a Swollen Cheek

If your cat is sneezing, has watery eyes, and has a swollen cheek, it could indicate a more serious condition like a dental issue or an infection. This requires immediate veterinary attention.

Discharge from the Eyes

Any change in the color or consistency of eye discharge, such as it becoming yellow, green, or thicker, can indicate an infection or other serious issue.

Redness or Inflammation

Red or inflamed eyes are a clear sign of irritation or infection. This can be due to a variety of causes, including conjunctivitis or environmental irritants.

Frequent Blinking or Winking

Excessive blinking or winking is often a sign of discomfort or pain in the eye.

Cloudiness or Change in Eye Color

A cloudy appearance or a change in the color of the eye can indicate a serious eye condition like cataracts or glaucoma.

Sensitivity to Light

If your cat is avoiding bright light or seems uncomfortable in normal lighting, it might be experiencing pain or discomfort in its eyes.

Pawing at the Eyes

Cats often try to relieve discomfort by pawing at their eyes, which can be a sign of irritation or pain.

Third Eyelid Protrusion

The appearance of a cat's third eyelid (a whitish membrane) can be a sign of eye distress or an underlying health issue.

Behavioral Changes

Changes in your cat’s behavior, like reduced activity levels, hiding, or apparent disorientation, can be indirect symptoms of eye problems.

To keep a watchful eye on your cat, especially when you're not around, consider using the Petcube Pet Camera. This device allows you to observe your cat’s behavior remotely, helping you spot any unusual signs like excessive sneezing, watery eyes, or changes in activity levels. Early detection of these symptoms can be crucial for prompt treatment, especially in cases of feline herpes virus, which requires veterinary care.

What Do You Do When Your Cat’s Eye Is Watering

When you notice your cat's eyes watering, it's important to assess the situation carefully and take appropriate steps. While some causes may require veterinary intervention, there are also home remedies and care techniques you can use for minor issues. Here's what you can do:

Gentle Cleaning

If your cat's eye is watering, gently wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth. Use a separate cloth for each eye to prevent cross-contamination if there's an infection.

Identify Allergens

If allergies are suspected, try to identify and remove potential allergens from your cat’s environment. Common allergens include pollen, dust, certain litters, and some foods.


Using a humidifier can help if your cat has watery eyes due to a cold. This can soothe irritation and help with respiratory symptoms.

Monitor the Environment

Ensure your cat's environment is free from irritants like smoke, strong perfumes, or chemicals that could cause eye irritation.

Saline Solution

A sterile saline solution can be used to gently rinse your cat’s eyes. This can help remove irritants and soothe mild eye discomfort.

Home Remedies for Sneezing and Watery Eyes

If your cat is sneezing and has watery eyes, a warm, quiet, and comfortable resting area can help. Also, ensure they are well-hydrated.

Diet and Hydration

A balanced diet and plenty of fresh water are essential for your cat’s overall health and can aid in recovery from minor eye irritations. Make sure to test your cat for any food allergies.

Avoid Self-Medication

It’s crucial not to use over-the-counter medications or human eye drops on your cat without consulting a veterinarian.

Seeking Veterinary Advice

While home remedies can be helpful, they are not substitutes for professional veterinary care. If your cat's symptoms persist, worsen, or are accompanied by other signs of illness (like lethargy, lack of appetite, or behavioral changes), it’s important to consult a veterinarian. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend treatment, which might include prescription medications or other therapies.

How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment

Caring for a pet, especially when it comes to unexpected health issues, can sometimes be financially challenging. This is where the Petcube Emergency Fund steps in, offering a safety net for pet owners facing emergency vet bills. Let's explore how this fund can assist you in ensuring your cat receives the best possible care without the added stress of high expenses.

In addition to financial support, the fund offers 24/7 online vet care. This means you have access to professional veterinary advice at any time, which is invaluable when you’re worried about your cat's eye-watering or any other health concern. Quick access to expert advice can make a significant difference in how effectively you can respond to a pet health emergency.

To make it even more accessible, blog readers can enjoy a 27% discount on their Petcube Emergency Fund subscription. Use this special link to take advantage of the offer. This discount makes it more affordable to have this essential safety net for your pets.


Why is one of my cat's eyes watering?

If one of your cat's eyes is watering, it could be due to several reasons. This might include a minor irritation, an allergic reaction, a blocked tear duct, or the beginning of an infection. It's important to monitor the eye for any changes or additional symptoms like redness, discharge, or swelling. If the watering persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it's best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why are my cat's eyes watering and squinting?

Watering and squinting in your cat's eyes can be signs of discomfort or pain. This could be due to a variety of issues, such as conjunctivitis, corneal injury, foreign objects in the eye, or even glaucoma. Squinting often indicates that the eye is sensitive, which can be a response to bright light, an injury, or inflammation. It's essential to get your cat examined by a veterinarian if you notice these symptoms, as they can advise on the best course of action.

Why are my cat's eyes watering brown?

Brown or dark-colored watering from your cat's eyes can indicate a pigment in the tears causing tear stains, infection, or the presence of dried blood. This could be a result of an injury, a serious infection, or an underlying health issue. The discoloration is often due to the presence of certain types of bacteria or debris in the tear fluid. Brown watering is a sign that warrants immediate veterinary attention to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Final Thoughts

Caring for a cat with watery eyes requires attentiveness and an understanding of the potential causes. Whether it’s an allergy, an infection, or something more serious, the key is to monitor your cat's symptoms closely and seek veterinary advice when necessary.

Remember, early detection and treatment can prevent more serious issues and keep your feline friend comfortable and healthy. Don't forget to consider resources like the Petcube Emergency Fund for added support in managing your cat's health needs. Your loving care and vigilance are crucial in maintaining your cat’s well-being.

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