Have you ever looked at your cat’s eyes and seen them cry? What’s going on in their little mind to cause them to cry? Are they sad? Are they stressed out? Are the allergic to something? Is it normal for them to cry? Do their tears stain their fur?
It’s completely natural for your cat to cry or for their eyes to water. A lot of times it’s due to a condition called Epiphora, although it could be caused by Distichiasis or Entropion.
Physical Reasons Your Cat May Be Crying
What is Distichiasis?
Distichiasis is when eyelashes are turned in.
What is Entropion?
Entropion is when the eyelids are turned in.
What is Epiphora?
Epiphora is a condition that causes your cat to produce an excessive amount of tears/discharge. Epiphora affects certain breeds more than others simply due to the shape of their eyes. Commonly Epiphora comes alongside one or both of the conditions above.
How do I know that my cat is experiencing symptoms of Epiphora?
A lack of drainage/Visible Tears
Ulcers on the Cornea
Redness or Irritation
Saggy or Loose skin around the eyes
What Breeds are usually affected by Epiphora?
Most “flat faced cats” experience Epiphora.
Are there any other physical reasons why my cat may be crying?
Similar to humans, if something gets stuck in your cat’s eye(s) or in their tear duct(s) this may cause the cat to cry. It’s very important to take note of debris stuck inside of your cat’s tear ducts as it may lead to infection or inflammation if not dealt with. Dry Eye is also a common problem. If your cat has a lack of tear production, their eyes may become inflamed if left untreated. This may also lead to blindness. Dry Eye is commonly treated with ointments, antibiotics, artificial tears, eye drops, or immune-suppressing drugs.
Illnesses Tied to Cats Crying
What Should I Be Worried of in regards to my cat crying?
Well, if it isn’t common for your cat to cry, you’re going to want to get them checked by the vet. There is a chance that your cat has eyelid scarring or a tumour. (Tumours are small raised patches of skin on your cat’s eyelid.) These are fairly rare, but it’s definitely still important to be aware of them. If you are concerned that your cat has a tumour make sure to take them to the vet. A vet will most likely do some radiographs. Radiographs will help your vet see if your cat has any lesions in their sinus or nose. They will also try to flush your cat’s tear ducts to make sure there’s no debris stuck inside. Although uncommon, your vet may also run an MRI or a CT scan. If your cat’s eyes are cloudy make sure you take your cat to the vet immediately. If left untreated your cat may become blind.
Are there any Illnesses that are connected to crying?
Yup! One of them is pink eye. Pink eye is an inflammation on the lining of your cat’s eye. The cat’s eye usually becomes red and swollen and may have mucus discharge. If your cat starts becoming a fever, trouble breathing, or diarrhea this can become fatal. Note: this is not very common.
Corneal Disorders are when a cat’s eye becomes inflamed, ulcerated or injured. This is usually exemplified by excessive blinking, cloudiness, increased tear production or even cloudiness. You will need to make sure to keep your cat’s eyes clean, and you may be given antibiotics or eyedrops. If serious enough you may need to get your cat’s eyes cauterized and they may have to undergo surgery.
Uveitis is the inflammation in the internal structures of the eye. It may also be a sign of cancer, trauma, immune system problems, or bacterial infections. These are oftentimes extremely painful. Commonly cats will be given ointments or eyedrops, however, it’s often hard to diagnose what the cause of Uveitis is.
Feline Upper Respiratory Infections are viruses that are contagious to other cats. If your cat is showing signs of pus, yellow discharge, or a sticky substance your cat needs to see a vet. Clear mucus is usually a sign of a virus, while yellow discharge, while completely curable, is a sign of a serious bacterial infection. Some examples of Feline Upper Respiratory Infections include pneumonitis, rhinotracheitis (herpes virus), feline calicivirus, and protozoa. These are commonly given a round of antibiotics, decongestants and ointments. If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to always be washing your hands! You are able to pass these infections to other cats. It is also important to separate your cats if they are experiencing any of these symptoms or they may continuously pass it to each other.
Are there such a thing as Cat Allergies?
Absolutely. Not only can cats develop food allergies, but they can also develop allergies to things like mould, dust, medicines, perfumes, cleaning products, pollen, and flea-control products.
What Can I do for Cat Allergies?
If you take your cat to the vet, they may provide you with a steroid ointment. However, if it is caused by bacterial infection antibiotics will be prescribed.
So, my cat’s fur is turning reddish-brown… what’s going on?
Since your cat is doing a lot of crying they are exposing their fur to something called porphyrins. Porphyrins are molecules that contain iron, which are waste products that break down from red blood cells. (Porphyrins are also released in saliva, urine, tears and feces.
Are they a health problem?
Unfortunately, yes. Tear stains can cause irritation or inflammation to your cat’s skin.
Solutions or Advice for Crying Cats
What Are Some Ways I Can Clean My Cat’s Eyes
Dependant on what you’re trying to do, a warm damp cloth, wet cotton balls, should be good enough to clean your cat’s eyes. Make sure that you use a fresh piece of cloth or a fresh cotton ball for each eye.
Is there a Solution To Tear Stains?
There are definitely some products you can check out if you’re interested in getting rid of tear stains. Some of the top ones include Arava Pet Eye Wipes, Always Bright Eyes, Eye Envy Cat Tear Stain Remover Starter Kit, and ClearQuest Pet Eye Wipes.