Cat Eye Discharge – Causes & Information

car infected eyes

Sometimes a cat’s eyes will produce discharge of some kind.

While this isn’t always a cause for concern, you shouldn’t simply ignore it. There are a number of possible causes that you’ll want to know about.

This information can help you take better care of your feline friend.

What to look for

Discharge from the cat’s eyes typically appears as a clear but thick substance. Sometimes it can have a green or orange coloration, depending on the cause. The discharge is usually sticky and clings to the area around the cat’s eyes.

Causes of Cat Eye Discharge

When you take the time to look into some of the causes of cat eye discharge, you will have a better idea as to what is wrong with your kitty.

1. Upper Respiratory Infection

If your cat has an upper respiratory infection, you might notice some discharge coming from their eyes. This type of infection is caused by bacteria, but it’s usually not too serious. 

Some of the other signs of a URI in cats include coughing, runny nose, sneezing, congestion and fever. It is basically the same symptoms that humans experience. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to treat the infection, which is usually very effective.

2. Watery Eyes

Cats that have issues with overactive tear ducts often have issues with eye discharge. Your cat’s watery eyes could also be due to allergies, which is actually pretty common among these animals.

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3. Eye Infection

An infection of the eye can certainly cause discharge, and it is very serious. If you don’t get the infection under control soon, your cat could end up losing its eye. While these kinds of infections are not terribly common, they can be lethal.

If your cat has an infection of the eye, you will probably notice a lot of redness and irritation on and around it. It is crucial that you get them to a vet as soon as possible for treatment. A powerful course of antibiotics could be enough to eliminate the infection entirely.

cat bad eyes

4. Corneal Disorder

Cats can develop certain conditions that affect the corneas of their eyes. A corneal disorder can be quite serious. If left untreated, this type of disorder can lead to blindness in one or both eyes.

Some of the common symptoms of a corneal disorder in cats include inflammation around the eye, excessive blinking, and frequently tearing up. There are certain procedures and medications that can help with this problem.

5. Chronic Dry Eyes

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a condition that causes some cats to have chronic dry eyes. These cats have problems with producing a normal amount of tears. If your cat does not receive the necessary treatment for this condition, they could go blind.

If your cat has this particular condition, you will probably notice a yellowish discharge coming from their eyes. Once the cat’s cornea becomes inflamed, blindness becomes a real concern.

6. Foreign Object in Your Cat’s Eye

It’s also possible that there is some foreign object that is trapped in your cat’s eye. This could be anything from a piece of their own hair to a tiny piece of grass. It can cause a lot of irritation, which in turn leads to excessive tear production. This results in discharge from the eye.

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How to Prevent Cat Eye Discharge

You’ll find that there are a number of things you can do to prevent discharge from your cat’s eyes.

1. Clean their eyes as needed

When you start to notice all that gross gunk form around your cat’s eyes, it is time to clean them out. Failing to do this can lead to an infection, which could result in blindness.

All you need to keep your cat’s eyes clean is a damp soft cloth. Gently wipe the cloth around your cat’s eyes until all of their eye boogers are gone. You can significantly lower the chances of infection and other issues that cause eye discharge by doing this.

cat eye discharge

2. Address Your Cat’s Allergies

If your cat’s eye discharge is due to allergies, there are a number of things you can do to help them. First you will need to determine what exactly your feline friend is allergic to. If it is something like a household chemical or a perfume you like to wear, just keep it away from them.

If the issue is seasonal allergies, you’ll want to keep your cat inside during the spring months. It is important that you limit their exposure to pollen. You should be able to give your cat an over the counter antihistamine medication when they are exhibiting allergy symptoms.

Make sure that you speak with your veterinarian before giving your cat any medication for its allergies. They will provide you with helpful advice on how to go about limiting these symptoms in your kitty.

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3. Take Your Cat in for Regular Checkups

You should definitely make a point of taking your cat to the vet for regular checkups. This will make it easier for you to keep their eyes and the rest of them as healthy as possible. Those who fail to do this are just asking for trouble.


  • While discharge for your cat’s eyes not necessarily a cause for concern, it can indicate a serious problem.
  • An upper respiratory infection is often to blame when it comes to cat eye discharge.
  • Your cat’s eye discharge could be due to overactive tear ducts or allergies.
  • If your cat has a bacterial infection in one or both eyes, you will most likely notice some amount of discharge.
  • Cats that have problems with chronic dry eyes often produce clear discharge.
  • A corneal disorder can also cause eye discharge and even lead to blindness if it is left untreated.
  • Your cat might have a foreign object in their eye, which causes irritation and possibly discharge.
  • If your cat has allergies, it is important that you do everything possible to keep them under control.
  • Regular vet checkups will help to keep your cat’s eyes as healthy as possible over the years.
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