Cats Eye Matter

by Joan Zymowski

Cats eye discharge can be normal or can indicate a problem. The following question illustrates one such case.


I have a yellow tabby cat that is 11 years old. I have recently moved and have not found a new vet in my area. At times, my cats eye has matter in the inside corner. Ususally it is only one eye. My cat appears to be in good health. He eats Purina One and has no urinary problems. What may be causing my cats eye problem?

Joan Zymowski

Hi, Joan

Of course, I cannot tell for sure without seeing the eye, but I can give you an educated opinion and also some tips so you can try to decide what is going on.

Ocular discharge from a cats eye is quite common. It can be one eye or both. It can appear dried most of the time or it can be quite moist.

Many different conditions can cause discharge from a cats eye. Their eyes are constructed just like ours so they can have conjunctivitis, ulcers, foreign objects in their eyes, infection, inflammation, blocked tear ducts, and on and on.

Your kitty sounds like he feels well and is in good health. That, along with the fact that it is usually only one eye and you don't mention it getting worse, would make me believe that the most likely cause is a blocked tear duct.

Blocked tear ducts are common in cats and may affect one or both eyes. They can become blocked from a prior bout of conjunctivitis or other eye disease. They are really of no consequence, except aesthetically.

If he is not squinting and you don't see a swollen, red eye and the discharge is not yellow or greenish, then there's very likely no cause for alarm.

Cat eye care for such a condition is very simple. Gently wipe any dried discharge from the corners of his eye with a soft moist cloth as needed.

If this is not the case, if there are other symptoms or any of what I described above is involved, please see a veterinarian.

Thanks for writing, Dr. Neely

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