Cat Watery Eyes can result from several different causes, some of which are minor and others more serious. The image above illustrates a cat with a herpes virus infection in the eye, given as an example of what can happen if the eye is not treated quickly. If your cat's eye is anything close to looking like this, go to the veterinarian at once.
Information About Less Serious Cases of Watery Eyes in Cats Is Given Below.
The following is a question from a reader about his cat's watery eye. Following his question and my answer are dozens more questions and answers about similar conditions in cats' eyes.
I noticed yesterday evening my cat started getting a watery eye. He would look like he was going to sneeze but never did and his eye would just start to water.
My thought was he had something in it but how do you help a cat remove something from his eye?
His eye is not red or swollen. And the only times he shuts it more then the other eye is when it starts to water. He isn't rubbing or scratching it.
This morning it didn't look like it was still watering.
I was reading on the internet that you can try a home remedy of a salt water saline and drop it in the eye 3 times a day. I was wondering what you think about this?
He is an indoor cat although he was recently outside on Sunday. He is longhair and 5 yrs old. He is still drinking and eating well.
Thank you for your help!
If his eye is no longer watery and he has no other symptoms, DO NOTHING! If he had something in his eye, it is probably gone.
Cats can certainly get foreign particles (dust,dirt, hair, etc.) in their eyes just as we can and the eyes may get a little red and produce excess tears in response to the irritation. If the eye is just a little teary and all else is well with a cat, it is generally ok to wait a few hours to see if it gets better.
However, I do have to say that, in general, when there is any unusual appearance to a cat's eye, the safest thing to do is to go to the veterinarian. Eyes are too important and irreplaceable to take chances. An injury or disease in a cat's eye can progress rather rapidly to become a very serious, sight-threatening condition.
Many things other than a bit of dust in the eye can cause excessive tearing and can be the start of something more serious. You can find this information on our very thorough page on eye conditions in cats.
As far as using home-made solutions to flush a cat's eye, I wouldn't do that either. That could be dangerous - it could severely damage his eye.
You can easily buy artificial tears from the pharmacy or a saline solution for contact lens users. Those solutions are definitely pH balanced for eyes and will cause no harm.
Thank you for writing.