When you own a cat, it can be easy to assume that all of their grooming and health care needs and issues will basically take care of themselves. After all, cats are animals that like to keep themselves clean and are generally healthy if they stay indoors. However, this is not always the case. If your cat's eyes are usually bright and clear but one or both of those eyes suddenly seem watery or your cat simply does not open their eye(s) easily anymore, you may wonder what the problem could be. Get to know some of the potential causes of your cat's eye troubles so that you can be sure you give them the care they need to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed again as soon as possible.
An Embedded Hair
While cats are normally good at grooming themselves and keeping hair out of their eye, getting hairs embedded in their eyes is actually a common cause of eye discomfort in cats. This is especially true during shedding season.
The majority of hairs that get in your cat's eye will work themselves out and away from the eye only causing mild irritation for a day or so. However, sometimes the hair will get stuck to the eye tissue and needs to be removed by a veterinarian. If your cat's eye seems to be producing excessive amounts of mucus to the point that they cannot keep it open or it appears to have a layer of crust on it, then this may be the issue.
Your cat's veterinarian will try to get the hair off the eye using just a simple swab. Numbing eye drops may also be administered to prevent your cat from feeling the swab. After the hairs are removed, you might be given prescription eye drops to prevent infection and further irritation.
A Bacterial Infection
Another common cause of watery and runny eyes is a bacterial infection. The film on your cat's eyes is specifically designed to keep bacteria out. However, it is not infallible. If your cat spends a lot of time outside, hunts, or digs around in their litter box quite a bit, it is quite possible for them to develop a bacterial infection in their eyes.
Generally speaking, the mucus secreted by the eye when a bacterial infection is present will be yellowish or greenish. You may also notice significant swelling (puffiness) and redness in or around the eye when such an infection is present.
The veterinarian will examine your cat's eye and then prescribe them with antibiotics. Usually these are administered in the form of eye drops. But, if the infection is advanced or appears to be causing issues beyond the eye, there may be oral medications for the infection as well as soothing eye drops.
Knowing the possible reasons for your cat's runny or watery eyes will help you to know what treatments they may need so they can get back to feeling great sooner rather than later. For more information or assistance with the health of your dog's eyes, contact establishments like Canine Center.