Are you wondering, “Why is my cats eye watering and squinting?” With their expressive eyes and intricate behaviors, cats often convey subtle signals about their well-being.

If you’ve noticed your feline friend exhibiting watery eyes accompanied by squinting, it’s essential to delve into the potential causes behind these symptoms.

Why Is My Cats Eye Watering and Squinting: Common Causes


Conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the conjunctiva, is a frequent cause of watery eyes and squinting in cats. It can result from viral or bacterial infections, allergies, or irritants. Common signs include redness, discharge, and squinting due to eye discomfort.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers, or injuries to the cornea (the transparent outer layer of the eye), can lead to watery eyes and squinting. Causes include scratches from foreign objects, trauma, or underlying eye conditions. Cats may paw at their eyes or avoid bright light when dealing with corneal ulcers.

Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections, often caused by feline herpesvirus or calicivirus, can manifest with eye-related symptoms. Watery eyes and squinting may occur alongside sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. These infections are highly contagious among cats.

Foreign Objects or Irritants

The presence of foreign objects, dust, or irritants in the eye can provoke watery eyes and squinting as a protective response. Cats may rub their faces against surfaces or paw at their eyes to alleviate discomfort.

Dental Issues

Dental problems, such as tooth root abscesses, can cause referred pain to the eyes. Cats may exhibit watery eyes, squinting, and pawing at their faces. Addressing underlying dental issues is crucial to resolving associated eye symptoms.


Cats, like humans, can experience allergies that affect their eyes. Allergens such as pollen, dust, or certain foods may lead to watery eyes, itching, and squinting. Identifying and managing allergens can help alleviate these symptoms.


Entropion is a condition that makes the eyelids roll inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea. This constant irritation can result in watery eyes and squinting. Surgical intervention may be necessary to correct entropion.


Glaucoma can lead to severe discomfort and vision impairment. Cats with glaucoma may display watery eyes, squinting, and a bluish tint to the cornea. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial for managing this condition.

Why Is My Cats Eye Watering and Squinting: Observing Your Cat’s Behavior

Changes in the Behavior of Your Cat

Pay attention to changes in your cat’s behavior. If you notice increased rubbing of the eyes, pawing at the face, or a reluctance to open the affected eye, it could indicate discomfort.

Discharge Color and Consistency

Examine the discharge from your cat’s eyes. A transparent or slightly watery discharge may suggest an irritant, while a thick, colored discharge could indicate infection or another underlying issue.

Blinking Frequency Makes my Cats Eye Watering and Squinting

Observe your cat’s blinking frequency. Excessive blinking or squinting may be a sign of discomfort or pain. Cats may try to minimize exposure to light if their eyes are sensitive.

Overall Demeanor

Consider your cat’s overall demeanor. If they appear lethargic, have changes in appetite, or show signs of distress, it could indicate a more serious underlying problem requiring prompt attention.

When to Consult a Veterinarian if My Cats Eye is Watering and Squinting

Persistent Symptoms Are Reasons Why My Cats Eye is Watering and Squinting

If your cat’s watery eyes and squinting persist for more than a day or two, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian. Persistent symptoms may indicate an underlying issue that requires professional assessment and treatment.

Changes in Eye Appearance

Any changes in the appearance of your cat’s eyes, such as cloudiness, bulging, or changes in pupil size, should prompt immediate veterinary attention. These could signal severe conditions like glaucoma or corneal ulcers.

Sudden Onset

Suppose the symptoms appear suddenly and are accompanied by other concerning signs, seek veterinary care promptly. The sudden onset of watery eyes and squinting may indicate injuries, infections, or systemic illnesses.

Eye Trauma

If you suspect your cat has experienced eye trauma, like a scratch or a foreign object in the eye, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Prompt treatment can prevent complications and promote faster healing.

Underlying Health Conditions

Cats with pre-existing health conditions, such as respiratory or chronic illnesses, may be more susceptible to eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor and address potential concerns early on.

Veterinary Diagnosis When My Cats Eye is Watering and Squinting

Comprehensive Eye Examination

A veterinarian will conduct a thorough eye examination to assess the overall health of your cat’s eyes. This may include checking for signs of inflammation, corneal ulcers, or abnormalities in the eye structures.

Diagnostic Tests

In some cases, diagnostic tests such as eye staining or cultures may be conducted to identify specific causes, especially if infections or injuries are suspected. These tests help tailor appropriate treatment plans.

Prescription Medications

Depending on the diagnosis, your veterinarian may prescribe eye drops, ointments, or oral medications to address the underlying cause. It’s essential to follow the prescribed treatment regimen diligently.

Surgical Intervention

In instances of severe conditions like entropion or glaucoma, surgical intervention may be recommended. Surgical procedures aim to correct structural issues and alleviate discomfort.

Measures When My Cats Eye is Watering and Squinting

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming in your cat’s routine helps prevent irritants or foreign objects from causing eye discomfort. Brushing your cat’s fur, especially around the face, reduces the risk of debris entering their eyes.

Environmental Allergen Management

If your cat is prone to allergies, take measures to manage environmental allergens. Keep living spaces clean, use air purifiers, and identify and minimize potential triggers. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions affecting the eyes.

Dental Care

Maintaining your cat’s dental health is essential for preventing referred eye pain. Regular dental check-ups, proper dental hygiene, and addressing dental issues promptly contribute to overall well-being.

Stress Reduction

Minimize stressors in your cat’s environment, as stress contributes to various health issues, including eye problems. Create a calm and secure space, provide enrichment activities, and ensure a consistent and reassuring routine.

Balanced Nutrition

A well-balanced and nutritious diet supports your cat’s overall health and ocular well-being. Please consult your veterinarian to ensure your cat’s diet meets nutritional requirements.

Conclusion: Why Is My Cats Eye Watering and Squinting

Watery eyes and squinting in cats can indicate underlying issues, ranging from common conditions like conjunctivitis to more severe concerns like glaucoma. Timely veterinary intervention is crucial to accurately diagnose the cause and implement an effective treatment plan.

As a vigilant cat owner, observing changes in behavior, monitoring eye discharge, and being attentive to overall demeanor empower you to recognize potential issues early on.