If you have a cat, you've probably heard at some point that cats can't cry like humans do. However, that doesn't mean that cats are incapable of having fluid leak from their eyes. If you've noticed that your cat's eyes seem to be dripping or leaky, it could indicate that there's a problem with your cat's health. This guide will explain one of the most common causes of this problem and what you can do about it.
Feline Respiratory Viruses
Like humans, cats can catch respiratory viruses that harm their lungs, nasal passageways, and even eyes. This is one of the most likely causes of your cat's drippy eyes.
Cats typically experience leaking eyes due to feline herpes. Unlike most human versions of the virus, cats typically suffer from respiratory symptoms when they catch herpes or experience flare-ups. Unfortunately, like human herpes, there's no cure. However, keeping your kitty's stress to a minimum and looking after their overall health can help to reduce the likelihood of them having a flare-up in the future.
Additional Symptoms to Look For
Leaky eyes can potentially be caused by other things, like feline allergies, so it's not a guarantee that your cat has feline herpes. If you're trying to troubleshoot the problem, you should look for these other symptoms, too.
Eye Inflammation—Eye leakage is typically a side effect of overall inflammation of the eye. You may notice that your cat's eyelids appear to be swollen or thicker than usual, or red.
Partially Closed Inner Eyelids—Your cat's inner eyelids are designed to help protect them from debris and damage. However, the inner eyelids shouldn't close for no reason while your cat is wide awake. This symptom combined with leakage could indicate feline herpes virus.
Rapid Sneezing Fits—Another common respiratory symptom that feline herpes-infected cats experience is rapid-fire sneezing fits. These sneezes may come on suddenly and occur multiple times per day.
Any of these symptoms in combination may pinpoint your cat's problem as feline herpes.
What to Do
If your cat is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. While feline herpes can't be cured, your veterinarian can provide medication and support to help ease your cat's discomfort and to improve their breathing. Antibiotics may be prescribed in order to prevent a secondary bacterial infection from developing while their body is fighting the virus.
Feline herpes typically isn't lethal, but it can make a kitty miserable when they experience a flare-up. If your cat's eyes are dripping, visit an animal hospital like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital to find out if it's herpes and to get care to reduce your cat's symptoms.