So, tears aren’t always something to worry about. Science believes there is usually a biological or medical reason for cat tears.
There’s that old saying about eyes being the window to the soul, and when our animals cry, we can’t help but wonder why.
Cat tears can be particularly disconcerting for cat lovers and raise a lot of questions. But do cats cry like we do when they are sad or hurt?
How Do Cats Cry Tears
Cats, like us, have tear glands that produce tears that are essential for healthy eyes. Tears, together with blinking, keep their eyes moist and flush out foreign matter.
Cats with low tear production are, in fact, often diagnosed with dry eye. Eye drops will be prescribed to keep their eyes lubricated and to stimulate tear production.
The Third Eyelid
While we have two eyelids, cats also have a nictitating membrane – often called the third eyelid. It’s in the inside corner of the eye, under the other eyelids.
This membrane moves upward and protects the eye from scratches – like when your cat is moving through tall grass. It also usually becomes visible when your cat’s eye is inflamed.
Ducts, called nasolacrimal ducts, drain tears from the eye into the nose from an opening in the inside corner of the eye. This is why your nose runs when you cry.
Why Do Cats Cry Tears?
We often read reports by cat owners that their cats cry emotional tears when they’re upset. Some of these stories are in the readers’ comments below.
But so far there’s no scientific evidence linking cat tears with emotions. This doesn’t mean that cats don’t have emotions. They’re just expressed in other ways, like a sad meow.
So Do their Tears Have A Purpose?
Cat’s tears appear to be entirely functional in nature. They are caused either by something that leads to more than normal tear production or something that stops proper drainage.
So if there are tears in your kitty’s eyes you might need to be worried about their physical health, rather than their emotional well-being.
Some reasons for cat tears are nothing to worry about while others require a visit to the veterinarian. We’ll take a look at these causes below.
Just like some people are more prone to watery eyes, your cat could also produce more tears than others. It could be completely normal or a sign of a mild allergy.
In some cat breeds their facial structure affects proper tear drainage right down into the nose. This occurs mostly in cats with flat faces that have a squished-in appearance – for example, Persians and Himalayans.
The overflow of tears can cause unattractive staining.
How Do I Stop My Cat’s Tears?
Resolving your cat’s tears depends on the cause. It’s rarely as simple as handing your kitty a Kleenex and giving her some extra hugs.
Sometimes the reason for tears is no cause for concern. When excessive tearing lasts for a while or there are other worrying symptoms – have your kitty checked by the vet. Glaucoma and abnormal eyelids are further, more serious, causes of cat’s tears that haven’t been mentioned.
Also make sure that your cat gets all the vaccines that can prevent serious feline infections.
Never use eye medications not prescribed by your vet, or meds left over from a previous eye problem.
Anything more you want to know? Or want to make a contribution to the question “Do cats cry”? Please leave you comments below.