I recently found out that “eye discharge” ranked No. 1 in searches on cat diseases by owners, so I decided to find out more about it.
☆How to tell if your cat’s eye discharge requires treatment
According to vets, eye discharge can vary between that which is harmless and that which requires treatment.
Normally a cat’s eye discharge is the result of a foreign body in the eye or waste matter. So, if your cat wakes up in the morning with a little bit of yellowish-brown secretion, that is just a sign of a healthy metabolism and is nothing to worry about.
What, then, is unhealthy eye discharge?
☆Color is an indication of disease
Blackish or reddish-brown eye discharge is a natural byproduct of your cat’s metabolism and, thus, is no cause for worry. However, if the discharge is whitish, yellowish or greenish, or if your cat has opaque or clouded tears, it may be due to an infection.
Tears that are clear and watery are the result of injury or allergies of some kind.
You should also check which eye has the discharge. If both eyes have the same kind of discharge, then it is most likely due to bacteria or a virus infection.
If only one eye is secreting discharge, it is mostly due to a foreign object in the eye or an injury obtained during a fight. In any case, it is best to take your cat to the vet for an examination.
☆When keeping multiple cats
If one cat has an eye infection, it can easily be spread to the other cats. If you are a multiple-cat household, then you should immediately quarantine the ill cat. Take particular caution if you have kittens or elderly cats because infection can easily lead to bronchitis, pneumonia and other serious illnesses.
Viral illnesses in cats are highly contagious so it is important that owners take special precautions to prevent spread.
I hope I’ve changed your mind about eye discharge. It is easy to dismiss, but it is an important barometer for reading the health of your cat.
Winter is a prime time for colds, even for cats, but eye discharge is an easy way to monitor your cat’s health. Please make it a habit of checking your cat’s eyes daily.