The Quality of Tears in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

The quality of the cat’s tears is very important for the eye to “feel good”. The tears moisturize and protect the eye from dirt and bacteria and consist of water, mucus and fat in a certain concentration. If this composition is disturbed, the eye becomes irritated.

The eyes may become dry if the lacrimal glands produce too little tear fluid or if the tears evaporate from the eye too quickly. This happens, for example, if the combination of water, fat and mucus is out of balance in the tears. The eyes can be “dry” even when there is an increased tear flow. This may be because the tears are too “watery” and therefore do not stay on the eye.

The external environment is also important for the eye, eg dry air, windy, dusty and smoky environments have a negative impact on the eye. Other factors that can cause problems are aging, hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases and medication.

The eyes have different looks in different breeds. Large protruding eyes, with eyelids that are not close to the eye, are more prone to evaporation of tears. These eyes may also have poor blinking ability and the cat may have difficulty closing the eyelids completely. Some individuals also sleep with half-open eyes.

To relieve the problems with dry eyes, eye drops of oil and tear replacement can be used. It can usually be bought at AniCura’s animal hospital / animal clinics, opticians or without a prescription at the pharmacy.

It is good if the eye is first rinsed with saline solution or “Tears naturale” to get rid of dirt. Then the eye can be dripped with eye drops as needed, usually 2-3 times / day.

If the cat is still irritated from the eyes, despite treatment with tear replacement, a new eye examination should be done.

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