Cats can develop eye boogers, also known as eye discharge or gunk, due to various reasons. This discharge is a collection of secretions that can accumulate in the corners of their eyes. Here are some important points to consider:
What Are Eye Boogers in Cats?
Eye boogers are a combination of water, salts, protein, mucus, and fatty oils that make up tears. They help protect a cat’s eyes from foreign materials. Sometimes, especially during sleep, these components can precipitate out and collect in the corners of the eyes, forming eye boogers.
Are Eye Boogers Normal in Cats?
Small amounts of eye boogers are normal in cats, especially after they’ve been sleeping. However, it’s important to note that some breeds, like Persians and Himalayans, are more prone to having noticeable eye boogers due to their facial structure.
How to Clean Your Cat’s Eye Boogers
If your cat is prone to eye boogers, you can follow these steps to safely clean them:
- Boil water and allow it to cool.
- Wash your hands.
- Dip a cotton ball in the pre-boiled water.
- Gently wipe away discharge, starting from the inner corner of the eye and moving outwards.
- Follow the direction of the fur.
- Repeat for the other eye with a fresh cotton ball.
Alternatively, you can use eye-safe pet wipes to clean around your cat’s eyes.
When Are Eye Boogers Something to Worry About?
While small amounts of eye boogers are normal, an increase in their amount, or changes in color or consistency, should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian. Excess eye discharge, along with other symptoms like pawing at the eyes, excessive blinking, redness, swelling, or cloudiness of the corneas, may indicate a more serious underlying issue.
When to Call Your Cat’s Veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian if you notice any change in your cat’s eye condition, especially if accompanied by the symptoms mentioned above. Seek urgent veterinary advice if your cat is experiencing severe symptoms like squinting, pus-like discharge, cloudiness of the corneas, or any signs of systemic illness.
Prevention of Eye Boogers in Cats
While you can’t prevent normal eye boogers, regular health check-ups with a veterinarian and vaccinations to prevent contagious respiratory diseases can help keep your cat’s eyes as discharge-free as possible. If your cat experiences excessive eye discharge, a diagnosis from a veterinarian will guide treatment to resolve the underlying issue.