How to Clean Cat Face Stains

On occasion, you may notice stains on your cat's face. These face stains may take the form of reddish-brown streaks, and they can be especially noticeable on cats with white or lighter-colored fur. This kind of staining in your cat's eye area is likely due to excessive tear production known as epiphora.

What Are Cat Face Stains?

Tear stains or face stains caused by epiphora may be related to your cat's diet. Epiphora can also be a response to poor drainage from the nasolacrimal ducts or an eyelid issue. The higher-than-average amount of tears produced accumulates and flows onto your cat's fur, creating stains.
Other common causes of epiphora include:

  • Allergies
  • Bacterial infections, such as conjunctivitis
  • An eye injury
  • A physical deformity
  • Ingrown eyelashes
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Glaucoma
  • Chemical or environmental exposure
  • Yeast infections

In addition, some cats are susceptible to epiphora simply due to their genetics and face shape. Persians, Himalayans and Exotic Shorthairs all have a higher risk of face staining for this reason.

Tips for Cleaning Cat Face Stains

If you're noticing tear stains on your cat:

  • Schedule an appointment with your vet: They'll check your cat for underlying issues like eye infections, injuries or blocked ducts. They'll point you in the direction of the appropriate treatment if necessary. For example, your cat may need to have its ducts flushed, or it may be prescribed antibiotics.
  • Prioritize grooming: You may need to keep the hair on your cat's face trimmed for the time being, especially if it is dealing with a particular medical issue.
  • Examine your cat's diet: Provide your cat with filtered drinking water, make sure it's on a balanced diet and try eliminating foods that contain dyes.
  • Remove the stains: Once any underlying injury or infection has been addressed, you'll want to remove your cat's unsightly facial stains. Try using non-irritating cat tear stain remover products from Eye Envy®. Apply our Tear Stain Remover Solution with pet-safe Gentle Action Dry Applicator Pads. Follow this with our Tear Stain Remover Powder for best results. Or, choose the 3-Step Tear Stain Remover Kit, which includes everything you need for removing cat tear stains, including an all-natural facial cleanser.