Cat owners are often taken by surprise when they see tear staining on their cats. Certain dogs are known to suffer from tear staining but so are certain breeds of cats. There are a number of solutions out there but not all of them are good for your cat’s eyes and some may be doing more harm than good.
Cat Breeds Prone to Tear Staining
Like short nosed pug faced dogs, cats with pushed in faces like Persians and Himalayans are also prone to tear staining. There are also certain breeds of exotic shorthair cats that suffer from the same issue.
Drainage issues are usually the root cause for stub faced Himalayans and Persian cats. In one instance it could be that your cat’s eyes are overproducing tears, which, is not only irritating to the cat, but it too results in staining. Another drainage problem could be that your cat’s tear ducts are blocked which can be cured with an eye flush by the vet.
Some cats have eyes that spout out tears instead of dripping normally through their tear ducts. This can also lead to tear staining around your cat’s eyes. Cats with really big eyes often suffer from excessive tearing simply because their eyelids cannot close all the way.
Cats with protruding eyes tend to suffer from dry eye which causes the body to produce an excessive amount of tears. Structural eyelid problems like eyelids that are flipped forward known as a “prolapsed” or third eyelid, can often be treated through surgery by a good veterinary specialist.
There are other eye conditions that must be treated by surgery to fix. For example, trichiasis is a condition where your cat’s eyelashes grow toward the eye which leads to pain and chronic eye irritation that results in excessive tearing and eye stains.
Major Causes of Eye Stains for Cats
Because of the physical makeup of certain breeds of cats, tearing is inevitable. That does not however mean that all cats cannot suffer from tear staining problems. There are many causes of excessive tearing that leads to tear stains in any cat.
At the root are bacteria just like in dogs called porphyrins that are released through tears and saliva. Over time, they produce both staining and a foul odor. Among the many sources of eye stains for cats, these are some of the most common:
- Dirty Water
- Fur around the Eyes
- Long Eyelashes
- Infection (Yeast, Ear, Eye)
- Medical Issue
Other structural features of certain cats that could lead to excessive tearing are narrow nostrils, shallow eye sockets, and teething for young kittens between a year and a half and two years old. Any abnormalities in a cat’s eyelids or eyelashes could result in excessive discharge due to constant eye irritation.
More serious medical issues that could be underlying your cat’s tearing is viral conjunctivitis; a common condition in cats. A corneal abrasion or even ulcers in the eye could cause excessive tearing. If none of those are the cause, it could be a sign that your cat has developed glaucoma.
How to Remove Your Cat's Eye Stains
As you may have heard from others that you’ve talked to about your cat’s eye stains, hardly anything works. That’s not necessarily true. Fortunately for cat owners, if you find a good remover, it can remove stains within two days. But you will have to follow treatment up with a solid daily maintenance routine and many removers don’t treat the underlying bacterial issue.
So step one in how to remove your cat’s eye stains is to set realistic expectations. There is no solution that will remove your cat’s eye stains immediately and safely. Maybe the problem is that you gave up on a solution before it had time to work. Or you may have been using one of the many tear stain removers out there that do not work.
Additionally, keep in mind that your cat’s eye stains may take longer to remove if they are older and deeper. If you have used bleaches or other whiteners in the past, it could make it harder to remove stains and thus will take longer as well.
Remember, bacteria and moisture is the problem. Adding water to the area will not fix it and most often will only make the situation worse.
#1: Examine Your Cat’s Eyes Daily
One way to combat future stains from appearing is to make it a habit to examine your cat’s eyes on a daily basis. Tearing on a day after you have dusted and cleaned the house may not signal a tearing problem. However, if you notice over a period of days or weeks that your cat’s eyes have been especially teary, untreated, it will result in tear stains.
#2: Use Home Remedies with Caution
There are quick and easy home solutions that many swear by. One solution for cats that are prone to yeast infections that result in tear stains is a colloidal silver application. Using a cotton ball, you just dab colloidal silver in the areas on the fur that are affected by tear staining. Yeast stains are browner than tear stains which are reddish-brown or rust colored.
A word of caution on home remedies is to remember that cats and humans react differently to chemicals. Using your eye makeup remover to attempt to remove cat stains is bad. Do not use peroxide and do not powder your cat’s eyes. If you must try to clean your cat’s eyes with something other than a solution made specifically for cat tear stains, make sure it is gentle and hypoallergenic like baby shampoo.
#3: Try a Saline Flush for the Eyes
If you own a Himilayan or Persian cat with big eyes that are prone to tearing, in addition to making sure that their fur stays out of their eyes, you can try regular saline flushes. Saline is safe for cats and if you use it every few days or so, you can make sure that you are washing away bacteria that may be seeping out of your cat’s eyes through its tears and onto its fur.
#4: Steer Clear of Antibiotics
Among humans there is a debate that the overuse of antibiotics has led to many antibiotic-resistant strains of flu and germs. The same can happen to your cats too. In fact, the most common antibiotic found in stain removers for cats is tylosin which has only been FDA approved for use in chicken and swine, NOT in cats. It’s best to avoid tear stain removers for cat eyes that contain antibiotics altogether.
#5: Beware of Certain Stain Removers
Even certain stain removers on the market should be avoided. According to the FDA the following dog and cat tear stain removers have not been reviewed for efficacy or safety by the FDA and contain the chicken and swine antibiotic, tylosin:
- Angels’ Eyes
- Angels’ Glow
- Pets’ Spark
- Glow Groom
- And Health Glow
Not all tear stain removers are created equal. Just because a stain remover is loaded with chemicals and antibiotics doesn’t mean that it is effective. And there is evidence that all natural solutions may be both the safest and most effective rout for removing cat stains.
#6: Choose an Effective All Natural Solution
Though Eye Envy’s Tear Stain Solution for Cats is applied externally, it is designed to get to the root cause of your cat’s tear stains. It uses natural antibiotic properties to kill the underlying bacteria and infections that result in staining. You can also use the Eye Envy ProPowder stain removal kit complete with a cat safe applicator brush to clean away old existing tear stains.
Why Eye Envy Tear Stain Solution for Cats
Our goal is not necessarily to remove stains the fastest. Our goal is to remove cat tear stains effectively. Over years of testing and proven over time, we have created a solution made up of human-grade ingredients that is completely safe for cats.
More importantly, this solution is most effective at removing tear stains without using the harsh chemicals that most other stain removers use. Eye Envy Tear Stain Solution for Cats contains no bleach, no peroxide, no alcohol, and no preservatives, nothing at all that could do your cat any harm.
Eye Envy Tear Stain Solution works by treating low grade bacterial infections over consecutive days using a natural antibiotic. Our kit includes a cleanser that helps sweep away any debris around your cat’s eyes and then we use an organic astringent to dry the area to prevent bacteria growth from recurring.
Why Eye Envy when you could try a cheap home remedy? Because Eye Envy is the safest, most effective system for removing tear stains from your pet’s fur in a way that keeps them from coming back. Unlike most other pet tear stain removers our goal is not to cover up stains but to treat the underlying causes to remove stains naturally and for good.