Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

Full Bio →

Written by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

Dr Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years experience in companion animal practice. In 1987 she graduated from the University of Glasgow, with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. A love of the sea meant accepting her first job in the port town of Portsmouth, England. A fter working in private practice for two years, her next position was as a vet at the People’...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS
Veterinarian Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS

UPDATED: Nov 18, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

Pet Insurance U receives compensation from the third parties included on this site. This includes payment for clicks from our site to insurance providers’ sites and quote requests generated. Our rankings and reviews are not affected by payments from the insurance companies. The compensation we receive allows the site to be free and regularly updated. Our goal is to review every pet insurance provider, but not all companies are listed on the site.

And many of the companies we review do not pay us anything. We simply rate, compare and review their plan because we feel it will be valuable to you. Our reviews are guaranteed to be unbiased, professional and advertising compensation does not influence rankings.

We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about pet insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything pet insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by pet insurance experts.

It’s very common for cats to have watery, goopy or even a little crusty discharge around the eyes.

While it typically isn’t something to be concerned about, it can at times indicate an eye problem that needs to be looked at by your veterinarian.

There are a few reasons why your cat will have watery eyes, discharge or even eye boogers (those little pesky, crusty hard pieces on the corner of the eyes!).

Need Pet Insurance?

FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

Eye Discharge in Cats | Should You Be Concerned?

If your cat typically has discharge from the eye, which is dry and slightly brown and crusty, it is usually nothing to worry about.

While most eye discharge is caused by airborne allergens, just as with humans, most cases concerning pets do not point to a significant problem.

However, if your kitty has watery eyes all the time and or any discoloration in the discharge, you should make an appointment to see your veterinarian.

If you have pet insurance, these veterinarian bills should be covered with your plan. If you’re confused about pet insurance, we can help.

It’s an extremely common occurrence in cats, especially depending on the age of the cat.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap pet insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Commonly Affected Breeds of Eye Discharge

Due to the shape of the face, Persians, Himalayans, some Tabbys, and other cats with short noses and large, round eyes might have more eye leakage than other cats.

This might be normal, but if your cat’s eye discharge is excessive, ask your vet. A daily wipe around the area is typically all you need.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance


Eye Discharge Symptoms

Atypical eye discharge is, however, a sign of a problem. In some cases, mucus could be caused by a simple cold or a more serious illness could be the culprit.

The type of discharge helps clarify the cause.

If your cat has any of the below, take your cat to the vet:

  • Clear discharge with no redness or pain points toward a problem in the tear duct department.
  • Clear discharge with redness in the eye could indicate conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye), such as from a viral infection.
  • Puslike discharge (green or yellow), sticky and stinky, along with a red eye, could indicate conjunctivitis, such as from a bacterial infection.
  • Discharge accompanied by pain in the eye could be a sign of cornea or inner eye problems. Signs that your cat is in pain may include constantly pawing at her eye, excessive tearing or sensitivity to light.
  • Yellow or green discharge is not normal and indicates a medical issue.

Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients


PetFirst saved his parents


A happy energetic Luna one morning couldn’t hold her food down. After months of multiple costly vet visits to specialists and an endoscopy, the problem was discovered and fixed. Luna put 22 pounds back on in no time and her parents were grateful for having PetFirst by their side to pay the bills.

Causes of Abnormal Cat Eye Discharge

Cat eye discharge is a sign of many different eye diseases and disorders, including:

  • Corneal ulcers
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Entropion (an eyelid that rolls inward, allowing the hairs on the skin to irritate the eye)

Your veterinarian will examine your cat and possibly perform certain tests to find out what exactly is causing your cat’s eye discharge.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap pet insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Prevention of Eye Infections

Bacteria can breed in mucus and cause eye infections.

Check your cat’s eyes often for redness, changes in color or shape, or discharge.

Tips to Safely Wipe Your Cat’s Eyes:

Use a soft, wet cloth to gently wipe away any discharge. Make sure to find a cleaner that is labeled as safe to be used around the eyes, and avoid any product that contains alcohol.

Dip a cotton ball in the water. Wipe away the eye discharge, always from the corner of the eye outward. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye.

Steer clear of any over-the-counter drops or washes unless your vet has prescribed them.

Here is a short video from the ASPCA that explains more about cleaning a cat’s eyes:

Other articles you may find helpful: 


Best Pet Insurance Companies

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


We have worked hard to provide you with all the free resources possible to help give you insight into the best pet insurance for cats, additional cat breeds info, common cat health issues, and a fun look at frequently asked cat questions


Learn more about common cat health problems:

Arthritis in Cats, Cancer in Cats, Declawing Cats, Diabetes in Cats, Eye Infection in Cats, Hypoallergenic Cats, Hyperthyroidism in Cats, Overweight Cats, Vomiting Cats