British shorthair cat with orange eyes

Excessive mucus in your cat's eyes will need a trip to the vet.

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Why is there green mucus in my cat's eyes?

By Dr Jo de Klerk, BVetMed (Hons) MScTAH MRCVS Veterinarian

Updated on the

Any abnormnal or excessive mucus from your cat's eyes indicates a problem worth having checked.

A small amount of clear or white mucus in your cat’s eyes can be normal, as much like humans, cats develop ‘sleep’ secretion too. Yet, when it is excessive or an abnormal colour, this is an indication that your cat has a problem with their eyes, which may need veterinary attention.

What are the symptoms of green mucus in a cat's eyes?  

You might not notice any other symptoms when your cat has green mucus in their eyes. Yet sometimes it will be accompanied by the inability to open the eye, squinting, excessive blinking, redness in the eyes or cloudiness across the cornea.

What are the causes of green mucus in a cat's eyes?

Green mucus is an indication that your cat has an eye infection. The most common causes are bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. This might be primary conjunctivitis or due to a systemic illness, such as cat flu.

How do you diagnose green mucus in a cat's eyes?

If your cat has green mucus in their eyes, at an appointment with a veterinarian they will want to check your cat's eyes for any abnormalities. They will use an ophthalmoscope to look into the eye, which helps them magnify and check all the different parts. They might also use a stain to check whether the cornea is damaged or has an ulcer. In some cases, if the mucus is not improving with treatment or it has been going on for a long time, the veterinarian may take a swab for the laboratory to culture and check for bacteria or viruses.

What treatment is there for green mucus in a cat's eyes?

Treatment of green mucus from the eye depends on the underlying cause, but most of the time it will clear up quickly with antibiotic drops from a veterinarian.

Why is my cat's eye discharge green?

Green discharge is usually a sign that your cat has an eye infection, or has had a corneal ulcer or a scratch that has become infected. Eye infections are known as conjunctivitis and are caused by bacteria or viruses.

Why is my cat's eye discharge brown? 

A small amount of crusty, brown discharge can be normal when your cat wakes up in the morning. It is also a common misconception that discharge is brown, if your cat has excessive tears, because tear staining is brown. Yet tears actually have no colour. Excessive tears are usually caused by constant eye irritation such as eyelid abnormalities and hairs touching the eye (which is particularly common in short-nosed cats).

Why is my cat's eye discharge yellow? 

Yellow discharge from the eyes is abnormal and can indicate infection or pus. This should be urgently investigated by a veterinarian.

Why is my cat's eye discharge black?  

Sometimes brown discharge can be mistaken for the colour black, as it can be very dark. But it is usually normal just ‘sleep’ production, as long as it is only in small amounts. You may also notice dark mucus production in small amounts, if you live in a dusty environment and your cat gets dust in their eyes regularly. Nevertheless, if your cat has a lot of abnormal dark discharge or never tends to get sleep build-up, the discharge could be blood, which requires an urgent visit to a vet.

Why is my cat's eye discharge white?

A small amount of white discharge can be normal after sleeping. If there are excessive amounts of white mucus, it can indicate that your cat is experiencing constant irritation to their eyes, such as hairs, dust, eyelid abnormalities or an infection.

What can I do if my cat has runny eyes?  

If your cat’s eyes are runny with clear tears, this is usually an indication that there is irritation. It can sometimes be accompanied by mucus discharge too. Hair touching the eyes, eyelid abnormalities, such as entropion (in-turned eyelids) and early stage infections can cause runny eyes. Runny eyes can also be caused by an overflow of tears. Tears usually run down the tear duct into the nose, But if the tear duct is blocked, they will flow out of the eyes.

If your cat has runny eyes, you should wipe away the discharge from your cat’s eyes, as it can cause a skin infection if constantly moist. You should also take your cat to the vet for a check-up, as the underlying condition might be causing your cat discomfort and needs to be treated.

How can I treat my cat's eye infection at home?

Eye infections should be treated with medicated eye drops, so you'll need to see a veterinarian. Yet you can help your cat’s eyes get better quickly, if you complement the eyedrops with some home care. First, wipe away any discharge from your cat’s eyes at least twice daily, as this can cause secondary skin infections around the eye. This can be done with cooled, boiled water and cotton wool. If your cat’s eyes are sore or stuck shut, you can also gently bathe them with tepid Red Bush tea, as this has natural soothing properties.

How do you get rid of pink eye in cats?

Pink eye is another name for conjunctivitis, as the eyes become pink and inflamed. It is very sore and requires veterinary treatment. This is usually in the form of medicated eye drops that will need to be applied to your cat’s eyes several times a day. Resolution of pink eye can be sped up at home by wiping your cat’s eyes gently, several times a day, with cooled, boiled water and cotton wool to remove the mucus. If your cat has an underlying problem that is causing the pink eye, such as cat flu, the vet will prescribe supportive treatment to help them recover from this.

Why does my cat have mucus in their eye?

Your cat may have mucus in their eye for many reasons. Sometimes it is normal ‘sleep’ secretion and can be wiped away when your cat wakes up. If it is an abnormal colour, this could mean your cat has an eye infection or something causing discomfort to his eye.

Is eye discharge normal in cats?

Sometimes eye discharge is normal in cats. If it is only a very small amount, more obvious when your cat wakes up and your cat’s eyes are showing no signs of discomfort, such as redness, squinting or excessive blinking, the eye discharge is probably normal.

When should I see a vet?

You should take your cat to the vet for an eye examination if the eye discharge is excessive or constant. Also, you need to go to a vet if your cat has any other eye symptoms that are abnormal, such as squinting, redness, excessive blinking or cloudiness in the eyes, as these require urgent veterinary attention.

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