Cat has clear discharge from of her eyes

Ask A Vet: Adrian Caunter MRCVS

Ask A Vet

My she-cat/kitten is 14 months old and has been chipped, neutered, injected, and flea'd. She is in beautiful condition and is a very healthy weight. She had a scrap with another cat the other day and now has a clear discharge from her eyes.

I am bathing them with warm water.

Do you think that she needs to see a vet?

I am on a low income so I can't afford the unnecessary expense.


Hi Susan,

Sorry to hear about your cat and I hope she is otherwise well. When it comes to eyes the nature of the discharge can often give us a clue as to the underlying problem. A green or yellow discharge from one eye can point to a certain type of infection, conjunctivitis or even an injury to the eye on that side.

A clear discharge from both eyes is something that we can see in certain types of cat flu, with allergies or with anatomical issues like abnormal eyelids. I am suspicious from the history here that she is suffering from a mild form of flu. Vaccinated cats can still be affected but the signs tend to be much milder. These viruses can stay dormant in cats and reappear at times of stress.

This is very similar to what happens in people with cold sores ( and can, in fact, be caused by the same type of virus - Herpes). It is possible that the recent fight was stressful enough to cause a flare-up in your cat and that hopefully in time it will settle again. With eyes, however, it is always better to be safe than sorry and I would recommend that you have them checked out just to be sure.

Certainly, if she is unwell, sneezing, showing discomfort or the eyes seem abnormal in any other way then I would get her looked at sooner rather than later.

Adrian Caunter MRCVS