Why Does My Siamese Cat Have Eye Discharge?

Talking from personal experience, Siamese cats get “gunky” eyes from time to time. 

A little discharge on a Siamese cat’s eyes is usually just because of a simple cold and isn’t a cause for concern. However, when it becomes long-lasting and chronic, or it begins affecting their eyesight, it’s time for a swift trip to the vets.

Pawing at the eyes or rubbing their faces against the carpet is usually an attempt at some relief. It could be down to a small dust particle getting into the lid of their eyes, or something a lot more serious. 

Siamese cats have unique eyes, so it’s important you read up on the ways their eyesight may change over the years. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled everything you need to know in this article right here.

Is discharge from cats eyes normal?

A small amount of crusting or gunk (especially after a long nap) in the corner of your Siameses eye is completely normal. However, if it weeps constantly or produces a sticky discharge, do not ignore it.

Having weepy eyes isn’t a disease in itself, but is usually a sign of an underlying health condition. One of the main signs of progressive blindness is eye discharge, so you can see why it is important to catch it in its early stages.

Signs of feline eye discharge include:

  • Crusty – It’s pretty common to find a little bit of crust in the corner of your cat’s eyes. However, if there is a large amount of crust, this usually means there was a large amount of eye discharge.
  • Watery – If you catch the discharge before it has dried, you will usually notice wet fur around your cat’s eyes. This could either be a thin, watery discharge, or something a lot thicker. 
  • Swollen/Red – Eye discomfort usually results in redness and swelling. It may look like they are squinting, and you will typically find them rubbing their eyes in an attempt to relieve the irritation.
  • Eye Mucus – Often referred to as “eye boogers” this mucus forms sticky clumps around the eyes. If it is a thick mucus that discharges a lot, you can assume your Siamese has a severe infection. 

What causes eye discharge in cats?

There are a few things that cause your cat’s eyes to produce discharge. Some reasons, such as dry eyes and allergies can be easy to treat, whereas others such as progressive blindness can be irreversible. 

Some of the common reasons your Siamese may have eye discharge include: 

  • Conjunctivitis – An inflammation around your cat’s eye, producing either clear or thick discharge. 
  • Feline upper respiratory infections – Viruses such as pneumonitis, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis. Can possibly progress to something more serious. 
  • Watery eyes (epiphora) – Can either be down to blocked tear ducts, allergies, conjunctivitis, or overproduction of tears.
  • Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) – A lack of tear production, leaving the eyes dry. If left untreated, it can develop into blindness.
  • Other – Even something being stuck in your cat’s eye can be enough to irritate it. They may also have allergy problems. 

Are Siamese cats blind?

Not all Siamese cats are blind, nor do all have progressive blindness. That being said, Siamese cats do carry a gene that puts them at a higher risk of vision loss than most felines. 

This mutation is called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and affects ⅓ of Siamese cats. Cats who suffer from PRA slowly lose their eyesight as their retina deteriorates. 

There is no cure for PRA, however, you will be happy to know this isn’t a painful experience, and it usually happens well into old age. 

Another link to blindness is primary glaucoma. Siamese cats are among the very few breeds that inherit this gene. Glaucoma will cause your Siamese to go blind over time, however, vets can prescribe medicine to ease discomfort. 

Despite this, that doesn’t mean your Siamese will go blind in the future, even if they show signs of the above. If you are worried about your Siameses vision, contact a vet as soon as possible. 

What are the symptoms of a cat going blind?

There are both physical and behavioral signs to look out for if you suspect your cat is going blind. 

Physical signs your cat is going blind include:

  • Pupils – Different sized pupils are a sign your Siamese is going blind, as are the pupils staying the same in both low and bright light. Squinting when the light changes could also be an indication of eye problems.
  • Eye Color – A change in eye color (unless it is a kitten losing their blue baby eyes) is usually a cause for concern. You should also look out for any redness in and around your cat’s eye. A cloudy, milky, or white color may be a sign of cataracts. 
  • Eye Size – If one of the eyes seems bigger than the other, this could be a sign of glaucoma. As I mentioned before, glaucoma doesn’t have to mean your cat is going blind, however, it could lead to blindness if left untreated. 
  • Menace Reflex – Quickly move your finger towards your cat’s eyes (without touching) to see how they react. A sighted cat will blink, flinch or move away. A cat with eyesight issues will be unaware of your finger. Ensure you don’t touch your cat’s whiskers as they will sense your finger because of this.

Behavioral signs your cat is going blind include: 

  • Clumsiness – If your cat bumps into furniture, walls or has trouble getting around things that were there before, they may be developing blindness. Also, look out for tripping or slipping on the stairs or when jumping from place to place. 
  • They may also have trouble with their water and food bowls.
  • Their Walk – If your Siamese is crouching closer to the ground, this may be in an attempt to feel their surroundings with their whiskers. If your cat is walking with their head down, they may be trying to figure out distances. 
  • Another sign is if your Siamese is wandering aimlessly.
  • Getting startled easily could also be a sign. 
  • Excessive Vocalization – If your Siamese is vocalizing more than usual, this could be a sign of distress. They could also be getting more nervous or upset about their loss of sight. 
  • Excessive Clinginess – Clinginess is also a sign that your Siamese is becoming less confident about their surroundings. Look out for your Siamese sleeping more or moving around less.

Are Siamese cats’ eyes always dilated?

It is normal for the pupils to dilate when we become anxious, fearful, excited, or when the light changes. This is the same for cats. However, if the pupils are constantly dilated, there is a problem.

There are a few reasons why your cats’ eyes are always dilated:

  • Blindness or loss of vision – Our pupils are there to control how much light we see. If the pupils are always dilated, this means they are attempting to let in enough light to aid the vision. 
  • Hypertension – Also known as high blood pressure, is the main reason your Siameses’ eyes may be dilated. This usually happens with obese or older cats.
  • Anxiety disorder – If your Siamese is scared or anxious most of the time, their eyes will usually be dilated. 

Is my Siamese cat going blind?

There are a number of reasons why your Siamese may have eye discharge, and most of them do not lead to blindness. 

That being said, Siamese cats are more likely to develop blindness later in life due to their genes. So, if you do suspect your kitty is struggling with their eyesight, it is a good idea to get them checked out as soon as possible. 

A good way to ensure you catch any possible diseases early is to take your Siamese to their annual check-up. This will not only give you peace of mind but ensure your Siamese stays both happy and healthy. 

We gathered all the health tips tailored towards maintaining your Siamese cat’s optimal well-being. Check it out here: Siamese Cat Health: A Complete Guide

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