Watery Eyes Common Affliction in Persian Cats

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Fox: My 9-month-old Persian cat has perpetually watery eyes. The poor thing looks as if he's crying constantly.

My vet doesn't know the cause or cure but suspects it's related to the breed, although my kitten doesn't have the usual Persian snub nose. Any comments?

Persian cats often have this affliction. The constant tearing is a result of breeding Persian cats to have abnormally shaped heads and faces.

Often their lower eyelids are deformed, and as a result, their tears do not drain properly into their tear ducts. Sometimes this condition can be corrected surgically.

In some cats, the tear ducts are blocked and the skin folds of the face become stained and develop chronic bacterial infections from the constant tearing.

The best prevention is better breeding. Persian cats should be bred to make their heads and faces normal. The pushed-in, so-called brachycephalic face, as in boxers and bulldogs, is a mutation that I find esthetically disturbing and ethically unacceptable to perpetuate.

There's no cure for your cat if surgical correction isn't possible. All you can do is try to keep her face clean and dry to help prevent discoloration and skin disease. …