Categories: Persian cat

Why do Persian cats’ eyes water?

The reason why the eyes of Persian and Himalayan cats water will often be because the cats are bred to extreme. Himalayans are Persian cats with a pointed coat.

Persian cat with watery eyes. This cat is not as extreme as some. Her tongue is out slightly. This may be because she has a slight difficulty in breathing due to the shortened nose. Picture in the public domain or fair use claimed.

The contemporary Persian is bred to have a round head and flat face. This is a brachycephalic head. Their eyes are large, round and prominent. You’ll see badly bred Persians with oversized, bulging eyes and undershot paws. Frankly a sad mess and very unfortunate for the cat.

The flat face causes a narrowing of the duct at the corner of the eye near the nose which carries away tears (the nasolacrimal duct). This causes tear duct overflow which in turn leads to the staining you see in a dark channel below the eye next to the nose.

These breeding factors combine to create a cat with ‘chronic eye irritations and infections that produce tearing’ 1.

An overflow of tears from the eyes is called ‘epiphora‘. The excess tears compound the problem as they can cause dampness beneath the eyes. This can lead to skin irritation and infection.

Although these eye problems are associated with Persian and Himalayan cats because of extreme breeding, a vet will have to do some box ticking to make sure that the cat is not suffering from illnesses such as an allergy, abnormal eyelashes, conjunctivitis, clogged tear duct, corneal ulcer or an eye infection to name some.

As the question in the title links Persian cats and watering eyes, the answer is essentially to do with extreme breeding by breeders who follow the cat association’s breed standard (guide as to physical appearance) which has evolved over 60 or more years to obligate breeders to create unhealthy cats. They do this because they believe that the cat looks more interesting.

In the middle of the 20th century Persian cats did not have these faces. They were standard looking cats. These are now called ‘doll face Persians’ while in India they call modern Persians ‘punch face Persians’ which is a reflection on the flat (as if punched) face. There is a price to pay for this ‘interesting’ but odd appearance.

Sources:

1. Page 186 of Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook 3rd edition.

2. VCA Hospitals

3. Petmd

4. Myself.

Persian cats can’t groom themselves properly. I explain why.

A relatively high percentage of Persian cats have haircoat disorders because they are unable to groom themselves properly A recent ...
Read More

Six flat-faced Persians taken to rescue centre in one week for medical problems

Six flat-faced Persian cats arrived at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in one week because they required medical treatment for ...
Read More

1930s Persian cat compared with 2000 variant (picture)

The difference that 80 or more years of selective breeding makes to the Persian cat can be seen in the ...
Read More

What is the worst cat breed?

The worst cat breeds are the most popular cat breeds! Uhm..that sounds odd. So what is the worst cat breed? ...
Read More

Persian Cats Banned by United Airlines

On the advice of the American Humane Society, United Airlines have decided to ban purebred cats and dogs with shortened ...
Read More

Are Persian Cats Healthy?

Some Persian cats have eyes that protrude so much that their eyeballs fall out under minor trauma. Others suffer brain ...
Read More

Pictures of Persian Cats

"Hello, how are you? I'm a show cat by profession..I used to be a school Ma'am, you know" See Persian ...
Read More

Pictures Of White Persian Kittens

Here are some really nice pictures of white Persian kittens both traditional (doll face) and the extreme flat faced Persian ...
Read More

Are Persian cats from Persia?

Google's top search result for the above search term is incorrect. The author on cattime.com says that Persian cats come ...
Read More

Persian cat completely shaved except for his face

What are humans getting up to? First we breed a cat with a very flat face which is completely unnatural ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress comments. Comments are welcome.
Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home.

Recent Posts

Can domestic cats survive outside?

This is a poorly formulated question by many people carrying out an Internet search using Google. What they mean is…

8 hours ago

Insidious Cat Cruelty?

'Insidious' - proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects. Edmonton, USA: this is an example of…

18 hours ago

Video: mountain lion trapped in bathroom escapes through window (broken open by officials)

This is a story about a mountain lion in California which, for me, once again establishes the well-known fact that…

19 hours ago

Horrible: video of young cat submitting to a lime sulfur dip for ringworm

When you look at it, it is a rather distressing video. I don't like to see it but it has…

20 hours ago

Caitlin Doughty believes that our domestic cats would eat their dead owner’s eyeballs

Caitlin Doughty is in the news at the moment. She is an American mortician and author. She has written a…

1 day ago

One-year-old Beagle becomes ‘mom’ to adorable pair of kittens

The dog is Daisy. They live in Staplehurst, Kent. The kittens are Fletcher and Dexter. The human is Jane Whitton,…

2 days ago