General Cat Care and Tips

What is the black stuff around your cat’s eyes and nose?

Cats always seem to have strange things going on that we humans have no idea about. They stare at things we don’t see, run around like the house is on fire, and our cat may hate us for no reason. However, we still love them, and if you have been looking at your cat and wondering what is that black stuff around their eyes, you are not alone. I, too, had a cat that had this issue, my friend called her leeky eye, and I went on a hunt to find out why she kept getting eye and nose gunk.


What is the black stuff in the corner of your cat’s eyes and around its nose?

In most cases, the black stuff in the corner of your cat’s eye and around its nose is typical eye gunk and discharge. It can be caused by dust or an allergen in the environment. These environmental irritants cause your cat’s eyes to water more than usual. Mostly, it is not severe and does not require a visit to your vet.

However, there are some cases where this could signify that it’s time to take your cat to the vet for a checkup.

What causes eye discharge in cats?

There are many reasons your cat may have an eye discharge; not all situations warrant a visit to the vet, but if you are concerned, at least give them a call. You also want to consider your cat’s breed. Some breeds, such as Persians, Himalayans, and other cats with short noses and large round eyes, are more likely to have discharge causing the black stuff around their eyes. Below are a few examples of what can cause cat eye discharge.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Yes, even our feline friends can get pink eye. Signs that your cat is suffering from Pink Eye are:

  • Light pink lining around your cat’s eye
  • The cats eye looks red and swollen
  • They may be light-sensitive
  • There may be a clear or thick mucus eye discharge.

If you notice your cat also has a fever, diarrhea, or trouble breathing, you need to get your cat to the vet ASAP. This could point to a potentially fatal feline infectious peritonitis. The good news is that this is not very common, but if you notice these symptoms, call your vet immediately.

Don’t forget to check out:

Blocked Tear Duct, Watery or tearing eyes (epiphora)

Watery or tearing eyes may signify a blocked tear duct or overproduction of tears. Allergies, viral conjunctivitis, or other minor issues can cause this. This was wrong with my cat, and it was due to an overproduction of tears. There was not much I could do at the time except to clean her eyes often with wipes made for cats eye area and give her alot of love and affection

Dry Eye

Just like humans, cats can have dry eyes. It is a lack of tear production and can lead to many issues, including:

  • An inflamed Cornia
  • red eyes
  • In extreme instances, blindness

Helpful products for dry, or watery eyes: Please check with your vet before ordering. These are Amazon affilate links (help support this blog)

Corneal disorders

When a cat’s cornea becomes inflamed, injured, or ulcerated, you have a corneal disorder. You may notice their eye is cloudy, there may be inflammation, they may blink excessively, and there may be increased tear production.

Feline upper respiratory infections. 

Your cat could be suffering from various upper respiratory infections. Types of these infections include:

  • Feline Herpes Virus
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Chlamydiosis
  • Fungal infections

If you think one of these infections could be the problem, you can learn more about them here.


Uveitis is an inflammation of the internal structure of the eye. This can be caused by trauma and immune problems. infections or cancer. If left untreated, this disease can cause blindness. It is treatable and does require a trip to your vet for diagnosis.

When should I take my cat to the vet for eye gunk?

If you notice any other symptoms besides watery eyes or if they continue to water after a couple of days, you will want to call your vet. Even minor issues with cats’ eyes can develop into something serious. If you notice that the watery eyes don’t clear up in a day or so, it’s time to see your vet.

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