Why Do Cats Have Eye Boogers?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Have you ever wondered why cats have eye boogers? We’ve got the answer, along with some tips on how to keep your cat’s eyes clean and healthy.

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Have you ever wondered why your cat has those yucky brown or black clumps in the corners of its eyes? Well, you’re not alone. Many cat guardians have noticed this mystery substance and have asked their veterinarians about it. Luckily, the answer is pretty simple: cats have eye boogers because they sleep a lot!

When cats are awake, they blink often to keep their eyes clean and moist. But when they’re asleep, they don’t blink as much. This gives dust, bacteria, and other debris a chance to accumulate in the corners of their eyes. Over time, these clumps harden and turn into the eye boogers that we see.

In most cases, eye boogers are nothing to worry about. They’re just a normal part of a cat’s anatomy. However, if you notice that your cat’s eyes are red or irritated, it may be time for a trip to the vet. Additionally, if you see any green or yellow discharge from your cat’s eyes, this could be a sign of infection and requires immediate medical attention.

What are eye boogers?

Eye boogers, technically called rheum, are a buildup of tears, mucus, oils and dust that collect in the corner of your cat’s eye. Cats groom themselves with their tongues, so some of this debris inevitably ends up in their mouths. But not all of it! Just as people sometimes wake up with “sleep” in their eyes, cats can get rheum in their eyes overnight.

Causes of eye boogers

There are several reasons your cat may have eye boogers. One is that their eyes produce more tears than ours do, and the tears contain more protein. This protein dries and gets crusty, especially if your cat doesn’t blink often or has long eyelashes that trap the tears. Allergies, infections, or foreign objects in the eye can also cause increased tearing, leading to more crusty buildup.

Another possible cause of eye boogers is that your cat’s tear ducts are not draining properly. This can be due to an infection or a blockage. If the blockage is severe, your cat may need surgery to correct it.

A third reason for eye boogers is that your cat may simply have dry eyes. This can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, environmental factors like smoke or wind, or certain medications. If your cat has dry eyes, they may need medication to help improve tear production.

Whatever the cause of your cat’s eye boogers, it’s important to have them checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems and ensure that the problem can be appropriately treated.

Prevention of eye boogers

Most of the time, eye boogers in cats are nothing to worry about and can be cleaned away with a damp cloth. However, if your cat’s eye boogers are accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive tearing, redness, or discharge, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition and you should take them to see a vet.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent eye boogers from forming in the first place. Regularly cleaning your cat’s face with a damp cloth will help remove any dirt or debris that could accumulate in the corners of their eyes. You should also make sure that they have plenty of fresh water to drink and that their diet is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to promote healthy skin and coat.

Treatment of eye boogers

While you might be tempted to wipe away your cat’s eye boogers, this isn’t the best way to deal with them. Instead, you should take your cat to the vet so they can determine the underlying cause and provide treatment if necessary. If your cat’s eye boogers are caused by an infection, the vet will likely prescribe antibiotics. Allergies may be treated with antihistamines or other medication. In some cases, special shampoos or wipes can help manage eye boogers caused by allergies or other skin conditions.


In conclusion, cats have eye boogers because they produce too much tears and the hair around their eyes traps the excess. While it might be unsightly, it is really nothing to worry about and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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