Do Cats Cry? Why Are There Tears In My Cat's Eyes?

Black tomcat sitting by the window looking down sad, tears on his cheeks

(Picture Credit: MarinaZg/Getty Images)

When you have a particularly close bond with a cat, you can easily become convinced that they’re capable of sharing many of the same emotions that you feel. But have you ever found yourself wondering if cats can cry?

Scientifically, the answer is no, cats don’t cry tears when they feel upset like humans do. But they still feel sadness and even grief, and they have their own ways of expressing those emotions.

Also, if you notice a cat’s eyes becoming watery, it’s more likely the result of a medical issue, and in those cases you should consult with your regular veterinarian to make sure nothing super serious is behind the apparent feline tears.

Here’s what you need to know about whether cats cry and what’s going on when you see tears in their eyes.

The Science Behind Cats And Crying

Technically, cats don’t cry actual tears when they’re sad like humans do. So if your kitty becomes upset or distressed, you shouldn’t suddenly see tears forming in their eyes.

Instead, when a cat feels sad or hurt, they’re more likely to meow in a pained or troubled fashion. Meowing in a more distressed or sorrowful manner is a cat’s way of vocalizing that they’re feeling a degree of sadness.

If you live with a cat, you’ll probably be closely attuned to the usual sounds of your feline’s range of meows or calls. So you’ll likely pick up on any subsequent mood changes.

The Reasons A Cat Can Have Watery Eyes

Close-Up Portrait Of Cat Crying Outdoors

(Picture Credit: Jarizze Berba / EyeEm/Getty Images)

Cats cannot cry like humans. So what’s really going on when you notice that your cat has watery eyes?

Well, in most cases the “tears” stem from a discomforting issue affecting the cat’s eyes. On a day-to-day level, a cat might suffer watery eyes if a dust speck or bit of debris irritates them.

Allergies can also affect a cat’s eyes in the same way.

More seriously, cats can suffer from a range of ailments, including infections, viral diseases, and conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. These conditions can also make it seem like they are crying.

Remember, if you happen to notice that your cat has repeated cases of teary eyes, it’s imperative you seek advice from your vet.

Are there times when your own cat seemed like they were crying tears? Was there anything bothering their eyes? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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