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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21447
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Why does my 11 year old cats eyes keep getting black ...

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Why does my 11 year old cat's eyes keep getting black gunk? Is she sick? Been that way for a month or so; I just keep cleaning it every day.

Is your cat eating, drinking and using the litterbox as usual?

Is she sleeping the same amount and seem alert when she's awake?

Has she been sneezing at all?

The black gunk is in the inside corners of the eyes, correct?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: Hello,

All those routine things seem completely normal. She's a funny kitty and has a fetish for water (our bottled water and so getting plenty). I have three cats and no one else has gunk?? Just this black gunk that dries and I have to scrape it off.

Thanks for this service. I don't have the funds for a vet visit and $9 seems really decent. Thanks,
Hi Lori,

You're very welcome, and thanks for your additional information!   : )

If your kitty is acting totally normally, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. The black gunk is not uncommon to accumulate in the corners of cat's eyes and my cat often has this, too. If it's very thick or the color ever changes to greenish-yellowish, this would indicate infection and would have to be treated with antibiotic ointment and/or drops from the vet.

Cat's tears are basically clear, but there's a component in them which causes them to look dark when they dry, hence, the 'gunk'.

When you clean this away, don't 'pick'. Take a dampened, warmish cotton ball and gently soften the crust so that you can wipe it away easily. Always wipe AWAY from the eye itself, towards the nose. Also, always use a fresh cotton ball each time, for each eye.

I find that my cat goes through 'cycles'; there'll be a period of time when his eyes have no gunk at all, and then for a few weeks, it will be more noticeable again.

Some cats are just more prone to what I call eye 'oogies'. All my previous cats had this more than my present cat.

You mentioned that she's a funny girl and she likes water (I'm very glad you're giving her bottled water--distilled/purified?--that's all MY cat gets!). Due to her age, if you feel her water intake is increasing, this could be a sign of diabetes, hyperthyroidism or renal (kidney) issues, so keep an eye on that and bring her to the vet if you see this increase. Other symptoms of diabetes could be weight loss, decrease in appetite, lethargy; hyperthyroidism could be manifested by the same symptoms, OR weight loss despite increased appetite/consumption of food, change in condition of coat (ragged looking) and possibly increased aggressiveness or nighttime 'calling'.

I hope your furry girl is just fine and if her eye gunk is her only symptom, just clean it the way I advised and continue to enjoy her funny antics!

Please let me know if you ever need any further assistance and I'll be happy to help you and your cat. Thanks!

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