Can Cats Cry?

Anyone who has ever noticed tears in their cat's eyes has probably wondered, "Can cats cry?" Read on to find out the answer.

The short answer is yes, cats’ tear ducts function the same way humans’ tear ducts do, but they don’t cry emotional tears from sadness or pain. While cats do “cry out in the sense that they may vocalize (meow, yowl, etc.) in an attempt to communicate or express some form of emotion

Can cats cry tears?

If your cat is not crying from pain or sadness, then you may wonder, “Why does my cat cry tears?” Cats actually produce tears in response to illnesses or injuries, Dr. Bourjaily explains.

Top reasons why your cat is crying

Just like humans, cats can be allergic to environmental factors such as dust, pollen, and mold. They may also be allergic to certain foods, cigarette smoke, perfume, and chemicals in cleaning products.


Cats can catch bacterial and viral eye infections when they come into contact with other felines suffering from an infection. Kittens have naturally weakened immune systems and are more prone to eye infections.

Eye infection

Cats may exhibit teary eyes when they have an upper respiratory infection, also known as cat flu. It is most commonly caused by infection with feline calicivirus or feline herpesvirus.

Cat flu

This disease of the eye is caused by inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid (the clear liquid fluid in between the lens and the cornea), resulting from either an anatomical abnormality or injury to the eye.


Ulcers can lead to excessive tear production in addition to mucous discharge. If you notice your feline squinting, blinking, rubbing their eyes with their paws, cloudiness, or red eyes, bring them to the vet.

Corneal ulcers