Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Dealing with Tear Stains in Persian Cats

Silver Shaded Persians are not only known for their beautiful, silvery-white fur, but for their engaging green eyes. 

According to the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA), the standard is for the eyes to be green or blue-green. What you may not know is that they are born with blue eyes and slowly change over the first two years of life to their beautiful green color that enhances their wide-eyed and sweet expressions. A problem one may encounter with the Persian breed is tear staining.

We shared a post a couple of months ago about taking care of the eyes of Persian Cats. Even with daily care of the eyes, a Persian Cat's eyes tend to drain frequently which may result in tear stains. Staining can be caused by a variety of factors, but Persians tend to stain more because of their brachycephalic faces (short-faced). Other breeds (both cats and dogs) may experience tear staining because of clogged or shallow tear ducts, excessive tearing, ear infections, cutting teeth, irritation and allergies, water, food and treats, or fleas. My first Persian cat, Praline, didn't have a lot of eye drainage or tear stains. I wasn't prepared for the amount of tear stains on the faces of my Silver Shaded Persians.

Tear Staining in Persian Cats

There are two types of Persians based on their facial structure. Traditional Persians (Doll Face), which means they have a normal nose in length and placement in proportion to their facial structure. The other type of Persian is the Extreme Persian (Peeked Face), which has a pushed in nose, so short that people sometimes joke it looks like they've run into a wall. Truffle and Brulee are in between the Traditional and the Extreme, with Brulee having a flatter face and smaller nose than Truffle. Brulee's flatter face qualifies as a Brachycephalic, which means the shape of her skill is shorter than typical for cats. Brachycephalics can experience breathing problems and shorter or closed tear ducts. Instead of tears being funneled into the tear ducts, they spill out onto their face causing excessive tear production. Excessive tear production can cause tear staining, which is the reddish brown streaks that can appear under the cat's eyes (this is also possible with certain dog breeds) and it's really noticeable on cats with light fur.

Brulee's eye drainage and tear stains

If I don't work on Brulee's eyes on a daily basis, tear stains can form quickly. I rarely show photos of Brulee before cleaning her face (see above), but I wanted you to see how bad her face can get. One thing to note: Silver Shaded Persians do have black eyeliner around their eyes, so that part isn't a stain. The photo above occurred after I had surgery last year and couldn't get to her face until a few days. The red color of the stains are because the tears contain porphyrins, which are molecules that contain iron as the result of a breakdown of red blood cells. Tear stains are not only unsightly; they can also be uncomfortable and may lead to infection.

Brulee and Eye Envy® Products

Removing & Preventing Tear Stains

Fresh Water & Balanced Diet

It's important to provide clean and fresh water for cats. I have three different pet fountains throughout my home which provide filtered water for my cats. Fresh, filtered water, and a balanced and species-appropriate diet can help ensure a cat isn't taking in excess iron or impurities. 

Supplements and Eye Wash Products

Our post in October shared ways to keep the eyes of a Persian Cat healthy and clean. Even with keeping the eyes healthy with liquid tears or eye washes, there may still be excessive tearing and staining. The first thing I do is use a warm, damp cloth (preferably a baby wash cloth) to clean the fur around the eyes. It's important to be gently when doing this because this area is sensitive, especially if there are dried areas of the tears on the face. There are some supplements some people use, such as milk thistle, dandelion, olive leaf, chlorophyll, colostrum to help reduce the amount of tear staining. 

Tear Stain Removal Products - Eye Envy®

There are a lot of tear stain removal products on the market and I tried many of them with little success and much expense. A few years ago, I read about Eye Envy® in several groups on Facebook where breeders and groomers highly recommended this product. I purchased a starter kit a few years ago which included the Eye Envy Tear Stain Solution for Cats, the Eye Envy Pads, and the Eye Envy Powder. I later purchased the ProPowder Applicator Brush because it would help with the application of the powder.

Brulee checking out the new Eye Envy® Tear Stain Remover Wipes
(Photo of Brulee is after one application of solution)

The Eye Envy Tear Stain Remover products for cats are all natural and involve a two-step process. After washing the area around Brulee's eyes with a soft wash cloth, I clean the areas with the Eye Envy Tear Stain Solution for Cats (there is a different solution for dogs). There is an original formula which requires refrigeration and the Non-Refrigerated (NR) formula which I use. The ingredients are water, witch hazel, boric acid, and colloidal silver. This solution does not contain preservatives, Tylosin, bleach, peroxide, steroids, or antibiotics. The solution is topically applied around the eye area. I recommend using the Eye Envy Pad because the texture doesn't have fibers that can get into a cat's eyes like normal cotton balls. To get into the corner near Brulee's eyes, I may carefully use a Q-Tip type applicator to apply the solution. Eye Envy now has pre-moistened Tear Stain Remover Wipes in a container that doesn't need refrigeration. I received a sample of these pre-moistened wipes to try and I love them. It takes away the need to have two separate containers to use while trying to clean a squirming Brulee's face.

The second step is to apply the Eye Envy Powder. The application powder is strongly recommended to use as an enhancer in the Eye Envy tear stain removal system. The application powder helps repel tears to keep the area dry to prevent the regrowth of tear stain causing bacteria. This powder doesn't contain bleach, cornstarch, or steroids. It is NOT a cover up, but an application to use once the eyes are cleaned. At first, I had some difficulty putting the powder around Brulee's eyes without getting it in her eyes or nose. I tried using my fingers, but that wasn't too successful because of Brulee's small area below her eyes. I then resorted to using human eye makeup brushes and Q-Tip applicators until Eye Envy released their ProPowder Applicator Brush in 2016 This brush is amazing. It's designed for the tear stain powder and has an ergonomically designed handle to help with applying the powder. The superfine fiber hair is anti-bacterial, washable, and made to pick up 5 times more powder than an ordinary brush. 

Brulee's tear stains after using Eye Envy for two weeks

It's important to do follow this routine on a regular basis to help reduce and prevent tear staining, especially with Brulee's face. Truffle doesn't have much eye drainage and a warm wash cloth is usually enough to keep her fur clean. We did use the Eye Envy to clean Truffle's fur when she had the ulcer on her eye a couple of years ago when there was a lot of staining with the medication over a two-week period. You can see from the photo above the difference this product made with Brulee's tear staining over a two-week period. Usually, Brulee's eyes are much cleaner, but with Mom Paula's medical issues this fall, , Brulee's eyes weren't cleaned on a regular basis. Special note - The photos above were not "doctored" and what you see are actual results. With continued and regular use, Brulee's facial fur is much cleaner with less tear stains.

To help anyone get started with the Eye Envy Products, they've put together Starter Kits for both Cats and Dogs. You receive the exact same products we displayed in our photos, but in smaller containers. If you'd like to purchase Eye Envy products we've shown (or others) Eye Envy has agreed to offer our readers a 15% discount off their orders (click on the graphic on our sidebar). 

Brulee's face with regular use of Eye Envy products

Eye Envy makes other products for both cats and dogs. We chose to feature the tear stain remover products because that is our greatest need. There is also a foaming facial cleaner (dogs and cats) and a shampoo (dogs). We encourage you to visit the Eye Envy website to see the wonderful products available.

See more items from Eye Envy on their website and social media.

ntain Your Cat's Beautiful Face

Would you like to comment?

  1. Your eyes are most beautiful no matter what sweet ones!

  2. You are in the good hand, Miss =^x<=
    Merry Christmas 🎄 & Happy New Year 2020 ❤️

    Puddy boy & Fameowly

  3. Wow, this works really well - Brulee looks awesome!

  4. I love it when a product works as advertised! Those beautiful eyes are even more striking when the fur is clean, thanks for the review.

  5. That is great stuff. We won some from you quite some time ago. XO

  6. Brulee, your eyes cleaed up wonderfully - like magic! Mom says that Tiberius, the Persian kitty she had before me, "had a very short nose and often had heavy staining under his eyes. I wiped his eyes often but never could remove the staining completely. I wish I had tried Eye Envy back then." Purr purr purr.

  7. I definitely need that for 2 of my Persian/himalayans - cant wait to try soon !!

  8. Can't wait to try on my cats - 2 of 3 need it a great deal.

  9. Wow! What a difference as depicted in your photos. Coincidentally, my one Husky has a lot of discharge (and he is a white dog) due to an eye infection. So this is something I think I need! Thank you for the great review and hosting the giveaway!

  10. Good information. I need to try this on my new Persian baby. MK Thompson

  11. Wow. The difference is amazing! You say the stains can cause discomfort or infection, but has Brulee ever seemed to be uncomfortable with the build up? I remember reading somewhere it was mainly a cosmetic issue which I found hard to believe.


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