If you have a Persian with a light-colored face, such as white or cream, then you know just how challenging it can be to combat tear stains. Depending on the cat, tears may be very fluid, while others can be thicker and become crusty. Tears may range from rusty in color to blackish. For some Persian owners, wiping the eyes is a daily chore performed throughout the day. And no matter how much you wipe and cleanse, those stubborn stains will not budge.
Solutions for Persian Owners
It comes as no surprise that this is a hot topic within this site's Forums. Hands down, the product that our members seem to recommend most to each other for stain removal is Eye Envy. It is a topical treatment that you apply directly to the stained areas, and it does not contain bleach or peroxide. As explained on the Eye Envy website, "Eye Envy contains a cleanser, an astringent (to dry the area) and herbal flower extract (acts as a natural antibiotic) and an antibacterial." They have a powder and a liquid stain remover. The Original solution seems to be the most effective, but note that it does require refrigeration.
In a past Forum thread about tear stains, Joan shared her successes with Eye Envy. She also provided this ongoing maintenance tip: "Once you get rid of the stains, just wash his face daily with 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in it, or you can continue on with the Eye Envy if you want to keep ordering it."
Another site member "jedaro" indicated some positive results with Anna Pet Tear Stain Remover. Jedaro added, "...also have found adding a couple of caps of apple cider vinegar to 2 litres of drinking water has helped reduce the severity of the tears staining. Having a van and 2 bicolours, they keep me on my toes with regards to stains."
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Stained Show Cats
Applying a stain fighter isn't always cut and dried when you're dealing with a show cat. Tracy, an experienced breeder, offered this insight in a past Forum thread: "If your cat's eyes are heavily stained, I would suggest plucking the stained hair out with tweezers and letting it grow back rather than using something to lighten it. You are going to have to wait for his coat to grow back in anyway and that will take some time. Lightening stains damages the fur and makes it more poreous [sic] - which makes it easier for new stains to set in...so it's a catch 22 situation."
That may seem like an extreme strategy, but remember Persian show cats are different than Persian pets. Plucking, sculpting, and powdering are all part of being a show cat.
Regardless of whether your Persian is a beloved pet or show cat, we always encourage you to discuss those Persian tears with your vet, just to rule out serious eye infections.