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Caring For a Blind Cat

Blindness is a condition which may be with a cat from birth, or may be the result of disease or accident.

Cats are extremely adaptable and can live a perfectly happy and content life without vision. As your cat's carer, there are things you can do to make your cat's life as easy as possible. They can do almost as much as a cat with vision can do, but you will have to make some changes in order to accommodate a blind cat.

If you are new to being the carer of a blind cat, don't worry about your cat. If the blindness has come on suddenly, it may take your cat a little while to adapt but it will do so given time and patience.

Safety:

A blind cat should not be permitted outside unless in the safety of a cat enclosure or on a harness and leash. There are just too many dangers for cats, but blind cats are especially vulnerable.

Make sure your cat has permanent identification. If your blind cat does accidentally end up outside, it will be harder for him to find his way home. Identification will, therefore, increase his chances of being reunited with you. Provide your cat with a collar and ID tag which states that your cat is blind.

Block off access to windows and balconies which have a long drop to the ground.

Keep things familiar:

It is very important to your cat to have consistency in his life. This means keeping his environment as familiar as possible. Some tips include:

  • Don't move around furniture, litter trays, food bowls etc.
  • Feed your cat at the same time every day.
  • If you do move something, move it back immediately.
  • Keep the house clutter free
  • Avoid startling your cat with sudden noises. If there is a sudden noise, such as a pot being dropped, gently assure your cat.

Stimulating the other senses:

Your cat's other senses will be heightened and it is advised to encourage your cat to use them. Provide toys which make a noise or catnip toys which your cat can smell.

Whiskers are used by cats  to help them feel around in narrow spaces, especially on a night time. Therefore a cat's whiskers should never be trimmed, this is especially true in the blind cat.

Care:

As your cat has lost his vision, his hearing and sense of smell are especially important. You should take your cat to the vet for routine veterinary checks regularly and if you notice anything unusual, seek veterinary advice immediately.

When you approach your cat, do so while talking soothingly to him. Be careful not to startle him suddenly.

Also see:

Blindness in cats