Caring For a Blind Cat
It can be heartbreaking to watch your beloved kitty go blind. When my cat started to go blind it was really hard to watch her bump into walls, not to mention the constant loud meowing which made her sound like she was in excruciating pain. She wasn’t. However, she was very confused and scared.
Unlike humans, who can be given an explanation as what’s happening to them, cats aren’t able to get a logical explanation why the world is going dark around them. All they know if that it’s getting harder and harder to see and more difficult to find their way around. As difficult of an adjustment as it is, there are things you can do to help your cat to adapt to its newly darkened world.
Why Is My Cat Going Blind?
There are many different reasons your older cat is losing its sight. It could have been injured, has high blood pressure or be afflicted with cataracts or glaucoma, just to name a few. While some causes for a cat’s blindness are permanent, others can be cured.
It’s tempting to try to diagnose your kitty as there is a wealth of information on the internet. However, it’s best to take it in to your veterinarian to be checked and see if there is anything that can be done to either halt or reverse the process.
As your cat begins to adjust to being blind, it will start to memorize where everything is, so it’s best to set up all of your cat’s needs, such as bowls, litterbox, scratch pad, kitty bed, etc. in a smaller location, (versus being in different rooms,) and keep them in the same place. Also, be sure everything is on the floor. You don’t want your kitty to try to guess how high to jump to get on a counter.
In addition, keep furniture in the same location as it is as your cat will also be memorizing where it is. It’s also important that you keep the floor area clean of other objects that don’t belong there. This reduces the risk of your kitty tripping and falling.
As tempting as it may be, refuse the urge to pick up your fur baby and move it where you think it wants to go. This will only cause it to take longer for your kitty to learn where everything is.
There are some safety precautions you can take to help protect your cat. If you have stairs, put up a barrier so your furry friend won’t try to climb them. Should you have open windows that your cat can reach, put a screen on them. If planning to use the fireplace, put up a screen in front of it so your cat won’t try to approach it and get burned. It’s also important to keep your pet indoors unless you have an enclosure outside it can’t get out of and that no other animals can get into.
Be careful not to just go up to your cat unannounced and pet it or try to pick it up as there’s a good chance you’ll startle it. Talk your baby as you approach so it knows you’re coming. Although its hearing is fine, most likely your cat will be using all of its concentration to move about safely. Another thing unnerving to your cat are sudden, loud noises, so if possible, try to avoid those.
If you have children, especially young ones, it’s important to explain what going on. Some kids may become frightened if they see their beloved family pet walk head on into a closed door and will need some extra love and comfort. However, you can also ask your kids to help you by not yelling and screaming around the cat and by helping to keep their toys off the floor. Reassure them that the meowing and clumsiness is only temporary and that their kitty will be OK.
Purpose of Cat Whiskers
Your cat’s whiskers play a very important part in their adjustment to blindness. Just like humans, when a feline loses one of its senses, the rest of its senses become heightened to compensate. Whiskers act as a navigational tool to help guide so while your cat won’t be able to see, it still will have a means to find its way around.
Without whiskers, even a sighted cat would have difficulty maneuvering about. It would become disoriented and feel off balance. No matter what, you should never cut a cat’s whiskers, especially a blind one.
Loving Your Cat
Your feline is going to need some extra comfort and love during this transition stage. It’s lost part of its security so it’s important for you to help your cat feel comfortable and safe in its surroundings.
In addition, when your cat wanted attention in the past, it could simply find you for some love and affection. Now, that won’t be so easy so if possible, put aside some time each day to spend extra moments with your sweetheart.
It can be a rollercoaster ride watching your cat adjust to becoming blind. Don’t be surprised if you shed a few tears along the way. I did. However, once the adjustment has been made, your cat should be able to still lead a comfortable life.
The process won’t be quick. In my cat’s case it took several weeks for her to figure everything out. As she learned her way around and became more comfortable, the loud meowing began to taper down.
Hopefully the tips above will be of some help to you and that it won’t be too long before adjustments are made and you can get back to a more normal way of life.