Living with a blind cat

It’s no secret that cats are independent creatures. They like to do things in their own time, in their way.

But what happens when your feline friend goes blind?

Suddenly, their world is a lot smaller and a lot more challenging. How do you help your blind cat adjust?

Living with a blind cat

A blind Cat

And how do you make sure they’re still able to live a happy, normal life? Read on for tips on living with a blind cat.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent hours online looking at adoption profiles for cats. You might have even gone to a shelter to meet some of the adoptable cats in person. But then, when you get home, your cat ignores you completely.

There is another option: adopting a blind cat from your local shelter! I did it, and my life has never been the same. Sure, it was a little bit of an adjustment at first – but now I can’t imagine living without my blind kitty by my side.

So if you’re thinking about getting a new pet, don’t overlook the special needs animals at your local shelter – they just might need someone like you to give them a second chance in life!

When people find out that I live with a blind cat, they usually have one of two reactions. The first is a look of pity, followed by a sad shake of the head. The second is a look of horror as if I’ve just confessed to living with a wild animal. When most people think of a blind cat, they imagine a pathetic creature that stumbles around in the dark, bumping into furniture and mewing pitifully.

But the truth is, nothing could be further from the truth!  Living with a blind cat isn’t much different from living with a sighted one.  While it’s true that blind cats do require a bit more care than their sighted counterparts, they can still lead happy and healthy lives. And while my cat may not be able to see, she gets around just fine. She knows every nook and cranny of our apartment, and she can always find her way back to her food bowl (which is all that matters).

As long as their owner is willing to make a few adjustments, a blind cat can make a wonderful addition to any home.

Listen to Pam Caulfied who is the director of SCAN Animal Shelter talking about living with a blind cat.

Extra Keen Sense of Hearing, Smell and Touch

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world of darkness, spending a day with a blind cat will certainly give you a taste of that experience. Blind cats rely on their other senses to get around, and as a result, they can be quite creative in their methods of navigation.

They develop extra-keen senses of hearing, smell and touch, and they learn to navigate their homes using furniture, walls, and other landmarks as cues. Some will use their whiskers to feel for obstacles, while others will listen for changes in sound to help them map out their surroundings. 

And although they may stumble from time to time, blind cats are generally quite adept at getting around. So if you’re looking for a furry friend who can show you the world in a whole new way, consider opening your home to a blind cat.

More Meows

Anyone who has ever lived with a blind cat knows that they can be just as independent and spunky as their sighted counterparts. Many blind cats adjust surprisingly well to their disability, developing their other senses to compensate.

Some owners of blind cats are convinced that their cat is more vocal.  This may be because they rely more on vocalizations to communicate their needs.  However, it’s important to remember that blind cats are just trying to express themselves, and with a little patience and understanding, it’s possible to develop a close bond with them.

Living with a blind cat

How to make your Home Blind Cat Friendly

Of course, there are a few things that owners of blind cats need to take into account. You need to be extra careful about keeping your home free of hazards. Things like stairs, open windows and sharp objects can pose a serious threat to a blind cat’s safety.

At first, you’ll need to be patient while your cat learns to navigate its new surroundings. But if you’re willing to make some adjustments, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a rich and rewarding relationship with your blind cat.

1.  Blind cats orientate using pheromones, these are identifying scents which they secrete to help them find their way.  They establish pathways through the house to find what they need and avoid bumping into furniture on the way.  It is very important to keep these pathways clear, to avoid causing stress or minor injuries.  A pair of shoes or a carelessly discarded toy can be an unpleasant stumbling block if left on the familiar pathway.

2.  Always keep the same area for food and water bowls, sleeping beds and the litter box.  Like us, cats can become agitated if they cannot find what they need in the usual place!  One tip is to tap the side of the food bowl and pour water from a height for sounds to help orientation.

3.  Avoid carrying the blind cat from one place to another, as this will disorientate and confuse them. They follow a mental map of their surroundings, as they walk from one area to another.  If at any time, the blind cat seems disorientated, gently use your hands and voice to guide them back to where it is familiar.

4.  Always use the voice to wake a sleeping cat, rather than touch, to prevent them from being startled.

5.  Never trim the blind cats’ whiskers, as these guide them and protect them from knocking themselves.  Avoid moving furniture and keep doors open fully against the wall for extra safety.

6.  Any stairwells and balconies should be closed off, toilet lids left down, windows closed, and barriers placed around pools and hot tubs.

7.  Never allow the blind cat outside unattended.  Without vision to protect them, they are highly vulnerable to accidents or attacks.  Blind cats may enjoy walks outside with a secure harness and lead.

8.  Blind cats are just as playful as any other cat.  Toys with sounds are a good choice – balls with bells inside, paper bags, a sheet of newspaper on the floor, and paper balls.

Living with a Blind Cat Rewarding and Fun

Life with a blind cat can be interesting, to say the least. For one thing, you never know what they’re going to bump into – or knock over.

Blind cats enjoy playing with toys, though you may need to help them find them at first.  I once came home to find my blind cat had mistaken my toothbrush for a toy and had knocked it onto the floor, where it was happily rolling around.

Another time, when I had left the radio on, I returned home to find her performing a duet with Pavarotti!

Blind cats form close bonds with their human companions, and they typically have just as long and happy a life as any other cat. So, if you’re considering adopting a furry friend, don’t rule out a blind cat – they may just end up being the best feline friend you’ve ever had.

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