Blind Cats
Living With A Cat Who Can't See 

Blind cats are still excellent pets to have and their disability should not put you off either adopting one or living with your existing pet with this disability. 

Some cats are born blind either from suffering from anopthalmia, where the cat is born without eyes or from micropthalmia, where the eyes are very small and do not function well. 

These cats will have never known sight and so will become very adapted to the world around them from kitten hood. Their other senses will become sharper and more acute.

However there are other conditions which can cause blindness later on in life and these cats may take some time to adjust to their new disability.

These cats will need a little help at first from there owners to adapt.

In some cases there is partial blindness, such as being able to see shapes or light and dark or tunnel vision.

What Causes Blindness In Cats

There are many conditions which can cause blindness, such as:

  • Injury, such after a car accident, falling or being kicked

  • Cancer

  • Cataract – caused either by illness such as diabetes or injury as a simple age related degeneration of the eye.

  • Glaucoma – an increased pressure within the eye

  • Detached retina – caused by either injury or illness such as high blood pressure, infection or toxins

Signs Of Blindness

There are several things you can look out for which may indicate blindness or a partial loss of sight. They are

  • Cloudy eyes 

  • Staring for longer than normal at things as if trying to focus on them

  • Bumping into furniture, especially if it has been moved. You may notice the problem is worse in low light.

  • Being started when approached i.e. they have not seen you coming. This often happens when blindness occurs in one eye.

  • The cat appears confused and may wander around loudly meowing as if in distress.

  • Discharge from the eyes causing squinting or keeping the eyes closed all together.

If you suspect your cat is having difficulty seeing in one eye you can always test by covering the good eye and waving your finger in front of the suspected blind eye to see if it reacts or follows the movement.

Blind Cat Needs

Just like any other disability there things we can do as owners to try and help our sightless cats overcome there difficulties and make their life a happier one.

Because sound becomes more important for a blind cat, providing toys which squeak, crinkle, ring or rattle will help your cat during play.

Try not to move furniture around too often and if you have a cat with a tendency to crash into things, adding a little padding to the sharpest corners is a good idea not only to protect the cat but also your furniture.

Unfortunately letting your cat outside on their own is not an option as they are vulnerable to attack from other animals and also from falling and cars etc. So making sure you provide a very stimulating inside environment for your cat is vital, as well as interaction with playing with them. After all a cat who can nolonger see will still retain all there natural instincts to chase etc. Blind cats learn quickly to follow a ball just by the sound it makes along the floor.

Do not carry your cat around as this will disorientate them. They should be allowed to walk around on their own so as to leave their scent and find out where everything is.

Always approach your blind cat by making a sound first to get there attention. This will prevent frightening them and causing them to lash out in fear.

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