Helping Blind Cats

Blind cats see things differently.

Blind cats see things differently.

Cats are very independent creatures, and blind cats are no different. With some help from their friends, most cats adjust well to their lack of sight. If your cat is blind, or if you are considering rescuing a blind cat, there are ways to help with this adjustment.

Be Consistent and Give Him Space

Your cat should be able to find his litter box, bedding and food bowl in the same location at all times. He'll use his whiskers to help him navigate throughout the rest of the home, brushing them against objects before hitting them. If the blindness has just occurred, or if the home is new to him, confine him to a small area of the house at first. As soon as he becomes comfortable getting around, expand his access. If he was an outdoor cat before he lost his sight, consider a safe, enclosed outside area. Keeping your cat's lifestyle nearly the same as it was when he was sighted will aid in this life adjustment.

No Surprises

Gently stroke and softly speak to your cat before picking him up, so as not to alarm him. If you move him, try to return him to the same spot so it will be easier for him to reorient himself. In time he will find his way around, utilizing sounds and floor textures, so try to maintain similar floor coverings and keep the TV or stereo in the same place.

Sound Markers

You're probably already doing this, so just continue talking to your cat for calming reassurance and as a way for him to locate you in his mind's map of your home. Consider keeping one particular TV or radio turned on low, especially when you are away, to help him orient himself. And again, try not to move these valuable sound markers.

Playtime

Play is important to cats and can be critical to blind cats for relieving stress. Close contact, cat and mouse games with his human friend are always enjoyable. An established play area with his toys placed in the same location will offer him comfort and add to his joyful playtime. Your cat's sense of sound will be enhanced due to his blindness and he will especially appreciate toys that make noise. Hollow balls with bells in the center or even a piece of crumpled up tinfoil will provide days of play.

 

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