Although cats are known to have excellent eyesight, unfortunately they are not immune to vision problems , including blindness. Blindness can appear suddenly but, as a rule, the process is gradual and the owner may not notice any problems until the cat is completely blind. Blindness is more common in older cats.
Medical causes of vision loss include: neurological problems, trauma, cataracts, glaucoma, eye tumors, inflammation or infection, and high blood pressure . Fortunately, cats adapt very easily and compensate by developing their sense of smell and touch. Blindness due to hereditary causes most commonly occurs in purebred cats.
How do I know if my cat is blind?
The most obvious signs of vision loss are that the cat is starting to bump into objects. If the cat is disoriented or moves around the house more slowly than usual, it may be a sign of poor vision. If the blindness has appeared suddenly, the cat is probably in distress. You may notice that your eyes look abnormal, which may indicate an infection or other eye changes that lead to blindness.
Keep in mind that blindness can only affect one eye as well. If this is the case with your cat, avoid making any noises or sudden movements on the blind side of the cat so that it does not get scared.
Finally, if you are concerned about your cat’s eyes, make an appointment with your veterinarian for a check-up, as the proper treatment of certain conditions can prevent vision loss. Sudden vision loss is an emergency that requires urgent veterinary treatment in an attempt to regain sight.
Steps to make life easier for a blind cat
When you have a blind cat, auditory communication becomes essential.
It is best not to scare him, especially when he is adjusting to his new life. Call your cat more often and mark their footprints so they can detect them with sounds or vibrations. Adapt the way you talk to him, doing it more often and in a clear and exaggerated manner.
A blind cat cannot roam freely, it must stay at home or access only protected gardens. You can also take your cat out on a leash or harness if you accept it without hesitation.
A blind cat uses their sense of smell and memory to carry out their daily activities, so don’t move furniture around or leave your litter box and food and water containers where they normally are. The cat will notice if you move the furniture more now than in the past. A cat who has recently lost their sight needs to be in a confined space first, and you can gradually allow them to access other parts of the house so they can adjust gradually without endangering them.
If you have children, remind them not to leave toys on the floor, as the cat could trip. Pay more attention to cleaning and do not leave obstacles in inappropriate places.
The usual recommendation for owners of cats with disabilities is to put an easy-to-remove collar on their pet with contact information, as well as the veterinarian’s name, address and phone number. The plate must clearly indicate that the animal is blind. As is customary in the feline world, the use of an electronic chip is recommended.
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