For some time now, you have noticed that Minou is less alert, that he bumps into your furniture, that he falls when he jumps off the sofa and that he is more reluctant to go outside.
You then decide to take him to the vet to find out what is happening to him. After a complete examination, your practitioner tells you that your cat is blind. Additional examinations will then make it possible to know the cause of this sensory loss.
Once the blow cashed, questions will arise. You will surely want to know the causes of this blindness, if it is reversible or not, and understand how to help your faithful companion in his new life if this is not the case. Here are our blind cat tips and tricks.
Causes Of Sight Loss In Cats
There are several reasons that can cause and explain blindness in cats.
This can be organic, such as an age-related illness such as hypertension or diabetes, a tumour, an infection following a fight, untreated or badly treated coryza (quite common in cats living alone outside or on wild litters) or it can be following a head trauma caused by a fall or an impact (against a car for example).
If it is an organic cause, medical treatment can sometimes improve or even completely restore your cat’s sight. If it is a traumatic cause, the damage can be more complicated to repair and prove to be irreversible.
Discovery Of Visual Impairment
Blindness in cats can take days, weeks, or even months to set in. And we may not realize it right away either, especially since on a long installation, our animal may have time to adapt to its handicap and therefore mislead us.
So don’t hesitate, especially when your hairball starts to age, to stare it straight in the eye quite regularly. Head to head which can prove to be very precious. Indeed, if you notice the slightest anomaly, you can then consult without delay. A glassy or whitening eye, pupils that remain dilated or on the contrary contracted, or any other things that seem abnormal to you, are signs that should alert you. Despite everything, if you were not able, or knew, to notice this visual deficit, do not feel guilty. Today there are solutions to make your cat’s daily life as pleasant as possible.
Medical Management Of Visual Blindness
Obviously, if a medical treatment can relieve him or improve his sight, administering it on a regular basis following the prescription of the veterinarian can be very beneficial for his eyes. A hypertensive treatment or the global management of his diabetes, a surgical intervention on his tumor can be possible solutions.
In addition, you can set up safe spaces for him on a daily basis.
Arrangement Of The Habitat Of A Blind Cat
Inside The House
The cat, although an inveterate hunter, remains an animal of prey. He is therefore fearful and needs either to get up high to observe his environment, or to hide to feel safe. To preserve Minou’s habits as much as possible, you can modify his favorite hiding and observation locations. This method will allow him not to fall to get there, if they are high up.
But you can also create new ones for him. For example, cutting out the front of a dresser drawer so that he can slide in (the bottom one, the most accessible) or, if you have a two-story house, cutting in the first riser of the staircase, a passage large enough to slip into easily when he feels a little stressed.
Inside, his favorite blanket or a soft cushion will be enough to soothe him and help him sleep peacefully. The sofa or the bed are his favorite places for a nap? No problem, you can find for a few euros on the internet stairs facilitating access to the beds or sofas of our little companions.
By always leaving resting places and access facilities in the same place, your cat will quickly get used to using them. But it will of course be necessary to show him these arrangements, and to repeat this course several times so that he can integrate them into his new life.
Also make sure that his bowls and litter box are always in the same place. You can optionally use a water and kibble dispenser if you’re worried about him knocking over the containers trying to catch the contents. Regarding the litter, thanks to his already very developed sense of smell and which he will seek even more to compensate, he will know if it is clean or not and will not take the risk of trampling on his excrement. The same goes for food, it is thanks to his sense of smell that he will be able to eat properly.
But it is above all thanks to you and your daily behavior that your cat will feel reassured and will better understand its new life.
You will have to make sure that there are no obstacles lying around on the ground and objects in which he could bump into and injure himself. It is also important to educate your family members, and even your friends, so that everyone can participate in making your cat’s disability less debilitating. In this way, your tomcat will benefit from an environment in which he can circulate serenely. A calm and reassuring universe possible to reduce your stress level.
Being deprived of sight, one of the most important senses allowing the rapid analysis of a situation, it is possible that a dull or loud noise which he is not used to will surprise him. The latter can destabilize him, stress him and lead to flight behavior that proves to be dangerous for his health, because disordered due to blindness.
It will also be necessary to get into the habit of announcing yourself gently when you enter the room in which it is. This new habit will prevent him from being surprised by your presence and will reassure him for a long time. You can also set up a ritual before petting him: tell him that you are going to touch him or always whistle the same tune, for example. Thanks to this way of doing things, he will associate this sound with the fact that the hand he will feel on his back is there to caress him, to do him good, and not to hurt him.
On the other hand, don’t hesitate to tell the children that Minou is no longer the same as before, but that he still loves hugs just as much. They will have to be taught to behave with him in a gentle way. This trick can kill two birds with one stone, and can be a great way to get them tidying up their room and their toys. Who says you can’t use the excuse of the blind cat to declutter the cat’s living space?
Nevertheless, a cat remains a cat. In accordance with his nature, he will like to play and hunt to entertain himself when he is not sleeping, despite his blindness. There are specialized toys for blind cats on the internet and in some pet stores. It is also possible to find tutorials on the web for creating and imagining new toys. Do not hesitate, in addition, to give free rein to your imagination to invent some.
But if Grisou used to go out, enjoy the garden, how will it be for him outside?
Outside The House
If your cat had got into the habit of going outside, it would be best to try to keep these rituals as much as possible in order to satisfy his needs and his desires to smell the air on his whiskers, to listen to the birds singing and to lie down in the fresh grass dreaming of hunting a giant mouse.
In this case, you can buy a harness and a leash to take him for a walk or create a totally secure space for him in your garden. Within this place, you will not leave him alone, in order to protect him as well as possible and to avoid any risk of accident.
Finally, if you realize that these outdoor access solutions are not viable in the long term, you will unfortunately have to accept the fact that your feline will no longer be able to go outside. In this case, and plan to secure the doors and windows so that he cannot escape your vigilance. He will certainly need some time to adapt to accept it but he will eventually get used to it, don’t worry about him.
His accommodation proposals can be difficult for you, the master of your mustachioed friend, to accept. Indeed, you are mourning an animal that will no longer be “as before”. He is now different, because handicapped, but he remains deeply attached to you. With time and patience, everyone will find their bearings and your cat will be able to thrive in the best possible environment.