When you adopt your kitten you are in charge of looking after it no matter what happens, in good and in bad times. Unfortunately, we all get older and our cats as well, so with time their eyesight can decrease gradually or disappear forever. It can happen at a young age as well caused by different diseases. In a lot of cases, cats get blind gradually but because of their fast adjustive nature cat owners do not even notice this change. Only after seeing a vet does it come into the light. In these cases, you need to know how to care for a blind cat?
Blind cats still can live a happy and fulfilled life with extra help from pet owners. Cats the same as humans have a very good ability to adapt to this situation because of their strong scent ability and good hearing. Cats can hear sounds that we can not. These all senses get even stronger with time. Cats with vision issues can walk more carefully and closer to the ground.
College of Veterinary Medicine says that in general cat’s eye’s main components and function are the same as humans and these components include: the cornea, pupil, iris, lens, retina, and optic nerve. But there is also one difference called “haw” or third eyelid that keeps a cat’s eyes moistured and works as a shield to protect from cat fights and scratches.
How to tell your cat is blind?
PDSA mentioned the main points and you can read them here:
- Cloudy eyes which is quite an obvious side effect and dilated pupils,
- Suddenly your cat gets quiet and hides away, likes to be alone,
- Movements start to become slower and cause,
- Bumping into things because do not see where everything is located.
Causes of blindness in cats
It is not only one reason why cats get blind and here we mention some of them:
Retinal detachment happens when a retina that is located at the back of the eye comes off.
Glaucoma eye illness that cats and humans have in common. Glaucoma is caused by watery fluid unable to drain as it should be and this is why an optic nerve gives pressure leading from the eye to the brain. Thomas Kern professor of ophthalmology at Cornel University says: “Once the condition occurs it is not reversible.”
Feline Cataracts are one more eye problem for both humans and cats when a lens becomes cloudy and because of that, light does not come through the eyes. Causes of cataracts can be aging, diabetes, hypertension, inability to produce proteins, injury, and other reasons.
Sudden Blindness is caused by different conditions. Most of the time older cats with hypertension can have, very rare for young cats.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is the most common eye disease in the world and affects the immune system making cats more sensitive to other illnesses. Cats get this through fights with other infected cats who leave wounds on the skin. This is why indoor cats are safer and not likely will get FIV. Unfortunately, there is no cure at the moment, but with a help of your vet, your cat still can live a normal life.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) affects around 2 – 3% of cats in The United States and they transmit this to each other through saliva, urine, faces, and so on. In many scenarios it causes cancer.
Conjunctivitis is the most common eye disorder among felines caused by inflammation of the membrane that is located in the outer service of the eyeball. Signs are often blinking, squinting, and discharge in different colors. Usually, no medication is needed, but if it does not stop seeing your vet.
Help the blind cats to be safe at home
As you can see there are different causes of cat blindness and therefore all sorts of treatments. Helping your blind cat at home is a very big part of how care for a blind cat. Some eye illnesses can be treated, but some not, but for those that are it is very important to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will decide what is the best treatment in each situation. After you know how serious it is you can prepare your home for it.
- Do not move the litter box, water, and food bowls because cats rely on their memory and sense of smell. Also, try not to move around furniture if that is possible. If you have a two-floor house it is a good idea to put food and water bowls on each floor.
- Safeguard dangerous areas while your cat adapts to the situation. For example, if you have some sharp corners at home wrap them with bubble wrap. Put the baby gates if you have stairs.
- Talk to your cat before approaching and say hello when you come home because sudden noise can scare your cat and you can get even scratches on your skin. So never try to a pet before acknowledging that it is you.
- Keep your cat indoors at all times because it is safe and it will avoid dangerous situations with other cats, cars, and other things.
- Stimulate your cat’s senses with toys that make sounds and use catnip on them. Each cat will take a loss of eyesight in a different way and it does not mean your cat will not like any play time or toys.
- Give your cat a space without carrying them around because they need some time to adapt to the situation and they use paw glands for marking the territory so next time they know where to go.
Hopefully, you got some tips on how to care for a blind cat and will be able to spot if something is wrong quicker. The main point is to love your cat the same as you always did and be the eyes for your feline. Imagine yourself in the cat’s place and use your common sense by avoiding different dangers around. Being a cat parent you take full responsibility in hard times as well as you would do with your kids or parents. We believe with pure love and good care your blind cat can still live a good life and be a big part of your family.
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