My 14 year old Siamese cat was just diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Atrophy. He seems to be about 50% blind and we are moving from New York to Florida in 6 months. I imagine by then his blindness will be more acute. My concern is two fold. One being that he and his life long companion, a 15 year old Burmese, will be traveling by van to the mid south with a one night stay in a pet friendly motel and then onto a new home. All websites say not to move furniture or the blind animal's food bowl and I have to laugh as I am moving this poor little cat's entire world. Any advice for a healthy and smooth transition for traveling and for when we arrive at our new home?
My brother just moved his two cats, one blind from birth, 900 miles in a car. They were a little stressed, but fine. Make sure there is no way the blind cat can get hurt in the new home until he or she gets used to the surroundings. They will use smell and sound to determine where you, their food, and other things are. My brother's cat accidentally fell down the stairs in their new place. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but simply closing the door and keeping them in one room for a while solved that problem. Cats don't like some essential oils. The smell of the cat's regular food and litter should be enough to help the cat find everything. Start by keeping them in a small area first and then gradually letting them into a larger and larger area of the new home as they get used to their surroundings. I have moved my cats 3 times (they are not blind) and they did not like it, but got used to their new home in a few weeks. They may hide or be a little stressed out by the new smells and noises for a while. I keep mine in a bathroom that has already been emptied when the movers come so they are not upset by all the strange people and noises and seeing all the furniture disappear. The same when we get there. I keep them in a small room with a sign on the door so the movers don't open it and accidentally let them out into a place with which they are unfamiliar. When I start unpacking, they love to "help" by playing in the boxes and packing paper. Make sure they don't eat the tape -- one of mine will eat packing tape for some reason. Good luck.
Don't feal bad. We lost our cat for 3 and a half years ago. She wasn't blind when she got lost, but when we found her she was blind. When we brought her back to our new house she bumped in to every thing and pooped every were. We took her to the vets and they said she was 75% blind and we could do any thing. It really ticks me off when they don't even try, but its been 14 days, and she got to know the house really well. She still bumps into my brother and sisters toys (but in a good way they clean more :D). We have to keep her in a room with just tile and thats going to be her room until she goes potty in the litter box.
Try not to move things the new house around to much, they will remember were you put things. So this is what I think you should do. Find a small room in the house with tile and set food, water, a litter box and a soft comfy bed in the room. Then let your cat wander a round the house for a little bit then at night. Put him in the room until he knows where every thing is, and his litter box. Wishing you and your cat good luck.
lilly & yager
Well, sounds like quite an unfortunate situation for the cat, but because you have so much time before travelling, I would suggest slowly helping your cat to identify certain things by smell. I'm no vetrinarian, but think of how humans cope to blindness, their other senses adjust, I'm sure if you nurture this fact with your cat you should have a bit of luck.
Perhaps a special perfume, or a special herb/essential oil that you don't use anywhere else could be placed under or around the food bowl so the cat can identify that this sense means food. Maybe another small spray on large pieces of furniture the cat has, or is likely to run into.
This can have a few small sideaffects that I can foresee, one being that the smell of Jasmine, or whatever other Essential oil you use for the food would then trigger your cat's appetite. Read up on Pavlov and the bells for more information on how that works.
Anyways, might sound a little weird, but I think it should help. Please let me know if it works for you, and I wish the best for you and for your cat.
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