Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

I have a 11 year old Maine Coon who is like my child. Last Monday I came home from work and realized his pupils were dilated and he was not responding to movement or light. We quickly took him to the vet hospital where they kept him overnight and ran tests on him. He tested negative for toxoplasmosis and glaucoma. We took him home and 2 days later took him to an ophthalmologist to get answers. They said it may be hypertension, and sent him home with blood pressure medicine.

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He has been on the medicine for 3 days now and there is no sign of improvement. I am horrified. because no one knows what is wrong and I can't leave him, being in fear something may happen to him. He is adjusting well to his loss of sight. What I want to know is, has anyone gone through a similar thing and do the cats adjust better than us? I need to know because I am that over protective mother who keeps checking on him.

By Aprel from NY

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July 9, 20081 found this helpful
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I have a cat who went blind at 3 weeks old--and he's now 12! And such a happy little guy! Do NOT put your blind kitten down!

Caring for a blind cat isn't much more difficult or any more expensive than caring for a sighted one. There's not much you need to do, really, but here are a few common-sense tips:

1. Keep his litter, food, and water in the same place, ALWAYS. What I did with my blind kitten was to put him in his litter box, then let him find his way out. Then I put him in front of his food bowl, and again let him walk away when he was ready. Your cat will memorize where these things are--and he'll develop an INCREDIBLE sense of smell, which will help him. Your cat should have no trouble at all!

2. Keep an uncluttered home. Your cat will memorize how to get around in your home, so help him out by not leaving shoes, clothes, or anything else lying around that might trip him up or confuse him.

3. Childproof cabinets where you keep cleansers, and keep the toilet lid closed at all times. My blind cat is an explorer, believe it or not! I keep the toilet lid down so he won't accidentally fall in, and I bought inexpensive childproof "locks" for the cabinets where I keep cleansers, just to make sure he doesn't get into them.

4. Don't leave plastic bags lying around. This has actually never been a problem for me, but I always worry that Homer (my blind cat) might get tangled up in a plastic bag and not be able to figure out how to untangle himself--so I don't leave them lying around.

5. Talk to him! Your voice will be your blind kitten's way into the world. He'll love hearing you! So talk to him, pet him, and let him know he's loved!

6. Let him follow you around for a while. When I first got Homer, he followed me around--constantly--until he figured out where everything was. I helped him by walking around more slowly and with louder footsteps than I usually do--just at first until he got to know his surroundings.

Honestly, I hardly even remember anymore that my little guy is blind, he gets around so well! Yours will too--and he'll astound you every day with all the things he can do, even though he's blind. Good luck!

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September 18, 20160 found this helpful

My girl is blind, she could see shadows. But not anymore. She knows exactly where everything is, but now she walks into walls and can't find her way out. She has a hard time finding her water bowl too.

She has high blood pressure and the medication helped her see for awhile. Her pressure keeps going up and we can't give her too much medication because she can't walk straight. She will be 21 years old in April.

I don't know how I can go to work tomorrow because last night she was REALLY confused and still is and can't find anything today. You can't move anything cause they can't handle change.

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

Aprel,

I have no experience with blind pets, but I want to let you know that my heart goes out to you. Why don't you call the opthalmologist's office and ask how long it might be until you notice changes/improvement?

I read through the archived questions/answers below. I noticed at least one link to advice for blind cats. From what the other people have said, it sounds like the cats learn to cope, but we people are the ones who have a hard time adjusting. I hope that things go well for you and your cat. Best of luck, and please keep us posted!

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July 14, 20100 found this helpful

I had a dog that went blind at age 10 yrs. Caroline D. Levin, R.N. has written a book - Living with Blind Dogs [I know you have a cat] but she has wonderful ideas to help everyone cope. So Buttons could go out in my fenced-in yard, I put drops of an essential oil from his bed to doggie door, and guided him for the first day. After that, he was able to go out himself! They cope better than we do!

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July 15, 20100 found this helpful

Where in NY are you? A friend of mine had to take her dog who was going blind to Cornell to be properly diagnosed. The dog had such a rare disease that her regular vet never would have figured it out.

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August 8, 20100 found this helpful

Aprel,

I've been searching for someone that's had a similar experience to myself. I have a 6 yr old male Maine Coon cat that has gone blind in both eyes within the last few days. It was one eye at 1st and then the other one went a day or two later. It's broken my heart. It's like his life has been flipped upside down. He keeps looking at things as if he's trying to see the things he once did. It's heart wrenching. I'm waiting to get the blood results back for the toxoplasmosis test. I originally thought that toxo may be the cause until I read your post. I'm now concerned that there may not be a reason. His blood pressure is normal, no glaucoma, etc.. All vitals are perfect. If the toxo report comes back negative we'll be left without a reason for his sudden blindness. Is it genetics with this breed? I've researched it but found nothing indicating this. Please let me know how your cat is doing and if you ever found out what caused his blindness. It just completely upsets me to think that he's not going to be able to do the things he loved doing so much. I'm at a loss. He's are baby and is so sweet. Thanks.

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January 8, 20110 found this helpful

Hi there, I understand your concern. My cat was hit 2 months ago and due to the trauma he endured he is now blind and has lost most of the feeling in his face, but he has recovered very well, and adjusted even more than even the vet could of predicted. So don't worry so much, have faith in your cat. He/she will adjust very well just keep things the same all the time, feeding times, where the feeding dishes are, don't move things around, and always talk to him/her with a calming voice!

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September 20, 20110 found this helpful

My 4 year old cat, Oliver, was hit by a car we believe sometimes on Friday night. I found him sat morning in the next door garden laying in the grass. I call him over and it took a while for him to came to me. He was in big shock and his face was damage but I couldn't see properly because all the blood in his face.

My partner and I took him to emergency vets and the told us that it was hit in one side of his head and jaw and that he will need an operation. They operated that same day in the afternoon and he came out very well. He has lost part of his jaw bone and some teeth. He also lost one eye and possibly the other one because of the socket, and one part of his brain was swollen.

The next day they did more test on him and told us that the other eye wasn't responding to light either and that he was going to be blind in both eyes. He is coming home today and I can wait to see him, but I'm so upset about the entire thing that I might pass that onto him. I just wanted to make him feel better and am scared that he is not going to cope. He is such a lively little thing and is used to being outdoors all the time. He is not going to be able to do so from now on.

Many thanks, Maria 20/09/2001

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September 18, 20160 found this helpful

Yes, my Girl went blind, her blood pressure was 190. She was put on Norvasc and she could see again. If the meds do not help her, have her BP checked again. The medicine may not be enough. They may need to increase it.

Her pupils will be dilated and look like they are yellow, that is because she can't see.

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