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Adopting a Blind Kitten

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A kitten sleeping on a colorful blanket.
This is a guide about adopting a blind kitten. Knowing the best way to make a kitty comfortable and safe in its new surroundings, will help it be more confident with its blindness.
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By 0 found this helpful
September 30, 2005

Am looking for tips on a blind kitten I will be adopting next week, any and all advice will be welcomed.

Thanks,
Irish

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September 30, 20050 found this helpful
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We had a kitten that was partially blind and had a head injury and it was a challenge, but we fell in love with her. Try not to move the litter box around because it is fatal to potty training! Same with food and water. If you have stairs in your home you may want to put up baby gates until kitty is more able to accomodate herself. As kittens a little fall down the stairs is scary. As they get older, even when blind, will pick up the skills needed and will go by hearing and smells. It is amazing how they adapt!

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 1, 20050 found this helpful
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Good for you! I was an owner to a blind calico kitty for 15 years. As others have suggested try to keep your furniture in the same place, or only move one item and leave that for a while before you move another. My cat was faithful to use the litter box and was one of the cleaner users too! Also keep it on the same area,or,if it has to be moved only move it a few inches each day or evey other day until it is in the new place. They adapt very well. God bless you and your new kitty!

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 5, 20050 found this helpful
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We adopted a 5 month old mostly blind kitten 1.5 years ago. If yours is like mine, there is not a lot that you have to do differently than you would with a sighted kitten. Keep him inside ONLY! I do this anyway, although he and one of my cats get supervised outings in the back yard.

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It was so funny the first time he walked on grass...he looked like a Tennessee Walker horse. He most likely sees shadows and very bright lights (he tries to attack the floor lamp bulb when it is next to the couch at night). We started him off in one room (with food, water, litter, toys) by using moving boxes to block doors. Then we enlarged his living area by a room or two at a time. He progressed much faster than we expected. We have two other cats, so this was also a good way to introduce the new guy.

When it came to the stairs, we blocked the bannisters since it is a one-story drop from the top. They are still blocked since he is a very brave kitty and would probably try jumping (he jumps off the couch, the table, the bathroom counter).

When he was first in the dining room, he would get stuck on the table. I taught him to feel the back of the chair down to where the seat is, then he was fine jumping to the floor. Eventually he jumped straight off the table. I think it is good at first to keep everything the same (not moving furniture, etc.), but eventually try changing things if you like. Our cat loves exploring, and a moved piece of furniture or a laundry basket in the hall adds some excitement to his day. I move things once in a while and he still barrels around the house at full speed. I've never seen him smack into anything, but maybe that's because he can barely see light/dark.

Good toys are - wadded up small paper bags and the round cardboard scratcher with the ball that goes around it (he didn't like the one that doesn't have the scratcher in the middle). He used to have a hard plastic ball with divets in it. The divets slowed the ball down and made it wobble; the hard plastic was loud on our hardwood floor, so he could hear where it went. He also sometimes likes his crinkle-sack tunnel.

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He also has a toy that is a carpet-mouse with a long spring with a ball and bell at the end of the spring. He likes to grab it by the ball and drag it around the house. I cleaned out the pet store of any toy that made noise and these were the hits. For the most part, he's no different than any other indoor cat. Have fun!

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 31, 20060 found this helpful
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We have had a blind kitty since she was born 2 years ago. The veternarian told us she would be difficult and that we should not feel bad putting her to sleep. The vet could not have been more wrong. She has been the best furry friend we have ever had.

We have always been cautious about moving furniture. It is sad to see a kitty reaching its little paw out so gently for the edge of a coffee table and never be able to reach it. Also, with sighted cats, you might sort of drop them from a foot or so up when you put them down. A blind kitty doesn't know how far away the ground is, so it can't brace for it, so you should place them on the ground.

Other than that, our blind cat is in many ways more capable than our two sighted ones. She likes to climb up to high places and has better balance than the other two. She has never had a problem with the litter box or her food or water. She's also very affectionate and sweet and loves to play with shoes, particularly if they've just been worn. So if you have a particularly expensive pair of shoes, you might watch for that. But maybe ours just has a foot fettish! She always comes to the door when she hears one of us come home and follows us around to whatever room we're in. She likes to hang out under the dining room table -- I think because of the legs of all the chairs and table she feels comfortable always knowing where she is.

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Anyway, your kitty will be great. It will be one of the best decisions you've ever made.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 6, 20080 found this helpful
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In February my wife and I adopted Pearl, a blind kitten from our local pet store affiliated with a rescue house. She was found stuck between/under a fence and had apparently been there a couple of days. She was malnourished and dehydrated but recovered well. We read her medical history and she developed pain in her eyes which was making her increasingly irritable and aggressive.

After they realized the medication they were giving her wasn't helping her, they felt the best solution was to remove her eyes. After the procedure, she got better and returned her to a friendlier attitude. My wife fell in love with her immediately when she saw her and after several interviews we were selected as capable parents. We are learning quite a bit from her, but I feel like we lack the cat parenting skills. This is the first cat for both of us and we could be better had we known more about the basics of kittens/cats before hand. However, we have absolutely no regrets and Pearl is doing awesome!

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She is amazingly full of energy and God knows what she does when we're not around. She actively tears through our apartment, leaping on the sofa and her cat gym. She has on occasion been unable to accept the scientific law of momentum and caught the corner the sofa, or a wall, or a leg and been chagrinned into slowing down for a moment. Being blind is not a problem for her as her sense of spatial distances is pretty impressive.

We have a few questions about things we've experience with Pearl which we aren't sure are normal behaviors or attitudes.

1. Even after buying her cardboard scratchers that you can sprinkle catnip in, she still has a habit of clawing the carpet and completely ignores the scratchers. I clip her nails to help reduce the damage and have a spray bottle handy and a firm "No!" if I catch her doing it. Unfortunately it's become a game to her where she'll do it once, then wait to hear if I'm coming. She's smart, but is there something else I'm missing? I've thought about buying carpet squares as an alternative to cardboard but she just adores the carpet. I want to correct this before she turns to the sofa. She'll occasionally use the corner of a wall so maybe a vertical scratcher will work instead?

2. She sneezes. More frequently than before, but not as frequently enough to be concerned...or is it? I've heard her sneeze (absolutely cute when cat does it) but when my wife sneezes, she'll literally toss out 5 of them before she's finished. Doesn't mean my wife is sick, so how much concern should I have when Pearl does it? There are no other visible signs of distress, no pain, no moaning or crying. I'm not too concerned, but my wife has mentioned it a few times. She has experience with rabbits, but rabbits hide their ailments.

3. I understand that cats give love and affection on THEIR time. When she wants to be pet, she'll definitely make it known by completely crawling up into our business. She pretty much has us trained and if we had tails to wag when she decided to shower us with her attention, we would wag them. Should we just accept this as common cat behavior or is her blindness slightly keeping her from being more affectionate? This kind of ties into my next question.

4. Over stimulation. What's the trick? She has a tendency to attack (playfully?) every hand/foot that comes into her reach. We have scratch and teeth marks on our hands, but we know she's not playing for keeps as it wouldn't be difficult for her to pierce our flesh if she wanted too. Is this another kitten/cat issue that we will gradually come to accept over time?

Anyways, Pearl is fantastic! Every day when I come home from work I'll find her at the top of the stairs, on her side or belly up waiting for me to walk through the door. I'll greet her with a hello and give her a back-arching scratch and rub down her spine. I accept this as "her time". She is so amazed by the bathtub that whenever we are in the bathroom, she'll leap into the tub and "peer" at us over the side.

She follows us all the time and we've learned to be very cautious where we walk as we don't want to give her the boot or step on her. Collared bells don't work because she looks ridiculous in them.

Pearl has definitely set the standard when it comes to owning a cat. She's full of energy, curiosity and nothing seems to get in her way. She is so brave that when playing, she ALWAYS has to get in the last swat. If we ever own another cat, they'll have big paws to fill.

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