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Caring for a Blind Cat

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There are a number of things to keep in mind to help your cat be comfortable with its lack of vision. This guide is about caring for a blind cat.
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October 27, 20160 found this helpful

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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April 8, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about training a blind kitten to use a litter box. Training a blind kitten to use a litter box may take more time and persistence then with a sighted cat, but it can be done.

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December 22, 20080 found this helpful

I saved a kitten that had eye goop and a runny nose. He is now blind and I can't not get him to use the litter box anymore. He did at first but in the past month he has been using the floor, usually right in front of the litter box. I put him in the box when I see him starting to go but sometimes he freaks out when I stick him in there. Why? I need to save my floors, please help!

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Jani from Wichita Falls, TX

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December 29, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try using Litter Attract in your litter box.

Lauren

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January 5, 20090 found this helpful
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Take him to the vet and go from there. He needs a thorough check-up and they may also have some suggestions for you.

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By pinkcoyote (Guest Post)
February 10, 20090 found this helpful
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Use the puppy trainers sold at Walmart. Put one in front of the litter box then add some litter and slowly transfer back to the litter box. Will work like a charm. The puppy trainers also have odor protections and are so easy. They are large so just cut in half and they still work great. Hope you still have the cat and didn't euthanize.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful
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He may be having a hard time finding his way into the box. Try making a long sloping ramp for him to get in and out of the box with. Hopefully this will help him feel more comfortable getting in and out of it.

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If it does, then at around 6 or 8 months of age, you can start very slowly making the ramp shorter and shorter until you have no ramp at all.

Also, I don't know where you have the box now, but if you put it in a place that is easy for him to find, but at the same time a place where it's quiet and he can have his privacy (yes, even cats like their privacy) it should help.

But it sounds like something has scared the kitten (could have been a sound or anything) and now it's afraid to make the leap in. But he obviously wants to since he's peeing in front of the box.

Having gone blind like she did tho, it's going to be easy for him to get scared so just try different methods with him. One thing with having a blind pet of any kind, is you can't rearrange your furniture. They have to learn where everything is, and if you go moving it, they get confused and scared. Just keep your heart open like I'm sure it was when you took the kitten in and be understanding to it's special needs and fears and you will both be fine.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 12, 2010

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

Answers

By Gwen (Guest Post)
July 9, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

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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!

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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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By 0 found this helpful
January 11, 2005

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?

Answers

By catlover (Guest Post)
January 12, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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By lilly (Guest Post)
January 13, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

love,
lilly & yager

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By 0 found this helpful
October 5, 2011

I'm worried about raising my blind kitten. How can I prevent him from falling into the pool in front of my house?

By T.Burger

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October 5, 20110 found this helpful

I am not trying to sound smart-alecky, but probably the best solution is not allow the cat in the front yard? (As in, your backyard is fenced).

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October 6, 20110 found this helpful

I have to agree with the previous feedback, but even better this baby should become an indoor cat. The house will become her world and be safer for her. I had a blind cat and she did just fine indoors, she got to know every nook and cranny and developed a remarkable sense of hearing. Please keep her in.

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Anonymous
October 6, 20110 found this helpful

I also agree with having your kitty boy be an indoor only cat. He will be completely happy and content not going out and he will be so much more safe. It's also not only the pool you have to worry about. There are predators and there are cars, etc and your fur baby will not be able to see ahead of time to protect himself like a sighted cat could.

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June 26, 20151 found this helpful

We have a pool in our backyard. When our blind cat came across it for the first time, he began to put his nose to the air, then having smelt the water (the strong chlorine smell) he began walking very slowly. He continued to walk around the perimeter of the pool, and after that we never had a problem with him falling in or anything! I think you would find that your cat would be fine, they are pretty incredible and will surprise you! The pool would have a definite smell about it, and I'm sure your cat will learn that smell, learn where the pool is and to avoid it!

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June 27, 20150 found this helpful

Not everyone wants to raise an indoor-only pet. There are some really good reasons not too.
After all, you wouldn't think it was a good idea to raise indoor-only children, and humans are more "domesticated" than felines.

Besides the fact that cats always manage to get out sometime. When they do, they are not prepared for the dangers the outdoors has to offer.

First, take the cat to the pool and let it smell the water while holding it. Dip its paw in. It will shake its paw. Dip its whiskers in. Be sure you have a good hold on the pet in case it struggles. The cat will dislike the pool.

The cat should know by the smell that it is getting close to the pool in the future and avoid it once it knows what it is. Cats rely on sound and smell much more than humans do.

In the future, closely supervise all visits outdoors. Visits should be short.

By the way, cats can swim. However, a blind can may get confused and swim in the wrong direction, or if there's tile may not be able to climb out. If you are very close by you can rescue it.

So just supervise outdoor excursions and familiarize the cat with the pool.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 7, 2005

Anyone have any tips on how to get a blind cat to be more active? I have a 2 1/2 year old overweight female cat who has been blind since birth and was declawed by a previous owner before I took her in. She was already overweight and has only lost about half a pound since last year.

I limit her to 1/3 of a cup of weight-management food in the morning and again in the evening. She finds her way around the house very well and she has a docile nature. I've tried various toys that make noise or have catnip smell, but she'll only play with a new toy for a few minutes, then go lay down somewhere, and then the toy doesn't get touched again for weeks!.

A companion cat is not really an option because I have a very small apartment and a young child. I do have a fenced yard and took her out one day, but she kind of freaked. Suggestions would be most welcomed.

umme

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January 8, 20050 found this helpful

Will she go for a walk on a leash and harness around your yard? It might be too late as normally you must get a small kitten used to this.

My kitties love to play with a ball in the bath tub. The ball rolls back to them and they swat it again.

You also might want to check with your Vet for ideas to get your precious kitty to play.

Jennifer

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January 9, 20050 found this helpful

i have a kitty thats deaf. he does just fine as he still has his sight and he's much older than yours. When a cat doesn't have one of their much needed senses, they are lost. and are so insecure.

She (your cat) feels safer if she doesn't move as she can't see what's around her so she listens..as we know ourselves, we will be still to be able to hear something. You have to have a constant routine that she can get used to, so she knows that everyday at the same time certain things will occur. For instance, dinner at five is one of ours, (and believe me he knows when its five!!, little siamese in him!) Everyday at a certain time is play time...have the same toys, she will know the smell. And have a toy box for her always in the same place and accessable for her to get a toy on her own..we use the kitty travel carrier with an old towel in it, it's a two-fold reason, we want the cats to feel safe when going to the vets. also having toys with sound is important like you have done, but remember to get soft sounding toys..she has such an enhanced hearing now due to loss of site..you want her to feel safe to play and if the noise is too loud then she can't hear whats going on around her.. safe and secure, not much disruption, is the key to a happy cat thats lost a sense...

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By 0 found this helpful
October 24, 2014

I have taken in a 15 week old kitten who is completely blind. After having a rough start in a home that clearly had done no research had left him traumatised and feral in behaviour. He came to me untrained, untouchable, and with rear leg trauma. I have him crated, and he comes out for exercise, and socialising several times a day in short bursts when it's just me home and it's quiet. I keep being told he is the same as a seeing cat and that he will find his litter box, etc. yet this is proving a huge task. He also chews the side of the bowl when eating, constantly chews the china, then eats food, then chews the door frame, or any other object that's near him. He eats like he is never fed, so I have split him onto four meals a day, evenly spread with cat milk mixed water (as he will not drink water alone) which I also had to assist (teach) how to lap, as he stuck his face in and sniffed it up, so he was dehydrated and afraid to drink. So basically I am concerned that he has suffered more harm, and maybe is mentally unwell too? If I can email videos to someone that would really help. I know it's early days. But I am covered in scratches and feel like I'm getting no where.

By Kay

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October 27, 20140 found this helpful

Here's a lot of great advice to help with a blind cat. I read it all and found it quite interesting.

http://www.wiki  e-of-a-Blind-Cat

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October 8, 20140 found this helpful

I saved this little black kitten and he is blind. He keeps eating the litter. We even put some of his poop in the litter bowl to see if he would notice the smell and think OK this is where I go to the bathroom and it didn't work. He is still eating it. We did change the litter to non clumping and yes he still eats it. So how do I get him to stop eating it and or what litter should we try?

By Kelsie from ID

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October 10, 20140 found this helpful

Bless you for caring for this little guy. Sounds like he came into the world with some big challenges. It is really common for kittens to eat cat litter. Most clumping litters warn against using their litter for kittens. It's likely you kitten will outgrow the habit. I would try litter with larger pieces and inert ingredients. There are some made from paper that look like pellets. In fact you could try using shredded paper for awhile while the kitty is small. Good luck with your little guy. I had a blind dog that lived to be 17 yrs. The cats would guide him up and down the stairs, it was so cute. He had a great life.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 24, 2010

Is it kind to adopt a blind cat when you have a Cocker Spaniel in the house? Jakes is used to cats and has never been a problem except that he gets his nose smacked now and then. I am between cats, but have found a blind cat that I really like. Also, are there apt to be litterbox problems?

By Lillian from Portland, ME

Answers

Anonymous
December 27, 20100 found this helpful

Lillian, all you can do is try and then keep an eye on how both the dog and cat interact for a few days. Keep them separated when you're not home until you feel secure to leave them home alone together. They may very well have little spats until they get used to one another and trust one another but you'll know within a few short days whether they can become buddies or at least tolerate one another.

As far as the litter box is concerned; just always keep the box in the same spot and introduce the cat immediately to it by gently placing the cat in the box and then gently running it's front paws through the litter. Leave kitty in that room until it has gone poddy once and allow it to roam on it's own away from the box afterwards. Don't change the litter for a couple of days (so the odor will have seeped in to the box itself) and after that the kitty will find the box by smell. I reiterate to not move the box to a different location!

If you do adopt a blind cat please do not let it outside because it will not be able to fend for itself against predators including other cats and dogs!

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July 12, 20100 found this helpful

My kitten is 3 months old and it went blind a month ago. I love animals, especially my cats. There is no way I will have my blind baby put down I just need some tips on how to care for her. I do not have a lot of money, but I do want to give my blind baby all the love I can.

Maureen from Ogden, UT

Answers:

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

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!

(07/09/2008)

By Gwen

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

Gwen said it all. I have a blind dog and cat we adopted from the shelter here in Turkey. They are both happy and healthy. Don't change the layout of your house; she will quickly learn where everything is. Talk to her constantly. I would probably be committed if anyone heard my rambling monologues! Check out blinddogs.com for some excellent insight into the world of blind pets. As they say, "Blind cats see with their hearts."

Sharon in Turkey (07/09/2008)

By sharon weidensaul

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

We adopted a one year old totally blind cat from the Duxbury, MA animal shelter on July 14. We have four other cats, two males and two females. They all get along fine. Here's some advice from us based upon our week of experience with Stevie (and we'll never give him up):

  • Don't move your furniture around and don't leave anything lying around on the floor (shoes, boxes, etc.). The blind cat will learn the layout of your home remarkably quickly. Don't change things or he/she will get confused.
  • Push your kitchen chairs into the table to give the blind cat a few less things to walk into.
  • Talk to the cat whenever you approach it.
  • Pick it up as little as you can and if you do pick it up be sure to put it down in an area that it is very familiar with so it won't get confused. For example, we always put Stevie down near his food and water bowls so he knows where he is.
  • Put his food and water bowls together. Also, it would help if you bought an electric powered water bowl. You can get one at any decent pet store. This will provide a sound that the cat can home in on. It works for us.
  • Get an enclosed litter box.
  • Don't ever move the food, water, and litter boxes once the cat figures out where they are.
  • Buy some strongly scented catnip toys and toys that make noise. Stevie loves these little balls made of foil-like plastic that makes a crinkling noise. He goes right after them.
  • Be aware that the blind cat will get around by touch, sound, and by smell. Be sensitive to this and don't try to overwhelm the cat's senses. Keep the TV and stereo volume down. If you have to make a loud noise, such as using the vacuum cleaner, go pat the cat a bit first to put him/her at ease before you start.
  • Be careful, especially at night, that you don't step on the cat.
  • Try to give him/her a little extra attention. Remember, the cat can't see so anything you can do to bring the cat into your activities will be a big help.
  • DON'T EVER LET THE CAT OUTSIDE!

We really love our blind cat. He's been no problem at all to us. He found the food, water, and litter box and there have been NO problems with him what-so-ever. He even walks up and down our stairs.

(07/10/2008)

By Marc F

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

Hey, Leeann, etc, if you can't care for the stray, abandoned, or mistreated cats yourself, phone your local No-kill animal shelter. I am a foster parent for one in my city, and we keep the animals in good and loving homes, until we find permanent homes for them. I have had kittens here for as little as 3 weeks, and older cats here for a lot longer. I have one cat here who has been with me for 8 years. He has lots of health problems, but has a good life with us, and I would miss him dearly if he found another home. As for the blind cats, check out CatAge.com, lots of good advice there, and about the 3 year old, I totally agree with the person who said he is worried about that child. I run a day care and this is not acceptable behavior. This child should never be left without adult supervision around these small defenceless animals! (07/10/2008)

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

(sent by email)
I recently wrote a guide to caring for blind cats which is available on www.catprofessional.com I am a veterinary ophthalmologist. I hope that it would help some people to get some useful insight into the special needs of a blind cat and how they can lead a wonderful and fulfilling life.

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

We have a house full of animals, 2 ratties in my library/office, along with a fish that ended up not going to college with my daughter. We also just got a puppy (hoping he stays as sweet as he is) 2 weeks ago and have 13 indoor cats. I know this sounds a bit much, but we live in the country and most of the cats are indoor-outdoor, whenever they can con one of us into being a doorman.

One of our cats had a small surprise litter-outside. She is plump and we had no idea she was pregnant! The male is healthy and silly and the female developed herpes on her eyes, which resulted in terrible ulceration and infection. She responded to antibiotics and the infection cleared only to reveal that her eyes had already atrophied. Needless to say, she is and indoor kitty and is loved by all.

The other cats clean her and she seems to have some sort of inner sense of where things are, even over the holidays and even when things are moved. When something is changed, we carefully put her there, show her how to get up and down and monitor how she deals with the "new thing". Believe it or not, with the exception of a little puppy rough-housing, which she actually seems to like, this cat is totally comfortable in the house. It is almost like she has sonar whiskers.

Except for never letting her out, she has friends, toys (which she finds by some unknown means) and our love. When a toy went under the refrigerator while she was playing with it, she sat and "stared" at the spot until another cat came over and actually got it out and pushed it toward her. Never underestimate the power of cats' inner sense or communication with other cats. This little girl is growing and strong and will be our pet for a long time. (01/15/2009)

By Karen

Caring For and Training a Blind Cat

(Submitted via email)

My blind kitten tiny is so sweet. He gets into the bath tub and finally figured how to get out, instead of me lifting him out. I let him try to get out on his own and he did it just fine. He is so funny to watch. I am amazed how well he has adapted to his surroundings. He buzzes around all day long.

Judy (05/14/2009)

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July 9, 20080 found this helpful
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