Helping Blind Cats

In my experience, blind cats learn how to ‘see’ with their other senses and live happy lives without much help from people.  In fact, many people don’t even know their cat is blind until I tell them!  This seems unlikely I know but it happens because their cat is doing everything like normal.  Here are three things you can do to help a bind cat enjoy life even more.  I learned them from my own cat, Radar, who was born without eyes.  He is pictured below hanging out on a chair under my kitchen table.

First, remove all dangers from their environment.  Lock the doggy door to prevent escapes and close off open stairwells.  Falls from high spaces are the most common kind of trouble blind cats suffer.  Also, keep them away from dangerous animals including grumpy housemates.

Second, establish a home room.  This can be a small room or a large crate that contains everything the cat needs – food, water, a resting place, toys and a litter box.  The cat will use the home room as their base from which to explore the environment.  Mark this space with a special scent like lavender, to help the cat return.

Third, give blind cats plenty of toys to enrich their lives.  Balls with bells inside are a favorite.  Radar liked a large plastic ring that looked like a small innertube with a ball inside.  He sat in the middle of it and stuck his paws through holes to push the ball around.  When the ball came to rest, he could find it easily because it was contained in the plastic tube.  

Now here is a picture of radar who is the star of my second book Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love.  It will be published later this year. 

Here is a link to a video I did for eHow on this subject.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.