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CatNipped
March 24th 06, 11:49 PM
Or at least very, very near-sighted. At 16, I guess that's not all that
unusual. She's been to the vet recently and is in great health otherwise,
so this isn't the result of an illness, just age. She doesn't seem to be
bothered by it, the only reason I noticed is that she doesn't look me in the
eyes any more, she just looks in my general direction when I talk to her
unless I'm very close to her. Also, she'll be walking along and get very
startled by another cat in her path.

I know there is at least one person here who lives with a blind cat. Any
advice on how I can make Bandit's life easier would be very much
appreciated.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

Kitkat
March 25th 06, 01:26 AM
CatNipped wrote:
> Or at least very, very near-sighted. At 16, I guess that's not all that
> unusual. She's been to the vet recently and is in great health otherwise,
> so this isn't the result of an illness, just age. She doesn't seem to be
> bothered by it, the only reason I noticed is that she doesn't look me in the
> eyes any more, she just looks in my general direction when I talk to her
> unless I'm very close to her. Also, she'll be walking along and get very
> startled by another cat in her path.
>
> I know there is at least one person here who lives with a blind cat. Any
> advice on how I can make Bandit's life easier would be very much
> appreciated.
>

Just dont move the furniture around too much! :) Other than that, it is
amazing how they manage to compensate!!

:)
pam

Buddy
March 25th 06, 01:34 AM
I agree about moving the furniture. When they age, they loose hearing
and eyesight, but do well indoors if you don't move things around.
They still have their sense of smell and their wiskers. They don't
loose their sight over night, so they adapt.

MaryL
March 25th 06, 01:49 AM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> Or at least very, very near-sighted. At 16, I guess that's not all that
> unusual. She's been to the vet recently and is in great health otherwise,
> so this isn't the result of an illness, just age. She doesn't seem to be
> bothered by it, the only reason I noticed is that she doesn't look me in
> the eyes any more, she just looks in my general direction when I talk to
> her unless I'm very close to her. Also, she'll be walking along and get
> very startled by another cat in her path.
>
> I know there is at least one person here who lives with a blind cat. Any
> advice on how I can make Bandit's life easier would be very much
> appreciated.
>
> --
>
> Hugs,
>
> CatNipped
>
> See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/
>
>

Lori, I adopted a blind cat (Duffy) two years ago, so you may be thinking of
me. Before I discuss caring for a blind cat, though, I want to emphasize to
you that it is *very important* to have Bandit checked *immediately* - that
is, tomorrow. I realize that you said Bandit had been seen by a vet
recently. However, cats usually do not go blind simply because of age. There
would be a cause behind it, and it is very probable that the cause is
hypertension (high blood pressure). So, you need to get an immediate
evaluation, and make sure that the vet you use has a blood pressure monitor.
Vets do not routinely check blood pressure, and many do not even have the
equipment to do so. The reason I am being so emphatic is that high blood
pressure is known as "the silent killer." In addition, hypertension can very
quickly lead to detached retinas (and blindness). However, if it is caught
*fast enough* and the cat is placed on medication (Norvasc), the retina will
usually reattach and the cat will regain its vision. Again, this will only
happen if *immediate* action is taken - so please do not delay.
If you do learn that Bandit has already lost vision, then please contact me,
either through this newsgroup or through email. I will be very happy to
share what I have learned about feline blindness and try to help you with
some suggestions in living with and caring for a blind cat. A blind cat can
function perfectly well and be just as happy as a sighted cat.

MaryL

MaryL
March 25th 06, 05:43 PM
"MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "CatNipped" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Or at least very, very near-sighted. At 16, I guess that's not all that
>> unusual. She's been to the vet recently and is in great health
>> otherwise, so this isn't the result of an illness, just age. She doesn't
>> seem to be bothered by it, the only reason I noticed is that she doesn't
>> look me in the eyes any more, she just looks in my general direction when
>> I talk to her unless I'm very close to her. Also, she'll be walking
>> along and get very startled by another cat in her path.
>>
>> I know there is at least one person here who lives with a blind cat. Any
>> advice on how I can make Bandit's life easier would be very much
>> appreciated.
>>
>> --
>>
>> Hugs,
>>
>> CatNipped
>>
>> See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/
>>
>>
>
> Lori, I adopted a blind cat (Duffy) two years ago, so you may be thinking
> of me. Before I discuss caring for a blind cat, though, I want to
> emphasize to you that it is *very important* to have Bandit checked
> *immediately* - that is, tomorrow. I realize that you said Bandit had been
> seen by a vet recently. However, cats usually do not go blind simply
> because of age. There would be a cause behind it, and it is very probable
> that the cause is hypertension (high blood pressure). So, you need to get
> an immediate evaluation, and make sure that the vet you use has a blood
> pressure monitor. Vets do not routinely check blood pressure, and many do
> not even have the equipment to do so. The reason I am being so emphatic is
> that high blood pressure is known as "the silent killer." In addition,
> hypertension can very quickly lead to detached retinas (and blindness).
> However, if it is caught *fast enough* and the cat is placed on medication
> (Norvasc), the retina will usually reattach and the cat will regain its
> vision. Again, this will only happen if *immediate* action is taken - so
> please do not delay.
> If you do learn that Bandit has already lost vision, then please contact
> me, either through this newsgroup or through email. I will be very happy
> to share what I have learned about feline blindness and try to help you
> with some suggestions in living with and caring for a blind cat. A blind
> cat can function perfectly well and be just as happy as a sighted cat.
>
> MaryL
>
>
Lori, here is a rather lengthy message that I just posted in anecdotes after
I saw your update. I was really hoping Bandit's failing vision would be
something that could be treated, but I can see that she has had a much more
thorough checkup than the "routine" that most vets provide. I do think it is
important, though, to follow up on the question of hypertension and to have
full medical exams in instances like this in case there is some action that
could be taken to either save a cat's eyesight or at least slow down the
deterioration. Duffy has been blind since birth. However, he was an adult
cat when I adopted him (estimated to be 3-5 years of age at the time), and
he adjusted so remarkably well that I took him to a feline ophthalmologist
at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. There, I learned
that he is completely blind, but I have never regretted getting the
evaluation. I would have felt dreadful if I had later learned that I could
have done something to save some residual sight and had failed to do it.
You asked for information about caring for a blind cat, and I hope I can
provide some help. Duffy has lived with me for 2 years now, and he is an
absolute delight. However, I am not sure if I will be able to give you very
much useful information because Bandit is a senior cat who seems to be
gradually going blind, while Duffy was blind from birth (and I suspect that
helped him to adjust - he could never see, so he is not aware of missing
anything). At the same time, I may be able to give you a few pointers. Most
of all, though, I want to encourage you to recognize that if Bandit is
blind, that does *not* have to mean that he is frightened or unhappy. Blind
cats really can do the most remarkable things, and Duffy is a totally happy
kitty. I think you can make that possible for Bandit, too, especially since
he already knows that he is loved (something that Duffy was denied until I
adopted him).

If you do not have a sturdy cat tree, I suggest that you buy one or ask DH
to build one for you. A blind cat cannot run through the house like a
sighted cat can, but that is one of the few limitations. He does often run
toward me, though, when he hears the sound of my voice or even my footsteps.
Since Duffy can't dash through the house, I think of the cat tree as his
"vertical space." He loves to climb, and he is like a little gymnast on it.
Make sure that all of the poles are covered with carpeting because Bandit
will need to use the carpet as he climbs (and descends). He will not be able
to see beds on the cat tree to jump from one to another, so he will need to
be able to "feel" his position. Also, make sure that the beds have a raised
lip. That way, he won't become disoriented (possibly after falling asleep)
and fall off the bed. I realize that Duffy is much younger and more active,
so you will have to monitor Bandit for awhile to ensure that he does not
become disoriented and fall. Even if you find that he is intimidated and
will only use the other levels, your other cats will make use of the full
height of the cat tree.

Have a variety of toys, and be sure to get some that make noise or are
scented with catnip. That way, Bandit will be able to detect where they are.
The turbo scratcher is one of Duffy's favorite playthings. The ball is in a
fixed track and makes a rumbling sound when it rolls, so he always knows
exactly where it is
<http://www.thecatconnection.com/cat-supplies/cat-products/Turbo-Scratcher.html>.
He absolutely adores a catnip-filled pad called a Boogie Mat
<http://tinyurl.com/anpt3>, and he likes the little foil balls that make a
"crinkling" sound when he bats them around.

Try not to move furniture around, not even a small amount, until Bandit
adjusts. I sometimes think Duffy has built-in radar because he will
instantly know where I have placed anything, but I took great care when I
first adopted him to provide an area where he would always be able to locate
everything. Likewise, when you pick Bandit up, remember to set him down
immediately in front of something that he can use to orient himself (for
example, in front of - and possibly touching - a chair that he could use as
the basis for finding his way around the room). Provide a small, cozy space
where Bandit can "hole up" and feel a sense of privacy. A nice bed with
sides or a beehive or teepee works wonders. Food, water, and litter boxes
should always be available in *exactly* the same spot and not be moved from
day today. Also, always speak before you touch Bandit. A blind cat can be
taken unawares and startled even by ordinary actions such as reaching out to
stroke her as you pass by. I even do that with Holly because cats do not
like to be taken by surprise.

When the grandchildren visit, I think it would be a good idea to place
Bandit in a separate room, at least until they become adjusted. The sound of
little feet running can be frightening to a blind cat, and children probably
are not accustomed to watching out for a cat that cannot easily get out of
the way.

A word of warning: Be *especially* cautious if you have a La-Z-Boy type of
reclining chair. It is important to make sure that *any* pet is clear of the
mechanism before lowering the leg rest, but that is especially true for a
blind (or nearly blind) cat.

I hope some of this will help. Just as with sighted cats, some cats will
adjust more easily than others, but you need to take special precautions
with an older cat. Please be sure to ask if you have any specific questions
that I haven't answered.

MaryL

CatNipped
March 26th 06, 07:08 PM
"MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>>
>> "CatNipped" > wrote in message
>> ...
>>> Or at least very, very near-sighted. At 16, I guess that's not all that
>>> unusual. She's been to the vet recently and is in great health
>>> otherwise, so this isn't the result of an illness, just age. She
>>> doesn't seem to be bothered by it, the only reason I noticed is that she
>>> doesn't look me in the eyes any more, she just looks in my general
>>> direction when I talk to her unless I'm very close to her. Also, she'll
>>> be walking along and get very startled by another cat in her path.
>>>
>>> I know there is at least one person here who lives with a blind cat.
>>> Any advice on how I can make Bandit's life easier would be very much
>>> appreciated.
>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>> Hugs,
>>>
>>> CatNipped
>>>
>>> See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Lori, I adopted a blind cat (Duffy) two years ago, so you may be thinking
>> of me. Before I discuss caring for a blind cat, though, I want to
>> emphasize to you that it is *very important* to have Bandit checked
>> *immediately* - that is, tomorrow. I realize that you said Bandit had
>> been seen by a vet recently. However, cats usually do not go blind simply
>> because of age. There would be a cause behind it, and it is very probable
>> that the cause is hypertension (high blood pressure). So, you need to get
>> an immediate evaluation, and make sure that the vet you use has a blood
>> pressure monitor. Vets do not routinely check blood pressure, and many do
>> not even have the equipment to do so. The reason I am being so emphatic
>> is that high blood pressure is known as "the silent killer." In addition,
>> hypertension can very quickly lead to detached retinas (and blindness).
>> However, if it is caught *fast enough* and the cat is placed on
>> medication (Norvasc), the retina will usually reattach and the cat will
>> regain its vision. Again, this will only happen if *immediate* action is
>> taken - so please do not delay.
>> If you do learn that Bandit has already lost vision, then please contact
>> me, either through this newsgroup or through email. I will be very happy
>> to share what I have learned about feline blindness and try to help you
>> with some suggestions in living with and caring for a blind cat. A blind
>> cat can function perfectly well and be just as happy as a sighted cat.
>>
>> MaryL
>>
>>

I
I always check with my vet whenever I'm in the slightest doubt about
something being wrong with one of my fur-babies. I did hear back from her
and she said she didn't think Bandit was totally blind and it's her age
that's causing her gradual loss of sight (and hearing, I suspect). Other
than that, she's in *excellent* health even for a cat one third her age - as
I said, even her BUN and creatinin levels have gone back into the normal
range since my switching them all to canned food a year ago. She said all
cats should hope to be in such good shape at 16.

>
> You asked for information about caring for a blind cat, and I hope I can
> provide some help. Duffy has lived with me for 2 years now, and he is an
> absolute delight. However, I am not sure if I will be able to give you
> very much useful information because Bandit is a senior cat who seems to
> be gradually going blind, while Duffy was blind from birth (and I suspect
> that helped him to adjust - he could never see, so he is not aware of
> missing anything).

It amazes me that she is so comfortable about walking around, jumping to and
from my bed (using a stepping box - a round cat house about half the height
of my bed - although I'm thinking of getting one of those ramps for cats
since her arthritis is probably getting worse as she ages).

The only reason I noticed her loss of sight was when she was confidently,
briskly walking across my bedroom floor and happened to stumble across Sammy
lying in the middle of the floor. Now Jessie, maybe, but Sammy, no way -
Sammy is *VERY* hard to miss. Bandit stopped suddenly and flinched and then
hissed at Sammy until Sammy got up and moved out of her way. Then Bandit
continued her trip to her food bowls.

After that I started testing her sight using "spider hands" (which she
always hated and swatted at). Now though, unless my hand occludes a light
source, she doesn't track it. But she can see my hand when it gets closer
to her face.

> At the same time, I may be able to give you a few pointers. Most of all,
> though, I want to encourage you to recognize that if Bandit is blind, that
> does *not* have to mean that he is frightened or unhappy. Blind

No, she's not at all frightened, she's as mean as ever (she didn't get the
nickname "B*tch Cat From H*ll for nothing ;>) - and supremely confident in
her supremacy. As long as she's healthy and not in pain, I'm not worried
about her losing her sight - as I said, I'm half blind without my glasses
now-a-days! ;> It amazes me when she jumps down from my bed onto the cat
step (she does lean way over to touch it to make sure it's there first - but
then she just jumps down and jumps down to the floor right away). She makes
her way from my bedroom, through my sitting room, through the cat flap into
the garage and to her litter boxes with no problem at all. Since my office
is off the garage, she'll often stop in after using the litter boxes for me
to pick her up onto my lap and give her a scritch session.

> cats really can do the most remarkable things, and Duffy is a totally
> happy kitty. I think you can make that possible for Bandit, too,
> especially since he already knows that he is loved (something that Duffy
> was denied until I adopted him).
>
> If you do not have a sturdy cat tree, I suggest that you buy one or ask DH
> to build one for you. A blind cat cannot run through the house like a
> sighted cat can, but that is one of the few limitations. He does often run
> toward me, though, when he hears the sound of my voice or even my
> footsteps. Since Duffy can't dash through the house, I think of the cat
> tree as his "vertical space." He loves to climb, and he is like a little
> gymnast on it. Make sure that all of the poles are covered with carpeting
> because Bandit will need to use the carpet as he climbs (and descends). He
> will not be able to see beds on the cat tree to jump from one to another,
> so he will need to be able to "feel" his position. Also, make sure that
> the beds have a raised lip. That way, he won't become disoriented
> (possibly after falling asleep) and fall off the bed. I realize that Duffy
> is much younger and more active, so you will have to monitor Bandit for
> awhile to ensure that he does not become disoriented and fall. Even if you
> find that he is intimidated and will only use the other levels, your other
> cats will make use of the full height of the cat tree.

Yeah, Bandit doesn't do much more than jump on and off my bed (again, using
her cat step). She's happing to lie on top of my pillows all day long
(http://www.possibleplaces.com/CatNipped/Bandit9/DCP_1651.jpg - Bandit is on
the right, Sammy on the left - and
http://www.possibleplaces.com/CatNipped/Bandit9/DCP_1577.jpg).

>
> Have a variety of toys, and be sure to get some that make noise or are
> scented with catnip. That way, Bandit will be able to detect where they
> are. The turbo scratcher is one of Duffy's favorite playthings. The ball
> is in a fixed track and makes a rumbling sound when it rolls, so he always
> knows exactly where it is
> <http://www.thecatconnection.com/cat-supplies/cat-products/Turbo-Scratcher.html>.
> He absolutely adores a catnip-filled pad called a Boogie Mat
> <http://tinyurl.com/anpt3>, and he likes the little foil balls that make a
> "crinkling" sound when he bats them around.
>
> Try not to move furniture around, not even a small amount, until Bandit
> adjusts. I sometimes think Duffy has built-in radar because he will
> instantly know where I have placed anything, but I took great care when I
> first adopted him to provide an area where he would always be able to
> locate everything. Likewise, when you pick Bandit up, remember to set him
> down immediately in front of something that he can use to orient himself
> (for example, in front of - and possibly touching - a chair that he could
> use as the basis for finding his way around the room). Provide a small,
> cozy space where Bandit can "hole up" and feel a sense of privacy. A nice
> bed with sides or a beehive or teepee works wonders. Food, water, and
> litter boxes should always be available in *exactly* the same spot and not
> be moved from day today. Also, always speak before you touch Bandit. A
> blind cat can be taken unawares and startled even by ordinary actions such
> as reaching out to stroke her as you pass by. I even do that with Holly
> because cats do not like to be taken by surprise.

LOL - that won't be hard for me, I'm so obsessive-compulsive that I have to
keep things in their *EXACT* right spot down to the millimeter!

>
> When the grandchildren visit, I think it would be a good idea to place
> Bandit in a separate room, at least until they become adjusted. The sound
> of little feet running can be frightening to a blind cat, and children
> probably are not accustomed to watching out for a cat that cannot easily
> get out of the way.

All the children know better than to go near B*itch Cat From H*ll - we've
had Bandit since before the grandchildren were born, so they grew up knowing
about her, um, disposition! ;> Again, Bandit pretty much stays in my
bedroom (I keep their food and water fountain in there to make it easier on
her.

>
> A word of warning: Be *especially* cautious if you have a La-Z-Boy type of
> reclining chair. It is important to make sure that *any* pet is clear of
> the mechanism before lowering the leg rest, but that is especially true
> for a blind (or nearly blind) cat.

No reclining chairs.

>
> I hope some of this will help. Just as with sighted cats, some cats will
> adjust more easily than others, but you need to take special precautions
> with an older cat. Please be sure to ask if you have any specific
> questions that I haven't answered.

Thank you, Mary, you've been extremely helpful and I really appreciate the
time and effort you took to post all this helpful information.

Hugs,

CatNipped