"MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
> "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
>>> 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.
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
> 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
> 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
> 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.