Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 9, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Blind tabby cat lies on windowsill

Blindness is a partial or total loss of vision. It can be congenital, or occur suddenly as a result of illness or trauma. It can also come on gradually from progressive diseases such as high blood pressure, cataracts, or glaucoma. Since cats are extremely good at compensating and adapting, complete or even partial loss of vision can be challenging to detect.

Signs of vision loss can include any of the following:

  • cloudy, discolored or inflamed eyes
  • large pupils that do not contract when hit by light
  • cat startles easily
  • confusion if a piece of furniture has been moved
  • bumping into walls or furniture
  • misjudging heights when jumping

If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to your veterinarian.

How is blindness diagnosed?

Your vet will perform a thorough exam, which may include diagnostic tests such as bloodwork and blood pressure measurements. Your vet may also recommend a referral to a veterinary ophtamologist.

Is blindness reversible?

In some cases, depending on the cause, blindness may be reversible.

Vet checking cats eyes
Image Credit: santypan, Shutterstock

How to help a blind cat adjust

A cat’s sense of hearing and smell is much more developed than ours, and even though sight is important to them, these highly developed “alternate” senses can help them adjust to being blind.

If the blindness came on suddenly, affected cats may need a few weeks to completely adjust so be patient. Cats who lose their vision more gradually tend to adjust better since they’ve already compensated over time for reduced vision.

1. Make your home blind cat friendly

  • Blind cats should never be outdoors unless under close supervision.
  • Keep your cat’s home environment consistent. This is not the time to move around furniture or favorite objects.
  • Block off stairways and access to balconies or decks.
  • Keep the toilet lid closed.
  • Don’t leave anything lying around on the floor. The neater your home is, the fewer objects will startle your cat as she makes her way around.
  • Keep food and water dishes in the same place.

2. Special considerations for the litter box

If your cat’s blindness came on suddenly, reintroduce her to the litter box by placing her in it, and letting her find her way back from there to the rest of your home. She will remember the box’s location when she needs to go. You may want to consider adding additional litter boxes if your home is large or has more than one level.

3. Stimulate your cat’s other senses

Buy toys with bells or rattles (make sure the toy or rattle is safely inside the toy and can’t be chewed off and ingested.) If your cat responds to catnip, catnip-scented toys are a great way to engage her sense of smell. You can even use catnip to by sprinkling a “path” for her to follow to certain favorite areas around the home. Guide your cat to favorite sun puddles or spots by open (screened) windows so she can enjoy the feeling of sun and a soft breeze on her fur.

Blind cats can live full and happy lives, and unless your cat has a concurrent condition that impacts her quality of life, blindness by itself is not a reason for euthanasia.

grey cat enjoying fresh catnip
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Do you have a blind cat? How have you helped her adjust?

Photo of Snickers via Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary’s Facebook page. Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary is a North Carolina based rescue for blind, FIV and FeLV positive cats that were deemed not adoptable by regular shelters. The cats have a permanent home at the sanctuary. You can sponsor Snickers or any of the other cats by making a donation to Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary.

Featured Image Credit: Jana Shnipelson, Unsplash

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100 Comments on How to Care for a Blind Cat: Signs, Tips & FAQ

  1. Hi,
    our kitten had sight and went to be desexed and stopped breathing during the procedure and is now blind permanitly. he is 15 weeks old. how can we help him? out vet said when were are not home to keep him in a cage. we have a big cage so he can still walk around in it. the problem is even with being in the cage he does not go to the toilet in the litter box (poo and wee) and often just poos where ever he is standing. ive tried picking is poo up and puttting it in the litter tray so he could smell where he needed to go but that does not seem to be helping at all. He dose not even want to be held at all. we have another kitten and she is the same age and she tries to play with (tackel him and swip at his tail, normal kitten stuff)but he just gets up and walks away. when we feed him he smashes he face into the bottom of the food bowl and eats so aggressivly that its like he does not chew or swallow. its a complete 180 to how he use to eat. How can i help him go to the litter box (yes i have tried putting him in it but he just walks out straight away. how can i make life happy for him because at the moment its so distresssing to see him so unhappy

    • Aww bless him! I commented on here a couple of years ago, same thing happened to my little boy. It was a very distressing few months but I am now two years on and all is great. Give him time. He will learn to eat very well again (took a few months) and not be so aggressive as you say. He became obsessed with food, always wanting food (we had to make them eat separately as he wanted her food too – we feed her higher up than him so he can’t get her food) but after a year that calmed down. I took the first week off work to be there with him and I also had my mum come in to check on him and help him feed a few times a day for the first 10 days. We put his food on a timer bowl and he used to manage eventually when we were out at work. I ended up getting him a bowl which was heavier than normal with low sides to help him get at his food (after trial and error with many types, to start off with I fed him in a humans shallow pudding bowl). Because he was learning to get the food out again a high sided light bowl just moved around too easily and he couldn’t pick the food up with his mouth too well. We were told to put him in a cage too but he hated it from the first day. So we decided to have him free straight away just in our bedroom with us for the first two weeks giving him more space to roam and get used to moving around (he did keep us awake at night bless him but it gave him reassurance being there) and then slowly gave him a bit more freedom. Also it was traumatic watching him pace, meouw, head but walls etc but that is part of him learning about his surroundings and depth distance etc. What we did was get a piece of wood cut that we could put in front of our doorway which he wasn’t able to jump over but his sister could jump over to get in to our room. So we slept with the door open but with a barrier if that makes sense? After 10 days/two weeks we opened up the bedroom door and for about another 4-5 days we gave him access to upstairs (we blocked off the stairs this time) letting him get used to the rooms slowly upstairs (you will be able to judge when to open a new door or keep some closed). I then worked from home a couple of days and opened the stair case up to see how he coped. Within the space of a morning he was going up and down like a pro! He did have problems with the litter tray for many months. We put puppy training pads down around the tray (in the bedroom when he was in there with us so his litter tray was in there too) then in the bathrooms around where his trays normally lived (one downstairs and one upstairs) once he had access to other areas again. Yes he had a few pee and poo accidents on the carpet when he was in our room but we never got angry with him, bless him he was learning again). However slowly slowly the accidents became less. He always pees in his tray now (took about 2-3 months) and most of the time he poos in the tray. However there are still moments when he poos on the floor in the bathroom even today. But we have tiled floors so it is ok and he ONLY ever does it next to the tray and not around the house. I was told his eyesight may come back within the first 6-7 months. It hasn’t completely, we know he can see shadows (light/dark) but to what extent we are not sure; he can follow our phones in the dark. He now charges around the house (terrorises his sister to play lol), jumps on to beds and sofas (not any higher) and also has access to our outside garden (Very secure and fenced off). He is a little bit special (ie I think the stroke/lack of oxygen to brain did affect him more than just the eyesight) but he is not stupid, just more adorable! He loves cuddles and his life. It was one of the most distressing things I went through but also so rewarding. His relationship with his sister did change because she didn’t know what was going on with him, he acted differently for many weeks and also most probably smelt ill/different for a while. However they are fine now (well as fine as they can be as she is a typical cat who loves roaming around and is quite anti-social unless she wants cuddles 🙂 ). The first 6 months were tough as you too feel awful and want to help, but he will make it, they are resilient creatures who do adapt; I hope this gives you hope. If you have any more questions I am here.

      • Me again! For the litter tray training I felt everything I tried did not help but it was slowly but surely – I put litter on the training pads, put his poo in the tray to teach him, monitored when I thought he might need the loo after eating and popped him in the tray (or when he was squatting/about to go gently picked him up in the tray so he finished in there). I found there was not one of these things that helped on his own, it was just routine, time and patience that got him to do things correctly in the end. He didn’t even wash/groom himself properly for a while. We thought our kitten may have also been going through depression himself whilst adjusting which is why he was more distant and distressed/quieter than he used to be. His old character did come back slowly but surely. As said before he does use his tray now (or the bathroom floor at times!) and he also tries burying it but that involves him scratching the floor nearby once he has done it thinking that is covering it up when he is nowhere near it 🙂

        • HI Jodie,
          Oh my goodness words can not descriobe how thankful i am for your reply. i know if sounds strange but knowing someone else has gone through this just hellps you feel not so alone. Your response has given me so much renewed hope as we were feeling so crappy beacuse he looked so unhappy. he used to bold up and down the hall ways and was so vibrant but to see hime like this broke our hearts but knowing he can have an amazing happy life gives us so much reasurance. thanks you again and we will be eternaly thankful for you advice and help. we are looking forward to putting all this into practase.

          thank you so so much

          • I would also suggest looking at some of the reasons any cat might avoid the litter box. You will probably say that he did fine with this one before, but he is a cat. You could change the litter (I like Cat-attract when they’re having trouble), the litter box, it’s location. Also be sure to rule out urinary or digestive problems. Good luck.

    • And give him lots of cuddles and love. He will eventually be ok with being held and want cuddles. How long ago did it happen? If it is recent it took a few days for him to relax on my lap when I sat on the floor. I spent as much time with him as I could when I was at home in the room with him just so he eventually relaxed with me again.

      • well it happened about about 4 weeks ago but he spent 2 weeks at the vets because the vet wanted to flush his system with fluids so the anaestic from his system and he improved from being dazed and not able to talk to walking and no longer dazed. so he has been home with us for about 5 days. so not long at all

        • Your thread is a bit awkward to read on my phone, but just some additional words of reassurance. I have a blind cat who’s about 18 months that I got at 12 weeks (we think something made him blind rather than that he was born blind) and I promise that yours will be completely fine. After we cracked the litter training – which admittedly was really hard for a few weeks but which we overcame through confinement training (in the bathroom rather than a crate) he’s been a dream. He eats well, plays constantly and is super loving. Right now he’s hunting his soft toys which he drops and my feet and cries until I play. Your kitten will completely adjust – but perhaps limit the amount of time the other one is around him – it can be overwhelming to keep being ambushed when you can’t see.

    • Our kitten is approximately 8 months old. Began with fostering, then decided to adopt. Our kitten was blind at birth due to a congenital issue. I think there’s more going on with your kitten. Maybe your kiitten is depressed. The only difference I can think of, is that your cat had the ability to see and now cannot, whereas my kitten never could see. My kitten is a happy, healthy, aggressively playful, loving kitten. He compensates so well that when people observe him for the first time they don’t even know he’s blind. His hearing is over-the-top awesome. He can swat and chase things and always “hit the mark” because of his hearing. He will climb to the tip top of the scratching post. He will jump down from the couch and he’ll climb up and down the bed. Not scared of high places that he’s already familiar with. We closely supervise him in the backyard on occasion, because he loves it so much. He climbs trees. OK… occasionally, I have to climb the tree and get him down. He is extremely confident. Beats up my German Shepherd and he is clearly the instigator. Can you ask your vet about antidepressants? Maybe your little baby has just given up and you need to figure out a way to bring him back. Try different things to stimulate him. It’s amazing what just a stint (with you close by) with some time outside can invigorate his senses. Smells, sounds, birds, even little bugs he will be thrilled to be exposed to. I think maybe your kitten is depressed and or maybe some mental deficit? Don’t give up. He is a young kitten and can adapt. I know it’s painful for you to watch, but just keep trying new things.

    • I see this post is a few years old but I just wanted to send out a Thank You incase Jodie sees this… My cat has recently lost her vision. we are about 3 weeks in. it happened quite quickly and she is still struggling some. She knows where her food is as well as her litter box. she had not missed using her litter box once! She is still having difficulties navigating the house. Walking into things mostly. She wants to play but never liked any other toy I’ve ever bought her except for feathers on a string…lol! she has no interest in anything that makes noise, hates bags and boxes. we practice playing with her feather everyday and she does ok. I see her wanting to do the things she use to do and it’s heartbreaking. she can jump up and down off the bed as well as the couch. I know it’ll take some more time for her to learn more but reading your post has given me some hope for her! I love her so much and it just hurts to see her like this.

  2. Hello,
    Anyone have experience with a kitten who’s both blind and deaf? Thinking of adopting one who was born with these disabilities and wondering what her behaviors and temperament would be. I live alone and have no pets so I’m thinking I may be a good candidate. The house does have some stairs though. These are the details I’m concerned about. I’d hope to be able to eventually give her tons of physical affection without stressing her. Any help would be so appreciated. Thanks!

  3. well… today my handsome prince maxie may have lost his vision… dnag my cat for not liking baths 🙁 either soap or maybe he broke his nose squirming and trying fevereshly to get out whilst im washing himk… idk but he refuses to open his eyes… im really worried whats to come… his meows and howls are so depressing … he seems really upset and hes so young that it really upsets me that my poor cat ha sto spend so many (now boring ) years wandering aimlessly throughout my house… he was such a good kitty… if its just soap and not a broken nose could it maybe return, and his eyes are just stingingÉ how long approximately would this last !? i really hope my baby will be alright 🙁

  4. My cat just went blind from hypertension. its only been a few days. she is walking around the house quite aimlessly but is eating fine which is reassuring . however I was on the balcony with her and even though she seems to understand heights when she is on my bed, she jumped between the railings of the balcony into the air. I caught her by the tail just on time and it really freaked me out. she doesn’t seem to be very affected by it. any advice? I will go and buy some protection so she can’t do this again but I dont understand why she just jumped like that outside, she was never used to doing that before. she is adjusting well to the litter box and stairs however.
    thank you for your advice 🙂

    • I’d personally not have a blind animal on the balcony, even if you’re out there with her. High places can be fatal to blind cats/kittens

  5. Hi,
    I have a 14 year old female cat who recently lost her vision in both eyes. Took her to vet and did tonometry and labs. Her tonometry reading was off but labs were remarkable. They’re were suspicious of hypertension or diabetes behind this sudden blindnes. Since she was physically in good health vet referred her to an opthalmalogist. I’m not sure what to expect from this visit but hoping maybe we can restore her eyesight. She’s been blind for only 4 days and finding her way around the house so far. She even goes downstairs to use her litter box and comes up to kitchen to eat and lay on her favorite carpet. I blocked off the deck steps so she can go out and enjoy the nice weather w/out me worrying that she’ll wonder off in the backyard somewhere. I’ve been using steroid eye drops since her eyes are inflamed and dilated. My only concern is that cats are very emotional creatures and she shows signs of depression. She loves to grooms herself well…she did prior to going blind but now she quit doing that. She pretty much lays around depressed and gets up only to eat/drink and use the litter box. I’m just afraid her health may deteriorate from depression. How can I cheer her up?

    • It takes time but pet her & play with her
      The blind cat group in South Carolina you can message them on Facebook too for ideas. They helped with Lexie

  6. I believe it’s harder for more established felines simply like individuals an out of the blue go daze it would be terrible I’m so attempting to help my miss kitty she has dependably been so autonomous a don’t appear to need assistance yet she beyond any doubt can discover her sustenance bowl she just looks so melancholy simply sitting however she is 20 a don’t play I’m attempting to show her to stroll around dividers I was thinking about whether I put a chime on string a drag it let her hear it would help her listening ability was genuine awful now appears better.

  7. My beautiful 6 month old kitten lost most of her sight suddenly today. She appears to only see vague shapes and movements. Sometimes she can’t even track my fingers in front of her face. She is afraid of dark things and mostly lays around staring off at nothing. We have an appointment with the vet tomorrow. I’m heart broken. Can this spontaneously resolve?

    • hi Christine, I think it depends on the reason. my lexie lost her’s suddenly at 6 yr old. it did not resolve but she’s adapting well. she lost her sight a year ago and at the time her 2 pupils were not the same size so I knew something was wrong straight away and took her to vet then. tests we did were all negative except high ocular pressure. hope your kitty will be ok and that it can resolve but they do adapt well.

  8. I am thinking of adopting a one year old semi-blind cat. She is beautiful and I already love her, but am concerned my single spoiled girl of 6 years may not accept her. Any advice?

    • If you think you’re Cat won’t like another cat, I wouldn’t risk it. Your first responsibility is to the pet you already have.

  9. Hello, my beautiful cat Ruby is an old lady of 22 years, she has recently gone blind, it really worried me at first but she seems to be adjusting quite well, she is eating, drinking and using her litter tray. I love her so much but am I being cruel letting her go on, I mean my granny went blind but we kept her x

  10. I have an elderly cat that has been mostly blind since birth from congenital abnormalities, so she learned to cope as a very young kitten, with time and training. But tonight a lady told me about her mother’s cat, 19yrs old, who is not adjusting at all to a sudden onset of blindness that seems to be not remediable. The truly sad thing is, they are not sure, but this poor sweet kitty might also be deaf or nearly so ~ so nearly all sensory input that normally reassures her of the safety and familiarity of her home and family, is SUDDENLY gone. I am sure SHE MUST FEEL UTTERLY ALONE and grieving the lost connection with her family… she just sits there and cries loudly. But this lady’s mother is 87, and her 87yr old husband had a stroke 4yrs ago ~so her plate is already full with caring for her own needs and those of her husband, so probably does not have a lot of extra time/energy to help her poor kitty adjust. The most their vet had to offer was to “…keep her comfortable.” Maybe it’s just me, but that’s like just waiting for her to slip away in depression! Surely there must be something they can DO to help this poor old girl !!! Ideas, anyone? Keep in mind the age of the owner…

  11. All my cats have been named after Shakespeare’s characters – so Benvolio was chosen because the name means ‘good wishes’ and he is Romeo’s best friend. Ben was born with microphthalmia and has always had very compromised vision so when his eyes were removed at the SPCA early last December, it was no great challenge for him to adapt to his darker world. I first heard about this special boy from a neighbour, Colleen, who works at the SPCA and was fascinated by the stories of his independence, resilience, energy and confidence. So I visited him in the recovery room to play soccer for about an hour. That was all that was needed.

    When he arrived home near the end of January, he spent a couple of days in the bathroom and on day three came into the other rooms. Within a couple of days he had mapped the rest of the unit horizontally and vertically and progressed from walking cautiously to running confidently to jumping up onto higher surfaces with accurate precision. And from the beginning, he has been a cat who loves his many toys (thanks to Colleen’s influence, he has more toys than by previous five cats added together!). He particularly loves chasing balls, monitoring where they bounce or stop rolling and then pounces onto them and never misses! Mr Duck is a particular favourite – just small enough to wrap his arms around, and long enough to give him a good pummelling with his back legs. He enjoys anything dangling, and if it has a bell it is an adversary that he can fight battles with. And, of course, passing ankles are a favourite target.

    And then there is his short tunnel. He seems to always know exactly where it is, even though it moves every time he plays in it. From one end of the room he will run at speed, right through the tunnel, out the other side and whirl around and do it again. He must have inbuilt radar! Every morning his toys are packed away into a basket so that while I’m at work he can unpack them and rearrange them around the unit. My home looks like a crèche after a riot!
    A book I’ve bought (Caring for a Blind Cat by Natasha Mitchell) has been particularly useful. He is used to eating mainly dry food so I’ve looked for a way to increase his fluid intake. The book recommended a cat fountain, and he loves sitting near it, listening to the water. And he looks forward to his dish of wet food at night. He was very assertive in training me to buy steak and kidney instead of the veal I initially tried on him!
    He has been great with his cat litter and has never made a mistake. Once he has rearranged the litter he scratches the tiles on the floor around the box, just to be sure! In a very short time he trained me to stop putting liner or newspaper under litter – both were shredded in his energetic scratching. Now we are minimalist – just box and litter.
    Half way through February he began his supervised walks into the mostly tiled garden. He took a couple of hours to navigate the three steps down, another day to venture off the terracotta tiles into the plants around the edges, and then one more day to immerse himself in the jungle of weeds in one corner. He does not climb anything if he cannot stretch up and feel the top with his paws, so the fences – I hope – will seem to him like walls stretching up to infinity.
    He is very loving– in every way a mischievous teenage boy with a short attention span, huge amounts of energy, a good appetite and very very messy. At night he cuddles up and settles down after he’s finished attacking my toes through the sheets, purrs like a running engine and washes any bits of me that he thinks need a clean. I very seldom remember that he is blind. He’s a very special, very wonderful boy – my Bennyboy!

  12. I have two cats (Navi and Nitro), both bengals, whom I adore. They are my heart and I couldn`t picture my life without either one of them. We have moved recently from a small two bedroom apartment to a very spacious 5 bedroom home. We have been living in our home for two days and things have been extremely challenging. I had always suspected my Navi`s vision was impaired. When we first brought her home she seemed to have to focus really hard to see toys that didn`t make noise. She gently bumped into furniture when if things were rearranged, even more so once night fell. As Navi grew and got older it became more prevalent to me that something with her vision wasn`t quite right. When Navi and Nitro would play, Navi would run into garbage cans and shoes or very abruptly try to stop before crashing into them. My husband chalked it up to us having one very agile cat (Nitro) and one very clumsy cat (Navi) getting too caught up in playing. Now that we have moved I am not sure.

    The first night in our new place we isolated them in a small bedroom to allow them time to adjust to the smells and sounds of the new house without being startled by moving furniture, boxes, etc. As Navi is the cat I worry the most about I will focus on her for the remainder of the post.

    Navi took like a duck to water calmly exploring the room, whiskers fully extended cautiously brushing the walls with her cheeks and forehead before settling up on a window ledge and snoozing. Then things seemed to take a turn for the worst. She hopped easily from the window ledge (white) to the her cat tree (brown). All seemed fine until she tried to descend the cat tree to the carpeted floor. The carpet is literally the exact same shade of brown as the cat tree. Navi missed the second ledge from the top of the cat tree and toppled to the floor where she landed gracefully, God knows how, and sat very confused and frightened. Since that fall she has seemed off her game. When she toppled off the cat stand I mentioned again to my husband that incidents like that really highlight that her vision is no where near as sharp as the average cat. He shrugged and made a comment about how she`s just not a hawk eyed kitty. I was and still am concerned for her.

    Last night the door to their room was left open, accidentally and they both came out to explore. Navi stayed primarily in the room I had isolated them in venturing out once or twice to sneak to our bedroom (just around the corner) and sleep on our bed. Later in the evening one of our room mates made a comment about the litter on the carpet in the bedroom the cats were isolated in, so my husband rushed to accommodate our room mate agreeing with him that it was too messy for carpet. When I expressed my frustration to him his response was “cats are adaptable creatures”`. Trying to not create friction I let it go. Before we went to bed I carefully picked Navi up placing her paws on two texture of the clothes I was wearing and talked to her gently rubbing her face and ears as I carried her to where the litter box was moved to. I then set her on the concrete floor in front of the litter box to show her the different flooring where the litter box was then gently picked her up and set her into her litter box, front feet first and then gently bumping her on the bum so she stepped up into it herself. although frazzled with me (Navi does not like to be picked up unless absolutely needed) she seemed ok. That was until she couldn’t get up the courage to leave the litter box. She sat right at the edge of the litter box howling and crying. I ran and grabbed her favourite crinkly toy crinkling it a few inches away from the litter box trying to coax her out and then tapping the cement with my nails to try and show her it was ok to come out. I tried coaxing her for well over fifteen minutes but she wouldn`t budge. I sat on the floor crying, which I am well aware did nothing for the situation, because I just wanted her to come out of the litter box. My husband ended up intervening, gently scooping Navi half out of the litter box to show her the ledge isn`t a far drop then carried her back to her cat tree for the night.

    I just want Navi comfortable and I feel like I have wronged her right now. I have no idea if she is blind or progressively going blind (I guess its a possible genetic mutation with Bengals). I am feeling lost and hopeless. I know cats are very adaptable but I worry about her. We have two dogs in the house with us and I am scared they will bowl her over or hurt her in trying to play with her. I have a vet appointment booked for Monday, it was the soonest I could get in, but I am in desperate need of support and advice from people who have more experience with vision impaired cats.

    • Hi Sam…I have a Bengal that went blind at age 2. It is heartbreaking to watch them bump, fall and are lost basically. What has been a total blessing for my little guy, Moochie, are those water drinking fountains. I have them throughout the house basically in doorways. That way he can ‘hear’ his way around the house. I also trained him when I whistle at a high pitch means he’s going to bump into something. I am also extremely careful to never leave shoes, boxes on the floor. Try not to move your furniture either and pull the furniture, if possible, away from the walls. They navigate with their whiskers and if they can follow the walls makes it easier. I also have different textured throw rugs going into the different rooms. Moochie has done fairly well. I just don’t pick him up. His kitty opthamologist told me to never pick him up. He’s always likes to have his head covered with a blanket or sleeps in a kitty bed with a top. Always snap when you approach them and let them smell etc. and move slowly. It’s very sad but they do adapt. But try the drinking water fountains. They’ve helped Moochie so much. Best of luck with Navi..

  13. I seen the date of your comment, I rescued one total blind kitten july the 3rd 2016 and July 5th rescued his brother, he can see light only in one eye. they were 4 weeks old, vet said. Sammy had to have his eye removed at 5 weeks, vet did not think he would pull through the surgery due to his age and weight, he was not even a pound. He did and is doing great and brother jack, had been fly strike when i found him, he was tiny like a baby bird cover in fly eggs, both eyes were bad. Sammy eye was popped out of his socket when I found him, wondering around in a circle not able to see anything. I did not think Jack would live, the kitty that was fly strike. They both lived ,and eat and play like normal cats. I am wondering if you feed him so much and that is why he does not eat any kitty food, because he is full. I bottle fee both my kittys tell they got their weight up and were hydrated again, probably a good 3 threes, fed them every twp hours small amounts since they were so tiny. After the third week I cut back on the bottle feeding, they were hungry and went to town on the can food. Sammy has a hard time finding the water, I ust take him to it aleast once an hour until he drinks and then wait 4 hours and take him again. He will catch onto were it is, he does fine finding the dry food just the water is hard t find even though it is next to the dry food.

  14. I recently found and rescued a kitten that I honestly didn’t think would make it through the night. He was completely emaciated and covered in goo. I got him cleaned up, I fed him with a dropper and the next day I was shocked to see him alive. That’s when I noticed he was blind. Long story short, he’s been babied completely and cared for around the clock and is doing very well. Here’s my dilemma, he refuses to eat on his own. He will only take formula with the dropper. I’ve tried many different foods. He shows no interest and when I try to help him he spits it out. He’s doing quite well with the litter box, only a couple of accidents, but I need him to eat on his own. What do I do? The vets here were of no use, in fact they both suggested I euthanize him as “what use is a blind cat ” was the response I received when I asked for advice. I’m not willing to give up but I’m at a loss as to what to do.

    • I can’t believe the vets’ advice, Talia – that’s terrible!

      I would try the stinkiest foods you can find to see if you can get your kitten to eat on his own. Some of the commenters with blind cats may have other advice as well. You may also want to try and contact Blind Cat Rescue in North Carolina to see if they have any suggestions.

    • How old do you think the kitten is? Our cat had kittens last year and they didn’t eat solid food at all until they were about 7 weeks old, and even then only tiny anounts. Then their mum reduced milk intake herself (just wouldn’t let them feed so long), so they gradually had to start eating. Maybe this little one just isn’t quite ready. Keep giving milk, but perhaps put some in a wide dish , and mix in some crumbled dry food? Or you could try a raw food? Don’t give up…we have a blind cat who has a very good quality of life!!

    • As Ingrid suggested, extra stinky wet food might help! Also, puree it in a mini food processor, adding water as needed, until its the consistency of baby food. Allow him to lick it off your finger at first, then offer it in a very shallow bowl or on a small bread plate. Foods to try: seafood is especially stinky. Tiki cat (any flavor), Earthborn Harbor Harvest, ans Iams Sardines. Good luck!

  15. Hi, I am after some advice please…..our 10 year old boy Monty went missing nearly 3 years ago. We suspected the worst,and eventuallly go a new female cat – Angel.
    5 days ago we had a call from a local vet to say they had got Monty – he had been found on a building site 10 mins from our house! After the initial excitement and disbelief, we brought him home. He is in surprisingly good condition for a 13 year old cat, but has sadly gone completely blind in the time he has been away (probably an untreated infection that has caused his eyeballs to shrink). He is on eyedrops and we currently have him quarantined in our lounge, away from Angel, until we know exactly what infection he has in his eyes. We won’t get lab results for 10 days, then we will need to consider how best to introduce the cats. She is very aware he is in the lounge, and very keen to get in. He on the other hand appears very relaxed (he has spent the past 5 days asleep on the sofa, only moving for food and to use the litter tray). The other thing is that we ideally don’t want to have a litter tray in our lounge eventually. Do you think it waill be possible to move it when he has the run of the whole house, or should we get extra ones and then eventually remove the one in the lounge? Any advice gladly accepted. Thanks xx

    • Hi Ali I am so happy he has come home to you, what fantastic news!! I don’t know if you read my posts below but my little kitten Billy became blind 3 months ago and it has been an interesting but rewarding roller coaster ride. Thought I could give you reassurance about the litter tray dilemma you are having. We had Billy in our bedroom with his food and litter tray for the first 3 weeks of him coming home and were worried about when we gave him the run of the house and how to deal with removing the one in our room. We had visions of either having to have a litter tray in our bedroom for every (urgh!) or him using the corner in our bedroom where the tray was once removed!!! Happily enough it hasn’t been an issue. The rest of the house had two trays in it (in the kitchen and bathroom) so when he got used to the rest of the house and clocked those trays we removed the bedroom one (think it was about a week after him happily settled into roaming the rest of the house that we removed it) and kept our bedroom door closed for about 4 days/nights so he disassociated the bedroom with toileting. We also put a bed/blanket in the spot the tray was in the bedroom. We have had no problems! About two weeks ago we even moved the kitchen litter tray to the downstairs bathroom which didn’t phase him. In fact he prefers it, he was ignoring the kitchen one. So moral of my story is we had no issue 🙂 We still have issues with him using the trays each time though. He sometimes goes next to them so I think his blindness is causing this. However it could also be the fact he had a stroke when he lost his eyesight so his body and neurological pathways are still repairing themselves hence his using the tray most of the time then relapsing to not using it for a while. Can’t get upset with him though bless him, he is trying so hard. I hope things work out. x

    • Thanks Jodie for the reassurance. So far he hasn’t missed the litter tray which is amazing!! Might be back on here for a few more hints and tips as time goes on….

      • Do you guys with blind cats have open litter trays or ones with covers? I would prefer to have them covered over really, but not sure if he will manage it? Maybe if I took the door off?

        • I used uncovered for Lexie but lately she prefers washable puppy pads may be because I have other cats that want to use hers. I also use the lower litter pans for arthritic animals

        • My cats prefer uncovered. I put training pads (for dogs) in the litter tray on the bottom and outside the kitty litter box.

          • My cat has calicivirus….does anyone know about it? this is what caused her blindness ….also im trying to tame her biting…but dont know the best strategy to do that…

          • Here’s more information about calici virus:

            As for biting, you may want to check out our articles on play aggression and petting aggression:

  16. My Lexie suddenly went blind 10/31/15 @6.5 yr Old. She only had high eye pressure not blood pressure. She will go for long periods using the litter boxes & then stops. One time associated with a vet visit. However I have learned to let her decide when to exit her carrier when we return home from vet & so doesn’t hit walls & uses litter box. However recently she on her own changed her sleeping area to in front of the refrigerator. Shortly after this move she goes just outside litter boxes , both urination & defecation. The peeing she will do on fabric pupping pad or towel. The feces on plain tile unfortunately. Any advice appreciated
    Ps, this is a multi cat home.

    • Has your situation changed since you wrote the comment in March?

      I’ve just adopted a blind 4 month old kitten and we are really struggling with litter training. It’s hit or miss as to whether he hits his pad or not and decided the place where he is going to go would be under the dining table, either on a pad (which i was forced to place there given that he chose this space) or all around it, which is damaging floor and getting gross. He has successfully used the pad for urinating (though not always) but never defecating – like yours that’s always on the floor. I am sprinkling a little litter on the pad – but he won’t walk on litter (any kind) so although he doesn’t mind a bit, an actual tray of it puts him off.

      I am trying to rewire all the things that he’s taught himself i.e. pick a spot and continue to go on floor around this spot. In consultation with his previous foster we have decided bathroom confinement overnight, when I am out, and for short periods when I know he needs to go is the answer. I’ve only had him a few days, so am just starting this process, but I am concerned that I am going to teach bad habits in error. Any help welcome!

      • Lexie is doing much better & uses the low uncovered letterboxes usually for arthritic pets

        I heard cat attract litter may hep but she’s doing ok with tidy cat

        I was using washable incontinent pads but I keep them under litter box too in cases of misses but none lately

        Hope your baby adjusts

  17. Your article has been very helpful. I just adopted a blind one year baby girl Friday from my local humane society. She had to have her eyes completely removed. She is a very sweet girl and now has to get use to her new way of life. So far so good. I have 3 other cats as well. One of them, my oldest Milo is kind of like my daddy cat to all the other boys, he takes them in as his own. They have gotten along extremely well. They other 2 boys are getting use to her and it will take take time for everyone to adjust. I really liked the idea with the cat nip. Think that would help her out tremendously. I will continue to check you site for more helpful ideas. Thanks

    • HI Kelly, what a wonderful thing to do – well done you ! If you have an instagram account – please do check out magicmaxthecat – I have just started following him. Two blind cats (eyes removed) and there is no way on this earth you would tell they are blind (apart from the obvious). I found it very inspirational and endearing. Take care, Caroline

    • Hello I found a tricolour cat in our garden and adopted her immediately . took her for immediate rescue … she has a virus in her eyes and an inflammation .. no pupils .. they were destroyed when she was born … I am very sad and wondering if anyone has advice to keep my strength going ? I will never leave her .. she’s a 4 month kitten … and beautiful .. she lives in my house and finds her way well around it .. she’s smart and knows where her litter box is

  18. Thanks for this post. Very helpful. I have a 5-6 month old kitten. Unfortunately when he went to get neutered 3 weeks ago his heart stopped in recovery and even though they got him back he had a stroke and is now blind. 3 weeks on he is coping great. Walking and running fine, still blind as a bat (however sometimes we wonder if he can see shadows or something or is it just his other senses kicking in?) He is learning to use his litter trays but he still has accidents and wees next to them. He is also trying to play. Up until now we acclimatised him by keeping him in our bedroom and in the last couple of days he has had access to the corridor and bathroom upstairs as well. With time we will introduce him to the stairs and the rest of the house. There is a chance his eyesight could come back but if not all your tips and advice are a great help! He has a sister of the same age and the two of them are becoming friends again, caring for each other and cleaning each other but just not playing together yet…well she tries playing with him but he has not learnt how to play back yet (apart from waving his paws in the air!!!! It’s been a heartbreaking journey so far but it amazes me each day how he is adapting and improving to not having sight.

    • I’m so sorry about your kitten, Jodie, but it sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job getting him used to his new reality.

      • Oh my goodness, cannot tell you how reassuring to hear this is. My kitten went in for routin spey, had heart attack, was revived and is now blind and her back leg is very weak. The vet examined her eyes today (op was 3 days ago) and said her pupils are dilating and she blinks and squints at bright light, yet they offer no guarantees 🙁 At the moment she is in our lounge, with her food and water bowl which she keeps stepping in and her litter tray is here too – which she has used ! However, I am now concerned i am making the wrong choice by getting her used to the tray and food here and not in the usual place it was. Its such a big house – she looks lost as it is in one room ! How have things gone for you so far Jodie? OUr other cats are confused too and wonder why she isnt playing :(. I could not stop crying for the first few days. She looks so sad and miserable.

          • Thanks Ingrid but these posts are a godsend as the vet didnt really have anything to offer, no help or advice sheets. I had to spend hours on the internet doing my research. My kittens sense of smell seems to have been compromised, she only smells her food when she is right up close to her food bowl. Her hearing is spot on. My ideas are to have a fountain water bowl so she can hear the water, maybe have a clock (tick tock) near her litter tray so she can associate the sounds with certain habits such as eating and toilet moments ! there just doesnt seem to be a lot out there for our super special cats ! quite frustrating – might just invent something – lol. x

        • Awh, I am so sorry that your cat went blind after being spayed, I feel your pain. I cried for days non stop because I didn’t know if me saving the kittens was inhuman, my vet told me I should put them down, that they were suffering, I cried and cried, well I went with my heart and kept them and doctored them, and sam had his eye removed by the same vet at 5 weeks, he is doing great, both of my blind kitties are doing fine and not suffering the play and run just like any other kitty. How is your baby doing? I wish I would of found this site July 3rd, I was so lost and just cried so much, not knowing if what I was doing was the best. I will bookmark this page, I hope you all keep posting I love to read your posst and its great to know if something happens and I need advice I can come here and not be alone again with what to do…

      • Your story sounds so similar to mine! Just hang in there. When Billy came back from the vets (about 5 days after his op) he was only just eating again by himself and he would do the splits with his back legs as they wouldn’t hold him up when he was trying to eat. However he had no problems walking around. His back legs have got stronger over the weeks and now does other movements like scratching his ears and body (he only started doing that about week/10 days ago) or when he tried to jump the other day on to a small piece of furniture and he now eats upright and proud, no more splits! He had real problems (and is still not the most elegant) eating his dry food as he couldn’t quite capture the biscuits in his mouth (getting better) but wet food is no issue. I had to play around with the type of bowl he could eat out of (heavy bottomed and ceramic so it doesn’t move around for his wet food, I use a human pudding bowl for this, but plastic for his dry as he bites the sides of the bowl when he tries eating them). He too kept on stepping in his food and water bowl but over time he stopped that. It was a good couple of weeks before he drank water from his bowl too. So what I do is add some water to his wet food at times to ensure he is drinking enough. Like you, I kept him enclosed in one room for a good couple of weeks or slightly more to ensure he got used to his surroundings and developed his confidence. His sister had access to the room as we put a plywood board about 60-70 cm in height in the doorway so she could jump over, but he couldn’t get out. She hissed at him for a fair few days and couldn’t quite understand what was going on and why he was ignoring her/acting strange pacing everywhere. We also figured out he probably smelt different ie of the vets and general non wellness/ not as clean as usual due to lack of cleaning, so on advice of a kind lady from another forum we rubbed a towel over her and then rubbed it on him and vice versa so their scents inter-mingled. I don’t know if that helped but it wasn’t long before they were cuddling up and cleaning each other. Give your cats time. Mine now play together quite a lot. Initially his spacial awareness was completely off and he would wave his paws in the air thinking he was playing with her but eventually he got orientated and can actually wrestle with her on the floor and knows how to zero in on things. We are still having some mishaps with the litter trays. It’s hit and miss. Sometimes he does his business in the trays, other times right next to them. We have figured his back legs are probably not quite up to speed yet (or is it the spacial awareness) as he will put his front paws in but then possibly think his back legs are in too but are not. Also to start off with the squat position was hard for him. Be patient with the toileting if you end up having issues too. Insofar as the tray and food being in places she isn’t used to or in one room, this will be fine. Once we gave Billy access to the rest of upstairs he clocked the tray in our bathroom and does use it at times. He still preferred the one in the bedroom though (the room we initially restricted him to) which worried us as we want to eventually get rid of this one. On Friday last week (5 weeks after his op) we opened up the stairs and the downstairs to him. He surprised us enormously by tackling the stairs with no worries and minor mishaps. Within a day he was going up and down on his own, getting faster by the hour and day. He mapped the living room and kitchen in minutes and never really bumped into anything! Immediately we started feeding him back downstairs in the kitchen with his sister which caused no issues. He straightaway forgot about having his food in the bedroom and is waiting downstairs all the time for his next meal. We have our second tray in the kitchen and it took a few days before he started using it (or the general vicinity of the tray ha ha). On Sunday we closed our bedroom door to them both and took out the tray etc. We plan to keep him out of the bedroom for a week to 10 days or however long it takes to “deprogram” him from associating our bedroom with a litter tray etc and get him used to only using the bathroom and kitchen trays. He is still blind, no change there. Like your little girl his pupils respond to light, dilating and squinting it’s just the connections from the brain not firing properly. Our vets seem to think his eyesight will come back but there are no guarantees. They had a kittie this happened to a few years ago and eyesight came back after 6 months. I read a story of another kitten on a forum where his eyesight returned after 3 months (google “Unhappy Blind Kitten” and the story of Goulash the kitten will appear). Patience and lots of love. I placed window screen netting over the bannister gaps on the stairs so he can’t fall through them and made sure there were no nooks or crannies he could get stuck in but apart from that the house is as it was. He has adapted so well in the space of 6 weeks. I blocked off the stairs with another piece of plywood at a height he could not get over but his sister could still jump over when I restricted him to upstairs. I got some great advice from people on another forum on how to cope with everything. Have a look. Google “kitten neutering op heart stopped in recovery and had stroke and blind” and my story should come up in a link. Keep strong and be prepared for some ups and downs but the little milestones make up for the downs. I too am still sad at times and cried lots in the early days but if Billy remains blind but continues to adapt as he is I will be very happy with his quality of life. At the moment he can get down off the beds and sofas incredibly easily he just isn’t giving signs of jumping up on to them but I am confident that will change. He was always a cuddly cat but he loves his cuddles even more now and if he could he would spend his whole life licking and grooming us whilst cradled up against our chest and chin. Oh yes! We have also noticed he goes around licking everything so don’t be alarmed if you little one does that. I guess he is using all his other senses to orientate himself in his new world. We also put a collar with a bell on his sister so he could hear her coming. Like your little one, Billy seemed so sad and depressed in the early days and sometimes I think he still does but I believe that is me projecting my feelings on to him now. Give your cat time to adjust, depression is normal to start off with. They are processing a big change and their bodies are recuperating. If I think of anything else that might help I will post another message for you.

        • Oh my goodness its like we are living double lives – this is EXACTLY what we are going through. I have just come back from a Nuerologist specialising in cat brain trauma and he said she is definitly blind and it may return, may not, The good news is everything else is ok although they think her sense of smell is a little off but it will return. She is more settled today, still bumping into walls and I am feeling more relaxed about it too. In the first few days I literally sobbed watching her 🙁 All these posts and shares are so helpful and I cannot thank you enough. We are still 5 days in with a long road ahead but already I am feeling more positive and focused. Fluff will adjust with time – and she has more love than she could ever imagine. So glad Billy is make such positive progress. The time you took to take your response – I cannot tell you how grateful and touched I am. THANK YOU !!

          • you are very welcome Caroline! These forums have helped me so much I am only too happy to share my experiences back in order to help others! I sometimes wonder if Billy is able to see something along the lines of shadows/light/dark because he has no issues of bumping into things (unless he is super excited over food or having a mad cat moment charging around, in these cases he has literally head bumped full on into whatever is in his path!). At times in the morning or at night when we turn on the ceiling light in a dark room he looks up at the light. Or stares out the patio door in the kitchen where the light is streaming in, or my partner has even moved his mobile phone around in a dark room not far from Billy and Billy tracks it with his head, or he has lunged at his own shadow or ours moving on a white wall……….. yet wave your hand or finger very close to him…nothing! So maybe something is coming back slowly. We can but hope. Another thing I forgot to mention to you (this might not be the case with Fluff), poor Billy’s nose was all scabbed and bashed up/swollen from all the bashing into walls etc he did over the first week or so of being blind. His breathing sounded raspy as a consequence which I was worried about (I was becoming a bit of a hypochondriac furr-baby mum ha ha worrying about every little thing which seemed out of the ordinary in his health due to what he went through and the vets not knowing why it happened. I guess I was worried about any further damage that may have arise from his stroke/heart stopping that could be going on inside of him…). However logically it made sense due to his swollen nose!!!! So don’t worry if Fluff has become a bit of a heavy breather, that goes away after a few weeks! My only main worry now is the litter tray. He uses it perfectly for a couple of days and then for a few days he goes back to doing it with the general vicinity of the tray arggghhhhh No rhyme or rhythm. We bought him larger trays with lower sides in case the issue was him having problems climbing into it or moving around in it. Our brainwave was buying garden trays you plant seedlings in (double the size of normal large litter trays) and these have been great. They definitely helped. We got them from Homebase (if you are UK based). Keep me posted on how Fluff is doing.

          • Jodie – again you put my mind at ease. Fluff does get wheezie and yes like a crazy fur baby momma I panicked and thought god her lungs are suffering now! So again, a huge thank you. I must admit she has settled today – shes such a cute little thing its almost a shame we cant share photos on here ! I have litter tray issues but will perservere as you have – thanks for the garden tray tips too. The consultant today also said as shes a girl she really will need to be speyed in about 6- 9 months otherwise I will have a screaming, hormonal bad behaved cat and out of kindness to her blindness he recommended definitely getting her done. What he did assure me of though is prior to this he will refer to a cardiologist and if and only if he is happy will they perform the op with a team of anaesthtists present. I went to the Willows Centre in Solihull today – it was like a bupa hospital for animals. Amazing – I never knew such things existed ! Take care and chat very soon. ps. Im on facebook – Caroline Newman xx

          • I had a permanent hotline to my vets in the first 3 weeks! Any little thing I was worried about I was on the phone checking their opinion! Bless, they have been fantastic with me, my vet even calls up to see how he is doing. They all care so much. So yeah, nothing wrong with being a concerned fur baby mum, this is new territory for us. It’s not normal circumstances what happened to them. If you are worried about anything just give your vets a call is what I say! Oh no! you poor things! So Fluff didn’t end up being spayed in the end? You might have to go through it all again but am sure they will monitor her very well, you will be in great hands. At least Billy was neutered. He went into cardiac arrest in recovery. God knows if I could go through it again. At the same this happened to him his sister Suki was booked in for her spay. Thankfully hers went well. I tried looking for you on FB but there are alot of girls with your name. Have a look for me instead (my name/surname are more unusual), would be good to continue sharing stories and pictures on there about our fur babies progress. Search for Jodie Deveson. Can’t miss me, red hair! And my cover photo is of my two fur babies xx

    • Posted on behalf of Mary Harper:

      I would definitely keep her in one room until she stabilizes and begins to act a bit more normal. She’ll get used to her food and litter tray in that room–remember, she can smell VERY well! and she’ll be fine. Make sure that the food and water bowls are along a wall or in a corner. Also put the tray in a corner. Simply pick her up and gently put her next to her bowls and tell her “Here’s your food!” Make sure that you have her favorite food or a nice smelly wet food in the bowl. I put my blind kitten in her tray one time and she remembered after that. Likewise, when it’s time to let her out of the room, take her to where her bowls and tray will be and do the same thing. She’ll remember. My blind girl knows two houses perfectly–our usual one and our lake house. Cats are amazing. Don’t give up–just give her lots of love. My guess is that as she feels better, she’ll play. Also, my other cats don’t like her because she has NO eyes–just slits sewn up–so they can’t make eye contact with her. But they get along ok–just don’t play with her.
      good luck!!

      • Hi Janine,
        So sorry to hear about your baby. My little guy became blind after getting vaccinated…not sure if that was the cause but who knows? He’s 8 now, happened when he was 2, and he does great. I have learned a lot and will try to pass on some helpful hints. NEVER pick up a blind kitty. If you do always put their feet on 2 different surfaces. I/e carpet front legs hard wood floors hind legs. They get easily confused. I also purchased a huge roll of bubble wrap. I wrapped everything, walls and corners, at his head level. When I approach I always snap my fingers to not startle. I also whistle just once when he’s about to bump into something. Amazing how he adjusts his course. Always keep furniture in same places…never rearrange. Keep floors deck uttered I/e shoes, purses, bags etc. I also have throw rugs, with different textures, to help aid him. I put those in door entrances etc. you’re little one will do just fine. Their little noses get a bit swollen…that’s why I used the bubble wrap but after they find their way around they do great…just takes time. If one thing really works…the drinking fountains. I have 15 of them all over the house. Hang in there. It is heart breaking but they do adapt quite well. Lili

    • the same has happened to our male 5mth old cat he went to get neutered stopped breathing. they managed to get him breathing again but didn’t hold much hope. luckily he is a srong little lad and he is getting stronger day by day. It is day 5 now and he has got some hearing back, he his now moving about although he is very wobbly on the back end but sadly he is not able to see. He has has a couple of small wees but no poos so he is on laxatives. He is on energy food at the mooment and has just started to feed himself, so fingers crossed. The vet is allowing him to come home tonight. I am very nervous as we have 2 x dogs and two other cats that have been missing him so its going to be hard to keep them away from him while he settles back in. your stories are reassuring and gives us hope x

  19. I think it’s harder for older cats just like people an all of a sudden go blind it would be awful I’m so trying to help my miss kitty she has always been so independent an don’t seem to want help but she sure can find her food bowl she just looks so pitiful just sitting but she is 20 an don’t play I’m trying to teach her to walk around walls I was wondering if I put a bell on string an drag it let her hear it would help her hearing was real bad now seems be lil better

  20. This is such a helpful post! My cat recently went blind, and I have been trying my best to figure out how to take better care of her. She doesn’t really do anything differently, she just has to be a little more careful when she’s walking around the house. I really like your suggestion to make your home more blind cat friendly by not leaving anything on the floor. I hadn’t thought about it before, but that could totally be a hazard for her!

    • My cat Miss Kitty went blind in about two days . She is about 20 yrs old showed up at. Y house when my granddaughter was. A baby she is now almost 18 so I’d say she is 20 : Thsi is breaking my heart she is only animal I have left lost my bulldog last March an my other cat I have had 5 cats 3 dogs all have lived long life but never had one go blind

  21. I adopted a blind cat whe she was 5/6 months old. I think at the beggining she could see a little more, the her eye went completely white, bu the time i did’t tell, but afterwards I realized she
    was depressed for a week. Other than thar,to be honest, she’s always seem really independent and confident. And she adapts very well. When she goes outdoors she can recognizes the bounderies and she stays inside them. And the thing I love the most is when I find her, “staring” at the wall <3 she is really special

  22. Thank you for your helpful hints. After caring for my Bengal cat, who went blind at age 2 from retinal degeneration and he is now 8 . One item that helps Moochie navigate his way are drinking water fountains. I have placed drinking water fountains throughout my house. Especially where entrances into rooms and exits out of rooms. It really helps my Moochie ‘navigate’ his way around plus it is super calming hearing the water fountains. Thou

      • You’re welcome Ingrid. Thanks for having this blog. There truly isn’t a lot of first-hand do’s and don’t’ just the same info. This drinking fountains are the best. Mooch zooms in on them like a radar. He heads right towards them. I also have a 3 legged kitty. Tres is his name. Tres has truly become Mooch’s seeing eye kitty. Mooch will cry and Tres helps him out. Amazing to watch. They are best buds. I am so lucky to have them! Just love reading about people’s ideas. Every bit helps. Thanks again…Lili

  23. I adopted a cat on Friday who has been blind since birth and due to infection had to have his eyes removed. He can find his way around the house fine, but my only worry is stairs. I’m happy to guide him up and down but the bannisters have large gaps in them and he has already poked his head through and I am absolutely terrified that he will try and jump… any advice?

      • Actually, we have a cat who is blind because of the same reason. We have had her for 3 years. We have 3 sets of stairs in our home and she does just fine with them. In fact, it is her favorite place to play. She RUNS up and down them and we find her sleeping on them all the time. We do have a younger cat and they play on the stairs a lot. They chase each other. I think we underestimate their abilities. I was afraid at first also but once he gets a pattern in his mind of the house and the stairs, I think he’ll be just fine. Just my opinion and experience.

  24. My kitty was born with herpes in her eyes and was dumped at a no-kill shelter. They couldn’t save her eyes, so she had them removed before she was 3 months old. She fearlessly runs up and down stairs, jumps up on my bed and dining room table and climbs up to the top of the cat tree. She knows how to jump down and never hurts herself. I wouldn’t THINK of blocking off access to the stairs. I taught her how to go up and down as a very young kitten, and ever since, she runs up and down faster than my other cats.

    I don’t like the first suggestion to “Keep your cat’s home environment consistent. This is not the time to move around furniture or favorite objects.” Some people might hesitate to adopt a blind cat if they think that they’ll never be able to move furniture. Of course you can move things! Lily might bump into a box that’s been left in the hall, or the dishwasher lid might be down, but she stops, quickly moves around the object, and goes wherever she’s headed. She can sense that something is different. She loves it if I move something because it’s something new to investigate. Remember that cats have a great sense of smell. She knows right where her food bowls and litter boxes are–it wasn’t a problem from day one. Cats do like their routine, but moving furniture shouldn’t upset a blind cat–unless she loses her favorite couch!

    Lily does crouch down and looks tense when she hears unfamiliar voices or footsteps. I talk to her and tell her that it’s ok, and encourage the person to say hello. If meeting for the first time, I tell the person to hold their hand near her nose and talk at the same time. Lily sniffs their fingers, then almost always will lick their fingers or rub her head on their hand. Then they can pat her. The next time they visit, she’ll remember their voice and allow them to pat her without sniffing. Many people want to pat her first, but I always stop them and tell them to let her sniff their fingers.

    I talk a lot to Lily. She likes my presence and is a “social eater.” She likes me to be close by while she eats. And she loves to be held,either on my shoulder or lap.

    Lily is such an inspirational cat. The second day home with me, while recovering from her spay surgery and eye removal, I opened the door to her room and she made a huge leap off of her chair to greet me. She was so happy to see me. I scooped her up, held her close and felt the love.

    If anyone has any questions about Lily or adopting a blind cat, I’d be happy to answer them. Both of my parents were blind, and it’s just natural for me to have a blind kitty. They’re both passed on, but I think that they sent me Lily to love and keep me company. They knew that I’d understand her needs.

    • Hi there! Thanks for the insight! I’m adopting a blind kitten next week, on top of moving into a new house. I’m really hoping my current cat adjusts. I’m nervous about it but trying to be optimistic! I would love to be Facebook friends!

      • Congratulations on your new family member, Sarah! If you’re not already following our Facebook page, make sure you give it a “like” – we’d love to have you join our community of cat lovers over there!

    • Thank you for sharing this story. I have rescued a cat from the outside that was greeting me every day when I went to visit my mother. I would feed it every day after work and he would come back the same time every day. As the weather got colder I brought the cat into my mother’s house to stay. I took the cat for his physical and she though that he was around 5 years old at the time. The cat was always scratching at his eyes. The vet told me to take it to an ophtamologist and she told me that the cat had not eyelids and the eyelashes were causing irritation to he eyes. so I opt to get him surgery and she made him eyelids. My mom passed away from an illness shortly after his surgery so I took him tin my home to live. After about a year in a half I noticed his eyes getting cloudy and the vet said he had glucoma, I was giving two types of drops twice a day for the past year and half and she says he has gone blind. Tomorrow he is scheduled to have his eyes removed and I am so nervous having them taken out because he does not seem like he is blind at all but the vet insured me that he is. They say that cats with glucoma can get severe headaches and I do not want him with the pain. I know that I had to take the eyes out eventually. Please let me know if I am doing the right thing.

      • It sounds like surgery is the right choice for your kitty, Annie. We know on the human side that glaucoma can cause severe eye pain. Cats are masters at masking pain, but chances are good that your kitty is experiencing pain. All my best to you and your kitty – keep us posted on how he is doing.

  25. I’ve never had a blind cat but have always wondered how the others adjust in multi-cat households. Maybe someone can share their experience.

    • Jenny, it’s been very interesting to see the other cats’ reactions. One cat, upon seeing Lily for the first time, arched her back and fluffed her hair. Lily, of course, didn’t notice and the other cat was very puzzled why Lily wasn’t scared. Lily likes to pounce on another of my cats, making her squeal, growl, and run away. Lily does that especially when she wants the spot where the other cat was lounging. I think the biggest problem that my other cats have with Lily is that they can’t make eye contact with her. Lily wants to play but can’t read body language and they can’t really communicate non-verbally with her. One cat growls whenever Lily gets too close, another bats her head and Lily leaves her alone.

      • What you said about their interactions is fascinating. The fact that they can’t make eye contact makes sense of the behavior. I had thought that since sight isn’t cats’ most important sense, maybe the sense of familiar smell would be enough. Of course, some of this behavior might have occurred anyway, regardless of Lily being blind. I’ve had a multi-cat household for many years and know full well that cats get along sometimes and other times, not so much. Thank you for sharing with me, Mary.

  26. These are really great tips, Ingrid! When Jewel’s retinas started to detach, she would walk around crying. We took her to the vet immediately, and they said her retinas were detaching due to high blood pressure. After a few weeks of treatment, her retinas reattached, which was really wonderful.

  27. When I cared for Odilia, I read all of the things you aren’t supposed to do when you have a blind cat, one of which is don’t move anything around, another being don’t leave things on the floor, but I did both of those things and she didn’t care at all. She found her way around just fine.

    I imagine it all depends on the cat, if you have a cat who doesn’t adjust well, then the tips would be more important, but not all cats need them.

    • I wonder whether Odilia adjusted so well because she was blind from birth, Connie? She never knew anything different.

  28. Thank you for the article. Apparently, I’ve already been doing the right things for my blind sweetie! He never stays too far from me, following me from room to room.

  29. Squeaky lost his sight from high blood pressure. He got some of it back but; I made sure I had things easy for him. He would startle very easy. He was an old kitty though when he lost his. Otherwise he ajusted very well. Very wonderful post.

    • It has to be disconcerting for a cat who can’t see to be startled. I’m glad Squeaky adjusted so well, Sue.

  30. I have a blind cat; I rescued him when he was 5 weeks old and now he will soon be eight years. He was born blind and a very sickly kitten.
    He has grown into a healthy, curious, playful cat. Everyone who meets him comments on how friendly he is, he is not afraid of anyone and will walk right up to you. my cat has adjusted completely, since he has never had sight
    But I do always keep his food bowl in the same place, as well as his litter box. He likes toys he can hear. I keep minimum things on the counters and tables and I’m always home when he’s on the catio. I believe my cat gets the best care and much love and lives the life of Riley 🙂

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