Adopting A Blind Cat: What You Need To Know

We here at CITF feature a lot of blind kitties in our Bachelor/ette of the Week posts, but some of you may need more information on what it’s like to adopt a blind cat before you consider it. I have partnered with my trusty friends at Tree House Humane to bring you the answers you need to decide if you’d like to make a blind kitty part of your family.

Doc Watson of Tabby's Place

Doc Watson of Tabby’s Place (photo courtesy of Tabby’s Place)

Crepes: What’s the most important thing to know about adopting a blind cat?

Tree House: They can’t see, but blind cats use their other senses (and most importantly their whiskers!) to compensate and can get around fine once they know the floor plan of their home. They can do just about anything a seeing cat can do. Don’t think a blind cat is a good choice because they won’t jump on your kitchen counters, not true! They can jump and climb just fine!

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C: What’s the acclimation to a new home like?  Are there any special precautions that someone would need to take to keep the kitty safe?
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TH: They will get to know their environment using cues like  the texture of the floor, etc. Some people say you can’t ever move your furniture. That isn’t true. The cat will learn to adjust to those kinds of changes although it is nice to leave their food bowls, litterboxes, etc. in the same place if possible.
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Kady from Tree House had this to say about acclimating her own blind cat:
“When I first acclimated my blind cat to my house, I showed her where everything in her acclimation room was first. I didn’t have to do this with every room in the house, because as she got more confident she started to explore things on her own. At first, I had pet stairs leading up to bed for her and she used them, but I quickly found out that she absolutely didn’t need them! She gets around just as well as all my other cats do. In fact, lots of people ask me if she is really 100% blind! She is.”
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 C: Does the acclimation process differ for a cat versus a kitten?
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TH: I don’t think it does. I would say a kitten born blind will have an easier time adjusting than an adult cat who becomes blind later in life, but the acclimation process is the same.
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C: Can a blind cat be left home alone in the same manner as a sighted cat?
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TH:  Yes!
Chief Big Tree of Tree House

Chief Big Tree of Tree House

C: Are there any specific health problems that blind cats are more prone to?
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TH: It depends on the condition that left them blind in the first place. Cats can become blind due to common health issues that are left untreated like: hypertension, diabetes, hyperthyroid, upper respiratory infections, and internal parasites. The good news is that all of these are treatable conditions and many of them can be avoided in part with a good diet. Regular check ups, watching for signs of illness, like changes in eating, drinking or litter box habits, and a good diet are all good ways to keep your blind cat (and any cat) healthy.
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C: Are there any other things you’d like to add about living with a blind cat?
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TH: I think that living with an animal with any kind of disability can be awe-inspiring. Cats are especially resilient creatures and to see them go about their day as if nothing is wrong is wonderful to experience. Blind cats can be especially interesting to watch as they navigate with grace and ease without the use of their eyes. Since most humans rely so heavily on their eyes to get around, it is something most of us can’t readily relate to, making it quite amazing to watch them.
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And don’t think that blind cats don’t play with toys! Kady’s kitty loves them!

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My blind girl is older and not quite as playful as my some of my younger cats, but she does love catnip! She can find it anywhere it lurks. She does play with toys as long as you can make them audible. She also loves to sit in windows when they are open, listening to and smelling everything that is happening outside.
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There you have it! We hope that that takes away some of the mystery and apprehension you may have had about adopting a blind cat. When you’re next looking to adopt, please consider these wonderful animals! Even though they’re blind, they’re likely going to open your eyes to a whole new world of love.
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Special thanks to Jenny, Kady, and Sydney at Tree House!
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Love,
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Crepes.
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Some of our recent blind bachelor/ettes:
ChiefBigTree_full bachelor
Also, please vote for the Inheritance, because we really want to win this year. -Crepes.