10 Tips To Living With A Blind Cat
Whether you have just adopted a blind cat or your beloved furry friend of many years has gone blind from disease or old age, living with your blind feline can seem a bit overwhelming and even frustrating at some points.
Luckily, we have some tips and toys to make this adjustment easier - for both you and your cat!
1. Keep Your Home the Same & Clutter-Free
When living with a blind cat,
Naturally, if you have had your cat for a long time - he or she has grown accustomed to the way your furniture is placed, the location of his or her food and water, etc.
By keeping your home the same, your cat can rely on their memory to navigate around your home. Additionally, keep your home free of clutter as objects spread around your space can pose a risk to your blind cat.
This means that you should pick up any toys, laundry baskets, shoes lying around, or any other objects which could impact your furry friend's path.
2. Become More Verbal
Since your cat cannot see you, it would be helpful to begin talking to your cat more often so that they can have an idea of where you are.
For instance, you can hum or say his or her name frequently to allow your cat to locate you in a room.
Some breeds, such as the Bengal Cat, are susceptible to deterioration of their eyesight, and these verbal cues and hums come in handy for making your cat feel more calm and comfortable in their home!
3. Provide Lots of Playtime & Affection
Even though your cat may be blind, he or she still wants your attention.
Since their eyesight is impaired, you can play games that involve more sounds instead of that old 'chasing the laser dot' game.
For example, our blind Bengal cat absolutely loves any toys that squeak or crinkle - including balls of foil from our take-out and mouse toys that we buy at our local pet store!
Again, our blind Bengal loves toys that make the crinkling sound. These Catnip Crinkle Sound toys work perfectly for blind cats that rely on noise to keep them entertained and busy. Also great since you can fill them up with catnip.
4. Patience is Key
It's important that you allow your cat to roam around the house and explore in order to adjust to their new blind situation.
Even though it may seem tempting to just pick your cat up and carry him or her to another room - you aren't doing your cat any favors.
In fact, carrying your cat around can ultimately lead to confusion; it is better to have them walk around for themselves so that they can become used to your home's layout without having their sense of sight.
Your cat may become clingy and follow you around as though you are their travel guide - this is normal and it is important to understand their predicament and not get frustrated when your cat is always at your feet.
5. Cat-Proof Your Home
Naturally, owning a blind feline means that you are going to have to take some extra steps and precautions to ensure their safety.
To make your home safer for your dear pet, we recommend keeping your toilet lid closed (to avoid any unwanted baths!), blocking off access to stairs or balconies, and making sure that they have the proper identification such as tags and a microchip.
In the event that your blind kitty gets lost, it would be difficult for them to navigate home, so it is essential that you identify your pet.
6. Stock Up on Catnip
As I'm sure you know, pretty much every cat LOVES catnip. Luckily, you can use this to your advantage.
Even though your cat may be blind, you can still stimulate their other senses! For example, try sprinkling some catnip around the house.
This will keep your furry friend entertained and can help them learn their way around your home by following the smell. If your cat has a favorite spot that he or she likes to sunbathe in, you can make it easier for him or her to find by sprinkling a path of catnip leading up to it.
We use the Kong Premium Catnip since it's comes in a 2oz container and lasts a long time.
7. Monitor Outside Playtime
Now, this is a tough one. Since your cat is blind, it is imperative that you watch them very carefully whenever they are outdoors.
They are not as efficient and aware as a cat with normal vision at orienting their location and detecting danger. Thus, they are at risk of wandering into the street, getting lost, or failing to notice a predator.
We recommend purchasing a harness and leash so that you can guide your cat along outdoors as well as protect him or her from potential dangers.
8. Avoid Loud Noises
Now, we know that we recommended earlier to become more verbal, but this doesn't mean anyone can go about banging pots or raising their voice.
As you know, cats have much better hearing than us humans, and when it comes to a cat without its eyesight, he or she relies on their hearing even more.
Therefore, it is critical to keep the noise level tolerable for your furry friend - meaning no more blasting the TV or carelessly tossing your pots and pans into the drawer.
By cutting down the noise level, you can reduce your cat's anxiety and help them feel more at home.
9. Avoid Sudden Petting
It's tempting to just walk right up to your pet - or any animal, for that matter - and give them a good scratch, but with blind cats, this can be very frightening.
This way, your cat is alerted to your presence and won't be caught off caught by your hand touching them.
10. Stay Positive!
Most importantly, you need to maintain a positive attitude and happy environment for your cat!
Often times, your pet's blindness takes more of a toll on you than it does them!
Try not to be stressed out or anxious.
Often times, our pets can pick up on our moods and respond to how we are feeling. Your cat will adjust to their situation and still be the beloved furry member of your family!
We hope that using these tips make your cat's transition - and yours - to blindness much smoother!
Remember, stay positive, verbal, and vigilant to keep your furry friend safe and happy in your home!