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Blindness -- What to look for?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's been a very very long time since I've posted here.

I'm currently seperated from my cats; we're in the middle of a move -- I live with my parents and my boyfriend is living with the cats (my dad is allergic and won't let them stay here). They're across the country right now.

My boyfriend has been reporting strange behaviour from our cat, Willow. Willow is a year and three months old. The very first time I posted here was because I was concerned about her "eye goobers" (brownish crusties in the corners of her eyes). This was when she was around 12 weeks old. These have pretty much always been present. I was told by two different vets (and the second vet specialized in cats) that it was normal.

They went away for awhile, but now they're coming back. We've been passing this off as normal, as the vets told us they were...

Now... we got a new kitten (Vaughn) in January, so we've been comparing his behaviour to Willow's. My boyfriend has said that Vaughn is much better at, for example, following a laser pointer than Willow is. Willow tends to follow it, then lose track of it, and then only pick it up every now and then. She doesn't seem to be able to see things from a distance.

I'm not sure if we're just being overly concerned for her or if she's actually losing some vision. Her annual check-up should be coming up soon, so as soon as they've moved here, we plan on having her checked out by a vet, but for now... is there anything specific we might be able to notice if she is having trouble seeing?
post #2 of 6
It's going to be hard, because they use their sense of smell so much to orient themselves, certainly in familiar places (and I suggest telling your boyfriend to not change around things (furniture, food dishes, etc.) where they live for now just in case there is a problem. There may be only a partial problem (either side or middle vision being absent or bad, or general blurriness, etc.), and that's hard to diagnose, but there are feline ophthalmologists, or vets that specialize in sight, so a referral would be a good idea. Once a really blind cat is used to a place, and you need to move something, try to make it only 1-2 things at a time (and food dishes and box only in little increments at a time) because between smell and whiskers, they can manage quite well. But don't jump the gun - there may be nothing wrong and the cat may just not be into lasers, etc, or may have a slight neurological problem unrelated to sight.
post #3 of 6
You would know if your kitty went blind suddenly. Leya went blind when she was 6 months old from her spay. She constantly got "lost" in corners and stuck in places she used to run through. She was really disstressed and scared! It was so sad!

Cats are EXTRODINARY adapters. It took her a few weeks to adjust fully and now, about a year later, you would never know she was blind! She jumps on the bed and couch, runs through the house, plays with toys, plays with the other cats, everything a "normal" cat can do.

It is possible your kitty is loosing site, or maybe never saw that well. Even with 50% blindness it would be nearly impossible to tell if they were blind because cats are so good at hiding things like that.

Talking to the vet would be a great idea! If you don't think it's something that needs looked at imediatly, I wouldn't worry. If other things start happening like behavior changes, or health issues, I would worry.

Feel free to PM me ANY time!

(There is another gal on her that has a blind cat, she's great! I'm sure she'll post something!
post #4 of 6
Damita lost her sight slowly, we think. When I got her she was pretty much blind, but she can follow movement fairley well.

Do you have access to a feline opthamologist? I advise a 2nd opinion, or 3rd or 4th opinion.
post #5 of 6
My cat was blind for a week after a sedation gone bad. Here are a few things I noticed: She bumped into things a lot, her eyes were fixed and dilated all the time, she hissed when I pet her until I spoke to her, she seemed very frightened, and she didn't respond when a hand was waved in front of her face quickly or pushed toward her face quickly. When this is done, cats are supposed to close their eyes. Hope this helps.
post #6 of 6
patchy is blind but we dont know how bad. we noticed when we 1st brought her home her eyes were always dilated. we just assumed it was due to the new environment, yada yada yada... the vet noticed that her pupils never completely contract in the light; like right now, shes looking out the window into the sun and their only slightly contracted.
he said it may have something to do with her food allergies or the malnutrition she suffered when she was picked up by the shelter. (i got her on her 13th day at the shelter and she was 4lbs. shes 14lbs now)

she does bump into stuff when it gets rearranged and she cant find her toys if they arent where she leaves them. she can always find the catnip ones, tho haha.
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