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Our new kitten. (Partially blind)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Today me and my girlfriend went down to the rescue shelter and found a really special kitten who we are told has a "vision problem" , and may be partially blind. The vet has not diagnosed her with this officially, but the shelter people are convinced she is because of the way she interacts with things, and we believe she may be too. This didn't bother us because she was such a loving girl when we spent an hour or so with her at the shelter (my girlfriend had seen her a few days earlier and spent some time with her also), she was very cuddly and playful, affectionate licking our hands and such and was always in our arms.

Things changed however when we brought her home... We have two other cats who are EXTREMELY friendly and get along with other cats incredibly well, they are both young at 1 and 2 years old. As soon as we let her out in our apartment she was running around and checking things out, the cats were following around, they were playing around a bit... The usual. She refused to get picked up though, or touched. Then all of a sudden she started hissing and attacking anything and everything that comes near her, the cats, a toy, our hands. She's growling, and always hissing and will claw you when you attempt to make contact with her. This is a complete turn around how she was at the shelter. She's been camped out in our room for 10 hours or so now, still hissing and growling.

We've been around lots of cats and kittens in our life and never seen this type of behavior before. Of course we have never had a "partially blind" kitten before, so maybe things are a little different, and I guess that's what I'm seeking advice about. I'm thinking maybe being around the 2 cats stressed her out or scared her somehow, and we're hoping she'll turn around soon. It's odd though, from across the room you can move your hand around and she will follow it with her head, I think she has some vision and can make things out, just not very well.

We're wondering if anyone has had experience with a kitten like this before, or had a kitten come into their house and have a complete behavior turn around like this. Any help or advice would be appreciated... We're hoping to give her a nice loving home.

post #2 of 9
welcome to TCS!
basically - you introduced them too quickly. you'd most likely do well to start from scratch - there are some great suggestions here: i'd like you to meet - introducing cats.
also, you can apply vanilla extract to the base of each cat's tail to help them all smell more like each other. putting a cloth [towel, whatever] that smells like the other cat[s] under food dishes will help them to associate each other's scent w/good things. as well. just rub each cat w/a towel & use that.
post #3 of 9
Too much too soon for the little kitty!

You need to put her in a quiet room alone with a bed, litter box, food and water. Let her get comfortable with her surroundings before introducing her to other cats. I would keep her separated for at least a week in her quiet room so she feels comfortable.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetKara View Post
Too much too soon for the little kitty!

You need to put her in a quiet room alone with a bed, litter box, food and water. Let her get comfortable with her surroundings before introducing her to other cats. I would keep her separated for at least a week in her quiet room so she feels comfortable.
Yeah, she's been alone in a room with all those things for quite a long while now and still hasn't seemed to have warmed up the slightest. Which is okay. Her behaviour's just strange, she'll go to play with a toy, run up to it and hit it, and then hiss/growl at it. Trying to figure out why she does that since we've never seen a cat do that before.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetKara View Post
Too much too soon for the little kitty!

You need to put her in a quiet room alone with a bed, litter box, food and water. Let her get comfortable with her surroundings before introducing her to other cats. I would keep her separated for at least a week in her quiet room so she feels comfortable.
Exactly. She should have had time to get used to her new surroundings before being intro'd to the resident cats.
Also the link supplied by Laureen is an excellent one.
Give her time, the shelter should have told you how to make her move a comfortable one.
Best of luck, give her plently of time. She's gorgeous, btw.
post #6 of 9
wow, she is adorable! She looks just like my sister's cat (soon to be my cat) Cloudo. I think she will grow up to be a very fuzzy kitty!

Anyway, I don't have too much to add to the already great advice in this thread, other than it sounds like she does have some vision, and that she's just really scared from being exposed to so much so soon. It sounds like she wants to play, but then she doesn't feel quite comfortable and gets scared. So I would just follow the advice in the "introducing cats" page and give it some time.
post #7 of 9
Don't forget, she's relating to everything (as any cat would) as much by scent as otherwise, and everything in your place (including you) smells different from what she's used to. It can take ten days or more for the cats to begin tolerating each other, and for her to even feel a bit comfortable. A good idea is to allow her into the 'neutral' areas of your place for a few times each day while the resident cats are behind their own door, so the new one gets a lot of info from the area, and leaves her own scent, so she doesn't end up feeling like an intruder forever.
post #8 of 9
Your kitty feels like her head is going to expolde. She needs a "safe room". I'd put her in the bathroom or something with her litterbox and some food. She just needs no mental input for a while so she can regroup. Sounds silly, but that is basically what it boils down to. Best of luck.

Peace,
Rob & Sport
post #9 of 9
Blind cats are wonderful pets....however, there is a big issue with the way you introduced her.

She is less likely to adapt as rapidly as a seeing cat, due to the fact that she is unable to see if there is impending danger. She may have limited vision & things will "sneak" up on her, causing her to panick.

Read the introduction thread Laureen provided a link to. Go slowly. My Damita Mae was blind. She forever until the day she died would take blind swings at things she was unsure of & hiss at all the other animals.
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