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post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I would like to start by sending best greetings form the UK to all lovers of cats!

I was wondering if people out there had experience of dealing with a blind cat?

My Artemis (Missy) has probably been getting by on very limited vision for some time. My vet now reckons her to be almost completely blind. We are still investigating what might have happened in the last week or so to push her this last step to lost vision - possible blood pressure issue that is under investigation. There is no blood pooled in the eyes and only a minor start of a cataract in one eye.

She is an old lady. Officially she is supposed to be 12-13 years old - from the dates given me by the RSPCA where I adopted her some years ago. The liklihood is that she is considerably older - my vets have all agreed that she is an elderly moggy.

I was wondering if anyone had any advice or suggestions? Or words of support to be honest as it is quite distressing to see her trying to deal with her new handicap (I try not to let it show in case it upsets her).

With regards,

post #2 of 13
I did have a cat named Midnight a number of years ago who went completely blind due to glacoma in both eyes. A blind cat can function in an environment that is familiar. Since Artemis has lost her vision, she will use her other senses to find her way around, and she will use her whiskers as feelers to avoid running into objects. Even after Midnight went blind, she was able to follow me around because of the vibration my feet made when I was walking. However, during that time we lived in a house that was all on one level, so I don't know how well a blind cat can handle inside stairs.

Here's some advice: everything in your home needs to be left in one place, don't do things like rearrange the furniture and etc. Don't pick Artemis up and carry her around because she'll become confused and won't know what part of the house she's in. I know in the U.K. people let their cats outside, but it's very vital that Artemis is kept indoors because she can no longer cope with an outside environment.

Hopefully, others will be able to give you more advice.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Missy is strictly an indoors cat.

At present her world seems to have shrunk inside the house to her litter box, her feeding station and the spot she is liking to sleep in. I feel pretty bad about that.
post #4 of 13
It is hard. My Smokey had retinal detatchment due to elevated blood pressure. After she went on blood pressure meds her sight got better for a while, but then slowly deteriorated over the last couple years of her life. She too became very cautious, but still seemed happy. Anything you can do to keep her world the same is helpful. If she is constantly running into things, she will keep to a very limited area, but if things are always in the same place she will learn to navigate. My Jordan (only 6) has some bad cataracting in his eyes & will I'm sure be blind over the course of time. I do understand how scary it is and how much you want to give them the best life possible.
post #5 of 13
To avoid running into things, you can put vanilla extract(the real stuff, or really anything cat friendly with a scent) in an atomizer bottle and mist things like table legs, ect.
post #6 of 13
Welcome to TheCatSite Valksy,
Missy sounds like a sweetie pie.
If I can help you with questions about our site,
just send a private message to my username,
I will get back to you asap.

post #7 of 13

My Tre has very limited vision. Like some of the others posted here, he is suffering from retinal detachment brought on by high blood pressure. It slowly happened over the course of a year, but at first I thought he was just moving slowly because he was getting arthritis. I have been treating him with HBP medicine, but he is still nearly blind. I think he can see about 3" in front of his face and even that seems to be just shapes. If I put a treat down in front of him, he has to sniff around to find it unless there's a lot of contrast, e.g., brown treat on white floor tile.

Keeping things orderly is important for your blind kitty. I try to always put my shoes away, not set bags on the floor, and not rearrange the furniture as much as possible. That way he can get around by memory. There isn't much I can do about the other cats walking in front of him, but at least they're soft. I will tap my finger on the food bowl when I fill it so that he doesn't have to hunt around for the one that the other 3 cats aren't eating out of. The biggest problem I have with Tre is that he still likes to climb to the top of the cat tree and sit on the window sill. He gets up there fine, but then he can't get back down. Eventually, I'm hoping to be able to devise some type of ramp that will let him get down safely.
post #8 of 13
I had a blind kitty for a few years before she passed away at 8. The cause of her blindness was unknown. Often, when startled, she would confine herself to a small area. All I could do was slowly try to coax her out with food or treats, show her in my way it was OK to come out.
post #9 of 13
My Odo has limited vision--possibly no vision at all. It's hard to tell--he has no problem getting around, still enjoys playing and never has trouble locating either the litterbox or the food bowl (though sometimes it takes him a moment to realize there is still food in it). At his last vet visit, he still had at least some vision, but since then I've realized that he appears not to see other cats. He gives them no acknowledgement whatsoever most of the time. Overall, despite his vision loss, he's still a happy boy. He does occasionally call out, so I just respond so he knows that he's not lost.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Many thanks for the kind words and shared experiences. Little madam is still feeling her way and it does break my heart to see her bump her nose on something.

I now have to consider the next step. My vet has suggested there is a partially detached retina which might be repairable by laser. But this would mean a general anaesthetic which is very dangerous for her (she has an enlarged heart with a murmur in it and a metabolism like an express train - both controlled by meds but which make her fragile).

So the choice could be between attempting to repair some sight or allow her to stay in her current state and not subject her to the trauma and desperate hazard of surgery.

My instinct tells me that surgery - for an outcome that may well not be an awesome success - is far too dangerous. But to allow her to stay blind also seems cruel.

Had some sleepless nights on the matter already.
post #11 of 13
Because of Missy's age and chronic health issues, like you, I would be afraid that the surgery risk would not outweigh any possible benefit.
Keep in mind that some kitties adjust to their limited sight.
With patience and loving support, Missy might do very well.

On the other hand, if the surgery is rather non-invasive, followed by a quick recovery time, Missy might come though with flying colors and her eyesight in tact, but ...
is it worth risking her life?

You have a very difficult decision to make.
I am sending calming vibes and the hope that you are able to decide what is best for you and Missy.
post #12 of 13
I wish I could offer more advice on the surgery - but like Lei said - it is not an easy decision. We are here if you ever need to bounce ideas/thoughts off us.
post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
Keep in mind that some kitties adjust to their limited sight.
With patience and loving support, Missy might do very well.
Like I said in my earlier post, this was my experience with Midnight. But I also really understand your concern for your cat's welfare. One thing to consider and to ask your vet about is whether or not Missy has any pain issues with her blindness.

I'm also sendning you calming vibes to help you make the right decision for you and Missy.
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