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Kitten with no eyes

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Hi guys I have a dilemma. I recently found a kitten taped inside a box a couple days ago. It looked like he had a real bad URI but after cleaning all the 'gunk' off his eyes/face it looks like he's going to have to lose both his eyes. He's been on some antibiotics and eye ointment but his eyes are BAD. One is actually 'buldging' out. Now my only concern is the kitten is about 5 weeks old and I guess I'm worried about his quality of life. The vet is leaning more towards euthanasia but the kitten acts like nothing is wrong and I feel like he could live a perfectly normal life. He purrs, he eats great and he loves the dog. It breaks my heart to think of putting him down. Just would like some opinions =)

Thanks
post #2 of 64
When I first got Aoibhe, we found out that she had cataracts and we did some investigating on what her quality of life would be if she lost her sight. During this time, I came across a book called Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat. It is a wonderful story of how a kitten in the same situation you are describing thrived. Cats can adapt very well to being without sight though they need help from us to have a stable environment. Keep the furniture consistent and help them to know where the litter box and food are kept. If there are changes, let the kitten know.

Fortunately, Aoibhe still has 50% sight and is the most active of our cats.

ETA: The author also has a web site where she gives advice on living with a blind cat. Homer's Odyssey
post #3 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdock View Post
Hi guys I have a dilemma. I recently found a kitten taped inside a box a couple days ago. It looked like he had a real bad URI but after cleaning all the 'gunk' off his eyes/face it looks like he's going to have to lose both his eyes. He's been on some antibiotics and eye ointment but his eyes are BAD. One is actually 'buldging' out. Now my only concern is the kitten is about 5 weeks old and I guess I'm worried about his quality of life. The vet is leaning more towards euthanasia but the kitten acts like nothing is wrong and I feel like he could live a perfectly normal life. He purrs, he eats great and he loves the dog. It breaks my heart to think of putting him down. Just would like some opinions =)

Thanks
WOW! That is some story. Bless you for caring enough for this little gem to give him a chance. I don't know a great deal about caring for blind cats. I know people with deaf cats and they adjust to life quite well with proper training. Another poster posted a couple of links which will most likely prove useful. There are probably groups out there for people with blind cats that would most likely provide invaluable info. My 2 Scottish Terriers went blind from diabetes years ago. It was an adjustment for all of us but we worked it all out and they had 5 more good years. Wishing you the very best on this. The very best.
post #4 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdock View Post
Hi guys I have a dilemma. I recently found a kitten taped inside a box a couple days ago. It looked like he had a real bad URI but after cleaning all the 'gunk' off his eyes/face it looks like he's going to have to lose both his eyes. He's been on some antibiotics and eye ointment but his eyes are BAD. One is actually 'buldging' out. Now my only concern is the kitten is about 5 weeks old and I guess I'm worried about his quality of life. The vet is leaning more towards euthanasia but the kitten acts like nothing is wrong and I feel like he could live a perfectly normal life. He purrs, he eats great and he loves the dog. It breaks my heart to think of putting him down. Just would like some opinions =)

Thanks
I have worked with many cats in rescue situations that had such severe URI as very young kittens they lost there eyes. When I say lost I mean the cat had no eye in the socket. So the eye lid was stitched over the area that the globe of the eye would be.

I have found that as long as it happens when a kitten is young, like your kitten it can compensate for such issues. I have seen these kittens be able to run, jump, climb, and navigate just like a sighted kitten.

I will say the cats I worked with that had no eyes used there whiskers more and moved there head and ears more frequently. I assume the reason they moved there whiskers more was to judge depth. Or was a form of depth perception. The moving the head and ears was to focus the location of a specific sound more clearly, I assume.

The only thing I can suggest is make sure you keep the litter box(s) in familiar locations at first.

Now why does the veterinarian want to euthanize the kitten?
post #5 of 64
You're kidding me--euthanasia just for blindness? What an absolutely stupid thing for that vet to suggest. A blind cat can do just fine. They have whiskers; they learn to use those just like a blind person uses their cane. If you don't move the furniture too much, and show them the new arrangement whenever you do, the cat won't bump into things. Plus, cats have a keener sense of smell and hearing than we do, so they are even better off than a blind human would be. Of course it would probably be polite to talk to them when you approach so that they know it's you coming to pet them; but after a while, I betcha the cat will get to know your footsteps and you won't even have to do even that.
post #6 of 64
Look on YouTube for "blind kitten" or "blind cat." You'll see plenty of them getting along just fine.

The Homer mentioned above astonishes everyone with such tricks as catching flies out of midair.
post #7 of 64
Whitecatlover had a cat that was blind. She posted pictures of her playing fetch! I believe her name was Damita.

The toy was one with a bell on it so it jingled. She would throw the toy, the kitty would follow the sound and scent and she would call her and the kitty would bring it back.

In her instance, one of her other cats kind of acted like a seeing eye kitty. So in your case, seeing that the kitten loves the dog maybe the dog will act as his seeing eye doggie
post #8 of 64
Homer's parent, Gwen Cooper, has a web site (http://gwencooper.com/) and a Facebook page. She offers a lot of resources about caring for a blind cat. Homer's story is inspiring - not only for how he lives his life, but how he enhances the lives of so many humans.

Homer is over 11 years old - a chapter in her book describes how 9-11 - when her three cats were in her apartment, just blocks from Ground Zero - and it took her a few days to get back to them. Homer was the first of her three to realize she was back, and raced to greet her at the door. (yes, I cried).

I really don't think blindness alone is any reason to put a cat down - especially if there's a loving home ready to care for him. Bless you (and see about getting another vet, maybe).
post #9 of 64
OMG!! to you for saving this little sweetheart!!! I certainly don't see why this little angel couldn't live a full and happy life. I vote no on euthanasia.
post #10 of 64
There are so many blind cats out there that live a happy life, I'm surprised the vet would say to put him down.
post #11 of 64
I can say as a veterinarian technician and having worked in many shelters across the United States many people (clients and adopters) do not want a cat/kitten with no eyes. So some professional people might find euthanasia more humane then being unwanted. I am not saying that is how I feel, but just pointing out a possibility.
post #12 of 64
If the kitty is happy, healthy, managing well, I can't imagine any reason for euthanasia. Can't believe that a vet would recommend such a thing. You are a wonderful person to care for the kitty and he will have a wonderful life with such a good caregiver! You're doing a wonderful thing and much admiration goes your way. Please let us know how things are going.
post #13 of 64
Hi!! I am so happy you posted on this site. I was directed to your post by another member (thanks LDG!) who remembered that I have a blind cat.
I actually first started posting on this site when we brought our Billy home. We took him in specifically because he was blind. The person who had his momma cat was going to take him to a shelter because they were only allowed one cat in their apt and when their cat had kittens they easily gave away the other kittens to people who wanted cats but no one wanted a blind kitten and they didn't want to keep him anymore. He was between 10-12 weeks old at the time that we took him in.
The vet said there was no signs of disease or issues that could have caused the blindness, that it just happened in him. He still has both his eyes, they just can't see anything. We thought it would be a tough adjustment for us, Billy, and the other cats. But he is an amazing cat. We used to worry about his quality of life but this cat doesn't care that he is blind, he does everything our other cats do and more!
Billy is insanely loyal to my husband...he waits by the door when its around the time he gets home. If my husband leaves out a door Billy waits by it and cries. When we are outside with the windows open Billy will jump in the window because he can hear us and not know where we are! He loves windows and the warmth of sunbeams through the window...and especially the breeze and smells from open windows! He can jump onto things, climb cat trees, run up and down the stairs, play with the other cats and more.
Three of our cats got outside at the beginning of the summer...one of them was Billy. He was missing for two hours and we were terrified...because we had just recently moved, he had never been outside and we lived near a heavy wooded area. After 2 hours of searching he ended up just strolling down the street towards our house...he was slinking and seemed scared but was otherwise fine! When we moved, he was also the first cat to adjust to the new house and new rooms and learned the layout perfectly.

Sorry this is so long! I am a big big believer in the awesomeness of blind cats!! Yes, they might have an accident occasionally~when Billy needs to go and has trouble finding a box, or is "stuck" somewhere, he meows (it's a cross between a meow and a coo!) and we help him out. He has knocked stuff down because he jumps onto shelves and doesn't realize there is something there. But he is so smart and so funny. I could watch him navigate around all day. He uses his whiskers, his nose, his paws and his tail to get around. To climb up something he stretches his paws up to try to reach the top and see if he can jump on it. To get down from somewhere he reaches his paws down to feel the bottom so he knows how far to jump. They truly do adapt very very well, and can and will lead awesome lives. Being blind is not at all a reason to put a kitty down, a blind cat will continue to amaze you daily! You are awesome for rescuing this kitty, and if you want to chat about blind kitties at all, feel free to send me a PM!!
post #14 of 64
Thanks, Danielle. I thought the OP might like to be in touch with you, or at the very least, hear about your amazing Billy.
post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Whitecatlover had a cat that was blind. She posted pictures of her playing fetch! I believe her name was Damita.

The toy was one with a bell on it so it jingled. She would throw the toy, the kitty would follow the sound and scent and she would call her and the kitty would bring it back.

In her instance, one of her other cats kind of acted like a seeing eye kitty. So in your case, seeing that the kitten loves the dog maybe the dog will act as his seeing eye doggie
I did have a blind kitty for a few years before she passed away. She was an adult/outdoor cat when I brought her inside. She adjusted well, was a fantastic, sweet, all around wonderful kitty. I miss her dearly.

And yes - she did have a "seeing eye cat", Dorian Grey (Dory) doted upon her, showing her the way around the house, etc.

You never really would've known she was blind if you didn't play close attention. She adapted *so* well.

Here's a video of her playing I put up on YouTube.
post #16 of 64
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys SO much. I already feel so welcome here.

As far as the kitten goes, we had another vet visit this morning. We are definitely going ahead with the surgery to have both of his eyes removed, he just needs to gain some weight. Currently he is 1.3# and the vet would like him to put on a couple pounds before we put him under anesthesia. I just want him to put the weight on quick so we can get on with this surgery. I feel so bad for him, it's gotta be so uncomfortable but it doesn't seem to bring his spirit down.

Just wanted to say thanks again! The videos, links and stories everybody posted made me feel so much better and were very moving. I know I've made the right decision.

I will keep everybody posted
post #17 of 64
By the way, the "Homer" mentioned above weighs only 3 pounds as an adult, I think. He apparently had a really rough start, as did your baby.
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdock View Post
Thank you guys SO much. I already feel so welcome here.

As far as the kitten goes, we had another vet visit this morning. We are definitely going ahead with the surgery to have both of his eyes removed, he just needs to gain some weight. Currently he is 1.3# and the vet would like him to put on a couple pounds before we put him under anesthesia. I just want him to put the weight on quick so we can get on with this surgery. I feel so bad for him, it's gotta be so uncomfortable but it doesn't seem to bring his spirit down.

Just wanted to say thanks again! The videos, links and stories everybody posted made me feel so much better and were very moving. I know I've made the right decision.

I will keep everybody posted

I just wanted to say that I'm so happy you're keeping him!!!! This made my day
post #19 of 64
Does the kitten have a name yet?
post #20 of 64
If you make any, we would love to see videos of the little guy. Sometimes a video can tell the next person much more that mere words ever could.
post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthetank View Post
Hi!! I am so happy you posted on this site. I was directed to your post by another member (thanks LDG!) who remembered that I have a blind cat.
<trimmed for space>

Thank you so much for your post. What an amazing kitty and what an amazing kitty owner.
post #22 of 64
I was going to say see if the non-bulging eye could be corrected with surgery to restore sight, but from what you said it cannot.

I have heard of blind cats living a great life, I just dont understand how if both eyes removed wont cause infection from the holes? Then again i'm no vet so I wouldnt understand. If the eyes arent in danger of infection or infection can be treated, wont the vet leave the kittens eyes in?

Anyway, good luck to the kitten that's a very special one and if everything goes well you can say it beat the odds thats for sure!
post #23 of 64
I guess the vet is removing them because his blindness is caused by infection in the eyes--maybe removing the damaged eyes would be safer and get rid of the chance of infection spreading? I'm not a vet, but that's my guess. Of course it makes sense to make sure that this surgery is in fact necessary.
post #24 of 64
this is breaking my heart!!!

i know this is a cat site BUT i did live with a blind dog for many years, i'm talking zero visibility from diabetes. Our vet also talked about putting him down but i could never just because he was blind. i mean his tail was still wagging!

he would often bump into things and it was rough in the begining but after arranging the furniture and such properly he learned his way around and lived out the rest of his short years a happy boy. I've seen that him having another kitty friend could help him as he could follow him (they recomended that to us for our dog as well)
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaromano View Post
I just dont understand how if both eyes removed wont cause infection from the holes?
Usually the vet will sew the eyelids shut. At least, that's my understanding; I don't know the exact procedure.
post #26 of 64
Thread Starter 

Hi guys!

 

I know it's been quite some time since I've responded. We did go ahead with the surgery and Willie had both of his eyes removed around early November. He is doing WONDERFUL. We ended up getting him a friend around the same age to help "guide" him and it was the best thing we ever did. They have become best friends. It amazes me, he finds the litterbox/food with no problem. Flies up and down the stairs. Consistently getting on my kitchen table argh2.gif LOL.   Overall, he's fantastic, still has some slight discharge from his eyes but doing fine.  Now for some pictures (before & after)

 

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post #27 of 64

I am pretty new here, and just read your story for the first time.  What a wonerful person you are for saving little Willies life!! What an adorable kitty he is!! I am so happy for him.  I had a dog that had to have one of her eyes removed due to a lense luxation.  She was about 11 when it happened, but she adjusted quite well.  I just mention her because I thought (once she was all healed up) that it made her even more adorable!!!!  Its funny how when our pets have a health issue, and pull through, it somehow makes us love them even more!!!! Good luck to you and Willie, and your other cat too! 

post #28 of 64
Thanks for the update - it's so good to hear that he's adjusted well and and has a "guide kitty"!
post #29 of 64

The world needs more people like you.

 

God bless you all!

post #30 of 64

I am really glad to see the kitten is doing so well! I am sure he really appreciates everything you've done!

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