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glaucoma and kitty.....what would you do?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My cat, Baby......has glaucoma. i was told this when i adopted him, but knew i could handle his blindness if it were to happen......now, i need some advice!!
A friend of mine told me the best thing to do would be to put him down 'cause "he can't be a real cat" when he's blind. i don't agree with this at all...but then, my friend isn't a true catlover either.
Baby has always been a very "co~dependent" kitty....now, it seems moreso than ever. He's constantly attached to my side when i'm home....when i try to pet him, he shys from me...turning his head in quirky lil movements until i speak to him...and he knows it's me.
My questions is this....of all the cat lovers on this site....i need advice on what you would do if you knew your young cat was going blind.....
Thanks in advance!!
i'm a new kitty....read a lil 'bout Baby in the "New kids on the block" section......

post #2 of 11
First off..........Sorry to hear you are struggling with this. IMO, Blindness is a handicap not a life threating painful disease. Love him all the same sight or not. But make sure you talk to him before you try and pet him. Not so scary on his end. You love this little guy. Don't let your none cat loving friend make you think different. You know what to do in your heart. Listen to it. Hope you make the reight decision for you and Baby.

post #3 of 11
I'm a big believer in quality of life. If Baby's blindness does not seriously affect his quality of life, why would you put him down? He finds his food, he finds the litter box, he doesn't hurt himself in the house, right? Plus, he loves you and is happy to be with you.

If you are willing and able to care for him and his life is good, I think he's fine. What a wonderful thing you did by taking a special needs kitty into your home.
post #4 of 11
I had the joy of taking care of two blind kitties a few years ago. And when I say joy, I mean just that. Their mom had distemper and when Marbles and Tags were born, the vets told me that the kindest thing I could do was put them down. Not only were they both born without eye sockets, but Marbles was brain damaged as a result of the distemper. The mom died after having these two wonderful kittens.

They were absolutely amazing. Tag would leap high into the air whenever a fly got into the house he would hear the sound and run toward the buzzing then leap into the air catch the fly with his paw and land, then eat his trophy! I have never seen a sighted cat do that in my life, not as accurately as Tag did.

Tag got his name because as we would walk across the living room (that was where these kittens knew was their place) he would run over and tag our pant leg, then we would stop, he would climb up on our shoe and sit there, hanging on to our leg and *we* would then travel across the room with him there.

Please do not put this cat down because he is losing his sight. Make one room his safe room, and don't change the furniture on him or put obstacles down in his way. He has an advantage, he knows your house and therefore should be able to get around just fine.

You said in your introduction thread that your best friend likes to get her giggles at the expense of your Baby. I'm not sure what that exactly means, but you are this cat's caretaker and I would hope no one is causing this cat stress just to get a laugh or two.
post #5 of 11
I agree with all of the above and would just like to add the following

Please take advantage of his other functional senses. Although we all talk to our cats and routinely use verbal cues, speech should be frequent and exaggerated for the blind cat. The sense of smell can be very useful for "tagging" specific areas of the home. For example, hazards such as stair landings can be identified with small amounts of lemon oil or potpourri. In most cases, vision impairment is hardly noticeable and a little special care can make all the difference for Baby.
post #6 of 11
Reading your posting reminded me of an SOS sent out a little while ago looking for a home for an older Maine Coon. He is also blind from glaucoma.

I found the thread. This gives alot of good info on living with a blind cat.

post #7 of 11
I used to own a cat named Midnight who went totally blind from glaucoma in both eyes when she was 13 1/2 years old. I agree with the advice others have given you in this thread, and the link that Sweets provided contains excellent information.

One thing that wasn't already mentioned is that in addition to relying on it's other senses, a blind cat will also use it's whiskers as feelers to avoid running into objects. Possibily you have noticed Baby using his whiskers this way.

I was just wondering, does the vet think there is any possibility of Baby's sight being at least partially restored, or has the glaucoma progressed too far???????
post #8 of 11
Cats don't rely on their vision nearly as much as humans. The typical cat only has an equivalent vision of 20/300.

Several of our clients at my work have blind animals, and all their pets get around just as well!

Euthanasia is a last last last resort, and should only be used if an animal is fatally and painfully ill, or a danger to society. I don't think an ethical vet would agree to euthanasia for blindness.
post #9 of 11
I know someone who has a cat that was born blind and it is the neatest, craziest cat ever. It has not lost any of the cat spunkiness and jumps on the counters, furniture and burns around the house without ever running into anything. It uses it's whiskers as feelers, they're always sticking straight out. I would definitely give your baby a chance, it will probably be a bit of an adjustment period while he gets used to the loss of vision but I bet you will be happy that you stuck with him.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
So much wonderful advice and so many new names!!
Thank you all for taking the time to respond with such detailed information.....never in my life would i have thought of putting my Baby down because of blindness....but i thought it would be a hard adjustment...i see now, it won't be.....thank you, thank you, thank you all so much for the advice and inspiration!!!
i wish i could respond to each and every one of you....
Lorie D....i haven't taken him to the vet yet..i was just told this when i adopted him and i've seen the haziness in his eyes.....but, as of next week, i will bring him in and keep ya'll updated!!! It doesn't seem too far gone.....it's like a haze that seems to come and go.....
Sweets, thank you!! Awesome thread with alot of useful info!!
Hell603..i'm beginning to study aromatherapy and it's funny you mention the "tagging"....as i would've never thought of that!! Thank you so much!! i'll keep in mind!!

Hissy!! Thank you so much for the cute story!! And no, my friend doesn't stress Baby out just to get laughs....i guess i worded it wrong....
My friend isn't a cat lover like me...actually none of my friends and family are...~lol~ So, they pick on me for talkin' my baby talk to my kitties...they laugh at me when i hug them and kiss them and talk to them like humans!! I think it's cute....they mean no harm. With Baby's vision seemingly getting worse at times...when my friend was over, he would run into things and i would comfort him while she rolled on the floor laughing. She didn't mean any harm....
I remember one time....i had two screen panels at the bottom of my front door screen in our new house. One screen panel had a big hole in it and the other....didn't. I could stand at the door for the longest time, holding it open for Baby to go outside and he would STILL jump through that darn hole in the screen!! My friend and i were talking on the front porch and she started laughing about something and moved quickly as Baby came up behind her. Well, she scared the bejeebers out of him and he ran through the screen panel....the one that didn't have the hole!!! He just bocked his nose and shook his head and jumped through his hole...i ran to comfort and ta ta him...and of course, she about busted a gut laughing....
She never did anything to scare or harm or stress him....but laughed her butt off when she could at his antics and accidents......

WillowsMom.....what you say speaks to my heart as i also have a blind daugher....~soft smiles~ i would've never thought about taking her life when i was told she would be blind.....the same goes for my Baby.....'cause they are not just cats!! They are lil furry people!!!

Forgive me if i missed you...but i do appreciate all the advice and kindness.......

{owned by Baby(co~dependent kitty) and KiKi(spoiled brat)}
post #11 of 11
ManicKittyLove, I'm not sure how familiar you are with glaucoma in cats, so I want to share a link with you that contains some general information. http://petplace.netscape.com/Article....asp?artID=701 And, of course, your best source of information about this condition is a veterinarian.
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