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Blind 4-week old kitty help

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
We recently rescued a blind kitty. She appears to be around 4 weeks old. It appears she can se some light and shadows because her pupils will respond to light and she will react if you suddenly put light ot a shadow in her face.

He story goes something like this. She was in a kill shelter. They put her mother to sleep because she "got a cold". Then they put the kitty in a cage with another cat/kitten. She is a VERY slow eater and right now very small and skinny. Can’t even grab her by the scruff and you can feel all her bones. I suspect this other cat ate most of her food.

The concern I have is with her motor skills. I don’t know how much to attribute to her blindness, her being young or weak. She has a hard time sitting up without falling over. Her head seems to tilt back until she falls over. She doesn’t sleep well on her own. She doesn’t really lie down, she just sits, falls asleep standing up, falls over, startles herself then starts the whole process over. We find ourselves putting her to sleep in our arms then laying her back down.

And on occasion she "freaks outâ€. We were attributing it to bad dreams or falling asleep, not realizing she was asleep then waking suddenly and being disoriented. She will be sound asleep one second and then the next she could fly our of your arms. Same thing in her little cage, sound asleep in her little bed wrapped in a towel then freaks out and wind up in the litter box. What I have notices is her front paws kinda go straight, her heard go back, her mouth opens a little, could it be a seizure or a spasm? Her eyes are beautiful, no sign of disease or injury so I am wonder if what caused the blindness could be causing this problem also.

Other then that things seem to be going well. She is eating but no sign of weight gain yet. We give her a mixture of wet food and KMR, she would not take a bottle. She has not purred yet, she does a little meow sometime. She also can get VERY aggressive if we pick her up and she is not done eating, she growls and bites.

It was suggested we wait a little bit for her to put on some weight before bringing her to the vet since they wont be able to test her for FIV or give her any vaccinations. We did give her some deworming medicine from the vet. Other then a little sneeze she seams healthy in that regard.

I guess it’s a waiting game name to make sure she can pull through this next week and she didn’t get anything from the shelter. Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated.

post #2 of 23
I would take her to the vet now. One of the causes of blindness in kitties is distemper. Kittens can catch it in the womb. Distemper also cause some of the symptoms that you are describing in young kittens. I would get her seen and assessed and go from there.

We had two blind kitties, victims of distemper. Marbles had brain damage as well as no eyes, Tag just had no eyes or eye sockets. They were both delightful kittens and we got them at 3 weeks old. I never caged them, instead, I made one room their's and over time they learned the room and the layout and they had a brief but beautiful life.
post #3 of 23
I am so sorry to hear about your story. I have no experience in this area and would recommend doing ANYTHING Hissy tells you is best for your kitten. I will be keeping you in my thoughts.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah I think you might be right with the distemper. I spoke with my vet who said if it appears the kitty is not getting worse it sounds like she survived it and will just have to live with the damage. There really isn’t much they can do about it now. And if she is eating and not dehydrated, again not much he can do. She is still too small and possible weak for blood work or other shots.

But I have 3 other cats in the house. One is 4 yrs old and had her distemper vaccination less then a year ago and 2 6yr old that were vaccinated over 5 years ago. The vet didn’t think it was a good time to give them a booster since it might make them more susceptible to the disease.

But since I'm sure they kitty is contagious I really don’t know what to do at this point. The degree of the brain damage is still uncertain. But I dot want to put my cats at risk anymore then they have. We are a foster home for rescued cats so that would mean putting a hold on saving anymore cats. And I think we would really have a hard time getting a blind, brain-damaged cat adopted.

post #5 of 23
where are you at?
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Brooklyn, NY
post #7 of 23
You are to far away from me or I would take her.

I had to delete your photo, it was way to large for our forums here. But one of my admins is sending you the same photo shrunk down that you can save and place here-

Also you would be surprised how easily special needs kittens are to adopt out. Many people need to feel wanted, and a little one like this that needs so much is very attractive to them.
post #8 of 23
She should see a vet. The vet knows how to check her motor skills and reflexes and see what is up with her. If she's eating and not "sick", she'll probably be okay in the long run but if there is a problem, there might be something that the vet can do about it.

If she had distemper in utero, she is almost certainly not contagious now. You don't have to worry about your other cats as long as they have been vaccinated at some point and are relatively healthy.
post #9 of 23
Here is a list of low cost spay/neuter clinics in New York..they may know a low cost clinic that would be willing to see your baby:

post #10 of 23
Here is an article with all the latest info

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy, hopefully that is the case

ps, resized the photo, sorry and thanks
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
semiferal, Thanks. She will be going to a vet this week. That's good to hear and kinda what I thought about the risk to our cats.
post #13 of 23
Aww, how good of you to take this baby on. Just wanted to shed some hope your way. My Rocky was the last of his litter to be adopted. No one wanted him b/c he had a ulcerated eye from a prior viral infection. He was 12-14 weeks old, 2 1/2 pounds, all skin & bones. He immediatly got an URI and was diagnosed with herpes. After lots of nursing and countless vet visits, he is now almost 2, and the vet visits are less frequent for his flareups. He can see, but probably not as well as most cats. One eye is still pretty much covered with the ulcer. I don't know if he is as all that smart, but I find him pretty darn lovable. Give this baby lots of loving and TLC and if her health pulls through she will make a great pet for the right person.
post #14 of 23
We have a 10 yo blind cat - she was blind from birth and cats adjust to disabilities - so called - much better than humans. Check out disabledpets.com - that helped us immesnely!! There are so many thing you can do to help her like:

1.. Avoid changing herenvironment, for example moving furniture. If you do move furniture or move into a new house, you may find it takes awhile for her to memorize and familiarize itself with the new environment.
2. Teach her to walk on a harness or lead so that they can be exercised safely. Start using more voice commands to help them know when to slow down or be careful.
3. Fence in a small area for them and keep the environment constant.

4. Encourage her to use their other senses to compensate for vision loss - esp her scent and smell which is more important to cats!
a. Buy play toys that are noisy or have a recognizable odor.
b. Apply cat friendly perfume on legs of furniture to help them know where it is located.

c. Get another companion pet that your blind pet can follow around using its hearing and smell.

5. Encourage exercise to prevent excessive weight gain.
6. Do not change the place of the bowls of food and water, if you do, try to help them learn where the new place is.
7.Terll new ppl in the home about your pet so they will be alert to your kitten's needs.

Good luck - blind kitties lead wonderful lives - they do not even think anything is wrong and their situation is normal esp if they are blind from birth likes yours. We met sime great ppl thru the web with our cat - they are great resources out there. I am sure (hoping she does not have distemper!!) that she will do just fine!!!
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you Dulcie...but it appears the blindness is the least of her problems. From what we think was distemper she has some other issues such as standing in one place, sleeping. Adn now it seems hat she is becoming very aggressive. She will attack if you pick her up, even bite herself. It's dealable now becasue she is so small but I am worried about what happenes when she gets bigger.
post #16 of 23
It's possible that she has sustained brain damage due to the distemper and the behavioural things you are seeing are because of this. Special needs kitties are often wonderful but give careful consideration to her quality of life now and in the future, as difficult a decision it may be to make.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sadly she didn't make it.
post #18 of 23
what happened? did she have to be euthanized?
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
yes. She started getting diarrhea and it was getting worse and worse. She went back to the vet twice and he felt that at this stage it was better to put her down then to let her suffer and eventually die from dehydration. I’m sure the other factors played into it. Her possible brain damage and lack of motor skills were becoming were becoming more and more apparent.

We look at it as she should have died in the shelter but managed to be strong enough to spend a whole week in a home with a loving family.

post #20 of 23
im so sorry to here about ur kitten i would like to send out some tlc to you
post #21 of 23
Sorry to hear about the little one.
post #22 of 23
RIP little kitty Go play with Dani in RainbowBridge
post #23 of 23
Oh dear, I was so hoping this little one would pull through ... I know your heart is hurting right now and will will probably for a while yet, but know that your heart was in the right place in trying.

I am so sorry.

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