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Tips on caring for a blind kitten?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
I'm kind-of embarrassed to say that I've never fostered a blind kitten, although I've looked after kittens with severe eye infections before.

I got a call today from a plumbing business nearby that they had caught a feral kitten but that it's eyes were still closed. They didn't know how old it was but the head plumber guy said it was at least 8 inches long (which meant nothing to me as I only know centimetres lol). I went down there and was given a most beautiful kitten - a medium-hair tabby girl, about 10 weeks old. She had a very narrow face, a bit like an extreme Siamese. I took her off to the opthalmological vet who had a good look at her and said that either her eyeballs never developed properly (he could see tiny remnants of eyeball in each eye) and that her weird face shape might be part of a genetic problem, or her eyes became seriously infected and ruptured when she was a little kitten.

He is going to operate on her eyes tomorrow morning, remove the remaining tissue and then sew the eyelids together. She will come home with me tomorrow evening and will stay until she is well again. The I'll be finding a 'special needs kitten' home for her.

I have never had a blind cat or kitten, so I'd appreciate any tips you can give on caring for her. I've decided to nickname her Mouse (you know, 3 blind mice ) and she will be staying in the kitten pen. I know not to move her food, litter or bed around so that she gets to know where they are. When she's feeling better, can she play with toys? Do blind cats and kittens get bored and how would I help this? Any tips on dealing with a semi-feral blind kitten? (Apart from the usual things when dealing with ferals or semi-ferals.)

I will take some pics of her when she gets home tomorrow and post them in Fur Pictures.
post #2 of 49
Tania, I have never cared for a blind kitten, especially a semi-feral one and I can only send support and encouragement. I hope someone comes along with some really helpful information for you and this little one.

post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanks Gaye.

The vet rang and said that although Mouse was eating and drinking, she was acting very depressed at the clinic. He wants me to bring her home for a few days and if she perks up, he will do the operation. If not, he thinks it is kinder to let her go, as she may be unable to cope without her vision and remain inactive and depressed.
post #4 of 49
Oh dear ... this isn't good news. I'll be thinking of you both. Please let me hear of how it goes?

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
Mouse is home. At the vet, she would only eat if hand fed and sat still all day hunched up in the litter box.

I put her into her own section of the kitten pen when she got home. She howled for about 40 minutes and then must've decided it wasn't that bad after all and began to eat from her bowl. She has explored her pen, listening carefully to all the household sounds, including the playing and meowing of the other kittens I have. Of course, she isn't 100% sure of herself yet but has begun to groom herself and enjoyed a long cuddle with me. She is still quite skittish (completely normal for a semi-feral, let alone blind) but is now sitting comfortably on a soft towel with her front paws tucked under - and not in the litter tray lol.

No purring yet but I'm looking forward to when she does. I think she's going to make it.
post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 49
What a cutie pie Mouse is. As far as caring for a blind little one, I've never had a blind kitten but we did have a blind adult cat (due to a brain tumour). One of the most important things we found that made him happy was not making too many changes to the house...by that I mean rearranging furniture and putting new obstacles in his way. When we kept everything the same he walked around with confidence. Another thing was to speak to him before touching him, otherwise he would be startled by us. Best of luck with your newest little angel!
post #8 of 49
Mouse is a beauty!

I hope she perks up and settles very soon!
post #9 of 49
Blind kitties also do much better when they have a bond with another kitty.
If you were in the states, I'd snatch her up in a heartbeat.

My Ivory was thought to be blind when I got her, she is vision impaired though, but I have fostered blind adult cats.
post #10 of 49
I was also going to say you might trying pairing her up with another kitty.
I only have experience with deaf cats and Sampson would sometimes be lost without his sister Vanna. That's why I adopted both together.

Tania if anyone could bring this kitty around it would be you!!! I will keep Mouse in my thoughts and prayers.
post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
Guess who's curled up under my chin, asleep.
post #12 of 49
Oh what a darling! Mouse sounds like she's going to be just fine. I've heard many stories of cats and kittens that lose their vision. They seem to be able to cope quite well. It sounds like the people have some good ideas. I think it would be wonderful if mouse could be paired up with another kitty who can help her out. Best of luck little mouse!!!
post #13 of 49
Originally Posted by Kumbulu
Guess who's curled up under my chin, asleep.

There was never a doubt!!!! Not in my mind anyway!!! Best of luck with her Tania!!
post #14 of 49
I am going to sound like a crazy person here, but all well!

I am fostering Damita, a 5 year old blind cat. I knew that Damita wanted to play as she swatted at the toys in the bathroom, but she wa sunable to keep track of them. I tied bells to these toy springs(I take them away when she is unsupervised) so she could follow them. I gave her a dozen toys with bells in them. I think I saw one in your pics. Damita didn't quite understand how playing worked, so I sat down next ot her & literally explained the process. Bri(lil sis) wanted to know if we were going to put padded wall sin teh abthroom & keep me there(I am talking to the cats again). I played with her several times before she figured it out, but she has things well thought out. I made a bunch of homemade toys with bells in them. I glued bells inside of a toilet paper roll & that seems to be a big hit. I would suggest setting up a samll, flat topped radio(I'll explain in a mintue) in Mouse's pen. I put the radio I have in the bathroom with Damita & set it to country music(something not too scary). I have found Damita sitting on it several times. She likes to sit on the radio when I talk to her, too. Now that she has adapted, I only turn on the radio 2 times a day-when I feed her. It is my way of calling her. I sit in the bathroom talking to Damita frequently. I never pet her without saying first, "Damita, honey. It's mommy. Can I pet you?" I use the same phrase verytime. She flinched when gettting petted at first, but now comes to the bathroom door to get petted when I say that.

The key to Damita success is company. She cannot be left alone, under any circumstances. She seems to be unable or unwilling to find food/water or the litter when she is alone. Be cautious, though. Damita has no fear of other cats, even when they hiss at her. Mouse might be the same.

Sorry that got so long, but I have had so much success with Dmaita, that I wanted to share everything. I hope Mouse gets through this all OK. SHe is awfully cute.
post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone for your advice. Natalie especially. I plan to do what you say with Mouse. I will move her to the bathroom today, plug in a radio and spend lots and lots of time on the floor with her.

Natalie, do you have another cat keeping Damita company all the time?
post #16 of 49
It sounds like Mouse is coming along wonderfully!!!

Well done on looking after this special little kitty!!
post #17 of 49
As the "mom" of 3 blind cats, one of which looks VERY much like your precious Mouse, I have every confidence she'll do just fine. "Angel" was our first blind girl; she too was born without eyes. She doesn't care about having other kitties for company, but my other two blind boys do. "Huey" lost his sight at 10 YRS old when he was hit by a car; "Trevor" was about 6 weeks old when someone used steroid eyedrops by accident and destroyed his eyes. "Trevor & Huey" are both very BIG boys, but as long as we don't do any drastic rearranging, all 3 cats do just fine. "Trevor" loves to play with my foster kittens, and even lets them "nurse" on him (lol). I hope you decide to keep little Mouse; she'll give you a lifetime of amusement and love. If I were closer, I'd take her without a second thought.
post #18 of 49
Originally Posted by Kumbulu
Natalie, do you have another cat keeping Damita company all the time?
I actually have her in with Lola(my new cat) & Chico, another foster. She cleans Chico & Lola just like a good mommy would do. She comes out for a "walk" three times a day & has even managaed to navigate most of the stairs. I have to watch her carefully, though.
post #19 of 49
Thread Starter 
I think Mouse has a new home already! A lady and her family about 3hrs from me are going to give her a furrever home after she has recovered from her operation.
post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 
Oh and she purred just a little today and did some head smooshes (like gentle head bumps LOL).
post #21 of 49
Originally Posted by Kumbulu
I think Mouse has a new home already! A lady and her family about 3hrs from me are going to give her a furrever home after she has recovered from her operation.
YAY! She is such a lucky little girl! Keep us posted!
post #22 of 49
She sounds absolutely gorgeous I'll look at her pics. Sounds like she's making great progress already.
post #23 of 49
Oh that's wonderful! Yay for Mouse!
post #24 of 49
Bless her little cotton socks! I was thrilled to read all of this wonderful news this morning!

post #25 of 49
Thread Starter 
Here's a video of Mouse: http://media.putfile.com/Mouse85

It takes quite a while to load, even on broadband, so you may want to make a coffee, have a shower or something while it loads.

Excuse the baby-talk. I find she responds well to it.
post #26 of 49
Thread Starter 
Mouse goes in for her operation today at 11am (it's 12:17am now). I'll let you know how it goes.
post #27 of 49
fingers and toes crossed for mouse. that video is wonderful, and you can see how important you voice is to her! What a doll!!!!!

She's in my prayers!
post #28 of 49
Thread Starter 
The vet had to cancel the operation because he had a horse with an eye emergency. She's now booked in for Tuesday morning.
post #29 of 49
Oh dear - Hope it goes ok!!
post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 
Mouse has decided that she doesn't want to eat or drink. I'm syringe-feeding her kitten formula at the moment so she gets some calories and fluids. We'll need to sort that out before any more thoughts of sugery.
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