Blindness and Cats

Getting Used to Loss of Sight

Even if vision does not return, cats are very good at adjusting to blindness. They compensate admirably by employing their hearing, smell, and touch senses (using their whiskers to prevent bumping into objects). However, sudden blindness is obviously very distressing for a cat. They may collide with objects in the house or garden, or they may withdraw and only go to places where they feel very safe.

Caring for a blind cat is difficult. Affected cats will adjust well, but certain changes will improve their lives significantly. Furniture should be kept in the same position, and resources (food, water, litter trays) should be placed in easily accessible locations. It is important to avoid loud approaches, and any children should be instructed to move slowly and quietly so as not to frighten the cat, who cannot see them coming.

Blind cats may be able to go outside, but only into an enclosed garden, as they may lose their way or be attacked by other cats or dogs if they do not. Most blind cats will adapt extremely well and live a very happy life over time and in a constant environment that does not change.

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