The loss of their vision is a huge blow to cat. However, it is important to note that blind cats are very much capable of living happy, healthy lives. Something that is particularly true when they receive the proper care from their cat owner.
How Should You Prepare Your Home When Adopting a Blind Cat?
Here are some things that interested individuals can do to prepare their home when adopting a blind cat.
Block Access to Stairs, Balconies, and Other Places Where a Blind Cat Could Stumble Off
Blind cats can’t see where they are going. Thanks to this, stairs, balconies, and other such places can be extremely dangerous for them because they will have a hard time telling that they are about to stumble off. Yes, there is some truth to the popular claim that cats will always land on their feet. However, there are serious limits to a cat’s capabilities in this regard, meaning that it is perfectly possible for them to get hurt from a fall because of such factors. For example, one cat might not be in very good shape, thus making it difficult for them to pull off the maneuvers needed to land safely. Similarly, another cat might be either very old or very young, thus increasing their chances of making a serious mistake. Perhaps unsurprisingly, being blind won’t do wonders for a cat’s ability to land a jump even if the jump isn’t from a great distance.
Keep the Toilet Lid Down
On a related note, interested individuals should make sure to keep the toilet lid down. This is because blind cats have a hard time telling if they are about to plunge into water, thus making such places a genuine threat to their continuing wellbeing. Something that can be particularly true for kittens because of their small size. Similarly, if interested individuals have any other place in their home that contains a great deal of water, it is a good idea for them to follow similar precautions for those places as well.
Pad Sharp Edges
Furniture can have sharp edges. If this is the case, interested individuals should pad them. After all, walking into a padded edge won’t be fun for a blind cat. However, it will still be much better than walking into a sharp edge, particularly if the cat is moving with a decent degree of speed. Theoretically, interested individuals might be able to remove the padding once the blind cat has gotten used to their surroundings. In practice, they might want to keep the padding on, particularly if they are thinking about making any changes in the future.
It is possible for blind cats to navigate to some extent by relying on their other senses. In particular, cats have excellent noses, meaning that they can follow their own scent trails when they are moving about in their own territories. To make this process easier on blind cats, interested individuals should make sure to minimize clutter in their home, thus reducing the number of potential obstacles in their feline companions’ way. Moreover, even once blind cats have familiarized themselves with their surroundings, it is important to keep their environment clutter-free.
Create a Safe Spot in Each Room
Even sociable cats can become more standoffish when they either lose or start losing their vision. To help them out, interested individuals might want to make sure that there is a safe spot in each room. As a result, if a blind cat is ever feeling overwhelmed by the presence of either people or other animals, they can retreat to the safe spot rather than risk being underfoot. Having said that, interested individuals might want to avoid putting safe spots high up because of the potential for a blind cat to hurt themselves by stumbling off of an unseen edge.
What Else Should You Keep in Mind?
On a related note, here are some other suggestions that interested individuals might want to keep in mind:
Keep the Cat Indoors
The outdoors can be quite dangerous even for a cat in their prime. As a result, interested individuals should make sure to keep a blind cat indoors for the sake of their health and happiness. If a blind cat has to have outdoor time for whatever reason, well, there are a couple of potential options. One would be keeping them on a leash, while another would be setting up a catio. In both cases, interested individuals should make sure to keep their blind cat under close supervision in case something problematic comes up.
Keep the Cat’s Environment Consistent
Speaking of which, interested individuals should do their best to keep the cat’s environment consistent. This is important because cats can get stressed out by unfamiliarity, which won’t be good for either their health, their happiness, or their surroundings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, blind cats have even more to be concerned about, thus making such precautions that much more important.
Speak Up While Approaching
Cats are also less than enthused by the prospect of being surprised. Due to this, interested individuals might want to speak up while they are approaching a blind cat. By doing so, they can make the blind cat aware of their presence rather than sneak up on them. Those who fail to do so might find their blind cat becoming more anxious, which won’t be good for either of them in the long run.
Attach a Bell to Other Animals
If the household has other animals, interested individuals might want to put a bell on them. By doing so, the other animals won’t be able to surprise the blind cat because their movements will be broadcast by the ringing of the bell. There are claims that putting a bell on a cat can be cruel. However, the evidence suggests that the ringing of a bell isn’t loud enough to cause permanent damage to a cat’s hearing even when it is in such close proximity. For that matter, cats are apparently just as good as humans at tuning out repetitive sounds, meaning that the bells won’t be that annoying to them either.