Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

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louiseweaver
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Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by louiseweaver » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:51 pm

Yesterday my cat had dental surgery and there was a rare complication which has left him blind (the vet said that his sight could come back but she couldn't promise it). Today there might have been a tiny improvement - his pupils reacted to a light being shone in his eyes, although he doesn't react when we wave a hand in front of his face.

After he came home yesterday he was very distressed and just spent all his time walking around the living room in circles. He is still doing that today but has been sleeping a bit in between. He is calmer today but seems very depressed. He has eaten a little bit of food but I haven't seen him drinking anything.

Can anyone give any advice on how to help him?

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Lyn from Australia
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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Lyn from Australia » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:32 am

Your poor little boy must be terrified. To suddenly have "the lights go out"for an animal who relies so much on its vision would be just horrible. I have absolutely no experience of sight-impaired cats, but in the same situation I would not leave him alone for any length of time and ensure that my voice and all the usual noises he would be used to would continue around him. I would probably carry him from room to room and slowly and gently "introduce" him to familiar landmarks - for example, his litter box or boxes, his bed or your bed, where ever he generally sleeps, window sills he sits on, cat trees. If he has a bed he usually sleeps in I would put a dirty old t-shirt with your smell on it in his bed so that you are "with him" at night - perhaps move a litter box close to his bed so he doesn't have to navigate around what is now a very strange place to him. Under no circumstances let him outdoors unless you can ensure he can't escape - being newly blind he'll have no sense of any danger around him, dogs, foxes, roads, and won't be able to defend himself until danger is on top of him.

Once he seems to be getting used to his surroundings again, don't move the furniture or leave stuff lying around that he can "trip over", as most of his movements around the house now will be by habit and by following sounds - he won't be able to navigate sudden obstacles.

Best of luck, gentle fusses from me, and please keep in touch.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by hgale » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:18 am

My girl Kitten went blind in 2012 (due to blood pressure, she did get some sight back). I would echo everything Lyn has said, I also put old cushions down around the kitchen units so if she did bump into them, it would be a soft bump. Although she had always been an outdoor girl, she adapted very quickly to being a housecat and re-learnt her home pretty quickly - to tell the truth she probably coped better with her blindness than I did! As Lyn says, the most important rule is don't move anything and don't leave items lying around where puss can bump into them. Another good trick if you are going to touch puss is to "click" your fingers just before you touch (and use your voice too) so it doesn't come as too much of a surprise.

Please keep in touch, everyone on here was so helpful with Kit, and I know they will want to help you too. And gentle (pre-warned!) fuss to your cat too.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by booktigger » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:22 am

I'm sorry to hear this. Youve been given some good advice, the only thing i would say is not to carry him from room to room, it will disorientate him. Fingers crossed he gets sone sight back

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by lilynmitz » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:44 pm

This must be so distressing for you to watch. Mitz was already blind when I adopted him, (although we didn't realise till we got him home...long story), so I never saw him having to make these adjustments. I suspect he was a real live wire when he could see, which is what we spotted in him when we first met him, and we did feel sad for him that his need to be careful subdued this side of his character. But he did manage remarkably well, to the extent that sometimes we forgot he was blind or thought he was putting it on, but he wasn't, poor lad. There were times when he got depressed, mainly if he got bored, but I tended to find a quick trip round the garden perked him up no end, or a really good cuddle and body scrub. Picking your way around slowly must get terribly dull for them.

A few rules we had to help Mitz along:

- Always rub your fingers as you go in to stroke him, as he will hear it coming so it doesn't make him jump. You can also use the sound of rubbing fingers to guide him if he gets disoriented amidst a tangle of table legs etc.

- Never leave things on the edge of the bed or sofa that he might land in when he jumps up - put them in the middle of the bed.

- I agree, don't carry him from room to room just yet. It will disorient him to start off with, until he starts identifying rooms by sound, smell and texture. If you do move him from room to room, put him somewhere safe, away from edges of furniture, and keep your hand on his side until he gets his bearings.

- He won't have any trouble finding food and litter tray! Mitz could even find the water bowl. But we learnt the hard way - never put a barrier between a blind cat and their litter tray!

- He may still be playful, once he gets the hang of things. Toys that make a sound, or catnip toys, are good. Mitz enjoyed string/ribbon toys as well, dragged over his feet. Oddly, his favourite toy was a small stuffed linen ball, which was almost silent, but he shredded it so much I had to keep sewing it back together as all the replacements I bought he ignored. He was also surprisingly good at catching toys if gently thrown to him. I called it "cat tennis".

- Don't move furniture around too much, and don't leave shoes etc in the middle of the floor, as constantly crashing into stuff does affect their confidence.

- If he wants to go outside, make sure the garden is completely secure, and ideally stay with him. This wasn't hard with Mitz, as he wouldn't jump anything he could feel the top of with his paws, so anything over about 50cm to him could just as well be the Berlin wall.

- Odd things frightened Mitz, which resulted in some stress related soiling, so we had to look at the world from his viewpoint and try to manage the stress triggers (particularly people knocking on the front door, so a prominent notice asking them to use the bell, and why, did the trick). Oddly he liked it when workmen came round, and would often go to investigate what they were doing.

- Don't leave doors half open - Mitz was always walking into the edges of doors. Try to leave them a cat width open, fully open or fully closed.

- Try to avoid sudden noises and sudden movement,

- Be prepared in the early days to go and rescue him if he gets lost and starts wailing for someone to come and find him.

- He may also need reassurance at night, as it will be quiet but he won't know why. As far as he's concerned he's been abandoned. I usually found a quick cuddle did the trick, and Mitz would settle down again for the rest of the night.

While it will be very different, and sadly you will see how this affects his character, he can still have a happy life for many years, so don't despair.
Last edited by lilynmitz on Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by meriad » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:58 pm

I have no advice to give but just wanted to send a gentle cuddle to your boy :( and a big (((hug))) to you.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by emmab » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:39 pm

I just want to say hugs to the little one and you. You are both so brave and must be distressing to see, but they adapt really well, as our in laws discovered with their cat. They adapt so well, so give them time. Keep us posted.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Walesgang » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:10 am

My cat Tips has been blind for nearly eight years. She copes amazingly well. Initially, I would keep your boy in one room with a tray and food. Talk to him.

Slowly reintroduce him to your home by calling him and staying with him.

I "show"'things to Tips by tapping them. I use this method if anything changes, such as new furniture.

Very occassionally she gets over exited and runs into things, but if I se her about to do it I call "watch" and she stops.

I have taken some precautions, such as placing clear perpex at the tops of the stairs, and strategically places cushions and other soft items near places she frequently crashes into, such as corners of walls etc.

Other than that, she really is like any other cat. Games are similar, although toys have to make a sound (eg dragging along the ground, srunchy, crinkly toys etc).

I hope things settle down for you. Blindness really isn't the end of the world for them

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:43 am

Just sending lots of love to you and your darling boy.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Camdengirl » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:55 pm

So sorry to hear about your cat, do you know what happened during the operation? My cat Pip suffered nerve damage that affected her eyes and hearing during a particularly traumatic dental a few years ago; when I got her home one pupil was huge and the other was tiny, she looked drunk for weeks. Things did slowly improve and if you didn't know you wouldn't notice one pupil is slightly bigger than the other now. But her hearing was never the same, and she slowly went completely deaf.

I have had a blind cat before, he had recently lost his sight when I adopted him and he adapted really well, his whiskers grew thicker and longer and he got more used to relying on them to do the job of his eyes. Anna has some very good advice. It is upsetting seeing them distressed and walking into things, but cats cope incredibly well with blindness, so just be there for your little lad and try to reassure him as he gets used to it, he is in a familiar place with someone he trusts, and that's a good start.

Fingers crossed your cat gets some of his sight back.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Camdengirl » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:57 pm

PS here is my blind lad, Clay, enjoying play time just months after losing his sight.
Clay 1b.jpg
Clay 1b.jpg (29.39 KiB) Viewed 3927 times

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Lin1611 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:24 pm

What a lovely picture of Clay :)

Louise how are things going? I have no experience of this but just wanted to say how sorry I am, I had no idea that dental treatment carried this type of risk. What a shock for you. Hope things are going ok....

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Crewella » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:52 am

I'm so sorry, it's a distressing thing to watch. When my Alpha lost her second eye to glaucoma, she was very withdrawn for about a week (she spent almost all her time on the sofa), but gradually we got her to follow us around by talking and doing little stampy steps, and eventually she grew in confidence and even went out in the garden on sunny days. The advice here has been great, good luck! xx

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by louiseweaver » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:27 pm

Hi again. Pip was showing a bit of improvement in his confidence, but then on Saturday morning he had a stroke. We took him to the vets and he stayed there until today. The vet said that cats can recover quite well from strokes, and had seen cats in worse condition than Pip make a full recovery. So we just have to wait and hope that he will recover.

His sight has got worse since Saturday - he could walk around the vets office without bumping into anything, but today he can't seem to see anything at all. He has also lost his sense of smell, so we have to help him eat and drink. He seems very depressed and unresponsive, but hopefully it's just the shock and his personality hasn't been damaged. It's really horrible to see him like this.

My mum is very upset, and I think she is worried about the money too (we don't know how much the bill is yet). We lost two cats last year and she really couldn't take handle losing Pip too.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Good Old Bakes » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:55 pm

Wow, so sorry to hear about Pip. I'm new to this forum and one of our boys has recently become blind. Is he ok now?

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by lilynmitz » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:14 pm

I'm really sorry I missed this latest development. How is poor Pip?

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by louiseweaver » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:21 pm

Sadly Pip had another stroke a few weeks later and he died. But he had been recovering amazingly well until then so at least he hadn't been suffering. He was still blind but he was coping with it very well and getting much more confident. Unfortunately he another stroke which killed him instantly.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Crewella » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:04 am

I'm so very sorry.

RIP poor brave little Pip.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by hgale » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:02 am

I'm really sorry to hear about poor Pip.

RIP Pip, I hope you are enjoying the sights at Rainbow Bridge. And a {hug} for you, Louise .

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Camdengirl » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:27 am

Really sorry to hear about Pip. Sleep tight little one.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Lyn from Australia » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:58 am

I'm very sorry to hear this Louise. I'm so glad he didn't suffer. :(

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Walesgang » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:47 pm

So sorry to hear this. Sleep tight little one

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by Good Old Bakes » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:43 pm

Really sorry to hear about Pip.

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by MsMolly » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:37 pm

So sorry :(

RIP Pip, sweet dreams little one

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Re: Urgent advice needed for cat who was blinded yesterday

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:45 am

So sorry for your little boy and your loss. X

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