Taking care of a blind cat is not exactly a difficult task, but it requires a lot of preparation and adaptation of the environment so that the animal has a good quality of life. Sometimes the pet is already born with this condition, but blindness in cats can also be acquired throughout life, usually due to some disease. In both cases, it is up to the tutor to promote a space with everything that is essential for the pet, whether it is a cat that is blind in one eye or in both eyes.
How is a cat’s vision?
A cat’s vision is one of the most important senses. It is what allows the animal to see everything that happens around it, detect possible predators and spot prey to chase them. But do you know how cats see and what structures help with feline vision? People explain!
To begin with, two important structures are located in the cat’s eye : the cones and the rods. Cones are photoreceptor cells that identify colors. Humans have three of these cells – responsible for perceiving red, blue and green – while cats have only two of them. Therefore, cats see tones in a much more limited way, but not necessarily in black and white.
Rods, on the other hand, are cells in the retina that capture and absorb light from the environment – and the high number of these structures in the cat’s eye is what allows these animals to have excellent night vision! Even when there is little light in a place, the rods – with the help of a membrane called tapetum lucidum – manage to capture and transform any light beam into a reflector. This is also why a cat’s eyes glow in the dark .
In addition, the peripheral vision of felines is surprising and can reach up to 200º, while ours goes up to 180º. On the other hand, cats don’t see very well in the distance and everything gets a little distorted – but that doesn’t mean they’re myopic!
How to know if the cat is blind?
Blindness in cats can be of genetic origin or caused by some disease or accident. In some cases, the kitten arrives with damaged eyesight at the shelter or cattery when it is still a kitten. In others, the animal gradually loses its sense. In any case, some signs in the cat’s behavior may indicate the problem, such as:
- Constantly bumping into furniture, doors and walls;
- Walk more cautiously and slowly, feeling the ground;
- Assume a quieter demeanor, as if frightened or scared;
- Having difficulty jumping;
- fall frequently;
Apart from the behavioral signs, it is also possible to notice other changes when it comes to a cat going blind due to some disease. In this situation, it is possible to notice that the cat’s eye loses its brightness and becomes opaque, and may adopt a whitish or bluish color. In addition, cloudy eyes, a cat with dilated pupils and swelling are other indications of the problem.
Blindness in cats: it is important to evaluate a veterinarian
If you suspect that you have a cat going blind, be sure to consult a professional who specializes in the subject. Only a veterinary ophthalmologist will have the necessary resources to assess and investigate what is causing the problem. In some cases, blindness in cats can be reversible, provided the underlying disease is diagnosed and treated correctly. It is also important to keep in mind that check-up visits should be made regularly, even after diagnosis.
Cat Going Blind: Why Does This Happen?
There are several problems that can make a cat blind. Sometimes it is a genetic condition and the animal is already born with the complication. In other cases, it develops as a consequence of the progression of an illness. We also cannot fail to mention that accidents, as well as “scars” from cat fights , can affect the animal’s vision, depending on the severity of the situation.
It is worth noting that blindness in cats can have different degrees of severity, especially if it is due to some disease. That is, it can start with a simple difficulty to perceive objects and loss of spatial notion, but gradually – if there is no proper treatment – it can progress and completely damage the feline’s vision. Oh, and remember: even when it comes to a blinding cat disease, such as glaucoma in cats , it is sometimes possible to delay total vision loss by following medical advice.
See below which eye diseases in cats can cause blindness!
- progressive retinal atrophy
- feline cataract
- Systemic arterial hypertension
In addition, blindness in cats can also be derived from complications of herpes virus type 1, which in many cases is reversible. So, if your kitty has any eye changes that indicate the presence of any of these diseases, seek the help of a professional as soon as possible!
Blind cat: what is life like for a cat who can’t see?
Even with impaired vision, the eyeless cat is fully capable of living a peaceful and healthy life like any other animal. Of course, the kitty won’t see everything around him, but that doesn’t mean he should stop enjoying the same things as an ordinary kitten. That is, he needs to play, interact and be careful with food, hygiene and health that any pet demands. The difference is that this care must be redoubled when adapting the environment for a pet that is visually impaired.
Overall, the cat’s senses end up “balancing” the lack of vision. Feline touch, smell, hearing and taste become more acute, and so the animal usually adapts well to the situation.
In addition, the cat’s mustache fulfills an important function at these times: it is through the vibrissae that the felines are able to have a better sense of space and good balance. If you notice, the blind cat usually stretches its mustache a lot to know if there is an obstacle in front of it, and this happens because this is an area full of sensory cells that make it possible to capture various information from the environment.