My beloved cat, Gizmo, must have been going blind for several months but I just didn’t know. He used his litter box like always. Gizmo would come and find me to curl up whenever and wherever I was. He still crawled into my knitting bag everytime I got it out. Gizmo still sat at the screen door and sniffed the breeze. But looking back, I realize he stopped running from window to window to look outside and keep an eye on our neighborhood.
I went on vacation and Gizmo stayed with my daughter at her house. The first day he was very upset and defensive. This was not out of the ordinary and then usually by the second day he relaxes and enjoys his stay. On the second day however, my daughter noticed that Gizmo was walking into furniture as he made his way to the litter box or food bowls. I was sure that she must be seeing things since I hadn’t noticed anything different at home. But as soon as I got back from my trip, I took Gizmo to the Vet.
It was true…Gizmo was blind. His blood vessels in his eyes had ruptured due to high blood pressure. He was placed on blood pressure medication but it couldn’t reverse the damage. This also caused damage to his entire system. Gizmo enjoyed being back in his own home again. He spent his last months sleeping on my lap, curling up in my knitting bag and enjoying lots of love. He still enjoyed snacking on treats and receiving tons of chin scratches!
Many owners don’t know that their cat is going blind. It can happen gradually. Most cats know the layout of their home by heart. They know where their bowl and the litter box are located by memory and by smell. As long as the owner doesn’t move furniture out of place, you may not notice your cats’ declining vision. One sign that I know now to look for is dilated pupils. Gizmo’s pupils would dilate and stay dilated. There are many causes of blindness in cats: high blood pressure, tumors and diabetes. Be alert for changes in behavior. But also remember – a blind cat can still live a very happy and loving life.
~ Written by guest blogger and amazing pet sitter, Mary Ann W!