Allow me to introduce myself – I’m Ivan and I’ve just been promoted to CFO here at Boise Cat Clinic.
You may remember me as Noodle’s assistant. Let me tell you, I was one lucky kitty to work with Noodle because I learned from the best! It’s my privilege to follow in his pawprints and I intend to honor and continue his legacy of educating and bringing you up to date on Catology – the study of all things Cat.
If you’ve read my bio, you know that I’m blind. But despite my lack of sight, I do have a vision and a view. And I’m really looking forward to sharing both with you.
It seems appropriate to begin our relationship by telling you a bit about blind cats. Let’s start with the causes of blindness in cats.
Cats can lose some or all of their sight for a variety of reasons. Infectious diseases such FIV, FeLV and toxoplasmosis can damage a cat’s eye as can cancer. We can also get cataracts or glaucoma just like humans and chronic hypertension e.g. high blood pressure, which is common in older kitties, can lead to blindness. Finally, injury to the eye can result in a kitty losing its sight or like in my case, cats can be born without eyes (or very small eyes).
Some causes of vision loss can be reversed or improved, so if there is a change in a cat’s sight, it’s important to see the doctor asap!
So, how do blind cats function? Well, I don’t mean to brag, but we are amazingly adaptable! We can do most if not all of the same things that you sighted cats do. We eat, use the litter box, climb cat trees, race through the house at top speed and find warm and cozy spots for napping. We love to play and toys that make noise are especially fun for us.
Just like humans, when one of our senses is no longer useful, we rely upon and develop others. In our case, we use our whiskers to navigate. We use our keen sense of smell to find our litter box, food and water. We memorize the texture under our feet to identify our location.
Humans can help us out by keeping things consistent as much as possible. Keeping the furniture and our food and water in the same spot is best and if someone picks up a blind kitty, they need to be sure to set us down in the exact same spot. It’s important that visitors to a home know that we are blind and that they need to talk to us and move slowly before any physical contact.
Finally remember that we are cats first, blind second.
Thanks for welcoming me to my new role. I’m looking forward to sharing my view with all of you.
Here’s looking at you, Kits!