Blind Cats and dogs can enjoy life to the fullest even without seeing.
Losing sight can, however, make your pet anxious at first. Suddenly not being aware of their surrounding, pets will feel threatened and vulnerable
On the upside, cats and dogs quickly adapt to not seeing once they feel in a safe place which is something you can help with.
Creating a Safe Home for a Blind Pet
The strongest senses for cats and dogs are smell and hearing.
Of course, sight is important—more so for cats than dogs—but these animals can still have a fulfilled life without seeing. Where they might have some trouble is navigating their way which is manageble with some patience on your part.
In taking care of a blind cat or dog, you should focus your efforts on keeping them in a safe habitat with familiar scents.
The best way to ensure that your home is a secure ground for a blind pet is to think like one. Get on the floor if you have to and try navigating your place as if you are your pet but don’t close your eyes—the purpose of this exercise is to see any dangers that your pet won’t, not to hurt yourself. Remove sharp objects and use furtniture bumpers on furniture corners.
To prevent injuries you can place a “halo guide” on your pet—a collar that wraps around the head or body to prevent the pet from bumping into surfaces. These are good for when walking a dog outside, but you can also use them indoors at least until your pet builds a mental map of its surroundings.
For the windows you can put window locks that only allow the window to be open a little—enough to let air in, but not so much that a cat or a dog passes through it. You can find such locks in stores that sell child-safety devices.
Also, consider placing gates on interior and exterior areas like stairways, balconies, patios, swimming pools and ditches.
Great! Now that you’ve secured your home it’s time to bring some recognizable scents.
Use pet food and treats, or pet-safe aromatic sprays to help your pal associate a room or object with a certain aroma.
You can use several fragrances to mark the walls of important areas like where your pet eats, sleeps, and goes to the toilet. Only use light sprays, though and make sure they are pet-safe.
Cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than people, plus losing one sense, such as sight, often results in overcompensation through others.
An alternative to smells is texture cues. Placing mats, rugs, and carpets with different textures in front of bowls of food and water and the litter box will help your pet identify where each of them is located.
Speaking of food bowls and litter boxes, keep them in the same quiet places (but not together) to avoid your pet from having to get used to a new location.
Play Time and Socializing With a Blind Pet
Blind cats and dogs have the same needs for activity as their seeing “cousins.”
Here’s what you need to know about it.
Play Time With a Blind Pet
The best toys for blind pets are those that are easy to hear or smell like squeaky toys and treat balls. Cats also enjoy catnip-filled toys.
Once your blind pet feels comfortable enough to play, it’ll be more prone to getting injured, so it’s a nice idea to keep an eye on Fido or Fluffy and partake in its playtime to keep them from getting hurt and show them LOVE.
When you get the urge to pick up your cat or dog, do so gently and warn it beforehand with a calming voice and gentle strokes. After you are done cuddling leave your pet at the same place where you picked it up or somewhere where it will be aware of its surroundings like its safe-zone or a familiar texture/scent-marked area.
Walking a Blind Dog
When taking your dog for a walk you are its “eyes” so it’s important that you keep it on a leash when taking a stroll in an ungated area. Never let a blind pet go outside without supervision.
It’s also important to watch out for potential dangers such as sharp objects, poisonous plants, and venomous or aggressive animals.
Also, be on the watch out for kids—many of them enjoy petting animals and often show affection in a very expressive manner which can stress your pet. If approached by children and you are okay with them petting your dog, gently warn them to be careful and to not make sudden moves and loud noises for both theirs and your pet’s safety.
It’s also important to equip your blind pets with collar tags that display your contact information and warn that the animal is blind. A lost blind pet will have a hard time getting back home on its own.
If you have people coming over warn them that you have a blind pet and that it’s best to let it come to them on its own terms.
Apart from some safety precautions, taking care of a blind cat or dog is nothing herculean. Blind pets are the same affectionate, lovable, and playful animals as those that have no vision loss.