We all read them. We all know them. All you have to do to find them is google “blind cats”. These ubiquitous pieces of advice are repeated over and over again on the internet, often in trustworthy-looking articles from otherwise good sources. In this series, we’re going to take a good look at them.
Some have a grain of truth, but only for some blind cats. Some are not true and were clearly made up by people who never lived with a blind cat. Some few ones are outright harmful. They all have one thing in common: if you read them all, like I did, you will think having a blind cat is difficult and inconvenient, and you will not adopt that blind kitty you fell in love with at the shelter – like I almost did. This will be a huge loss for both you and the blind kitty!
1. You can never move your furniture
This is by far the most common piece of advice you will find. It was a real concern for us since we only recently moved into our flat and were still buying new furniture. Fortunately, this turned out to be quite wrong. So wrong that I had to make this video about it.
A short disclaimer: yes, blind cats memorise the layout of your house. Yes, they will bump into furniture if you move it. If your cat is still going through an adjustment period after recently going blind, by all means, don’t move things around too much.
That said, your blind cat is capable of something magical: learning. Just like they learned the layout of the furniture when they first came into your life, they will learn the new layout. Sure, rearranging your entire house every two weeks will stress out any cat (and, honestly, most humans). Some cats, both blind and sighted, are insecure and wary of new furniture on principle. But for most blind cats, a new couch, a moved cat tree or even a completely rearranged room will present no problem whatsoever.
Our blindies love exploring new furniture, old furniture standing in a new place, boxes and parcels piled up in the hallway and pretty much anything else you throw at them. And yes, I leave the laundry basket in random places and sometimes, someone bumps into it. Right before walking around it and continuing on their merry way.
2. Blind cats need help finding their food, water or litter box
Maybe on the first day you bring them home. Or if your blind cat is a senior and also suffers from dementia. Most blind cats are perfectly capable of finding their litter box by scent – even when it is clean. They will also easily find food by scent, and they remember where their water bowls are. You don’t have to get a water fountain unless you want to. You also don’t need to hang a loudly ticking clock next to their feeding or pooping area (a very creative piece of advice I read in a forum once). In fact, this might stress more sensitive cats out.
Here’s a little clip of blind Shadow going to town in his litterbox a few days after we brought him home. He also poops in it, I promise.
3. Blind cats need a seeing-eye cat
Blind cats get along with sighted cats in the same way that any cats get along with each other: it depends. It’s good for cats to have a feline friend if they’ll accept them. Does this friend have to be sighted? No! There are plenty of households who only keep blind cats.
If you do have a sighted sibling for your blind cat, the sightie might show the blindie the way onto some perches that might’ve taken the blindie alone longer to find. That’s pretty much it. Get any number of cats with any number of eyes that you want, just make sure to introduce them properly.
Which blind cat myths have you heard? Or are you wondering if something you heard is true? Let me know in the comments below!