blindness from anethesia - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
taylorr872's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: NY NY
Posts: 5
blindness from anethesia

hello all,
I have a cat who recent went through a traumatic experience at the vet. I brought her in for a routine procedure that she was sedated for. The vet said that during the procedure she had a bad reaction to the sedative and stopped breathing. The oxygen loss to her brain caused her to go blind (this was about a week ago- she may have some brain damage too, but we don't really know for sure). She's home now, but I'm struggling with what I should be doing with her now to help her adjust. I put her in a storage room that we have because my apartment is an open loft style apartment and we have another cat that go upset and chased her when she first came home. She's able to rest peacefully in the storage room but its a small space and I think she's getting a little depressed being stuck in there and she kind of just lays around a lot and sleeps. From a practical (and temporary) point of view, I like having her in a smaller space for now as I can monitor her eating and litter box use and she also cant really 'hide' from me in there (she used to be feral, so when it comes to getting into spaces where I cant get to her she's a pro- getting her into her carrier to go to vet is a nightmare when she has access to the whole apartment). Anyways at some point I will have to start re-integrating her into the apartment. Does anyone have any experience with this, with a blind and sort of skittery cat? I'm especially concerned about getting enough food and water into her, as I'm currently prompting her to eat will the time (putting watered down wet food right under her nose) but I don't know if this is necessary or not (if she gets hungry enough will she wander around and look for food?). I'm also concerned that the longer I keep her in the storage room, the more likely she is to 'forget' the layout of the apartment and she's probably not getting enough exercise in there too. Any advice would be really appreciated I'm feeling like I'm in a little over my head on this one and I really don't know quite what to do.
taylorr872 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 08:36 PM
Premier Cat
10cats2dogs's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 9,474
Hi Taylor,
Well I found a bunch of links for you, that I hope will help some...
You're dealing with a double whammy right now, the vet trip has caused her to smell different to the other cat you have, and of course, her new blindness...
For the vet smell, you can try a drop of vanilla on her, and your other cat, there's lots of threads here dealing with vet trip smells...

She may not feel like eating a lot because of the anesthesia still wearing off...
Try some High reward treats, like baby salad shrimp, or roasted chicken pieces, etc, to get her appetite jump started.

I have a deaf kitty, one of the things I NEVER do, is sneak up on her when she's sleeping! I tap near where she's sleeping, or very gently blow on her, to let her know I'm there!
I would suggest keeping this in mind for your blind kitty, in your case, you can softly call her name, so she knows you're there.

Now, on to the links...

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
10cats2dogs is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 01:27 AM
Premier Cat
spirite's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Roanoke, Va
Posts: 5,550
Hi taylorr, oh my goodness, what an awful experience. Is there any chance the blindness is temporary?

My Margaux, who passed away in Dec. 2014, went blind late in 2008 from a retinal hemorrhage caused by high blood pressure. It was gradual loss of vision in her case, but she adapted very well, and your kitty will adapt too.

If there aren't any other health concerns other than the blindness, I would definitely bring her into the main living area. Let her know where her litterbox, food, and water are.

The biggest way that you can help is to give her lots and lots of reassurance. Margaux had always been my dog-cat - always waiting for me at the door, always following me from room to room, but she had never been a lap cat and really didn't like petting, or most physical contact. After she went blind, she wanted to be close to me all the time.

Your kitty will rely on you to keep her safe. On a practical level, the most important thing you can do is to not move furniture around and to make sure there isn't anything that could hurt her if she walked into it. You said your apartment is loft-style, so I'm assuming there aren't any stairs to deal with?

She will probably spend quite a bit of time doing what looks like aimless wandering and walking along the walls several times. She's memorizing the layout. She might also yowl at first because she's disoriented. But the fact that you do only have one space will make it easier for her. She'll rely on her hearing and smell to help her. If I saw Margaux nosing around looking for her water bowl, I'd tap it so she knew where it was. I'm not going to lie, the little thump noises when she walked into something were heartbreaking. But she made it through two moves, the last one from 2 BR apartment to a 3 BR two story house. I was so afraid that it would be too much for her to deal with. Nothing to worry about. It took less than 2 months for her to be navigating pretty easily.

Sending lots of head scratches to your kitty!
spirite is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
taylorr872's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: NY NY
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reassurances and info! The links regarding anethesia recovery were especially interesting- I never realized it could have such adverse effects! When I first brought her home I had thought she might have some serious brain damage from the anethesia as she was not able to walk very well (dragging a leg, walking on her 'wrists' falling over randomly etc.) but those symptoms seem to be dissipating and are pretty much gone now (thank god). There's still a few odd behaviors she's displaying (she keeps licking the carpet now, not sure what that's about). Maybe the blindness will diminish somewhat over time too, as it did for some of the cats in the study I guess we'll see...
She managed to get a pretty nasty eye infection that showed up on Friday which I've been treating with an ointment, so I think I'm going to keep her isolated where I can easily handle her until we finish the ointment treatments and get that cleared up, then I'll provide access to the main living area next weekend when I'm home so I can keep and eye on her and our other cat. Fingers crossed. We do have stairs that go up to our loft area but she rarely ever went up there previously so I'm hoping they wont be an issue. Thanks again for the information, will keep everyone posted!
taylorr872 is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 02:01 AM
Premier Cat
spirite's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Roanoke, Va
Posts: 5,550
If the stairs become a worry, you can buy carpet stair treads. That's what I have. The one at the top level was really important; it told Margaux that the stairs were there.

I do hope that your girl is able to recover some of her sight though, and that any neurological issues are short-lived.
spirite is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 04:15 PM
Premier Cat
Mitts & Tess's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,601
1st thing, is don't pay your vet for causing this in your cat.

Be observant if there was brain damage also from the anesthesia. What kind of anesthesia did they use? What kind of monitoring safety procedures did they use while your cat was under? If this is a AHAA accredited practice most like they followed safety measures. If they arent dont go near this vet ever again and warn people from them.

2nd thing, is blind cats can have high functioning quality lives. They dont know feel sorry for themselves but proceed on. Your cat will memorize your house and do just fine. My blind fosters knew where the cat door was out to my screened in porch where the cat boxes are in less than a day and never missed using the box!

If youd like an inspiration book about a blind cat read Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat.
Mitts & Tess is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome