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My husband and I adopted a little grey stripey kitten today, who is about 11 weeks old. We named him Billy and just love him. He is the smallest of his litter, and was actually the first born, which we thought was strange...as he is blind and he been since birth.
The previous caretakers said he has had no experience with steps, and just slept on their couch in their living room. They were unable to afford proper vet care, and had the mama cat who gave birth to Billy and two others. The two others are fine, and were adopted already. Billy, no one wanted. We decided we could handle taking in a blind kitten, and wanted to make sure this kitten felt loved and recieved the best care possible.
We have no experience with blind pets, so ANY advice is welcome.
A little about Billy. He is small, even for 11 weeks, and was the runt of the little. He has a few minor oddities about him...he has tiny short perky ears, and an oddly shaped head, with a prolonged forehead...he head is almost lightbulb shaped....smaller in the bottom and seemingly larger than average top. We can tell he is a boy, although it seems he has no testicles. Not sure if this means anything...we have a 13 week old kitten Joey, who has had definite testicles since we adopted him at 6 weeks of age.
Billy has spend the day exploring his safe room, and although we are very very sad to do so, we are about to leave him in it for the night. We would LOVE for him to sleep in our bed, it is just too dangerous for him (stairs...he has no experience with them) due to stairs and the threat of other cats.
Our cats would never physically harm him, and are generally good being introduced to new animal...but Billy himself, hisses and growls. We think it is from the smell of the nearby animal without being able to see the "threat". We plan to keep him seperated for a few days and slowly introduce their smells to him, and one by one introduce the other cats. Joey our 13 wk old kitten is already ready to play with Billy, so we are hoping they can be friends once Billy is ready.
If anyone has an similar circumstances, advice, experience etc....we would LOVE to hear from you. A blind kitty is totally new to us, and we want to give Billy the best possible care, attention and surroundings.
Thanks!!! :luv
 

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We do have a member who is very experienced with blind kitties. I'm sure she'll give you lots of good advice.

Our photo uploading feature isn't working, so try using a site like Photobucket to post pictures.

It's wonderful that you gave this little guy such a loving home.
 

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it is so wonderful that you gave billy a home. i think you are doing a right thing to keep him seperated for a while till he get use to the new place.
please post some pix i am very anxious to see the little one.

congratulations for giving billy a chance to be loved.
 

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If I wore hats, I'd be taking mine off to you right now. What a kind, compassionate thing to do, to give this little guy a shot at a normal, happy life.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone :luv
He is wonderful and we just love him. He has been doing GREAT! We have his "safe room" all set up with food/water dish and a litter box. He is learning the room, and once he does well in it, we will introduce him room by room, and kitty by kitty to our other cats. He is doing okay with our other kitten who is 2 weeks older than him...they aren't hissing at each other much, just still leery of one another. Joey doesn't understand why Billy won't play yet. Billy is climbing everywhere and doing great. We have a vet appt for tomorrow to make sure he is healthy in general.
:D
 

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Congrats on the adoption and thank you for taking him in! I hope everything works out perfectly and can't wait to see pics! :)
 

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I have a elderly blind cat and to be honest you can hardly tell that she can't see. She climbs the cat trees and up on to furniture just like my seeing cats. She follows me around the house and yard by listening to my foot steps. Just don't rearrange your furniture alot and pretty soon your kitten will memorize the lay out of your home and you might forget for a little while that he has a disability.
 

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Congrats on adopting Billy. My wife and I have been involved with two wonderful blind cats now for about one year. Their names are Laverne and Shirley. Laverne is still in foster care but we have officially adopted Shirley. We have two other cats, both females. You are doing the right thing with giving him a space to explore. Our experience has been that the blind cats will expand their world quite rapidly. When we moved Shirley from her foster home where we were involved in her care, and brought her to our home I built a fence that I figured would keep her in the bedroom and yet allow her to meet up with our other two cats. On the second day Shirley climbed over the fence (5 1/2 feet tall) and introduced herself to our other girls. We've had Shirley with us now for 2 months and she is doing quite well with the entire house and the other cats. She still thinks of the first bedroom as her "sanctuary" and she runs in there if something scares her or one of our other cats hisses or swats her. Sally and Chili are our other two cats, and Chili is having the hardest time accepting her. Sally will lick Shirleys head and they are pretty good friends. Shirley is a wonderful cat, quiet, easy to care for, has made the whole house her castle. She likes to go out in our screened in patio and watch the birds. She has no fear of heights and sits up on a 6 foot cat stand and regularly gets up on the tables. She rarely bumps into anything and even runs through the parts of the house where she feels safe. We make very minor modifications for her, mostly when it comes to feeding. We put down her food and take her to the dish and then we supervise as the other cats might eat it for her. I write all this about our Shirley as I believe you can expect your little Billy to be just like any other cat but will always be the one you will want to give extra kisses to and lots of hugs. You might even put him at the bottom of the stairs and let him climb up to your room. If he can do that he will most likely have no trouble coming down as he will know what its all about. But expect some tumbles and bumps. Shirley falls off the bed often when she gets to excited when we are playing, but she gets right back up and plays even more. It makes me very happy that you are open to adopting a blind cat, as there aren't to many folks that will do it.
 

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Thanks Marie for bringing this to my attention! I just got back into town
and back on CF!I wanted to cry when I read your post Danniwit. Thank
you for adopting a blind kitty. You have just signed on to the most wonderful
cat you could ever have chosen. He will inspire you, bond with you like no
other cat! Blind cats are actually easier to take care of than a normal cat.

Run! Don’t walk to your nearest book store and buy
Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About
Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat




Here is a video of Gwen Cooper and Homer on Amazon, which I think you’ll like!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/038534385X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

Here is a video on Utube of my blind kitties so you will see they are
just like any other cat. They just want to be happy, play, and enjoy
your attention and love. Shirley has now been adopted by AZGramps
into his home with two other cats. I asked him to come on and post
tips to you also.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWrCQ085ons

Few tips. I would start out by having your blind kitten in a room by
himself. A bathroom or bedroom would be fine. Place him in the box
so he will know where it is. He will need to memorize the room and
get to know the sound of your voices. Once he is comfortable knowing
the room he is in you can add parts of the house for him to memorize.
Once he is comfortable in your home then introduce your resident cats.
But not until he knows he knows the layout of your house and feels safe
with you should you introduce the cats.

Since he is a little kitten so you need to make it safe as possible for him.
But he will learn to climb and climb down.. Initially keep things in the same
place. Don’t carry him around. They get disoriented. After he has your
house memorized I’m sure he will be fine with you carrying him around
and putting him other locations. He will know where he is by the feel
of a rug, tile, etc. Routines seem important also.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the responses!!
I really appreciate the advice! My husband and I have been reading SO much about adopting a blind kitty. And this weekend I am going to get the recommended book. I cannot wait to read it.
Billy is just so wonderful. We have his little safe room in our living room with a baby gate...and in the room he has a litter box, food and water. We spend a lot of time in this room so we thought it would be best for him so he doesn't get lonely. He is doing amazing...and yesterday my fearless little kitten realized he could climb the gate to get to the other room!
He heard us in the other room and we look over to see him halfway up the gate! He got to the top, gingerly felt around, and climbed face first down the other side, hopped down, and explored the other room!
He is just so smart. He has not yet had an accident. He plays like a regular kitten. In the morning when we wake up, he is at the gate crying for love. If I am typing on the computer and he wants petted, he runs right up to me and climbs on the computer just like our other kitten does.
If we are eating in the living room, and he smells food that he wants, he will climb right up to us and climb us until his face is in the food! Yesterday, he climbed the back of the couch...and climbed onto my husbands head and just perched there!!
We did end up introducing our other kitten to him yesterday. The first day the kitten was in the room as we set it up, and they hissed at each other and Billy seemed scared...but yesterday they smelled each other for a few minutes, gingerly played together for awhile, and by last night they were running around the room together like old friends. We are going to expand his room this weekend to see how he does...but are waiting to introduce other cats until he is more settled. He is loving playing with Joey though!
The vet said he is healthy in general and too young yet to tell the degree of blindness. We think he might see shadows but arent sure. He loves to perch by the windows and has discovered the joy of the cat tree but is still learning that he can fall off things!
I have tried to add pictures but it says the board quota has been reached...is there any way to add pictures? Or should I put them on a photo site, and put that link on here?
 

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danniwhit said:
I have tried to add pictures but it says the board quota has been reached...is there any way to add pictures? Or should I put them on a photo site, and put that link on here?
The CF gallery hasn't been working for about two years. Your best bet would be to use Photobucket.
 

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I cant wait to see pictures of Billy. He sounds a lot like AzGramps Shirley. We had to break down a huge kennel because Shirley decided to climb it but then didnt know how to get down. She wouldnt stay off of it! They were in my insulated garage so if she fell shed hit the cement! She is still a climber and follows AzGramps like a puppy around the house.

Sounds like Billy is fearless & transitioning into your household nicely. Im betting your other cats will take him under their wings. I couldnt wait to get on the computer today to see how Billy was doing. When Shirley left my home Laverne was on her own then without the protection of Shirley ~ who could bully any foster cat in my home! Its been very sweet how all my fosters have been so patient with her and accepted her. they took her under their wings like Im sure yours will.

I cant wait for pictures. I use flickr.com for my photos. Enjoy the book on Homer! Take a look at the Blind Cat Sanctuary & Rescue site that Dave_ph recommended. There are so many blind cats there waiting for homes. People have no idea how wonderful blind cats are! And easy to care for!
 

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Okay I tried to post pictures from photobucket, but I am new to that so I am not sure it works. 1st picture is Joey and Billy sleeping together, 2nd picture is Billy being adorable (he looks big in these but is tiny...he weighs under 2 lbs.. and looks about half his age!) 3rd picture is Joey hiding in his favorite toy, the Dr Pepper box.

Billy is having a GREAT day. He decided he didn't want to be in his "safe room" anymore...so he tried to climb it and cried to me. I took him to the kitchen, and he spent about 2 hours exploring the kitchen and playing with Joey. He loved it, and is now napping from the excitement. :) He just makes my husband and I smile so much.
 

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What a handsome guy! And so well adjusted. :luv :luv :luv

Isnt it amazing how blind cats are so easy! Most people think handicap and lots of extra work. Really they are a delight and inspiration!
 

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He's sooooo cute!
I don't know much about cats that're born blind, but my mom's baby went blind as he got older. By the time he died, he was deaf and blind. He knew the house and how many steps it took to get to certain places. It was interesting to watch him because you could see that he was taking a specific path and counting steps. He could even jump onto the counter or from the counter to the table (the only way we could keep the other cats from eating his special diet was to give it to him on the counter and watch 'til he was done). He totally ruled the roost, even after he was blind. It didn't bother him in the least! I would think with a kitten who was born blind, it's no different from a person who was born blind. It's all he knows so he doesn't feel like he's missing anything. He seems to function fine. :) His other senses will make up for the lack of vision.
 

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You should read this book!
http://www.amazon.com/Homers-Odyssey-Fe ... 0307704114

It's called Homer's Odyssey and it's about a cat who was blinded by disease as a very small kitten and the woman who adopted him. I am very picky about cat stories, and I LOVED this book. There's no sad ending or anything although Homer is older now. :wink


Spoiler alert


Spoiler alert

Spoiler:Homer even fought off an intruder who woke her in her bedroom in the middle of the night! Homer zero'd in on the guy by sound and flew at his face and chased him out!

OOO There's a website for the book with video of the author and Homer.
http://www.gwencooper.com/index.php
 
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