Older cat now suddenly blind.

(21 Posts)
WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 15:12:37

The vet thinks this has been caused by sudden high blood pressure (she had her well cat check last week and her blood pressure/sight was fine then) and has put her on blood pressure medication. The vet said we'd caught it early and there was a chance the retinas would reattach and she would regain some sight.

Has anyone experienced this? How did your cat cope?

Reading cat sites they say you should keep things calm/quiet, but our kids are all quite small so not great at that and I'm worried they will be stressing her out and keeping her bp up inadvertently.

thecatneuterer Sat 26-Mar-16 17:13:41

Yes I've experienced exactly this. She was probably around 17 years old. She didn't regain her sight but coped amazingly well. She also had no difficulty getting out of the cat flap, but sometimes struggled to get back in again.

She was on blood pressure tablets for the rest of her days and generally seemed happy.

WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 17:24:54

Oh that's good to hear cat! Our garden is not secure at the minute so we're going to keep her in.

She seems okay, but not wanting to jump up anywhere (understandably) so think the big thing this week is learning her cues for when she wants to come up for a cuddle!

tooyoungtobeagrandma Sat 26-Mar-16 17:43:45

We had a cat go blind, think she was about 13 yrs old. It didn't stop her, she carried on walking all her usual routes. She used to walk down my next door neighbour's house following the wall, then listen carefully and cross the road, go and call on all her friends then come back through the cat flap. Cats are very resilient, if you keep an eye on her while she gets used to the situation, I think she will surprise you.

cozietoesie Sat 26-Mar-16 17:46:23

My own old boy has - at best - very limited vision now. I actually saw him bump into a chair that wasn't in its usual place last year, which was the event that made me realise. (It's just extreme old age with him, I reckon, although Siamese are prone to sight issues in later life.)

I've found that the biggest help you can give them is not to change layout eg of furniture and 'things' so I appreciate your problems with having small DC. I've always talked a lot to mine anyway but that might also be something for you to consider so that she can locate you easily and doesn't panic.

Has she a safe warm place that she can find her way to easily by the way? (If things become too much for her and she wants a quiet snooze, say.)

My own lad seems fine with it now. He's adjusted. smile

WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 17:59:29

She is 16 and very old lady in temperament, rarely went out anyway so okay with keeping her in for a good while until we're both used to it! We should find out what's caused it on Tuesday, hoping it's nothing too serious.
Not moving furniture is surprisingly hard! Last night and this morning she was walking into everything but seems to be managing a bit better with that already. Feel for her because she' s obviously quite confused still.

WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 18:02:09

The positive stories are great, very reassuring, thank you.

Her brother who we thought had arthritis is also going in on tuesday for tests with probable kidney issues so not a great cat week for us.

cozietoesie Sat 26-Mar-16 18:03:42

Talking, routine and love seem to do it mostly. I'd try to give her a good place to go that she can find her way to quite easily. That should help.

Good luck on Tuesday. smile

(And Yes - keeping things the same isn't that easy in real life. Other posters might be able to suggest ways to involve the DC in that? )

WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 18:12:51

She sat under the piano so I put a blanket there and now she's wandered off again!

She likes it under our bed. Wondering if we should clear it out so she's more comfortable/we're not accidently changing the layout all the time getting things out... Or to leave it as an escape cubby hole?

WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 18:13:58

The talking is definitely helping. I'm trying to get the kids to offer her their hands to sniff and say hello before they stroke her.

timtam23 Sat 26-Mar-16 19:31:09

Exactly the same happened to my cat aged 17. Retinal haemorrhages due to high blood pressure. He survived another year or so and his death wasn't related to blindness or blood pressure. He had a tablet for his BP every day (amlodipine) which I crushed and mixed with wet food. My kids were only 3 and 5 at the time so the household was pretty frantic, but we tried to keep all furniture in the same place & not leave toys lying around. We also kept his food and water in the same place all the time. As others have said, we talked to him a lot, gave him a lot of verbal cues and things like tapping the furniture etc to signal to him that it was sage for him to j MP up. We noticed he used his whiskers a lot to judge gaps and in fact he managed really well, he even used the catflap and he liked basking outside although (our yard was secure and he wasn't able to jump onto the walls any more). DH used to take him out in the back alley for a stroll but we did have one awful night when DH didn't watch him and he got lost. We did find him but only by chance so I would definitely keep him as an indoor cat unless you can supervise him.
The only other thing I would mention is that we didn't feel able to leave him in the house when we went on holiday (he would have been scared by a stranger coming in to feed him) and he couldn't go into a cattery either as it would have been too unfamiliar, so we did not have any holidays as a family for a year or so. We did do days out etc but either me or DH stayed with the cat if the others went away for a night or more.

timtam23 Sat 26-Mar-16 19:32:04

Sorry, typos....should be "Safe for him to jump up"

cozietoesie Sat 26-Mar-16 19:59:07

I was sorry to hear about her brother having to go in for tests also by the way.

WhirlwindHugs Sat 26-Mar-16 20:06:34

Thanks, really good to hear others experiences. And thanks Cozie smile

We're having a week away in the summer and I had been planning on getting a friend to stay and house sit if possible. I hadn't really thought about that! I guess we'll have to see how she is with strangers and then decide.

timtam23 Sat 26-Mar-16 22:04:12

Maybe see if the friend could visit a few extra times before the holiday so that your cat gets more used to them?

cozietoesie Sat 26-Mar-16 22:31:00

Sounds a good idea, timtam. smile

WhirlwindHugs Tue 29-Mar-16 18:22:29

Yes, that's a good idea timtam.

Well, we met the vet today and the high blood pressure has been caused by kidney failure. She's getting some movement back in her eyes but still doesn't seem to be able to see anything. Need to look into renal diets now!

Also boycat who we thought had renal failure actually has hyperthyroidism...

cozietoesie Tue 29-Mar-16 18:49:35

It's often so difficult to be precise with cats' eyes, isn't it?

WhirlwindHugs Tue 29-Mar-16 20:31:02

She is so good at getting around with her whiskers it is genuinely quite hard to tell! You can see her pupils adjusting to light now and the retinas are moving back to position (apparently!) but not reattached. There's still a chance they will, but I think if it was just the blindness she would be absolutely fine.

Plus the kidneys, I don't know. We're going to have to wait and see.

Expellibramus Tue 29-Mar-16 20:33:07

Yes, my cat's sight returned after 24 hours of medication. He stayed on that for the rest of his life and retained his sight. It does need quick treatment or the retinal detachment may be irreversible.

cozietoesie Tue 29-Mar-16 21:03:24

Good luck to them both.

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