Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on November 30, 2012. Enjoy!
Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary in St. Pauls, North Carolina opened its doors seven years ago as a home for cats who were scheduled for euthanasia at animal shelters simply because they couldn’t see. The organization’s founder Alana Miller is a former army brat who traveled extensively growing up, but suddenly found herself more rooted than ever when she adopted her first blind cat many years ago.
“He showed me just how normal a blind cat can be,” Alana said. “Then I adopted a second and a third and a fourth.”
Alana was surprised to see how easily blind cats could live in a household, even at the busiest time in her life when she was operating a home-based daycare center and toys were sprinkled throughout the house. Alana found that the debris from the children didn’t bother the cats at all and she was troubled by the fact that so many blind cats simply aren’t given a chance due to misconceptions about their needs.
In 2005, Alana took a giant leap and created a full fledged sanctuary for blind cats with the promise that they would never again be tossed out of their homes.
“Back when we started our shelter, there was just no place for them,” Alana explains. “If you were unadoptable, you were just dead. Somebody has to say ‘enough’. Once a cat arrives here, they’re done. No more being bounced around.”
There are some 90 cats living in the sanctuary today and life here is anything but dull. Supporters from near and far send gifts for the cats and as for the catnip supply, well, let’s just say, let the games begin. Cats young and old roam freely here, diving through tunnels, climbing perches and rolling around with their favorite toys. Take a look:
The Sanctuary Shares These Facts About Blind Cats:
- Blind cats are cats that just happen to not be able to see. They have no idea they are blind. They know they are cats. They act like cats.
- Blind cats can do pretty much everything that a seeing cat can do. Blind cats can climb trees (they tend to back down feet first to get down), climb on cabinets, etc.
- Blind cat guardians should try to stay somewhat consistent on the important things, like the litter box and food. For the rest of the house, live normally; the cats will go around things. If you watch a blind cat, you will see that they point their whiskers out so the whiskers will brush against something typically before they hit it.
- If you pick up your blind cat and move him/her from point A to point B, try to put your cat down where they have a good idea of where they are: at their litter box, their food, or where the floors have different textures. My daycare playroom and dining room went from carpet to tile. If I wanted Louie to leave the playroom, I would put him so his front feet were on the tile and back were still on the carpet… then he knew where he was.
Reasons Cats Go Blind
“A lot of people do not realize that a cat can become blind from not being wormed,” Alana explains. “I was shocked when my vet told me that. Apparently worms will migrate around the cat’s body, including up behind the eyes where they destroy optic nerves.”
“A cat can also become blind from illness,” Alana continues. “Eye infections from upper respiratory infections, hyperthyroid, diabetes and high blood pressure can all bring on blindness. If your cat is sneezing, coughing and eyes are getting goopy, get to the vet for antibiotics. If your cat is eating like crazy and losing weight or drinking water like there is no tomorrow RUN to the vet. If your cat goes blind overnight, run to the vet. Insist that your vet checks the cat’s blood pressure. If it is caused by hypertension, the blindness often will reverse if treatment is begun immediately.”