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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, I'm new,

I need your advice. My kitten Goulash, who is 6 months old, has just come home after having a complication during neutering. His heart stopped and he suffered some brain damage. After a very quick recovery (1 week) he has come home and been back a couple of days. He is now blind as a bat.

He used to be boisterous and bouncy but now all he does is sleep. He is happy if he's being stroked or sat on someone but that's about it. When we let him walk around, which he does a bit shakily, he bumps into stuff for about 20 minutes then gives up frustrated. He just sits and wags his tail in annoyance. Then he wants to go to sleep again.

What should I do? Is it too early to know if he'll always be this unhappy? I can't believe he survived, but it breaks my heart to see him so fed up. I'm not selfish enough to keep him going if he's just going to miserable.

Yes, he likes to be stroked and he likes food and cat nip, but what a shame if he has a couple of sparks of happiness in an otherwise sad little life. I don't want that. What do I do? How long should I leave it to know if he'll stay like this? I don't expect him to get his sight back, the vet said it's a slim chance. I don't want to hang my hat on that.

Sorry for the long rant.

Thanks,

Lucy x
 

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How devastating for you and for your little man.

Initially, when we develop medical conditions, humans become depressed but over time we learn to live with the condition. I think this might happen with your little chap. It will become his life.

Did you find out why this simple operation went wrong for your little man? Has the vet explained what the issue was? I'm afraid, I would be tempted to move vets. I would lose faith in this vet but that's just me.
 

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I'm sorry for what little Goulash has gone through. Sadly we cannot control how animals react to anaesthetic that's why it's always a risk :(
Last year we had a 10 year old cat brought in for a dental. All the pre op bloods came back fine, but during recovery she experienced a seizure. When calm and recovered we realised she went blind. Luckily this was only temporary blindness and she did recover her sight after 3 weeks. The vet could not find a reason for this but that animals react differently to anaesthesia, and sometimes there is something that can trigger off difficult recovery, in the same way a cat can just stop breathing during anaesthetic. It is not a reason to change your vet if you are happy with their services otherwise. It could happen at any vets in all honesty.
I regards to Goulash...obviously it is a confusing time from being able to see to not. I myself have always had 'special needs' cats and will shortly be adopting a new blind kitty to the family after losing my previous one to cerebellar (neurological condition). Please don't give up on him or think he will always be miserable. It will take time and patience and reassurance. Just have as much interaction with him as possible with sound & smell. Lots of toys with sound as well as ones that light up as many 'blind' cats can be partially blind but will 'see' light/shadow movement.
It may seem a struggle now but they are very smart and do adapt to be happy cat :thumbup:
 

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Let's hope his blindness is temporary but cats are amazing creatures.

I would say that he would need to be an indoor only cat now.
 

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Hello,

Gosh, what a tragic thing to happen. I do hope it is temporary... But cats are very resourceful creatures, so don't give up hope of him being happy even if he remains blind.

Do you have other cats? I'm just wondering if he has the company of 'like kind' which might be really helpful and comforting for him? And if you don't have other cats I wonder if you would consider getting another kitten, as kittens are often happier in pairs anyway, and the 'play and tussle' interaction may help him to get the stimulation that he needs and also help him to develop his other faculties...?
 

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we had a cat who had incredibly bad eyesight due to cataracts but he was born with it so didn't have to learn to adjust but we learnt very quickly to never move furniture or leave things on the floor as this really disorientated him, I would say rather than getting a kitten companion maybe look towards an older gentler cat if getting another cat is a consideration, as an older cat hopefully won't be too boisterous in jumping and playing with the kitten. I hope he adjusts quickly and becomes a happy little thing again soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your support guys!

Firstly, the vets are fantastic, it's not their fault. They were all very upset and everyone at the surgery kept ringing in on their days off to see how he was doing. When I went to pick him up the first thing the vet said was "you've come to take our baby away from us haven't you". They are so sweet. It was just bad luck.

Secondly, he does have a friend. We have an older cat called Pickle and she has been really happy to have him home. At first he didn't recognise her but now he snuggles up to her occasionally and she washes him. They're such a couple!

Do you have any tips for how I can help him? I'm not moving anything and I've got lots of different toys that are both smelly and noisy. At the moment he's not bothered though. If anyone has a cat that went blind suddenly, how long did it take for them to cheer up?

Thanks guys!

Lucy x
 

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I'm so sorry for the little Goulash (and what a lovely name!). I suppose he will take a while to get used to his new condition and become his old self again. It's great that he has Pickle to help his around. And about all the sleeping, well, my two cat sleep nearly 20 hours per day, and get very unhappy and frustrated for not being allowed to do things like climbing on the countertops and playing inside the wardrobes... and they can see pretty well, so I suppose that in this part it's just part of a cat behaviour and Goulash is just being a cat.

I suppose you've heard of Oskar, the blind cat? He's in youtube and facebook and he's an adorable tabby cat that was born blind but he runs and plays just like any other cat. It's amazing how adaptable cats are and Goulash will be just like that when he had the time to adapt.

Wish you all the best.
 

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Aw poor little man! He's been through so much. He is bound to be like this. He does't understand what's happened to him and you cant explain it to him. He will probably be like this for a good while and may even get more depressed for a while but this is all natural while he comes to terms with his loss and accept that this is life for him now and then he may just surprise you. If he was mine I would give him time. He isn't suffering as in pain, he enjoys cuddles and food so its not all bad. Just let him deal with it in his own way and just be there for him. He'll be fine eventually I'm sure!
 

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Speaking as someone who is blind, I would suggest the following.

Don't move anything. i nkow you're doing this already, but not even a few inches.

Spray doorway threshholds with different scents, purfumes etc so that he will learn to tell by smell which room he is going into or coming out of. you could also put down different textured mats to help him deliniate doorways.

Block off the top of stairs if you have them. Even though I'm fully aware, I still sometimes have a bit of a wobble when trying to locate the stairs in a new place, and as a child, my family used to stair gate the top of them until I was comfy enough to go bombing about at a million miles an hour with the other kids, and actually remember to stop before tumbling down.

If you have any steps in the house, put a textured mat in front of them to let him know he's approaching one.

Let your litter tray go a little more smelly than usual. This will help him locate it until he's used to finding it on his own.

Don't sneak around the place quietly, and always speak to him before you touch him. Maybe have a specific phrase which lets him know he's going to be touched before you handle hom. Try not to change your perfume for a few weeks either so he can tell by scent who you are.

Leave curtains and blinds open to get as much light into the rooms as possible.

If you pick him up for a cuddle, always set him down exactly where you lifted him from, facing the same direction, so he doesn't get disorientated.

Above all, give him time. I've helped rehabilitate adults who have gone blind in later life, and there is always a long period of apathy, depression and a general unwillingness to accept the new circumstances. With them, patience and a constant coaxing to get involved in life is the thing that works. Your boy will be the same. Try playing with toys with him in your lap so that he doesn't have to move far to catch them. With my mums when they're pregnant and can't move far, I put them onto their backs on my knee, then dangle a wand toy just above them, sometimes tickling their faces with it, sometimes rubbing it along their tummy. They love this game as they can go wild at trying to catch it without having to run anywhere. For your little man, it would enable him to play without moving. Think of how frightened he must be by not knowing at all where he is. I wouldn't want to run and play either, but by doing it like this, he has the security of your lap and your familiar smell, and will gradually learn that everything will be Ok again.

If I can think of anything else, I'll write it here, but you're more than welcome to ask any other questions that I haven't covered.
 

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Speaking as someone who is blind, I would suggest the following.

Don't move anything. i nkow you're doing this already, but not even a few inches.

Spray doorway threshholds with different scents, purfumes etc so that he will learn to tell by smell which room he is going into or coming out of. you could also put down different textured mats to help him deliniate doorways.

Block off the top of stairs if you have them. Even though I'm fully aware, I still sometimes have a bit of a wobble when trying to locate the stairs in a new place, and as a child, my family used to stair gate the top of them until I was comfy enough to go bombing about at a million miles an hour with the other kids, and actually remember to stop before tumbling down.

If you have any steps in the house, put a textured mat in front of them to let him know he's approaching one.

Let your litter tray go a little more smelly than usual. This will help him locate it until he's used to finding it on his own.

Don't sneak around the place quietly, and always speak to him before you touch him. Maybe have a specific phrase which lets him know he's going to be touched before you handle hom. Try not to change your perfume for a few weeks either so he can tell by scent who you are.

Leave curtains and blinds open to get as much light into the rooms as possible.

If you pick him up for a cuddle, always set him down exactly where you lifted him from, facing the same direction, so he doesn't get disorientated.

Above all, give him time. I've helped rehabilitate adults who have gone blind in later life, and there is always a long period of apathy, depression and a general unwillingness to accept the new circumstances. With them, patience and a constant coaxing to get involved in life is the thing that works. Your boy will be the same. Try playing with toys with him in your lap so that he doesn't have to move far to catch them. With my mums when they're pregnant and can't move far, I put them onto their backs on my knee, then dangle a wand toy just above them, sometimes tickling their faces with it, sometimes rubbing it along their tummy. They love this game as they can go wild at trying to catch it without having to run anywhere. For your little man, it would enable him to play without moving. Think of how frightened he must be by not knowing at all where he is. I wouldn't want to run and play either, but by doing it like this, he has the security of your lap and your familiar smell, and will gradually learn that everything will be Ok again.

If I can think of anything else, I'll write it here, but you're more than welcome to ask any other questions that I haven't covered.
Absolutely brilliant post. Wonderful insights, beautifully expressed. I'm sure this will be a huge to help to the original poster and also to others as well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow carly87, thank you so much!

I'll keep caring for him and trying out all these things. My fiancé and I are starting to find out what he prefers and how to make him happy, such as not stroking his back, only his head. I am sure that with time he will cheer up.

Although, he wasn't a fan of being on his back and I have two big claw marks to testify to that! It was a good idea though.

Just, thank you, so much! xxx

Lucy xxx
 

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Lucy, you need to ease him into it. Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. Tease him with the toy first to encourage him to flip over to try and catch it.

One other thing I forgot to mention. Put a bell on the other cat so that he can hear her coming. Clip her claws so that if she jumps on him by surprise, he won't get hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
*Update*

Goulash is much happier! He has been running around and doesn't bump into anything anymore. He is much chummier with Pickle too, including having a sneaky pounce here and there.

The big break through for me was one day when he padded at my hand on the bed. So I tried moving it about and, while he struggled to catch it at first, he's now a very keen hand hunter.

We take him out on his lead for walks everyday and he is fearless! He was always a 'jump into anything' cat so it's nice to see him up to his old tricks.

There are times when I can't believe that he's blind. You call him and he looks straight at you. But when you silently move your hand about he can't see it. I don't think he cares that much now.

He's just such a sweet and happy cat. I'm so thankful. I can't believe we pulled him back from death!

Here are some pictures so you can see how he's progressed:

Before neutering.

Visiting at the vets.

When we first got him home.

Snuggling with Pickle.

Now, looking much happier and healthier. (The bandage was to sop him chewing his leg that he got a cut/scab on. He insisted on chewing the bandage instead! But it's better now)

Thanks guys!

Lucy xx
 

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Goulashkitty - I am so pleased to hear this good news! Wonderful! Well done!:thumbsup:

Your description of Goulash chasing your hand, running around and jumping at things when outdoors on his leash, was heartwarming! It just goes to show how fantastically adaptable cats can be, doesn't it?! :)

Edit: meant to say -- I love the pics -- he's a gorgeous kitty! :)
 
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