Cats are a delightful companion of choice for many of us. They help us in so many ways, from catering to those with mental health issues (check it out) to making those in quarantine feel less alone. However, the tables can be turned, and some disabled cats need to have loving owners that can make them feel cared for and safe. If you’re one of those people watching over a cat with a disability, we applaud your compassion and bravery.
If you’ve been looking for a guide on how to properly care for one, you’re in the right place. Special needs pets can demand twice as much patience, love, understanding, and most important of all, knowledge from their forever home. It’s a great thing to welcome them into the family, but it can be a struggle to properly meet their needs if there is a lack of genuine interest to learn about their condition and how to care for them. Remember, these cats don’t function as a healthy feline might.
With that said, here are some tips on how to manage a cat with special needs.
- Blind Cats
One of the most common disabilities a cat can have is blindness.
Caused by the Feline Herpesvirus type 1, FVR is the leading cause of upper respiratory infection and conjunctivitis. This virus usually targets young and sickly kittens in their early years of life. Conjunctivitis can usually cause blindness when the inflammation worsens over time. The only treatment there is for both the URI and conjunctivitis is to support the immune system and manage pain with CBD cats can ingest or other drug-related solutions. Other than that, FVR is incurable.
Glaucoma Or ICP
This is in consequence of the increased pressure in the eye, which can root from untreated high blood pressure. The retina can be detached, thus causing blindness.
One biological problem that can cause blindness is a tumor. Though there is no exact reason why a feline can develop a tumor, physical trauma is suspected to be one.
Tips On How To Look After Them
- Make sure your cat stays indoors. If they need physical exercise or some fresh air, a secure, fenced backyard is ideal. You can also take them for walks but be sure to keep a close eye on them. If indoors become mandatory, buy them toys that have texture or make sounds instead of something that can catch the eye.
- Approach a cat while calling their name or getting their attention to avoid startling them.
- Avoid moving around furniture as it may disorient a blind cat. Make sure their path doesn’t have any obstacles.
- Cats With Missing Limb/s
- A newly amputated cat might have difficulty in jumping to high places (and some don’t jump up again at all). So ditch any cat condos unless they’re just a couple of inches elevated from the ground. If not, place their sleeping quarters somewhere accessible from their dish and litter box.
- If you have other pets in the house, it’s wise to reintroduce them with your disabled cat. The change might affect their scent, and some may just fail to recognize their family member.
- Always expect litter issues. Because of the change, you will have to help the cat in using the litter box (digging, especially) until they get the hang of it.)
FAQs Owners Might Have
How Do I Help My Cat After Surgery?
Amputation can be just as traumatic for cats as they are for humans. While those with in-born conditions have adapted themselves early on, adult cats who have had four legs all their life will seem like newborn kittens. To prepare your cat beforehand, make sure they are in a relaxing environment and that no further stress adds up prior to their surgery.
Should I Control My Disabled Cat’s Weight?
Yes. Since the weight distribution is already unbalanced (link: https://www.catwatchnewsletter.com/health/disease/taking-care-of-your-disabled-cat/), it is important that you should keep their weight to less than their ideal, just to be easy on the joints. Talking to your vet about this can enable you to create a meal plan and the foods they should be eating during recovery.
- Deaf Cats
Deafness in cats can both be reversible and irreversible, depending on their condition.
This is when the sound cannot pass through the ear. It is usually caused by
- Polyps – They are masses usually growing since birth in the middle ear and ruptures your cat’s eardrum as time passes. It can continue to grow and affect the other ear as well.
- Outer And Inner Ear Infections
- Excessive Ear Wax
- Ear Mites – They usually occur when your cat starts to scratch their ears excessively, even drawing blood. It can cause infection, excessive wax build-up, and hearing loss.
This happens when the nerve endings inside the ear are affected.
- Predisposed Genetic Problems
- Inner Ear Infections
- Drug Toxicity – Caused by drugs that have an ototoxic effect, such as gentamicin, furosemide, cisplatin, etc.
Tips On Taking Care Of Deaf Cats
- Get their attention before approaching them. Deaf cats facing the other way can easily be startled if you handle them without them knowing your presence, so stomping your foot loudly or a sharp clap from you may be enough for their attention to be caught.
- Keep them inside at all times. Deaf cats are dangerous because they cannot hear danger signs from cars and other bigger animals.
- When waking up a deaf cat, start by touching the areas around them rather than the feline directly. This can signal that you’re near them.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago