Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fat Cat going blind

Took Fat Cat to the vet today to have his vision checked. He hasn't been coming downstairs at night to sleep with us like he usually does, and he's been wandering around the house, making this pitiful meowing sound. Then he sits and stares off into space. He's also not jumping on the furniture like he used to, and he's been spending most of his time under my computer desk, between my feet.

We also think he's losing his hearing, since he doesn't come when he's called either (not that he always came when he was called before). The vet had his assistant bang a couple of metal food dishes together and Fat Cat didn't even flinch or turn toward her at the sound. And when he was put down on the floor in the exam room, he didn't want to move from where he was set down. When he finally did move, he walked slower than normal and almost walked into the walls and the cabinet (his whiskers stopped him in time to keep him from bumping his nose).

So it looks like we won't be re-arranging furniture or moving the cat dishes or the litter box from now on. Fat Cat can navigate the house right now because nothing has changed in it since he started losing his sight (and I think this has been happening gradually for about 6 months or so, now that I look back his actions over that time).

In the time since we've had Marty, Fat Cat has gone from 14 lbs to 11 lbs, so he's not such a Fat Cat anymore (I've been calling him our not-so-Fat-Cat). We've started feeding him canned cat food since he doesn't seem to be getting enough calories from the weight and hairball control Iams we've been feeding both the cats. The vet said that at Fat Cat's age (he's 10 or 11 years old), it's not unusual for an in-bred cat to lose hearing and eyesight. He did say that we should keep an eye on him to see if he has any unusual head twitches, or starts walking in circles (like he's being pulled to one side instead of walking in a straight line). I guess those are either signs of a stroke or brain damage (which he doesn't have right now, thank maude).

He's still eating pretty good, and drinking plenty of water, and using the litter box, so that's all good. And he still likes catnip, and was just playing with the catnip twitter bird that I got for him and Marty with our Pounce treat points (hey, if I'm buying them treats anyway, and the points will get them a free toy, why not?).


  1. My heart goes out to you. I know you must be so worried for him, but it's good that his quality of life is still so excellent.
    Love and enjoy your not-so-fat little guy. I'm sending positive thoughts and hugs to him (and you!)

  2. Hmmm, I hope your kitty adjusts ok once he stabilizes. My kittehs (4!) are still young and very healthy, but we've had health scares and it is a terrible, helpless feeling...thank you for being such a good kitteh-mama!

  3. I'm so sorry. I know it's hard to watch a treasured pet go through such trauma. I wish you and your cat all the best!


  4. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. Fat Cat is doing pretty well, for the most part. The vet is going to call me back with the number and name of a specialist so we can see if there's anything that can be done to improve his vision, so there's that.
    And even though he's not jumping on the furniture anymore, when I sit in my recliner to watch TV, he does climb up the side of it so he can sit in my lap (at least he has all his claws so he can do that). And I'm not going to yell at him for climbing the furniture,

  5. my foster cat my be going blind too

  6. Unknown - I'm sorry to hear that. Depending on how old your foster cat is, it may adapt quite well to being blind. Fat Cat didn't - he was 13 years old, and he relied on his eyesight to tell him about the body language of our other cat. When he couldn't rely on that any more, he got cranky and hissed at Marty whenever he bumped into him. Fat Cat also got to the point that he didn't want any attention, no petting, no brushing, nothing - all he did was sleep, and he ate very little. It got to the point that his quality of life sucked, and we finally had to have him euthanized (that was in Sept of 2011). His kidneys were failing and he was just miserable most of the time. It was a difficult decision to make, but I think it was the one that was best for him.
    Good luck with your foster cat.


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