Just like people, cats can be born blind or become blind with age or injury. And naturally, just like people, cats can still live love-filled, enriched, and happy lives after losing their sight. (If you don’t believe us, stick around as we’ve got some links to happy blind cat content that’s sure to make you smile!) However, learning that your cat’s going blind can be worrying.
But should you put down a blind cat really? As always, ask your vet, and they will put your mind at ease. But in the meantime, here are 5 reasons why we think you shouldn’t.
Cats Already Have A Sensory Advantage
You might have a lot of questions when your cat starts to lose its sight. How will they find you around the house? Will they feel scared? Will they start bumping into things?
As you might already know, cats can hear and smell exceptionally well. In fact, cats have a whopping 40 times as many odor sensors in their noses than we do! And they even have an extra scent detector in their mouths called the Jacobson’s organ.
Humans are so visually oriented, and it can be challenging for us to imagine a world without images. But cats don’t rely on their sight nearly as much as we do – even when hunting! For example, their whiskers are much better at detecting an object at close range than their eyes are.
On the subject of whiskers, did you know these tactile hairs are also how a cat assesses how small space is before trying to squeeze into it? Pretty neat.
Check out this great article on how cats see the world to learn more about feline eyesight and why they don’t rely on sight nearly as much as their other senses!
Cats Are Great At Adapting To Change
Cats get attached to people and places, yes. However, they really are happy as long as they’re fed, warm, played with, and cuddled regularly. And blind cats do all of these things.
Think about this. No matter how much your cat loves you, they’ll still have fun if you go abroad for two weeks and leave them with a friend who’ll take good care of them and give them lots of cuddles.
In fact, they might not even want to leave if your friend has the heating on more than you do! That’s because cats are less sentimental than we are, so keep that in mind.
If anything, you’ll probably take longer to get used to it than the cat! But fear not: advice on blind cat parenthood is all over the internet.
Keep crinkling their food packet to let them know when dinner’s ready, buy some blind cat-friendly (noisy) toys, and you’re off to a great start. Your worries will be forgotten before you know it.
Your Vet Won’t Agree To Do It
Your cat’s life isn’t at risk because it’s blind. And its quality of life isn’t nearly diminished enough to warrant euthanasia.
Your vet will probably inform you that putting down a blind but healthy cat isn’t euthanasia at all but killing. That goes against not only the animal’s rights but the oath your vet has taken to uphold medical ethics!
The only case in which a vet will agree to put down a blind cat ethically is when the cat’s life and wellbeing are in danger from other conditions (such as leukemia, kidney failure, or head trauma).
If you really really do not have time for your blind cat, rehoming, not killing, is always the answer. Your local animal shelter will find them a loving home in no time.
Evidence Of Happy Blind Cats Is So Easy To Find!
If you still think you should put down a blind cat, search ‘blind cat playing’ on YouTube. You’ll find screeds of videos of blind cats living their best lives, doing almost everything a sighted cat can.
Videos of blind cats playing fetch or climbing on walls are a testament to just how capable blind cats live normal lives.
For some extra adorable and reassuring blind cat content, we highly recommend you check out @ivartheincredible on TikTok. He’s clearly a happy boy, and his owner has done a great job making sure their home is a safe, fun, and enriching environment for him.
Disabled Cats Still Have Heaps Of Love To Give
Do you know that thing your cat does that makes you smile? The way they roll on their back to ask for belly scratches, make biscuits, or nuzzle into your face? Being blind won’t stop them from doing any of that.
Ask yourself: does a blind person love, or want to be loved, any less than a sighted person. Of course not. In fact, your cat will probably crave your attention even more than before!
A blind cat will still want to play, explore, cuddle, purr, and be a part of the family. All in all, they will still be, well, a cat. They won’t stop loving you, and you won’t stop loving them.
So there’s really no loss on your side or theirs. Enjoy the extra cuddles and the deeper bond that inevitably comes from helping your cat more.
Some Final Thoughts
Hopefully, now the question ‘should you put down a blind cat’ will be a no-brainer. A blind cat certainly won’t want to stop causing mischief, so who are you to stop them?
When a human goes blind, there are many things they have to do to relearn how to navigate the world. But a cat won’t need to learn braille or miss their favorite TV show.
Have faith that your cat’s other senses are more than equipped to deal with the world, introduce them to new areas slowly, play with them lots, and give them a kiss from us.