Adopting a special needs cat can be challenging but twice as rewarding! To ensure that your special needs cat lives its best life possible, it is imperative to have the knowledge and resources to provide the best care you can.
In this blog, KittyNook will give you tips on how to care for your special needs cat!
Consider These Before Adopting a Feline with Special Needs
Providing a loving home to any pet is admirable, but embracing a pet with special needs will require more patience and dedication.
Do Your Research
A cat parent must first understand the special need and ensure that the proper accommodations are in place for them. To best care for these animals, you must learn the specific details regarding their breed and individual needs.
By researching and ensuring that you are informed about the special need that must be met, you can have confidence in your competence to provide your cat the things they need.
With careful planning and resources from vet suggestions or specialized companies, caring for a special needs cat can open up the doors for deepening the bond between you and your embraced pet.
Seek Veterinary Advice
One of the most effective sources for recommendations when considering embracing a cat with special needs is professional help from certified veterinarians. This ensures you have somebody who knows what they're talking about and has experience dealing with cats in similar situations. A vet can tell you about the existing medical or psychological problem and offer invaluable advice on meeting these demands.
Consider the Time and Money You Will Need to Spend
Let us be upfront: Caring for a special-needs pet means more expenses. It is unfair to embrace a cat with a disability if you are not monetarily prepared to meet its clinical demands. Furthermore, adopting a special needs cat financially unprepared might leave you feeling overwhelmed and unable to continue caring for the pet. To avoid this, consider getting pet insurance before embracing the pet. This will be expensive upfront but allow you to weather any future medical costs. By preparing in advance, you can have peace of mind when the bills and other essential payments may be needed by your disabled cat.
Tips for Caring for a Cat Based on their Special Needs
Cats with special needs require more attention and environmental modifications than those without.
Taking Care of a Blind Feline
Firstly, you must know the cause of the cat's blindness and determine whether it is a problem that can be treated medically. Many potential causes of feline blindness are high blood pressure, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal degeneration, feline leukemia, or eye tumors. However, there are ways to ensure your blind cat will have a happy and long life.
When you have identified the source of your pet's issues, you'll be required to function carefully to assist them in adapting to the adjustments in their life. Here are some tips to help your blind cat:
1. Keep Them Indoors
Keep your cat inside 24/7 unless they have a safe fenced area or a catio. Blind cats will find it difficult to find their way back home—getting lost would be easy for your blind kitty to do, and being found very challenging.
Consider getting a GPS cat Tracker to help locate them in case they go missing.
Provide your cat with different toys to cut the monotony of indoor life. This will help reduce the danger of them embarking on a journey to the great outdoors.
2. Let Your Cat Walk on Its Own
The most effective way to help and train your sight-impaired feline is to motivate them to walk independently as you oversee them. This will help your cat acclimate to their surroundings using smells and hearing.
The scent glands in a cat's paw pads enable them to leave a scent behind that they can use to get knowledge about their paths and routes. Follow them and keep them within your view to avoid serious problems. Do not leave them in high places; the chance of falling should definitely be considered.
3. Approach Your Cat Silently
When caring for a deaf cat, it is best to approach them carefully. You may speak to them as you come close to allow them to recognize you're coming in their direction. In this way, your presence will not surprise or shock them. This tip also works for partially blind cats, given that their range of vision is limited.
4. Avoid Moving Furniture and Objects in the House
It's difficult for blind cats to get accustomed to their belongings, especially litter boxes, feeding/drinking areas, and toys. It's best to keep these things in the area they know. For example, if you leave a toy box in the living room, let it stay in the area to avoid confusing your cat.
Keep clutter and also other obstacles out of their paths. If you have stairs, consider adding stair gates.
Caring for a Deaf Cat
Unlike blind cats, deaf felines can adjust to their surroundings using other senses. Cat owners need to be able to identify whether their cat is deaf, as numerous cats will become deaf as they age.
To appropriately look after a deaf feline, some pointers need to be considered. Here are some tips that might help you care for your deaf cat:
1. Avoid Startling Your Cat
Like blind cats, deaf cats are easily startled. Approach the cat with heavy footsteps, so it resonates on the floor and will let the cat know you are coming in their direction.
2. Keep Them Inside
Similar to blind cats, keep your deaf cat inside the home 24/7. Deaf felines cannot hear the noise of oncoming cars, trucks, or other animals. You can allow them to play outside if your backyard is sufficiently fenced or you have a cat enclosure.
3. Use Hand Signals
Felines are intelligent, and time will be able to understand hand signals. Ensure you're consistent and use the same hand signals to avoid puzzling them. You can also use objects to get their attention, such as a dimmable flashlight. You can communicate different things based on the movements of the light.
4. Wake Them Up Carefully
Wake your cat without touching its body. If you try to touch a sleeping deaf cat, you will startle them. Instead, make activities around them, like tapping your hands or feet on the floor, to create resonance and wake them up.
Caring for an Amputee Cat
1. Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Area
The aftermath of surgery is uncomfortable for cats, so it is best to provide a comfortable area where they can rest soundly. This will help promote recovery and will let them relax. Use a soft cat bed with a concave center and ensure it's roomy enough so they have space to move freely without falling outside their beds.
2. Keep Essentials Near Them
Allow your cat to eat freely. Cats may not love eating and drinking near their litter box, but they will be thankful for it after the operation. Keep essential things like the litter box, water bowls, food bowls, and toys within close range so they can access them conveniently.
3. Help Them With Bathroom Activities
Like people, felines see commode activities as something done privately. Nonetheless, if you use a litter box with a cover/or dome, remove it during the post-surgery recovery time. Your feline friend might also need assistance covering their pee and poo.
Embracing a special needs cat is no small feat, but it will be rewarding. Giving food, sanctuary, clinical attention (if essential), love, and emotional recognition to a cat with a disability is an act of enormous compassion. The rewards are endless for those thinking about opening their homes and hearts to a cat in need.