That's a question people ask me a lot about Lucy, especially when they find out that she's been blind since birth. In a way, I get it. Most cats seem like visual players, as they spend a lot of time chasing light, movement and trails. Without eyes, these things seem hard to do. Therefore, a lot of people assume that these blind cats just don't play.
Boy, are they wrong.
Blind cats have the same hunting/playing needs as sighted cats. And playing with a blind cat is a great way to deepen your bond, just as it's an excellent bonding activity with a sighted cat.
But it's true that there are some modifications required. Here are three games that seem to work particularly well with Lucy that might also work well with a blind cat you might love to play with.
Blind cat game 1: Grab my fingers.This is the game Lucy is playing with me in the photo at the top of this blog. Here's how it goes:
- Pick a spot that can semi-separate you from the cat. I'm using a stair rail here, but coffee table slats or long curtains or high doors will work just as well.
- Maneuver the cat on one side, with you on the other side.
- Tap near the space that separates you.
- Wait for the batting to begin.
Blind cat game 2: Find the food treat.While Lucy may not be able to see well, she can smell almost anything. That means games with food are a big hit with her.
I hide little snacks inside of crumpled pieces of paper or old dog puzzle toys, and I lead her over to the field of play. As soon as she catches a whiff of the treats, she's on the hunt for them.
At the moment, I'm using her kibble for treats. She's still eating food from Solid Gold as part of a challenge (more on that here), and she really loves that stuff. So it works as a treat for her. But even tiny dog treats or bits of cheese will work. It just needs to be smelly.
Blind cat game 3: Chase the raffia.The challenge, with this game, is to find a target that Lucy can hear, but that isn't overwhelming. Blind cats like Lucy are just more sensitive to volume, so they can't bear noises that deafen them. Commercial cat ball-based toys are, in my opinion, too loud for Lucy. I have better luck with something else.
Raffia is very cheap, and it makes a crinkling sound when it moves. If I unfurl a bit of this stuff and drag it across the floor, Lucy will chase it. Every single time. I can let her "catch" it, too, as it's non-toxic and natural. As long as I stay with her and don't let her eat it, I can keep her safe in play.
So those are my suggestions! Anyone have any tips to add? I'd love to hear them in the comments.