Sunday, March 26, 2017

Blind cats are cats first

Lucy the blind cat on her chair

Lucy here is shedding her thick winter coat, so she's not looking her best. Her ruff is full of dreadlocks and her back is full of fuzz. (And she's discovered that she really doesn't like to be brushed, so cleaning her up is an epic battle.)

But even though she might not be ready for the camera, she wanted to participate in the hop this week, because she has a little message to share.

That message: Blind cats are cats first, blind second.

What do I mean by that, you ask? I mean that many people define these little creatures by their inability to see. They think the sensory loss these guys experience is what defines them as a being.

In reality, what defines these guys is their essential catitude.

Lucy the cat rolling on her chair

I've had letters from readers asking me why their blind cats do things like:
  • Run around in the middle of the night.
  • Cry when they're confined to small rooms.
  • Bite during play. 
  • Fight with other cats. 

Many people think that their blind cats behave this way because they're blind. It's my suspicion that these cats behave this way because they are cats.

Few of the behaviors Lucy exhibits are due to her essential blindness. She can get spooky around new things, like my walkers and crutches, and she is very sensitive to loud noises. She also hates to be carried. But many of her other quirks seem well within the range of normal for a cat. Most of them are totally normal for a tortie.

I try to reassure readers when they write about their blind cats, and I try to help them learn how to treat these cats like any other cats they might have. They should get the same love, the same play, the same exercise and the same boundaries. They can make new friends, and they need friends. All of that shouldn't change.

And why shouldn't it change? Because people who believe that their blind cats behave badly because they are blind might be more likely to give these cats up. Blind cats are always blind. That can't change.

But behavior? You can totally work on behavior through training (including clicker training!) and love and persistence. Those undesirable behaviors can totally change.

So that's Lucy's message for the day, and she'll cap that message off with a smile for her friends at The Cat On My Head.

Lucy the blind cat posing for a selfie

It's Sunday, and that means it's time for the selfie blog hop. Have you joined in yet? You should. But before you go, leave me a note so I'll know you were here, okay?


  1. "Most of them are totally normal for a tortie." MOL I love that quote!!! Lucy is such a beauty.

  2. She is a cat who happens to be blind. Working with individuals with autism and related disabilities, people often see the disability first. I see them as people, who happen to have a disability.

  3. Hi Lucy - gosh, your coat is beautiful - even if you are shedding a bit.

    P.S.: I'm trying to get back on track with some of my 'specials" posts. Would Lucy still like to participate?

  4. Those are lovely selfies from sweet Lucy.

  5. Lucy, you are precious and beautiful, even if your furs aren't at their best. Very good post. Have you read the book about Homer, the Blind Cat? It is excellent and a great resource for those who ask you questions. Thanks so much for hopping. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy

  6. What a great message about behavior. I love the thought that it can change with love and persistence, and it most likely doesn't have to do with the blindness, which of course most likely can't change.

    Lucy looks beautiful!

  7. Thanks for teaching us about blind cat habits. Lucy's selfie is pawsome!!! She has the same curly-cue hairs on her mane that I had! (Angel Angie...)
    Purrs and loves to you both!

  8. It's true! Lucy is a cat, who just happens to be blind, right? We love her selfie!

  9. We've heard that blind cats...and quite well with their lack of sight and live normal lives. Lucy is a beauty!

  10. Lucy always makes us smile and her selfie to day is no exception. She exudes happiness in a way that is hard to explain, but a pleasure to behold.
    Purrs, Erin

  11. Lucy is beyond beautiful, in so many ways.

  12. The happiest of Sunday selfies for you Lucy, you are a wonder (although we imagine the brushing battle is epic!!!!)

  13. Lucy is gorgeous!

    Bestest purrs

    Basil & Co xox

  14. We love your Selfies, Lucy even if you were not prepared for it. Pawkisses for a wonderful day☺❤

  15. Mee-yu Lucy yur so-o mee not even ntice yur blind. An mee betss yur just as clevurr even more clevurr than us sited katss. An yu has a GRATE Mumma all so to help you an that makes Life much easier!
    **paw kissesss** Siddhartha Henry xxxx