Caring for a Disabled Cat

A disabled cat has a lot of special needs and may be challenging to take care of. However, you may help your companion by knowing a few basics about caring for a disabled cat. The amount of care required by your pet depends on the type of disability. In some cases, you only need to adapt the cat's room and environment so that it is more suitable for the cat's needs. In other more serious cases, you will need to spend more time with your cat and provide help at all times.

Types of Disabilities

The disabilities of the cat may have a gradual onset (i.e. loss of hearing or eyesight), while others may occur suddenly (loss of a limb). The care required by the disabled cat that has a disability which had a gradual onset will be easier; the cat can adapt accordingly. However, if the onset of the disability was sudden, you will need to help your cat until he adapts.

Gradual Onset Disabilities

The disabilities with a gradual onset require little or no help and they are typically disabilities that come with the old age.

If the cat starts losing his eyesight, you will need to remove sharp objects from his environment and remove other obstacles from the floor, keeping the cat's room as unaltered as possible. In this way, the cat will get used to the position of each and every object. The cat will memorize the position of the furniture and may also rely on smell. Typically, when the cat loses his eyesight, he will have a more developed sense of smell, which will compensate for the loss of vision. The cat will be able to find the food, water and litter box, relying only on the sense of smell.

You may also consider keeping your cat indoors, as the outdoors may present more challenges. The cat may also get injured outside.

If your pet loses his hearing, you don't need to make any changes but always make sure to use gestures when talking to your cat. You should also limit the cat's time spent outdoors, as he may be attacked by other felines or animals or get run over by a car.

Acute Onset Disability

A cat with an acute onset disability will require more help. At first, the cat may not understand that he is disabled, so you will need to make sure he is safe.

If the cat has lost a limb, you should eliminate objects that will require jumping. You may also build or install a ramp which can help your cat climb stairs. Place the food, water and litter box at the level where the cat has always access. Provide the cat with help at first, but allow him to be as independent as possible.

You should also provide a lot of love, so that the cat will get used to his new condition. Typically, felines can easily adapt to new situations.