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To the average household cat, blindness should present few problems. In fact, owners are often completely unaware of their cats' vision loss until they enter a new environment or the old one is modified. Particularly if vision loss is gradual (as it is with senile cataracts, or with progressive genetic conditions), animals learn to negotiate furniture, food bowls and stairwells as if their vision was perfect.
How can the owners of blind cats ease their pets' acclimation to a world of reduced vision? They take advantage of their pets' other functional senses. Although we all talk to our cats and routinely use verbal cues, speech should be frequent and exaggerated for the blind cat. The sense of smell can be very useful for "tagging" specific areas of the home. For example, hazards such as stair landings can be identified with small amounts of lemon oil or potpourri. In most cases, vision impairment is hardly noticeable in our indoor pets and a little special care can make all the difference.
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