Thursday 4 May 2023

Neutering operation blinded a feral cat but turned him into a domestic cat overnight

NEWS AND COMMENT-NORTH CAROLINA ANIMAL SHELTER: This interesting story from America confirms what we already know about anaesthetics on domestic and feral cats. It can blind them. As I recall, there is a about a one in 400 chance of a cat being blinded by a general anaesthetic.

So, this cat whose been named Scoot lost his sight after he was brought to the shelter and neutered. That would have been a standard process. You can see in the photograph that his left ear has been trimmed, called 'ear tipping' indicating that he was a feral cat cared for under a TNR program.

Scoot. Image: The Charlotte Observer.

But here's the interesting bit: he was a scratchy, irritable and difficult cat as feral cats are prone to be unless they have been through some sort of socialisation.

But in this instance, because he became instantly blind, his temperament became much milder and of course he became reliant on his caregivers. It seems that he decided he had to integrate into human society in an instant in order to survive. Which made him a good pet overnight. In fact, he pretty well instantly transformed into a domestic cat.

He was adopted by a shelter worker, Mariah Shields.

She said:

“It’s very obvious how new he is to being blind, and he started out very quiet and unassuming,”

Apparently, he's opening up and he started to knead his owner (regards her as his surrogate mom) and is becoming very sociable. He greeted her with a meow in the morning and when he is petted, he wants to play. 

And recently he hugged her. He's become a bone fide pet cat of the highest quality all because he was instantly made blind by an anaesthetic.

I guess you could say that this is a silver lining in the heavy risk of anaesthetics seriously harming domestic cats and this can happen in the most innocuous operations such as teeth cleaning.

That's why people who know about the dangers of anaesthetics are reluctant to take their cat to veterinarians for teeth cleaning which often is a necessity.

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