I am currently fostering Alex, a two year old cat who was left completely blind after a car accident about two months ago. He has only recently left the vet clinic but is already quite well adjusted and fairly confident around the house where he's allowed to roam.

In the meantime, I am caring for a kitten that was (mostly) abandoned by its feral mother (she sometimes visits to eat) outside my building. The kitten must be two months old or possibly older (can't know). The kitten is only allowed in the house when I can supervise, otherwise he is either outside or in another room. He does not spend nights inside.

I've been trying to get them to socialise but I'm not sure that I'm making the right progress. I've taken it very slowly, starting out with a few minutes of them being around each other at a time, and building up gradually over the last couple of weeks. Since the kitten is outside my building, I can't keep him indoors and do the whole "play through the door" thing regularly - though we've done that, it ended with hissing. The best I've achieved so far is to get them to take turns playing with the same toy (mouse and bell on a string) and that was going great until the older cat performed a small but angry attack against the kitten. The kitten hit back. Some more hissing ensued, then they both retreated.

Can I have advice from anyone who's had to deal with a similar situation? Or any thoughts on whether this latest one was a positive encounter? I don't want to give up but I'm becoming impatient.

  • One technique that may be helpful to you is swapping bedding. Cats really pay attention to scents, and a blind cat will only do so more. If you take the cat bed, towel or whatever the cats sleep on and swap them, the cats will get used to the scent of the other cat, which will mean less stress when they meet. You will still need to supervise interactions as well, though. The length of time for cats to adjust depends on the cats but in general younger cats adapt faster than old cats. I have a couple cats that have gone from mortal enemies to tolerating each other, and this took over a year. – Mark Ripley May 6 '19 at 8:25
  • Yes I've been doing scent swapping too! Mostly with toys though so far. Will try it with bedding soon too. I do expect the blind cat to need more time, and I'm only fostering him at the moment, but if I don't end up keeping him I hope this experience with the kitten might open up more adoption possibilities for him. – Theo May 6 '19 at 19:27

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