Would you adopt a blind cat? Adopting an animal with special needs may sound like a lot of work, and there are definitely some things you need to keep in mind when adapting your household to a blind animal’s needs, but recently one cat owner on Twitter opened up about how amazing blind cats are in their ability to adapt and be playful, affectionate companions.

The Russian-language Twitter account catunderhood, which passes the controls to a different cat owner each week to let them tell their cat’s story, featured Volodymyr Stelmakh, who lives in Kyiv, Ukraine with his two cats Jim and Leia. It was Jim who attracted the most attention for one noticeable reason: he has no eyes! Stelmakh posted a comprehensive thread answering some of the most common questions about what life is like for a blind cat.

Jim wasn’t always the happy, healthy cat he is now. Stelmakh explains that Jim and several other cats were rescued from an apartment that had been abandoned after a fire. Jim’s eyes had already collapsed due to severe infection, so his eye sockets were surgically removed and he had a long recovery in the vet clinic where he was treated. By the time Stelmakh adopted him three months later, Jim came with some lingering health problems caused by the malnutrition he suffered when he was abandoned, as well as complications following the surgery, but with attentive care and nutrition, he made an inspirational recovery.

This cat owner wrote a thread about his blind cat

Stelmakh describes how when he brought Jim home, the blind cat didn’t realize he had a whole apartment’s worth of space around him after being kept in a kennel for months, and had to be coaxed to move by touching him and encouraging him to follow, talking to him all the while. It didn’t take much guidance before he was relying on his nose and whiskers to explore his entire living space.

Jim had to relearn how to navigate after losing his eyes

“Here’s an example of how he gets onto the sofa. Note the grace. You can also hear him purring,” reads this tweet showing how Jim hops onto the couch.

Jim is very bold when it comes to getting around the apartment now

Jim doesn’t require any special supplies as far as food bowls and litter boxes go. He accidentally dips his face in his water bowl, and he had some messy habits that forced his humans to get him a covered litter box, but those minor issues are hardly unique to blind cats.

As you can see, Jim is a pretty normal cat

Image credits: vstelmakh

“I managed to film how Jim drinks. He must have been terribly thirsty, because he was in a hurry, but you can see how he laps up and ‘chews’ water, and how it all flows down his beard :D”

He doesn’t need eyes to be super cute, either

Image credits: vstelmakh

Image credits: vstelmakh

Best of all, Jim loves to play just like any cat! The thread includes several videos of Jim playing, and you can hardly even tell that he’s using sound rather than vision to bat a toy ball around and play tag with his kitty friend Leia.

Jim is still playful at age 6

Jim and Leia are great friends and playmates

“And now for the long-awaited topic of playing!

Fortunately, I have more videos :) Here’s one of my favorites. Jim is the bigger one”

Image credits: vstelmakh

“Here’s how he catches a ball, for example”

Cats have incredible senses of hearing, smell, and touch. They even use their whiskers to feel vibrations in the air and determine how close they are to objects. So it’s no surprise that even if a cat loses their sense of sight, they can quickly learn to use their other senses to compensate⁠. As Stelmakh points out, blind cats need to be able to memorize their living space, so you should avoid unnecessarily rearranging your furniture, and it should go without saying that blind cats need to be indoor cats for life. Judging by how spoiled Jim looks, that seems to be fine with him!

Having a blind cat is a rewarding experience

Image credits: vstelmakh

Image credits: vstelmakh

Image credits: vstelmakh