National Deaf Pet Awareness Week begins September 19th, which is this coming Sunday. This is definitely a topic that could use some more attention. About one percent of our feline friends are deaf. Fluffy can still lead a full and happy life if she can’t hear, and she’ll be just as cute and lovable as other kitties. Of course, she will need some extra care. A vet discusses caring for a deaf cat below.
As Fluffy grows older, her eyesight may also decline. Using scent markers, night lights, and floor runners will help her age gracefully.
Most deaf animals absolutely hate being startled, and who can blame them? If you absolutely have to wake Fluffy up or approach her from behind, thump your foot so she knows you’re there.
You might have heard that if one sense is weak or compromised, the others tend to become more prominent and sensitive. This is true for animals as well as people. Fluffy will be quite sensitive to vibrations and lights. Get her toys that vibrate or light up.
Needless to say, Fluffy won’t come running when you call. (To be fair, many cats with perfect hearing also ignore our calls.) Putting a bell on her collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Many cats love chasing that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a fun way for you to both play with Fluffy and get her attention. Flashlights can also work.
Deaf cats sometimes can be trained to respond to hand signals. You may be able to teach Fluffy a few commands. Just keep it simple, and be consistent.
We recommend that all cats be kept inside, for safety reasons. This is especially crucial for deaf ones, as they won’t hear things like car horns or brakes, barking dogs, or other sounds. Fluffy may enjoy a catio or enclosure, though.
Cats are very small and fragile, and they can get frightened easily. Your furball may be more comfortable in places where she can see what’s going on, and where no one will sneak up on her. Offer Fluffy lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as cat towers, window seats, and kitty condos.
Don’t be surprised if your kitty seems very affectionate. Cats that can’t hear well often really crave touch. Give Fluffy lots of snuggles and love!
Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal hospital, anytime!