If you have a cat as a pet and suffer from deafness, take note of these tips to know how to take care of it properly.
Cats are amazing animals, they are affectionate, they like your company and will be by your side whenever you need it. While it is true that cats are somewhat more independent than other pets such as dogs, the reality is that a cat can give you all the love you need in your life.
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You might realize that your cat is deaf when he did not respond to his name when you called him or that with loud or thunderous blows he did not flinch. It is also possible for cats to lose their hearing as they age. The vet will have to tell you if your cat is really deaf or not. If your cat is really deaf, you will have to change the way you communicate with your cat.
The disability in the cat
When we think of cats with disabilities, we usually think of cats with visible problems, which are obvious things. You can quickly make a mental image of a cat with three legs, an eye that is missing or has movement problems. Occasionally, other invisible disabilities that your cat may be living are overlooked.
Deafness is one of these hidden disabilities. Deaf cats are like any other cat. When it is discovered that your cat is deaf or you want to adopt a cat that has this disability, you need to know how you can communicate with him and how your coexistence should be to make it suitable for both.
Why a cat is deaf
Cats can lose their hearing as they get older, just like many humans do. In general, it can be a gradual process, so it can be difficult to perceive. The eardrums become less flexible and the sounds are not transmitted with the same efficiency.
As usual, cats that are deaf, show subtle behavior changes as it stops coming to your call or does not realize your movements. Some cats are born partially or completely deaf because of some type of genetic defect, something known as 'congenital deafness'.
In most cases of congenital deafness, deafness is related to the cat's pigment, and most deaf cats they usually have a completely white or almost white coat. I do not mean that they are albino cats since they can have color in the iris of the eye and also in their skin and even, in part of the fur. It is a myth that all white cats are deaf or that everyone has blue or green eyes.
How to know if your cat is deaf
It is usually harder to know if a cat is deaf than if your pet were a dog. A deaf cat plays with his fellow house cats, chases other cats around the house, or plays with toys like any other cat that does not Be deaf. A deaf cat uses vision a lot to move around the world.
It may be easier to realize that your cat is deaf when there is only one cat at home or when he is in a bedroom alone. A deaf cat can sleep peacefully and suddenly, realize that he wakes up very startled, even if you have not made a loud noise. You may not have noticed that you have entered the bedroom while sleeping.
If you really want to realize if your cat is totally deaf, you can clap or shake your keys when the cat is with its back to you. If there is no reaction, then it is very likely that your cat is deaf.
How to take care of your deaf cat
Every living being, including you and I, can feel the vibrations. If your cat is deaf, you will have to think about how you can get his attention so he knows that you are communicating with him. One way is by stomping the ground while approaching or changing the lighting on and off, so you will be creating a form of communication that over time, your cat will understand and adapt to it.
Put yourself in the shoes of a deaf person and of course, your deaf herd. Think about how you can communicate with others. A deaf cat can easily be scared when someone suddenly approaches, just as we get scared if someone scares us with his presence when he comes out of nowhere.
Think that if for example your cat is sleeping peacefully and you need to wake him up to give him, for example, his medication before leaving for work, don't hit him close because he will get scared. Don't turn on the blow lights either because you could stun him.
A very effective way also to communicate with your cat is by signaling. with your hand and see you, for example, tell him to come with a concrete movement while looking at you, touching the floor or on a chair as a way of invitation to be placed next to you. Let him feel the vibrations.
You will be surprised how a cat is deaf is able to establish an alternative form of communication so that in this way, you can address him and understand him. He will have it easier with you because he will use his nonverbal language so you can understand his needs.
Your cat will learn to communicate with you especially through sight, touch and vibrations, So do not skimp these senses to communicate with him. If, for example, you want to modify a negative behavior such as climbing on the sofa or scratching the chairs, you can use a spray spray with water to spray it when you do something you want it to do no more. It is an option that does not hurt, that catches your cat's attention and will know that you do not like to do that in particular. Remember to separate the correction of your behavior towards the cat so that he is not afraid and can correct his behavior well.
Why can my cat become deaf?
A cat can born directly deaf, something that is due to the W gene. This gene predominates in cats that are white and is also related to blue eyes, although that does not mean that all white-fur cats and blue eyes are deaf.
On the other hand, a severe ear infection could end up affecting the cat's hearing and also that some external element is entered in his ear
And of course, as in humans, age It also leaves its mark and can cause hearing loss.
If your cat stops hearing, it should be your veterinarian who tells you what has caused your cat to be deaf and degree of deafness This is not always easy, but it is fundamental.
How I take care of a deaf cat
That your cat is a very independent animal does not mean that it does not have to receive orders in certain situations. All pets need them.
The difference, in these cases, is that instead of giving orders with the voice, they will have to be done with gestures and vibrations.
To call your cat and come to you you can employ a vibration That reaches the animal. For example, if you stomp at home, the vibrations of the ground will come and go to look for you.
If this does not work and, in addition, your deaf cat has behavioral problems, you can put a vibrating collar, but this is better left as a last resort. The vibrations will not harm you, but it is not indicated.
When you want give a specific order to a deaf cat, choose a certain gesture for that order and repeat it whenever you give that indication. Cats are very intelligent and it will not be hard for them to understand after several repetitions.
On the other hand, those hand gestures must be accompanied by the correct facial expression. Your cat will also understand if you are angry or happy if you show a frown or a smile. Also, even if I don't hear you, use a firm tone. Everything helps in our expression.
But above all, don't hit or throw things on your cat to get your attention It will scare and lose confidence in you. You must be patient and treat him with so much love!
Other care for a deaf cat
Since your cat has lost one of its senses, you should try to develop the others, especially Smell and sight.
- For smell you can use the same fragrance always and in this way your cat will recognize where you are or have been for your smell.
- To enhance the view, play with it using flashy color intelligence games. You will love it!
On the other hand, for a deaf cat an exit to the outside can be fatal, since you will not have a hearing notice that tells you that you are in danger.
Therefore, we recommend enabling your home to find in it all the necessary stimuli to avoid stress and protect windows and balconies So he can't escape.
If you have visitors often at home, remember that they can cause stress to your cat. So that no more problems arise, explain to your guests the disability of your pet and how they should address her so as not to scare her.
In addition, as we know, it is not entirely advisable to take your cat for a walk, but if you notice that your pet is anxious not to step on the street, you can try to train him to leash and enjoy small walks.
And of course, any illness of our pets gets along better showing all our love.
Pamper your cat a lot and caress it whenever it comes close to you. Let him feel your affection and he will thank you!
Deafness in cats
If the cat suffers from congenital deafness, that is, from birth, it is due to the W-allele gene, which acts as dominant gene in cats with completely fur White and that also relates to the color of blue eyes. However, this does not imply that all white cats with blue eyes suffer from deafness. Deafness can also be due to an ear infection, a foreign body lodged in the auditory cavity or the degeneration of old age.
Knowing if a cat is deaf as well as determining the degree of deafness is not easy, therefore It is important to go to the vet since only he will determine with certainty the hearing status of our pet.
Communicate with a deaf cat
The deaf cat also needs all our attention and presence, and we, as good owners, must keep communicating with him, but obviously we can no longer do it verbally. It is necessary then to initiate a communication through gestures and teach the basic orders through them.
This may seem complex at first but it is not so much, just repeat the same gesture (brief and clear) in the same situations. When we have had the opportunity to repeat a gesture several times, we will observe that our pet understands it without any difficulty.
Another important aspect in nonverbal communication is the facial expressionEven if your cat can't hear you, you should speak to him in a firm tone and make sure he can see your face, over time, your cat will perfectly interpret what you mean when you smile and also that you are angry when you frown.
The importance of vibration for a deaf cat
If your cat does not hear, how are you going to call him by his name and expect him to come to your call? It is no use shouting because in fact this could end up causing disorders in your cat's behavior.
A good way to come to your call is to enter the house stomping the ground, this will cause a perfectly noticeable vibration for your cat, who will warn that you are claiming his presence.
If this is not useful and the cat has a very altered behavior due to hearing loss, we can use vibrating necklaces that emit small and harmless vibrations to your cat.
Take caution with the outside
For a cat that fully retains its abilities and senses, the outside is still a place that involves dangers and risks, even more so when we are facing a deaf cat.
Hearing loss makes the environment an outside Too dangerous for our cat, therefore, it is a priority that we keep the exits to the outside closed and that we take care that our cat cannot slip away. Obviously, within our home we must offer an ideal environment that does not give rise to boredom or stress.
However if you want to let him enjoy contact with nature, we advise you to teach your cat to walk on a leash to offer you a good experience without any risk.
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A deaf cat shows greater development in the senses of sight and smell, and obviously we should take advantage of this fact:
- Play with your cat through visual stimulation, for example, using brightly colored toys. Discover in ExpertAnimal 8 games for cats to inspire you. Intelligence games such as the kong, are very advisable to stimulate you mentally.
- We also recommend that you always use the same perfume or cologneIn this way, your cat will recognize your smell perfectly in all the places of the house where you have been.
Company and affection
All cats need our love and time, but especially a deaf cat, who must feel loved fundamentally through touch, therefore, caresses are an essential part in the care of the deaf cat. We must caress our cat daily, even blow slightly so that it reaches the vibration and interprets it as a gesture of affection. Brushing your hair daily can be a great help to make you feel comfortable and loved.
We can also contemplate that you have the company of another pet, but in this case we must work very hard to achieve an adequate coexistence, since in the case of not getting along, this would be a stressful factor for the cat.
If you want to read more articles similar to Caring for a deaf cat, we recommend that you enter our Extra Care section.
How to take care of a deaf cat
The fact that your cat is deaf does not mean much less that you cannot communicate with him. In fact, there are many and varied ways of establishing communication with a deaf cat, as for example, turning on and off the lights of the house when we are approaching our pet, or stepping on the strong ground so that it detects the vibration and knows that we are approaching.
Keep in mind that, sometimes, cats may have a temporary deafness due to excessive accumulation of wax in the ears, a problem that is easily solved with a regular cleaning of the animal's pavilion, and using a cotton swab .
Deaf cats need, above all, live in a safe environment Since, as we well know, all cats have a very strong exploratory instinct, but in the specific case of the deaf cat, the lack of hearing can lead to certain dangers when preparing to explore certain parts of the house.
In order not to scare him every time you enter or leave any room in the house, try to give him a soft pat or caress every time you leave or come. And is that, deaf cats have a strong sense of touch, and greatly appreciate the contact with their owners and other members of their family.
Try to make the most of eye contact if your cat is deaf, since you can help him in certain day-to-day situations, if you show him some gestures emitted from body language.
Precautions in the care of a deaf cat
Lacking the sense of hearing, cats suffering from deafness are exposed to a number of dangers mainly related to the environment in which they live. To avoid that anything bad can happen to you or that you have any type of accident, deaf cats must have Very special attention from their owners.
It is obvious that a deaf cat that lives in a house can make a practically normal life, as long as all the dangers that can cause an accident and, of course, depart from it take special care when they leave homeand walk down the street, since they could be run over, because they can't hear the traffic.
Another aspect to consider is that if your cat is diagnosed with a genetic deafness, you must prevent it from reproducing so that it cannot transmit this inherited defect to its future litter.