Did you know that National Deaf Pet Awareness Week starts September 19th? This is definitely a topic that could use more attention. About one percent of our adorable feline friends are deaf. Fluffy can still lead a full and happy life if she can’t hear well, and she’ll be just as cute and lovable as other cats. She’ll just need some extra care. A vet discusses caring for deaf cats in this article.
You might have heard that if one of the five senses is weak or compromised, the others become more prominent and acute. This is true for cats as well as people. Fluffy will rely on sight, sound, and touch a little more. She’ll also be quite sensitive to vibrations. Get her toys that vibrate or light up.
As Fluffy grows older, her sight may also decline. Keep this in mind! Things like scent markers, night lights, and floor runners will help her age gracefully.
Many of our feline buddies love chasing that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a really fun way to both play with your pet and get her attention. Flashlights can also come in handy for this.
Most deaf animals really hate being startled, and who can blame them? If you have to wake Fluffy up or approach her from behind, stomp your foot so she knows you’re there.
Needless to say, Fluffy won’t come running when you call. (This is actually normal for many cats, even those that can hear well. Putting a bell on your pet’s collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Deaf kitties sometimes can be trained to respond to hand signals. You may be able to teach Fluffy a few hand commands, such as Come and Get Down From That. Just keep it simple, and be consistent.
We recommend that all cats stay inside, even if they can hear. This is especially important for deaf kitties, as they won’t hear things like car horns or brakes, barking dogs, or other sounds. Fluffy might enjoy a catio or enclosure, though.
Cats are very small and fragile, and they can get frightened easily. Fluffy might be more comfortable in spots where she can see what’s going on, and where nobody can sneak up on her. Offer her lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as cat towers, window seats, and pet condos.
Don’t be surprised if Fluffy seems very affectionate. Cats that can’t hear well often really crave touch. Give your furry buddy lots of snuggles and love!
Do you have questions or concerns about your deaf cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal hospital, anytime!