National Deaf Pet Awareness Week starts September 19th, which is this Sunday. This is definitely a topic that could use more attention. About one percent of the kitty population is 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 cats. Of course, she will need some extra care. A vet discusses caring for deaf cats below.
You may have heard that if one sense is weak or compromised, the others become more prominent and sensitive. This is true for cats as well as people. Fluffy will be quite sensitive to vibrations. Get her toys that vibrate or light up.
As Fluffy grows older, her sight may also decline. Using scent markers, night lights, and floor runners will help her find her way around, and can also help keep her from feeling scared or confused.
Most deaf animals absolutely hate being startled. If you have to wake Fluffy up or approach her from behind, thump your foot so she knows you’re there.
Deaf pets 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. (Your cat may still ignore you, but that’s another topic.) Putting a bell on her collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Many kitties love chasing that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a fun way to both play with Fluffy and get her attention. Flashlights can also be helpful here.
We recommend that all cats stay inside. 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.
Our feline buddies are very small and fragile, and they can get frightened easily. Your furball may be more comfortable in spots where she can see what’s going on, and where no one will sneak up on her. Offer her lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as cat towers, window seats, and kitty condos.
Don’t be surprised if your furball 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!