National Deaf Pet Awareness Week kicks off on September 19th, which is this Sunday. This is definitely a topic we are happy to spread awareness about. Approximately one percent of the kitty population is deaf. Cats can still lead full and happy lives if they can’t hear: they just 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 usually become more prominent and sensitive. This is true for cats as well as people. Fluffy will be quite sensitive to vibrations and smells. Get her toys that vibrate or light up. She’ll probably also enjoy some catnip.
As your feline buddy grows older, her sight may also decline. Using scent markers, night lights, and floor runners will help her get around, and can keep her from getting frightened or disoriented.
Kitties may be bold, but they really are very small and fragile, and they can get frightened easily. Fluffy may be more comfortable in spots where she can see what’s going on, and where no one will sneak up on her. Offer your cute pet lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as cat towers, window seats, and kitty condos.
Many deaf animals absolutely despise being startled. Nobody likes being snuck up on! If you have to wake Fluffy up or approach her from behind, thump your foot so she knows you’re there.
We recommend that all kitties stay safe and sound inside. This is especially crucial for deaf ones! Fluffy won’t hear things like car horns or brakes, barking dogs, or other sounds. She may enjoy a catio or enclosure, though.
Many of our feline buddies absolutely 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.
Deaf cats sometimes can be trained to respond to hand signals. You might be able to teach Fluffy a few commands. Just keep it simple, and be consistent. (Your pet may still ignore you, but that’s besides the point.) Putting a bell on her collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Don’t be surprised if your feline buddy 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!