Sometimes it is not easy to tell if your cat is deaf, but it is important to learn to recognize the signs and understand how to take care of him in the best possible way.
The deafness in cats is a condition much more common than you might think, although sometimes it takes a little ‘time to realize that the cat is (or has become) dull : the first thing to do, therefore, is to learn to read the signs of a severe hearing problem in our four-legged friend, and then understand what is the best way to interact with him.
In this article, we will cover the deaf cat topic by identifying the possible causes of hearing loss in cats, then list the signs and symptoms of deafness in cats and finally understand how to care for a deaf cat.
Deaf cat: everything you need to know about hearing loss in felines
Causes of deafness in cats
Let’s start by saying that there are several possible causes of deafness in cats:
– Deaf cat for genetic causes> usually albino cats and white cats are deaf, as the gene responsible for hearing loss is the same as the one that concerns the pigmentation of the hair of cats.
– Cat deaf because of old age> the older cats may gradually lose your hearing, just as they do for people.
– Cat deaf to infections> there are many infections that can cause deafness problems in cats, including ear infections of a bacterial, parasitic or fungal nature. Also, some serious health problems like polyps and tumors can cause deafness if they develop inside the ear canal.
How to tell if the cat is deaf? Symptoms and tests
The cat is a very independent animal and often this peculiar characteristic makes it difficult to identify and interpret any symptoms and signs of deafness. In addition, a cat is able to adapt to any situation and will often be able to compensate for the lack of hearing with other senses.
The first thing to observe is how the cat reacts when you call him : if he does not turn around at the sound of your voice, but reacts when you touch him to get his attention, it is possible that there is a hearing problem. Another symptom of the deaf cat is the volume of its voice : if the cat meows loudly, there may be a hearing problem.
Likewise, deaf cats have balance problems – pay attention to how your cat walks and try to notice if he wobbles as he moves from side to side. The deaf cat with balance problems may also present more or less frequent episodes of vomiting.
Then there are some real home tests that you can do to your cat to understand if he is suffering from deafness: for example, approach him while he sleeps and make noise to see if he wakes up. Again, try to surprise him with a sudden noise while he is distracted or turn on the vacuum cleaner in his presence.
How to deal with a deaf cat? Tips to cure it
If we notice one or more of the signs listed in the previous paragraph, it is likely that the cat has a severe hearing problem: it will be the veterinarian with a specialist visit who will diagnose deafness in the cat.
Once you have confirmed that the cat is indeed deaf, in both ears or even in one ear, don’t worry: a deaf cat usually has a normal quality of life, especially if they live indoors. In this regard, it is best to reduce outdoor walks as much as possible to keep your kitten safe as much as possible.
Caring for a deaf cat requires love and patience: if your four-legged friend suddenly loses his hearing, he may be very disoriented at first and will need constant reassurance.
Additionally, there are some specific tips to consider:
– the deaf cat is likely to be surprised and frightened easily: it needs quiet and safe places to rest, for example hiding places in high places scattered in the various rooms of the house;
– safety with a deaf cat is all the more fundamental: in addition to the microchip, it is good to make him wear a safety collar in which his condition of absence of hearing is clearly indicated. Also, only let him out if you have a well-fenced garden: a busy road would be a huge danger for him;
– when the cat cannot hear, the usual calls with voice or noises are useless: learn to communicate with him with visual signals, working on body language. It will take time to learn, but don’t give up!
– in the same way, if your cat cannot hear the sweet words or the reproaches you say to him, use gestures both to cuddle him and to make him understand what he must or must not do.