Caring for a Deaf Cat
Deaf Pet Awareness Week starts September 23rd. While most cats can hear very well—much better than we can, in fact—kitties can lose their hearing due to age, injury, or infections, as well as from other causes. Fluffy can still lead a happy, healthy life if she can’t hear, but she will need some extra TLC. Here, a Lakeville, MN vet offers some helpful tips on caring for a deaf feline.
Put a bell on your feline pal’s collar. That way, you’ll be able to tell where she is, at least when she is awake and moving around.
Keep Kitty Indoors
We always recommend that cats stay indoors. Kitties are both safer and healthier as inside pets, where they aren’t threatened by cars, weather, predators, or other hazards. This goes double for deaf pets. Fluffy won’t be able to hear a car coming or a dog barking, or know when you are calling her.
Kitties can learn to respond to visual cues, such as the flick of a light. Your furball may also still be able to hear high-frequency dog whistles. If you happen to have a piano, Fluffy may also be able to pick up the vibrations from lower notes. (Of course, whether or not your cat actually comes when you call her is another topic.)
Don’t Sneak Up On Your Pet
Avoid sneaking up on your feline friend. No one likes being startled awake! Stomp your foot or clap your hands before approaching Fluffy. Also, when you have company, make sure they know that your cat can’t hear, and ask them not to startle her.
Fluffy can’t tell you if she is losing her hearing, so it’s important to watch for behavioral clues. One common one is that cats often sleep a lot more when their hearing fails. (We know, this one may not be much of a clue, given how much time cats spend snoozing.) Your furry buddy may meow more loudly. She may also watch you and/or your other pets very closely to figure out what is going on. For instance, she won’t hear the doorbell ring, but she will notice Fido running for the door. Contact your vet if you notice any of these warning signs.
Please contact us, your Lakeville, MN pet hospital, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!