National Deaf Pet Awareness Week starts on September 19th, which is coming up this Sunday. This is definitely a topic that could use more attention. Just about one percent of the kitty population is deaf. Fluffy can still lead a full and happy life, even if she can’t hear, and she’ll of course be just as cute, cuddly, and lovable as any other cat. She’ll just need some extra care. A vet discusses caring for deaf cats below.
Get Vibrating Toys
You might have heard that if one sense is weak or compromised, the others become more prominent and sensitive. This applies to cats as well as people. Fluffy will be quite sensitive to vibrations. You may want to get her toys that vibrate or light up. She may also appreciate toys that make noise, as she might still feel the vibrations.
Offer Safe Spots
Cats 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 Fluffy lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as cat towers, window seats, and kitty condos.
Deaf animals can sometimes be trained to respond to hand signals. You may be able to teach Fluffy a few commands. Given that Come and Get Down From There are pretty much the only commands kitties obey, focus on those. Just keep it simple, and be consistent.
As Fluffy ages, her sight may also decline. Using night lights, scent markers, and floor runners will help her age gracefully.
Don’t Frighten Fluffy
Most deaf animals absolutely hate being startled. If you have to wake your cat up or approach her from behind, thump your foot so she knows you’re there.
Fluffy loves chasing that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a fun way to both play with your cat and get her attention. Flashlights can also work.
We recommend that all kitties stay inside. This is especially crucial for deaf ones, as they won’t hear things like brakes or car horns, dogs barking, or other warning sounds. Your feline pal may enjoy a catio or enclosure, though.
Needless to say, Fluffy won’t come running when you call. (Cats that can hear perfectly well also ignore us, but that’s another topic.) Putting a little bell on your pet’s collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Don’t be surprised if your furball seems very affectionate. Cats that can’t hear well often really crave touch. Give your cute pet lots of snuggles and love!
Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal hospital in McHenry, IL, anytime!