National Deaf Pet Awareness Week starts on September 19th, which is this coming Sunday. This is definitely a topic that could use more attention. About one percent of the kitty population can’t hear. 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 furballs. Of course, she will need a little extra care. A vet discusses caring for deaf cats below.
Deaf pets can sometimes be trained to respond to hand signals. You may be able to teach Fluffy a few commands. Keep it simple, and be consistent. (Your feline pal may still completely ignore you, but that’s another topic.) Putting a bell on her collar will help you monitor her whereabouts, as she won’t hear you calling her.
As Fluffy ages, her sight may also decline. Using scent markers, night lights, and floor runners will help your pet find her way around, and can also help keep her from feeling scared or confused.
You may have heard that if one sense is weak or compromised, the others tend to 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. Catnip, of course, may also be a big hit.
Don’t Frighten Fluffy
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.
Many of our feline buddies love chasing that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a great way to both play with Fluffy and get her attention. Flashlights can also be helpful here.
We recommend that all kitties stay inside. This is especially crucial for deaf ones, as they won’t hear things like horns, brakes, barking dogs, or other sounds. Fluffy may enjoy a catio or enclosure, though.
Offer Safe Spots
Kitties 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 can sneak up on her. Offer her lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as window seats, cat towers and kitty condos.
Don’t be surprised if your kitty seems very affectionate. Cats that can’t hear well often really crave touch. Give your furry pal lots of snuggles and love!
Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal hospital in Carlisle, ON, anytime!