National Deaf Pet Awareness Week starts this Sunday, the 19th. This is definitely a topic that could use more attention. Just about one percent of the kitty population is deaf. Cats that can’t hear can still lead full, happy lives. Fluffy will be just as cute and lovable as other cats. Of course, she will need some extra care. A veterinarian offers some tips on caring for deaf cats below.
Most deaf animals absolutely hate being startled, and who can blame them? If you have to wake Fluffy up or approach her from behind, thump your foot so she knows you’re there. Don’t scoop her up unexpectedly.
Many cats love chasing that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a really fun way that you can both play with Fluffy and get her attention. Flashlights can also work.
You might have heard that if one sense is weak or compromised, the others become more sensitive. This is true for cats as well as people. Fluffy will rely a lot on her cute nose and eyes. She may appreciate toys that vibrate or light up. However, as your pet grows older, her sight may also decline. Using scent markers, night lights, and floor runners will help her age gracefully.
We recommend that all kitties stay inside. This is especially crucial for deaf ones, as they won’t hear things like car horns or brakes or barking dogs. Fluffy can safely enjoy a catio or enclosure, though.
Deaf pets can often be trained to respond to hand signals. You may be able to teach Fluffy a few commands. The key is to keep it simple, and be consistent. Needless to say, Fluffy won’t come when you call. Putting a little bell on your pet’s collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Kitties are really very small and fragile, and they can get frightened very easily. Your furball may be more comfortable in spots where she can see what’s going on, and where she isn’t at risk of someone sneaking up on her. Offer your furball lots of lookouts and hidey-holes, such as cat towers, window seats, and kitty condos.
Don’t be surprised if your furry 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 pet’s health or care? Contact us, your animal hospital, anytime!