As a cat ages, the chances of it losing its hearing go up. With proper love, food, and care, it is a lot less likely, but it does happen. Whether it is an elderly cat or a young kitten who is deaf, you have to understand how to better take care of them. Losing hearing or never having it is not grounds for death. Cats, dogs, humans, and even birds do well without being able to hear anything.
If you believe your cat or kitten is deaf or is going deaf, take them to the vet as soon as possible. When it comes to kittens who have never had hearing, training is usually fairly easy. However, with cats who have aged and lost hearing, things can become difficult. You will have to change the way you two interact entirely.
Caring For A Deaf Cat
You will need to approach your cat with a basic understanding that even though he/she is deaf, they are more than capable of understanding you. Every living creature, including plants, feel vibration. You will need to use this to allow your cat to know where you are and what you are doing. You will have to walk heavy when approaching so you do not scare him/her and use signals to get his/her attention. Signals can be done using lights. Basic flickering of ceiling lights will show the cat where you are, or you can use a flash light to get their attention as well.
Sudden appearances of objects, pets, or people will scare a deaf cat significantly. If your cat is sleeping, allow them to sleep. If you absolutely have to wake them up, do as you would a baby. Very faint touches to slowly wake them up or tap near the area your cat is sleeping by. The vibrations alone should get their attention. You can also wake them up with light, but please don’t go shining a bright flashlight in the cat’s face. Do this with room lighting.
If you are looking into getting another cat, or any other animal, you have to make sure both will get along well. What this means for you is doing your research. Don’t just allow any new animal into your home. Kittens genuinely do fine with older deaf cats, though their claws can be an issue. I am against declawing cats but there is an option to have the cat wear claw caps. As for dogs, I highly recommend getting an adult dog over a puppy. Puppies are spastic by nature and can hurt a deaf cat very easily, even the smaller breeds. Only adopt a dog you know is calm, relaxed, and easy-going.
You must also need to relearn how to train your cat. Hand signals and eye contact are very important. As you are training them to respond to your motions, reward them when they do it properly. There is also the option of using vibration collars for training. This will help to keep your cat’s attention without him/her getting into any harm.
ALWAYS set time aside for your cat. Playing, petting, or just sitting by them will help them through this process.
NEVER leave a deaf cat alone for long periods of time. If you must be gone more than 8 hours, have someone watch over your cat.
*All-white cats have a greater chance of being born or growing deaf (heterochromia). One sign is two separate eye colors.*