Deafness in cats It is a common problem, especially in older cats and some breeds. Luckily, cats have a great capacity to adapt to this circumstance and are able to lead a normal and full life despite the lack of hearing. Let's see what causes deafness in cats and how to detect if your cat is becoming deaf.
Causes of deafness in cats
Deafness in cats may be given by Many different causes:
- Advanced age
- Mild infection due to parasites, bacteria or viruses, in this case deafness is usually temporary
- Side effects of medications, also temporary
- Serious infections untreated and neurological problems can result in permanent deafness
- Tumors and polyps in the ear canal
- Genetic reasons: white and blue-eyed cats have congenital deafness very often
Congenital deafness It is not usually a problem for the cat, because it is customary from the first day to use the rest of the senses. However, a cat that gradually loses hearing will show certain symptoms that can help you realize your deafness.
How to know if my cat is becoming deaf
It is not always easy, Cats are very skilled animals and learn quickly to use the rest of the senses to orient themselves and lead a completely normal life, so it can be difficult to realize. With senses such as touch or smell, they are able to fully compensate for hearing loss.
But nevertheless, yes it can happen that you notice that your cat no longer comes to you when you call from another room, or that it takes time to find out when you get home, it does not turn when you enter the room in which it is ... In general, the cat can stop reacting to everyday sound stimuli that previously caught his attention. Also, if a deaf cat is asleep, you will not be able to wake him up making noise, he will only react to the caresses.
The life of a deaf cat
Deafness in cats it can mean a relevant change in the cat's day to day, especially when it is sudden, and more if it occurs in both ears. If this is the case of your pet, it can lead a practically normal life, but it will need a little help, especially for security reasons, you will have to make things as easy as possible. For example, if you go outside you will be in danger, especially if you cross a road.
You will have to communicate with him in another way, using gestures, use clear and simple signals. On the other hand, always make sure your cat feels you arrive, otherwise it could be scary.
Put a notice on your collar that you are deaf, with your phone number, address and contact with the veterinarian. This way they can help you if you lose one day.
When deafness is progressive and / or unilateral, usually the cat does not usually have problems, since it adapts gradually and learns to strengthen the rest of the senses to compensate for hearing loss.
If you have a deaf cat, don't worry! You just have to change the way you communicate with him and adapt the environment so that he is not in danger, but can lead a completely normal life and will be as happy as any other cat.
What symptoms does a cat have with possible deafness?
The first symptom that your cat is deaf you will find out in his behavior, as they become more pristine and distrustful. The felines are hunters, so they do not get along with having one of their faults diminished. If you notice that it ignores you, that it is more violent than normal or that it does not react well to sound stimuli or its name You have to check if he is deaf.
How to know if my cat is deaf?
The easiest way to find out is to make a loud noise in the room where you are, if you don't react, you may suffer from deafness. To confirm your suspicions, slap hard behind him, if he does not react, it may be. Of course, to have a reliable diagnosis, contact our online veterinarians.
Types of deafness
In general, cats can have two types of deafness: the one from birth (congenital deafness) wave that appears throughout the life of the pussycat For other reasons.
In the case of congenital deafness, one of the most frequent reasons is a malformation. A known condition is the deafness that some white cats suffer, due to the dominant W gene.
If the cat is not deaf from birth, it can also suffer temporary or permanent deafness.
Causes of non-congenital deafness
The most common is the hearing loss that occurs when the cat gets older, approximately after 10 years. As with people, this usually happens on their own. animal aging.
But throughout the life of the pussycat there may be other circumstances that cause deafness, such as a infection (due to bacteria, parasites or fungi), because of a wax plug or why I got something in his ear.
Normally these types of circumstances result in a temporary deafness and, if they are treated on time, they should disappear. But when these infections permanently damage the structures that transmit sound waves, especially when the middle ear is involved, deafness may end up forever.
Other less frequent causes are the consumption of medicines called ototoxics, that is, they can damage the hearing system, as with certain antibiotics and heart medications. Wave exposure of kitten or cat to loud noises for a prolonged period of time.
Finally, they can also be given other pathologies that result in a more or less severe hearing loss, such as neurological problems, cysts, etc.
Symptoms of deafness in cats
As we have said, the cat will surely "hide" his deafness, or compensate it with other senses. But there are some symptoms that can help you know if the cat suffers from hearing loss.
One of the most frequent is that the cat gets scared frequently when someone approaches. Do not confuse with the behavior of shy or scared cats, we mean to be scared because he has not noticed until you practically touch him.
Cats suffering from deafness can also cost waking them from sleep. These pussies tend to meow and vocalize very loudly because, as in people, they do not control the tone of voice since they are not heard or heard little.
Another situation that can occur with a cat with hearing loss is that do not receive signals from other cats well and, for example, have a harder game with your feline companion (by not hearing your groans well).
The cats suffering from single ear deafness they also show peculiar behaviors, since they use only that ear to listen. For example, they only move one ear to focus it towards the sound source or they do not respond to sound stimuli when their posture covers their good ears.
And a more obvious symptom is when have trouble walking or staggersince the ear problem it affects them in balance.
Tricks to know if a cat is deaf
The main thing will always be go to the vet, but if you want to do some test before you can see if you have seen that he suffers from any of the above symptoms: he is easily scared if he does not see the person approaching, does not wake up with sounds, meats very loudly, does not respond to noise or loud sounds, use only one ear and / or have difficulty balancing.
You can also see any of the following tests, without abusing, just to check how he reacts and, in case there is a problem, take him to the vet:
- You get home and it doesn't appear. Not all cats have a habit of receiving you, but if yours did, or at least came out of their hiding place to cross with you, and now it does not ... it may be a clue that he has not heard you upon arrival.
- Slap or make a ru> Make a noise or stomp while distracted. Like when you sleep, it is normal to be exalted or put on alert.
- Turn on the vacuum. In line to make a loud noise, one of the sounds that usually generates reaction from the cat is the vacuum cleaner. If you see a change in the pussy, and now "passes" the vacuum, is another clue.
- Open a can of your favorite food or make noise with your favorite prize. Normally there is some kind of food that drives them crazy: soft food, tuna (although not recommended for them), prizes, etc. And it is hearing that sound, and the cat comes running. If you suddenly do not, suspect.
These are some clues, but the important thing is that if you have any suspicion about your cat's hearing problem, go to the vet. If you think you suffer from deafness, you may have a test known as BAER.
In any case, if it is determined that your cat suffers from deafness, calm down because it can lead a normal life. In addition, for cats, smell is usually the most relevant sense, followed by sight and, finally, hearing.
Is a cat's deafness reversible?
If after doing the tests that we have indicated you think it is, contact our veterinarians, because there are cases in which deafness can be cured. If it is due to genetic causes, in which the dominant allele-w gene is present or there is an age factor, There is nothing to do, but if it is because of a foreign body in your ear or because of an infection or parasites it is treatable and in some cases it is reversible.
Why a cat is deaf
Deafness in cats is more frequent than we imagine and is not always due to a genetic problem, but sometimes it can be caused by some pathology or simply by age.
The cats that suffer most from congenital deafness are white, because this condition is related to the W gene that makes the pussy have white. Comments have been heard that blue-eyed felines also suffer from congenital deafness, but nothing is further from reality, since the defect is not related to a gene that gives color to the eyes, but to the hair.
However, deafness may appear after birth, whether due to medical treatment, chronic otitis, trauma or any other cause.
With a deaf cat you must have a lot of patience, especially when deafness has been acquired after birth. We say this because a feline who has been born deaf does not miss that sense, because he does not know or have ever known what it is and all his other senses are sharpened to fill the fault.
But nevertheless, a cat that acquires deafness later, he tries to accommodate himself to his new and unpleasant state, so we should not be surprised if the animal is irritable or irascible and we must learn to communicate with him in another way.
Having seen this, what can we do to know if our cat is deaf? Look at these tips.
Make loud noises
Make loud noises near where your cat is. You can throw something near it or hit something. If your cat is deaf, it will not be immuted, but if not, it will run like crazy, because the noise will scare it. If the pussy before the noise was sleeping and continues to do so later, there is no doubt, your pet is deaf.
Call him to find out if your cat is deaf
If after calling several times your cat does not go to your call, it is very likely that he is deaf. When it has been several months with a pussycat or several years, it is possible that due to its character it ignores some of our calls, but that doing so with all of them is practically impossible, especially if you know how to make it react to obey you.
Rocking while walking
If your cat is deaf, it may sway when he walks, because deafness makes you feel disoriented and aimless. Observe it, as this is one of the signs that something is not right.
What care does a deaf cat need?
In case deafness is not curable we have to learn to communicate with him. Your cat does not listen to you but is still very sensitive to the expression on your face, if you smile or if you address it with anger. He knows how to interpret what you want to say, just as you know when seeing someone's face if he is happy or angry.
Another stimulus that serves a deaf cat to understand what is happening in its environment is vibration. If you want me to find out that you have entered the house, take strong steps in doing so, you can also close and open the doors with a little more energyOf course, without going over to avoid disturbing your neighbors.
In addition to our facial expression or that you notice that the ground trembles, pampering, caresses and hugs are essential for a kitten who does not hear well. He needs to feel loved because he knows he has a disability that makes him a worse hunter, and that can cause you stress.
If your cat is deaf, get used to touching him, blowing him gently in the body and snuggling him, yes, never do it violently and less if he has not noticed your presence.
How does a deaf cat behave in the presence of other animals?
One of the main problems for your cat's health is anxiety, something that usually occurs if you are deaf and not treated as such. That is why it is so important that you are extremely affectionate and patient with him if you suffer from deafness, much more if you have several cats or dogs at home. Animals use sound to communicate, so you run the risk that your kitten does not know how to understand each other, get nervous and behave aggressively against those who are talking to him.
That is why you have to monitor the relationship between the entire litter, removing it from the group if it reaches the claws and watch all your animals until they learn to understand each other. Sometimes, getting a good understanding between them is not easy, so we invite you to contact our online veterinarians to get the advice you need.
In conclusion, if your cat hears half, give it twice as much love
The relationship with a cat with deafness is not always easy, but with love and care you will have a healthy and full life. You have us to advise you whenever you need it and to guide you in your dealings with it. Do not forget that to confirm that he is effectively deaf before you have to take him to the veterinarian's office, also that if it is white and blue-eyed there is a greater risk of it being so.
Are all white cats deaf?
Not all white cats are deaf, although it is true that many of the white and blue-eyed felines tend to develop deafness due to their genetics. The dominant gene W has, in turn, alleles that can influence the deafness of white cats, being pure white, which comes from the union of two members with the same genetic endowment (homozygous) the most prone (WW) . All the information in our article "Why white cats are deaf".
Behavior of a deaf cat
Sometimes it is difficult to detect if a cat is deaf, since they are very independent animals and sometimes they do not come when you call them simply because they do not feel like it. In addition, they adapt very well to the environment, so they will compensate for their lack of hearing with other senses.
Most commonly, a deaf cat never reacts to auditory stimuli and only does so when touched. If you want to know what the attention you should give to your cat if it has hearing problems, do not hesitate to read the article about the care of a deaf cat.
A symptom of deafness in the cat is the volume of its meowing, not being heard they do not know how to control it and usually meow very loud. Also, sometimes they wobble a little while walking, since having the affected ear may have balance problems. This problem may be accompanied by vomiting.
How to treat a deaf cat?
If we talk about medical treatment, it should be noted that only those cats with temporary deafness can recover their hearing. For this, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian to identify the cause of the loss and start the appropriate treatment to it. If the cat suffers permanent deafness, the damage is irreversible.
Now, if we refer to the care of a deaf cat at home, it is essential to arm yourself with patience, since the animal must adapt to its new condition. To improve your quality of life, we will stop using words and sounds as media, and we will use the gestures, through which we can also educate a deaf cat without problems. To do this, we will choose brief and clear gestures and we will relate them to situations, doing the necessary repetitions and rewarding the animal whenever it responds properly. We will never shout at the cat or punish him, we must remember that he does not hear and this will only cause confusion, fear and rejection.
This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to know if my cat is deaf?, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.