National Deaf Pet Awareness Week begins Sunday, September 19th. This is definitely a topic that could use more attention. Just about one percent of our adorable feline friends is deaf. 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 kitties. Of course, she will need some extra care. A veterinarian discusses caring for deaf cats below.
You may know that if one sense is weakened or compromised, the others usually become more prominent and sensitive. This is true for animals as well as people. Fluffy will be quite sensitive to vibrations. Get your furry pal some toys that vibrate or light up.
As Fluffy grows older, her sight may also decline. Using scent markers, night lights, and floor runners to help her get around and age gracefully.
Most deaf animals absolutely despise being startled, especially when they are sleeping. If you have to wake Fluffy up or approach her from behind, stomp your foot down so she knows you’re there.
Needless to say, Fluffy won’t come when you call. Putting a little bell on her collar will help you monitor her whereabouts.
Deaf pets sometimes can be trained to respond to hand signals. You might be able to teach Fluffy a few commands. Just keep it simple, and be consistent.
Many kitties love chasing after that little red dot from a laser pointer. Use this to your advantage! This can be a fun way to both play with Fluffy and get her attention. Flashlights can also be helpful for this.
We recommend that all kitties stay safe and sound inside. This is especially crucial for deaf ones, as they can’t hear things like car horns or brakes, barking dogs, or other sounds. Fluffy may enjoy a little catio or enclosure, though.
Our feline friends are very small and fragile, and they can get frightened easily. Your furball might feel 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.
Don’t be surprised if your cat seems very affectionate. Kitties that can’t hear well often really crave touch. Give Fluffy lots of snuggles and love!
Do you have questions or concerns about your deaf pet’s health or care? Contact us, your animal hospital, anytime!