Living With a Deaf Cat

Tips to help you both adjust

By Erika Sorocco

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Perhaps your cat was born deaf and has never heard the sound of crunchy cat food falling into the food bowl or the sound of birds chirping outside the window in the morning. Or maybe your cat just lost its hearing because of old age. Either way, adjusting to such a handicap can be difficult for both your feline and you. But it doesn’t have to be. By making a few modifications to your daily lifestyle and spending a little extra time with your cat, the two of you can thrive alongside one another and come to terms with this challenge. Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you along.

Click here for CatChannel's quiz to see if your cat is deaf.

**Get the December 2008 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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Reader Comments

Sel and Matilda    New York, NY

2/22/2013 4:41:41 PM

My beautiful Turkish Angora, Matilda, is all white with blue eyes... She was born deaf. She is 9 months old and she is our only pet, and she is perfectly happy and incredibly affectionate. I think she thrives in other areas because of her lack of hearing... She is the most clever cat I have ever met. She loves to snack, so much so that I have been able to train her to: sit, put her paws up, and twirl, as well as come to any place I ask using hand signals as commands (obviously). She literally knows more commands than most dogs I know. Right now I'm trying to train her to jump into my arms. She sleeps with me every night, and although she is deaf she almost always knows when I arrive home after being out of the house and she rushes to greet me. I have never had such a loving, caring, and close relationship with an animal before; I have always loved animals but Matilda is exceptional, she is my pet, and she is truly my best friend. Everything about her I'd wonderful, including her deafness.

Nikki    Manhattan, KS

12/2/2012 10:22:52 AM

Our cat, Frankie, is white with blue eyes so he was born deaf. We got him when he was about 3 months old and have had him a year and a half now. He seems to have adapted 100% to his deafness and has no issues. We keep him inside and will for the rest of his life.

I'm sure having a cat that is born with the ability to hear and then loses that ability would be much tougher.

Beth    Minnetonka, MN

2/14/2011 12:23:16 AM

I have a deaf cat (Sasha), and although I was afraid at first about adopting him, my fears were unwarranted. He is a very happy, affectionate and playful little guy, and since he was born deaf, he doesn't realize that he's "missing" anything. It helps tremendously that I also adopted his two littermates, both of whom can hear. They are great playmates for him and help "take care of" him. Sasha is very inquisitive and completely fearless, whereas loud noises send his brothers hiding for cover! He is also very friendly with strangers: His brothers are afraid of unfamiliar voices, but since Sasha can't hear them, he treats other people the same way he treats me - with complete trust. He LOVES to be petted, and he is also very vocal. He purrs and meows much more loudly than his brothers. Of course, I NEVER let Sasha (or his brothers) go outside; they are strictly indoor cats. Sure, it has been a little harder teaching him to stay off furniture, etc., but it's worth it in the long run. I'd encourage anyone who's considering adopting a deaf cat not to be afraid and, if possible, to also adopt a hearing cat (ideally a sibling) to keep him/her company. Deaf cats can make good pets and definitely thrive in a loving home!

anthony    bronx, NY

9/13/2010 10:06:17 AM

I love my cat she may not be able to hear but she is still a gift from god and she loves laying with me on my stomach while i watch tv she also sleepon my head and waits for me to come out the bathroom to attack me with kisses

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