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How to tell if cat is deaf?

(March 9, 2010)

It can be difficult to tell if a cat is deaf, especially if the condition has been present from birth. Cats are also able to adapt quite easily to their lives, without the ability to hear, and as such it becomes difficult to determine if the cat is indeed deaf. Cats respond to their owners depending on the mood they are in. As such determining if a cat is able to hear by calling her name, may not be a very effective way to evaluate her hearing ability. If the cat is able to hear normally, she may become startled if an object is dropped behind her. However, ensure that the response is not due to the vibrations of the object hitting the ground or the movement of air around it. Cats also become startled when there an electrical appliance is switched on such as a vacuum cleaner. Deaf cats will not display such a response.

Determining if a cat is deaf in one ear can be slightly more difficult. For this, you first need to pay attention to how the cat responds to noise and the manner in which her head turns. One way of doing this is to fill a can with coins and then roll it on the floor behind her. Then roll it again in the opposite direction. If she appears to be unsure about the direction of the can, it could be indicative of a hearing problem in the ear that faces that direction. Getting your cat’s hearing tested at a veterinary clinic is the best way to detect a hearing problem. You will also be able to find out the cause of the problem and the degree of deafness that the cat is experiencing. The right course of treatment can also be started upon immediately.

If the cat is experiencing deafness due to an illness or injury, some amount of extra care if required so that the problem is treated well and further complications do not occur. Cats that have hearing problems may also become quite startled at the slightest touch, especially when it comes from behind them. If you want to approach the cat, or pet or pick her up, ensure that you approach her from where she can see you.  Cats with hearing difficulties may also become very loud in their meowing as they are unable to determine how loud they actually are. Cats that suddenly experience hearing problems or deafness must be allowed enough time to adjust and adapt.

Submitted by A on March 9, 2010 at 11:22


Deafness in cats is not wholly uncommon although one would typically notice such a symptoms in cats which are white in color. Noticing if a cat is deaf is usually not such a tricky problem and there are a number of things you can do to find out if deafness is a problem with the cat. In some cases, it is noticeable right away as that deafness makes the ca oblivious to the stimuli you provide. When checking for deafness in a cat, the following tips should come in handy.

There is a manner in which to find out whether deafness is the case by means of a vacuum cleaner test. This would entail plugging in the vacuum cleaner and observing the cat’s reaction. For most kittens, such a loud noise would mean that the kitten displays signs of fear. However, for a deaf kitten, the cleaner would simply be seen as something to play with. Another sign would be that the deaf cat would tend to continue sleeping and not notice it when you come home. In some cases, deafness can be tricky to detect since the cat appears to compensate on account of sharpened senses. There is also the possibility that the cat is experiencing deafness only in one ear. You could also have another person positioned in front of the cat such that he or she commands the cat’s attention. You should be positioned behind and make a loud noise without moving or causing vibrations to see if the cat runs or is startled. One should stand still since even shifting one’s weight could be noticed by the cat on account of its heightened other sense. A deaf cat would typically not notice your yell and would thus not be inclined to react.

A veterinarian would be able to further guide you with regards to such deafness. There are plenty of deaf cats which may be found in animal shelters who have been carelessly abandoned by their owners. Kittens and cats that are deaf are usually the last to be picked at pet stores or other places offering cats. One could consider adopting such a cat if one has the facilities to keep an indoor cat since such cats should be not be allowed outside unsupervised as far as possible. One could work in conjunction with the vet to provide for the deaf cat’s needs and to devise ways of allowing the cat to lead as normal a life as possible.

Submitted by M A on February 24, 2010 at 11:37


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