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Deaf Kitties

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can anybody else who has a deaf cat (Nat?) share some experiences to help me out in figuring out how to handle Hullabaloo? He really wants to go back outside but after the terror of him going missing for two days, it's not going to happen again. The neighborhood is at least cat-friendly but without his hearing I can't trust him to be able to tell if there is danger
post #2 of 15
You are SO right to keep him indoors! Deaf kitties just don't belong outside.

I don't know any of the background on this, and the advice would depend upon what you're really asking.

Do you want to know how to make him happy as an indoor kitty?
Do you want to know how to deal with him because he's deaf?

....cause those are two different things.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
He's not yet been neutered, and I know that having that done will help to make him happier indoors. There's just been a lot going on lately with a new baby just arrived and we haven't found the time, more than anything, to take him in. We're hoping to get an appointment for next week.

Our primary issues are disciplinary. I don't want to squirt-gun the poor boy because it can send mixed messages. I can't talk to him because he can't hear me, and we're running out of ideas
post #4 of 15
*cough cough* Gee, why think of me?

OK, first question....what is he doing that would require discipline?
post #5 of 15
I see two solutions. First of all a deaf cat should NEVER be outside by itself unsupervised - that's a given.

For your solutions:

1. Train him to a harness and leash and stay with him for awhile (maybe take him out twice a day or something).

2. Build/buy a good sturdy cat enclosure where he can sit out there and enjoy the scene, but cannot get hurt and no one can hurt him.

Otherwise he will have to be a protected indoor kitty.

My one and only deaf cat was one of my rexes (gold-eye white) who was completely deaf and I didn't know it. She is living in Connecticut as a spoiled member of the family. The family that adopted her had dealt with a deaf dog and had not problem with wanting to give her a good home
post #6 of 15
Sampson is deaf and the only time he goes out is on a harness. I do have a cat enclosure that all of my cats have access to from the house.

As Nat asked, What is he doing that needs discipline?

In my experience with Sampson I've found it's just best to remove Sampson from whatever or where ever I don't want him to be.
post #7 of 15
I agree with just removing them. I've tried yelling, but it just gets me nowhere! (Bad joke)
post #8 of 15
Try communicating with him through vibrations in the floor and furniture. I raised a deaf kitten last summer and I (and his new owners) communicate with him through vibrations. Strong vibrations may be used as the commando "NO", I tapped twice in the floor when dinner was served. It really works. This kitten likes to play "physical" so everything he can feel is fun, he actuarally plays in the bathtub, with water in it. He's also very fascinated by the TV, he loves watching soccer games (he follows the ball).
post #9 of 15
Another idea for discipline is a cat toy laser light. I know thier first impulse will be "play!" but at least you get thier attention and immediatly stop the negative behavior. If you have one on a keychain and keep it with you, you can just give it a quick on off click to get his attention. At that point, if need be, a spray bottle can be added. Light goes on, stop what you are doing or you get sprays. They quickly learn to "listen" to the light, and spray is no longer needed. Only drawback is the light can no longer be used as a toy.

This method worked with a ferret who was either deaf or just a brat that acted like it. Never could tell. I got him with a fresh checkup/neuter/shots and didnt have him long enough to have it checked out- he disappeared when someone let him outside. Long story there.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
He's tearing at the blinds on the windows and trying to get outside. We can't remove the blinds *yet* because we have yet to get curtains on the windows (I'm working on that). He's destroyed two sets now in his attempts to get to the window and see outside.

As for a harness, does anybody know of a good NON breakaway? I've only been seeing breakaway harnesses lately, which I tend to think is silly

Vibrations aren't working and he ignores the pointer?
post #11 of 15
Your best bet might be to physicall remove him if at all possible.
post #12 of 15
What about pulling the blinds up at least part - if not most of the way so he can see outside? Is there a window - or several of them - where he can look out? Any window outside of which you can place a birdfeeder so he's got a specific window that he'll want to look out of?

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
We don't want to leave the blinds up on the front window (the one he goes at) because we have a big screen TV and we live on the outskirts of a "bad neighborhood." Our pocket is great, but that doesn't mean that those from the bad areas don't venture in. He doesn't like the other windows *grrr*.

Once we have curtains on those windows we'll be able to leave the blinds up and he can push his head between the curtains to see though.
post #14 of 15
It's gonna take some extra patients (sp? lol) because you don't have the luxury of verbally communicating with him... consistantly physically removing him from the bad behavior when you do catch him will help, consistancy is key! Vibrations can work (remember, cats are usually stubborn creatures, haha, like Oliver knows "no" yet chooses when to obey it)... also, it can take a little time, but teaching simple American Sign Language signs is great! My aunt is deaf and has a deaf white kitty, whom she's taught some sign... My Oliver is hearing, but he knows the signs for "cookie" "food" "water" "out" (he goes out on a tie out and harness in the back yard for short periods in warm weather) "grass" "fish" "no" "good" (for good boy)... teaching these simple one-word signs can help, didn't take ollie long to learn "cookie"!! Who knows how well cats/pets understand spoken commands anyhow, so sign is a good option... just like training any pet, it will take some time, but try to deal... I think the blinds problem may settle when you're able to leave the blinds up and the curtains closed... I have wooden blinds in my bedroom and MUST leave the ones next to my bed partially open or Oliver will paw them at all hours trying to see out... even if you can just pull them up a couple inches so he can see out the bottom may help... I also tend to leave Animal Planet on 1 tv in the house when Oliver will be in the house by himself, he's a tv junkie like his mama lol, but I've found if I don't leave it on, he finds trouble to get into lol

PS: Here is a sign language online dictionary... click on the letter of the word you want the sign for, then find the word in the list and a short video will play demonstrating the sign... this site was given to me by my ASL teacher in college and proved helpful in learning signs outside of class
post #15 of 15
What about going to an automotive store and purchasing the stuff for one-way windows - and putting that on the one window he's going at, so you can pull the blind part way up?

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