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Anyone own a deaf cat?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello.
I just adopted my first cat, and he is deaf. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with deaf cats and has any pointers. If so, what was your kitty like? Did he have any unusual behavior. My Maddox has the loudest, yet endearing, cry that I have ever heard. He sounds like a baby. I would appreciate any pointers!
post #2 of 12
Hello! I have a deaf cat - Kahu.

He is a great cat, we just love him to death. There is nothing that unusual about deaf cats - Kahu has the greatest personality - hes so fearless when it comes to playing and he will just run and run and run all over the place and I just laugh a lot when I am watching him. I do have to be careful when it comes to waking him up because he gets a fright.

I noticed you live in North Carolina - I used to live in Asheville.
post #3 of 12
I have a deaf cat, too! Is your kitty white?

I would say for the most part I would never know that Clyde is deaf. Sometimes he gets "lost" in the house and will meow really loudly to find us. But he acts totally normally most of the time, with the exception of not waking up for breakfast sometimes!

We got Clyde when my hubby's co-worker needed to rehome him. There were two cats in the household, and the other cat died (of old age). Clyde started acting quite strangely - frightened of everything, etc. I told the co-worker that not only was Clyde grieving for his friend, he lost his "ears". We really didn't need another cat (that made 5), but I really strongly thought that he would do better in our household. And he is doing great.

(LOL, just had to run "rescue" Clyde from the bathroom where I apparently locked him in!)
post #4 of 12
I had one deaf gold eye white rex kitten. She had gone to a friend who had another of my rexes but she returned her after finding out she was deaf. I didn't know she was at the time since I never had one.

But she did have a much louder meow which was "off key" and would cry if she couldn't see where you were in the house. After finding this out, I started stomping on the floor once or twice to get her attention, and taught her "come here" in sign language.

As long as she was watching you, she was fine. But walk out of the room and her not see you do it, she would sit and scream. Then when you come running, she would happily come over to you

Some cautions:

Do NOT startle her to wake her up. Most times I'd tap the bottom of the bed first to let her know I was there.

Do NOT let her outside - she can't hear and has no protection against danger (dogs, cars, etc.)

Teach her simple sign language

Tap on the floor to get her attention in the room - she will feel the vibrations.

Use caution if you have more then one cat. Deaf cats can "read" another cat's body language but cannot hear them, so they sometimes ignore growling, hissing, etc. and that confuses the other cat.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post

Teach her simple sign language

Tap on the floor to get her attention in the room - she will feel the vibrations.
Exactly!
My aunt is deaf and owns a deaf kitty. My cat is hearing, but he knows sign language.... I'll post a link or 2 at the bottom of this which are video dictionaries for ASL (American Sign Language) - you can click on the word you want to know and a short video shows you the sign. The signs Oliver knows include: cookie, food (to signify his wet food - he always has dry), water, no, good (for good boy - keep it simple), down, up, sit, water, grass

So basically as you talk to your cat (you still can, you're not crazy haha - your kitty may have a little residual hearing and may also associate lip movement with a command) use the sign as well - cookie is the easiest one to start with.... if you look at the sign, one hand is placed flat, palm up - then you put the fingertips of the other hand on the palm (I kinda think of it looking like a spider is sitting in your hand) and you move that second hand on the palm like you're opening a door.... so what I did, was put the cookie on the palm and do the sign and say the word - Oliver picked it up in no time!

In most cases, deaf people/animals have heightened other senses, so your kitty make have extra exceptional smell or sight. Smacking or stomping on the ground or flicking lights is a good way to get the kitty's attention - try to be cautious about accidentally scaring him.

And be patient! It's a learning experience for you both so just be persistant - kitties are very smart and yours will pick up sign in no time!

http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi

http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm

(I prefer the first link - it was also the one suggested by my ASL instructor in college last year)
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
Hello! I have a deaf cat - Kahu.

He is a great cat, we just love him to death. There is nothing that unusual about deaf cats - Kahu has the greatest personality - hes so fearless when it comes to playing and he will just run and run and run all over the place and I just laugh a lot when I am watching him. I do have to be careful when it comes to waking him up because he gets a fright.

I noticed you live in North Carolina - I used to live in Asheville.
Asheville is beautiful. I live near the coast, though. Kahu is beautiful!!!!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
I have a deaf cat, too! Is your kitty white?

I would say for the most part I would never know that Clyde is deaf. Sometimes he gets "lost" in the house and will meow really loudly to find us. But he acts totally normally most of the time, with the exception of not waking up for breakfast sometimes!

We got Clyde when my hubby's co-worker needed to rehome him. There were two cats in the household, and the other cat died (of old age). Clyde started acting quite strangely - frightened of everything, etc. I told the co-worker that not only was Clyde grieving for his friend, he lost his "ears". We really didn't need another cat (that made 5), but I really strongly thought that he would do better in our household. And he is doing great.

(LOL, just had to run "rescue" Clyde from the bathroom where I apparently locked him in!)

LOL...yeah. Maddox is white with blue eyes. His meow is sooo loud. I love it, though
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
I have a deaf cat, too! Is your kitty white?

I would say for the most part I would never know that Clyde is deaf. Sometimes he gets "lost" in the house and will meow really loudly to find us. But he acts totally normally most of the time, with the exception of not waking up for breakfast sometimes!

We got Clyde when my hubby's co-worker needed to rehome him. There were two cats in the household, and the other cat died (of old age). Clyde started acting quite strangely - frightened of everything, etc. I told the co-worker that not only was Clyde grieving for his friend, he lost his "ears". We really didn't need another cat (that made 5), but I really strongly thought that he would do better in our household. And he is doing great.

(LOL, just had to run "rescue" Clyde from the bathroom where I apparently locked him in!)
When you brought him home was he really skittish and standoffish?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddox's Mom View Post
LOL...yeah. Maddox is white with blue eyes. His meow is sooo loud. I love it, though
I demand pictures!

I've got two white kitties with blue eyes that are deaf. Both are testy around other cats sometimes, because they sneek up on them. It's funny, though, Twitch will attack most anything that comes past just because she can, whether she's deaf or not! Fearless someone else mentioned & that they are. They really aren't any different.....Ophelia Rose was a feral when I got her & she has come around quite a bit to trust me, & in fact, sleep in bed with me.

My third cat is blind & now mostly deaf, so that's a whole different ball park.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddox's Mom View Post
When you brought him home was he really skittish and standoffish?
It was about a year ago - hard to remember...I think he was a bit. I had a place for him in the basement and left him down there, but free to roam if he wanted. I would go visit him every half hour or so. He stayed for a while down there, and came upstairs when he was comfortable. The only thing that was a little weird was that the other cats smelled his ears...I wonder if they always do that, or if they knew he was different. He very quickly dominated the dogs as well.

He did sleep in the basement for a while before he got comfortable that it was a safe place to just fall asleep anywhere.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I will definitely post pics soon! I promise!
post #12 of 12
I used to have a deaf cat named Coconut.
We would knock on the floor to ger her attention,as she felt vibrations.
She also had a very loud voice.

And I once babysat two cats,one being deaf.He didn't make a sound and also didn't respond to vibrations.
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