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need help with deaf kitten

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok i took princess buttercup to the vet and she is deaf. I need help training her. we have actually decided not to keep one of cali's kittens so we can give her all of our attention. I need ideas. suggestions,websites,books, anything to help me learn how to train her. she is already a little handful (I already have 16 claw marks down my back from where she tried to climb me to prove it) she is really bad with biting my hands, which I know is just her being a kitten but I really want to start being able to commuicate with her that this is bad. she is also chewing cords. I put bitter apple on them and she just licked it off and continued chewing. our house looks like a petsmart will all the toys ive put out for her but she still wants those cords. I tap her on the nose when she is biting my hands and shake my finger but she just takes this as a cue to pounce on the scolding finger. don't get me wrong its compleatly adorable, but her highness needs to learn some manners! my hands are not chew toys! so any detailed advice would be wonderful!
post #2 of 7
How old is she? She will learn a lot from other cats, is she with momma? It sounds like pretty normal kitten behavior. If she continues to treat fingers like play toys, blow a puff of air into her face. That will usually stop the behavior. I don't find to much difference except for the visual cues over verbal. Keller does really good with them. Sometimes without the scary sounds of our world they can be a little fearless but they usually turn into wonderful cats.

Keller also chews cords and bitter spray does nothing to her. We have wrapped them all with the protective covers (you can buy them at Staples). That keeps them and her safe. Good luck
post #3 of 7
There is a yahoo group specifically for deaf cats. I'm not a member, but you can sign up here: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/deafcatsclub/ I do know people that subscribe to that group and it has helped them.

My friend has a deaf cat that had the same biting/scratching problems as a kitten. It took a little extra work (Mojo was separated from his mom probably at 4-5 weeks old which made it more difficult), but she got thru it. As others mentioned in your other post, you can get their attention through stomping the floor or flashing the lights. And my friend uses sign language. I fostered Mojo for about a week and started to teach him the sign for no - raise your index finger straight up and waggle it back and forth. He caught on pretty quick.

People that live with deaf cats love them. They are different, and the other cats in your house will know that. But get over the challenges and you'll find it very rewarding.
post #4 of 7
Since the Bitter Apple failed (does work on almost all cats/dogs), you will have to buy the hard plastic cord protectors to stop her from chewing them.
post #5 of 7
When I was around 14 I had a white, blue-blue eyed Himalayan that was deaf. Don't know why, but there seems to be a genetic link between that coloring and deafness.

Anyway, our best cue for Snowball was spritzing her with a spray bottle of water. if the water alone doesn't work, you can add something strongly scented, like citrus. Cats tend not to like citrus so much. Do it only when she does something wrong. Your Princess should soon make the connection between icky spray bottle and no-no areas. She might avoid the area altogether, which is good if it's like around an entertainment center or computer desk with lots of wires to be unplugged!

If you plan on using deodorizing or flea sprays on her, it probably is not your best option. She'll start to hate the sprays you want to use on her and feel like she is being punished when you just want to make her smell nice, or get rid of the itchy things.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
Anyway, our best cue for Snowball was spritzing her with a spray bottle of water. if the water alone doesn't work, you can add something strongly scented, like citrus. Cats tend not to like citrus so much. Do it only when she does something wrong. Your Princess should soon make the connection between icky spray bottle and no-no areas.
You've opened up a can of worms with this advice, so I'll just jump in. There are many people on this site that are very strongly against using spray bottles for training a cat. If you miss and hit their ears, you can cause ear infections but I won't use them for other reasons.

What are you teaching the cat? Imagine if you did nothing but yell at a child when they did something wrong, but never attempted to teach what is right? The child won't learn and a cat won't learn either. It is always better to teach a cat what is right than to only discipline it when it does something wrong. First of all, the cat is going to continue the behavior when you aren't looking. Secondly, you are only frustrating the cat.

If a cat (regardless if deaf or not) is scratching your furniture, redirect it to what you would like them to scratch on then praise them when they get it right. If a cat is on the counters (provided you don't want them there), what alternative have you provided to them? I have a cat tree slightly taller than my countertops in the kitchen and move them there when they go on the counters. Consistent redirection teaches them what you want them to do.

One challenge with a deaf cat is that you can't shout "NO" from across the room when they do something wrong. So redirection becomes even more important with a deaf cat. Make them a good citizen in your home in the first place and the need to discipline goes away.
post #7 of 7
Oh yes, I forgot about re-directing. It isn't enough to simply stop the unwanted behavior, you have to show them what is appropriate. Keller understands my sign language very well and the stomping lets her know right away that she is doing something wrong. Once you figure out what works for your kitten it will be a very rewarding relationship.
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