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I don't think she can hear me..

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I think Henri might be deaf.

I've noticed lately that she does not respond to sound, but to vibration.
When I see her getting on the counter, I will clap loudly to correct her, but she doesn't look up until I actually walk towards her.

Yesterday my cell phone went off right by her head when she was sleeping and she didn't wake up.

She is always very surprised and happy to see me when she notices I've come home. I don't think she can hear me coming in the door.

At first I thought she just had a bit of an attitude and was ignoring me, but now I'm not so sure.

Is there any way to actually test for this?
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
I think Henri might be deaf.

I've noticed lately that she does not respond to sound, but to vibration.
When I see her getting on the counter, I will clap loudly to correct her, but she doesn't look up until I actually walk towards her.

Yesterday my cell phone went off right by her head when she was sleeping and she didn't wake up.

She is always very surprised and happy to see me when she notices I've come home. I don't think she can hear me coming in the door.

At first I thought she just had a bit of an attitude and was ignoring me, but now I'm not so sure.

Is there any way to actually test for this?


A vet can test it for you. I have no idea how they do it, though.
post #3 of 22
Is she by any chance a white kitty with blue eyes? Not that any cat can't become or be deaf, but blue-eyed white kitties are the most prone (something with genetics... I haven't read too far into it)... but yes, your vet should be able to do a test for you to find out.... does she ever turn to look at you from across a room if you call for her or make kissing or clicking sounds? If she does turn out to be deaf, don't be sad! My aunt is deaf, has been since birth, and when she decided to get a cat, she wanted a deaf one - one that knew her world... so she came upon a blue-eyed white kitty that she named "Princess Maple". Maple is a beautiful happy kitty that loves her life! She knows sign language for things like "cookie" and "dinner" etc... I'm sure, if your kitty does happen to be deaf, that you can find some simple sign language online to teach her... My Oliver is hearing, but I've taught him the sign for cookie!

So I would suggest making a vet appointment for her to find out for sure. Deafness is not something that's a bad thing - I've never viewed it as a disability, but more like a deaf person (or animal!) simply speaks and understands a different language.... so many people are upset or sad when they find out that their child (or furbaby, lol) is deaf or blind or mute, etc but they shouldnt be! Those things will not affect your kitty's happiness! She knows you love her and she loves you ... as long as she has food, water, a warm place to sleep and some catnip, she'll be set for life!!

So now that I've written a novel (sorry, I've just encountered too many people that respond with "oh, I'm so sorry!" when I tell them my aunt is deaf)... I hope I've been of at least some help!

And be sure to let us know what you find out!
post #4 of 22
I was going to ask the same thing about white blue eyed cat. Great minds think alike.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
hehe, I wouldn't be disappointed. I would actually consider it another thing that makes her special.

She's a tortie with green eyes, so I don't think its that kind of genetic, if it is genetic. She has CH from her bout with distemper before I got her, but I know the cerebellum doesn't control sight so they might not be related.

She's sitting in front of me right now, and i'm clicking and talking to her. Her ears don't even perk up. THEN I shifted on the couch and she noticed. Oh man. I can't believe I didnt figure this out before!

This might explain why she looks at Sam like he's nuts when he freaks out about sirens in the neighborhood.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
hehe, I wouldn't be disappointed. I would actually consider it another thing that makes her special.
Yay! I'm so glad you think that way, because that's exactly what it is!

It does sound like she's at least hard of hearing.... let us know what the vet says and if you like I'm sure I could supply you with some places to find simple sign language! I'm sure you could train both your cats (I'm assuming "Sam" is a cat, haha).... Oliver goes running for his cookie spot when I sign cookie to him, hehe (my grandmom had taught one of her yorkie dogs all the signs for things like sit, stay, come, no, etc.... animals pick it up pretty quickly)....
post #7 of 22
I had a white, copper eyed, straight ear scottish fold who was deaf. You couldn't tell unless he was sleeping. He would also feel the vibes on the floor. This was years ago. I did take him to the vet, and I can't remember what the vet did to check him. Deaf cats senses are real keen to make up for their deafness. Make sure your kitty doesn't get outside!
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
Yay! I'm so glad you think that way, because that's exactly what it is!

It does sound like she's at least hard of hearing.... let us know what the vet says and if you like I'm sure I could supply you with some places to find simple sign language! I'm sure you could train both your cats (I'm assuming "Sam" is a cat, haha).... Oliver goes running for his cookie spot when I sign cookie to him, hehe (my grandmom had taught one of her yorkie dogs all the signs for things like sit, stay, come, no, etc.... animals pick it up pretty quickly)....

OOh that would be cool. sign language.
Maybe there is a chance I could teach her to stay off the counter!
(doubt it )
this is kind of exciting. I'll make an appointment or maybe one of my instructors at school could help me figure it out.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
OOh that would be cool. sign language.
Maybe there is a chance I could teach her to stay off the counter!
(doubt it )
this is kind of exciting. I'll make an appointment or maybe one of my instructors at school could help me figure it out.
It is exciting! Hehe... will be fun to teach her sign language - and hey, if deaf children can be taught right and wrong, so can kitties!
post #10 of 22
Sometime when shes looking out the window and not paying attention or asleep try dropping a pan on the floor, most cats startle at least or go running at such a loud sound. Another thing is to get some aluminum or some paper and wad it up to make that crinkle sound, cats seem to be attracted to this sound so often look to see whats going on. Another thing could be a whisle while she is not looking at you. Just use a strange sound. Normal sounds can instigate her ignoring, unusual sounds will grab her attention.

It does sound like she might have a hearing problem.

I loved the story about the deaf aunt and her cat, that is so sweet!
post #11 of 22
Yes you can shake some keys behind her (not too close where she would see the movement). We found out our little gold-eye white was totally deaf by accident. The person that adopted her had a lot of problems with her getting along with an older sister (from a previous litter). When the kitten was taken to the vet, they found she was deaf.

Long story short, she was returned to me. It never dawned on me before (not ever owning a deaf cat) that she didn't come when called for food and when she was sleeping you had to touch her to wake her up.

She also would sit at the top of the stairs and scream till someone came to see what was wrong and then she happily came down. She was ok if she could see you and follow you, but became upset otherwise.

I sorta taught her sign language with come here when she looked at you. Also would get her attention by stomping on the floor to feel for vibrations. She was adopted by another family in Connecticut who gladly gave her a wonderful home - they knew ahead of time she was totally deaf and they had deaf cats before.

What color is your cat?
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
Sometime when shes looking out the window and not paying attention or asleep try dropping a pan on the floor, most cats startle at least or go running at such a loud sound. Another thing is to get some aluminum or some paper and wad it up to make that crinkle sound, cats seem to be attracted to this sound so often look to see whats going on. Another thing could be a whisle while she is not looking at you. Just use a strange sound. Normal sounds can instigate her ignoring, unusual sounds will grab her attention.

It does sound like she might have a hearing problem.

I loved the story about the deaf aunt and her cat, that is so sweet!
Instead of dropping a pot or pan on the floor, I'd suggest banging it with a wooden spoon... if you drop it, she'd feel the vibration and notice....

Glad you enjoyed the story about my aunt and Maple!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
Instead of dropping a pot or pan on the floor, I'd suggest banging it with a wooden spoon... if you drop it, she'd feel the vibration and notice....
I agree. You also risk denting your kitchenware if you drop it wrong. :P
post #14 of 22
I am trying to remember what I was told to do to test for deafness. I *think* it went like this.

Wait until the cat in question is not looking at you. Have someone else stand in front of him/her, distract the kitty. If you get too close to the ears or the cat in general, they can feel the air movement & will turn to look at you. A normal cat can hear the sound of air movement(for lack of a better way to describe it). Hold your hand 6 inches(or more) away from the back of your cat's head. Make sure he/she cannot see you. Rub your thumb across all 4 other fingers on one hand. It should make a slight noise similar to a snap. If your cat turns to look, she *hopefully* heard you, not felt you.

I had to try this several times before I got it right. I would practice on a hearing cat, or the cat in question might figure you out.

Buzby- You were the one with the deaf aunt w/ a deaf cat! I could not for the life of me remember who told me that. It was right after I first joined TCS.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
Yes you can shake some keys behind her (not too close where she would see the movement). We found out our little gold-eye white was totally deaf by accident. The person that adopted her had a lot of problems with her getting along with an older sister (from a previous litter). When the kitten was taken to the vet, they found she was deaf.

Long story short, she was returned to me. It never dawned on me before (not ever owning a deaf cat) that she didn't come when called for food and when she was sleeping you had to touch her to wake her up.

She also would sit at the top of the stairs and scream till someone came to see what was wrong and then she happily came down. She was ok if she could see you and follow you, but became upset otherwise.

I sorta taught her sign language with come here when she looked at you. Also would get her attention by stomping on the floor to feel for vibrations. She was adopted by another family in Connecticut who gladly gave her a wonderful home - they knew ahead of time she was totally deaf and they had deaf cats before.

What color is your cat?
She's a tortie. black and a peachy orange color.

I just tried the key thing.
She didn't notice one bit. Her ears didn't even move.
I'd really like to learn to communicate with her a bit because I think that might be why she hasn't bonded to me very well yet.

I'm going to wait until she's sleeping and then try to bug her again. I'm pretty much convinced at this point. If she's not completely deaf than she definitely can't hear very well.

poor baby. oh well. Maybe this is why when she vocalizes she sounds really weird.
post #16 of 22
Everyone on here who has had deaf cats says that they are such amazing and special kitties. One of my favorite cats on the site, Kahu owned by Kellye (Kiwideux), is a beautiful blue-eyed white deaf kitty. But you can just see how full of life (and the devil! ) he is in his pictures - and his love of life is infectious! I just think of Kahu and smile.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover
Buzby- You were the one with the deaf aunt w/ a deaf cat! I could not for the life of me remember who told me that. It was right after I first joined TCS.
Yup! That's me! They're such a great pair too... both stubborn and picky, lol

With the more and more I hear about this kitty, I'm more convinced that she is deaf (or very hard of hearing... my aunt is deaf, but has a little bit of residual hearing, so she wears two hearing aids and can hear very loud noises and vibrations - if youre in the same room with her and yell her name, she can often hear you)... someone needs to make kitty hearing aids, hahaha! I am quite convinced since you mentioned she sounds weird when she vocalizes... most deaf people and animals do... my grandmother, mom and 2 uncles spent A LOT of time with my aunt when she was little teaching her to vocalize correctly and she speaks very well... and I agree that once you and your kitty learn to communicate in your own special way, she will bond with you better - imagine not being able to speak a language and trying to get someone to understand what you want with a meow - and not being able to hear them speak back!! It will take a little time, but you'll get it! If you want to start tonite, the sign for cookie goes like this:

-hold one hand out flat, palm up
-stand your other hand on its fingertips kind of in a circle on your palm (so it kinda looks like your one hand is a spider standing on your palm)
-hold the flat out hand still and rotate the "spider" hand left and right (kinda like opening a door knob on your palm)

have a kitty treat in your flat out palm while your rotating your other hand over it... with a few days/weeks of this, your kitty will start to understand that the "cookie" sign means she's being offered a cookie/treat... it's like training a dog - one thing at a time and be persistant... like I said, I'm pretty convinced as well that she's deaf, but let us know what the vet says!

Here are maybe a few helpful things:
http://facstaff.gallaudet.edu/harry....asl/myth3.html
(My aunt graduated from Gallaudet University, where this website came from)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...guage_alphabet

http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
(GREAT SITE! Shows a short video clip of how to sign any word you want! Look up "cookie" if youre confused!)
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm honestly so excited about this. I sort of thought she didn't like me but now I see that she just can't understand me.

I feel like she can hear noises if they're really loud. She's sleeping now. I clapped from across the room, and no response. I got up closer and did the same thing and she opened one eye about halfway. :p What a silly girl.

Thank you so much for the links. I'm going to check them out right now!
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
I'm honestly so excited about this. I sort of thought she didn't like me but now I see that she just can't understand me.

I feel like she can hear noises if they're really loud. She's sleeping now. I clapped from across the room, and no response. I got up closer and did the same thing and she opened one eye about halfway. :p What a silly girl.

Thank you so much for the links. I'm going to check them out right now!
No problem!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Its working already!
Henri just jumped up on the counter, so I stomped on the floor to get her to look at me. Then I pointed to the floor. She jumped down right away and I didn't even have to get out of my seat.
Then she ran over for snuggles and chin scritches. She's OBVIOUSLY a genius!
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
Its working already!
Henri just jumped up on the counter, so I stomped on the floor to get her to look at me. Then I pointed to the floor. She jumped down right away and I didn't even have to get out of my seat.
Then she ran over for snuggles and chin scritches. She's OBVIOUSLY a genius!
GREAT!
post #22 of 22
I'm glad you posted this. I am having trouble "breaking through" with Ophie. I think the sign language thing might be the way to go with her, too.

I have no trouble with Twitch. I always sneak up on her when she sleeping(OK, so I stomp my way across the room ) & smush my face into her & she doesn't care. It took 2 years, but she was then completely comfortable in the house.

I am so excited to hear how Henri progresses!
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