Cats, like us, can lose their hearing with age, but some kittens are born deaf. Hereditary deafness is more common in white-coated cats, and at the moment we have two such kitties in our care – Hunter and Nicky.
Three-year-old Hunter came into the shelter as a stray more than a month ago. Sadly we were not able to find Hunter’s humans, and no one came to reclaim him. Hunter is now waiting to land himself a forever home.
We also have little Nicky (pictured left) who arrived just days ago and is currently in foster care where she can put on some weight before becoming available for adoption.
Deaf cats make lovely, loving companions, but they do have some special needs in terms of their care. As they can not hear a barking or growling dog or vehicle approaching, deaf cats need to be indoor only cats. Also, because of their pale pink noses, they are more susceptible to skin cancer, another good reason to keep them as inside.
Deaf cats have a reputation of being more vocal and having a louder meow then their hearing counterparts. However, Hunter has been roaming and playing in the cattery, and he is not at all vocal. He’s very outgoing and animated but definitely not loud or particularly chatty. Although he does love to purr.
As deaf cats have lost one sense, their reliance on visual cues is heightened. A deaf cat or kitten can be trained using visual cues. Cats like Hunter can be taught to come to you by simply crouch down and luring him with tasty treats. Hunter loves his pats however, so you probably won’t have to do this to gain his attention and affection.
With their heightened visual sense, it can be beneficial for the deaf cat to have another feline in the home. The deaf kitty can take visual cues or mimic behaviours it sees in the other cat.
Cats also feel vibrations, so if you are walking towards a deaf kitty, it may detect the vibration of the floor and come running to greet you. Similarly opening a door may also create a disturbance in the air which your feline could feel like a slight breeze on their fur, alerting him or her that you are home. Based on Hunter’s personality he’ll definitely be looking to greet you when you get home; he’s always looking for a cuddle.
If you would like to give either Hunter or Nicky a home, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org