Deaf cats are incredibly good at compensating for their lack of hearing, so much so that it may not become obvious for some time that a cat cannot hear at all! There are many different levels of deafness in cats, just as there are with people, as well as a variety of causes for it. Some kittens may be born deaf, whereas in other cats, the condition develops and progresses when they are all grown up. And of course, deafness may be present in both ears simultaneously, or just in one!Are you thinking of taking on a deaf cat, or would you like to learn more about deafness in cats and how to identify and manage it? Read on to find out more.
Deafness in cats falls into two separate categories, depending on whether the deafness is caused by damage to the nerves that are responsible for hearing, or if the problem is due to a physical obstruction that keeps sound from passing through the ear in the normal manner. Depending on the type of deafness that a cat suffers from, the condition may prove to be temporary or treatable, rather than being an incurable lifelong condition.
A variety of problems can cause the nerves of the ear to fail to function or to function inadequately, and in some cats, deafness is a genetically inherited condition that particularly often comes accompanied with an all-white coat and blue eyes. Other problems and conditions that affect the nerves of the ears can be caused be a range of different factors, and can result in permanent deafness, including:
Physical obstructions within the ear due to a range of different factors can also cause deafness in cats, and some of these problems may be treatable, leading to encroaching deafness being reversible. These obstructions might be caused due to:
If you are beginning to suspect that your cat is deaf or suffering from hearing problems, it is important to take them along to the vet for a definitive diagnosis, and to identify if treatment of the underlying cause of deafness might be able to reverse the condition. Signs and symptoms of deafness to watch out for in cats include:
After your vet has formally diagnosed deafness and it has been established if anything can be done to reverse the condition, there are a variety of ways in which you can help your deaf cat to adapt to a life without sound.
Deaf cats generally manage very well despite their lack of hearing, and caring for a deaf cat after a few initial adjustments have been made should not have too much of an impact on either your life or that of your cat.