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oarsman
07-17-2006, 06:31 AM
The vet told us on Saturday that our oldest cat will probably be deaf for the rest of his life. He had an ear infection and fluid in his inner ear a few weeks ago and lost his hearing. He's 15-years old and in good health otherwise.

He's an indoor cat, so he is safe from the outside dangers. He gets startled by our other cat though. He never used to hiss, but now he occasionally hisses at the other cat. A friend visited us today and bent down the to pet the cat. Our cat got startled and hid behind a chair.

I guess he will eventually adjust to the deafness, but I wish I could do something to make it easier on him.

Fern
07-17-2006, 06:43 AM
That's really too bad. Hopefully his other senses will adjust to compensate after awhile.

awatkins
07-17-2006, 07:18 AM
Hi oarsman,

When our dog went deaf, we had to be careful not to startle her when she was sleeping. Since she couldn't hear us, it really rattled her when we touched her, even lightly. To get her attention when she wasn't looking at us, we'd toss a soft toy (or a treat) in her direction.

Being deaf didn't seem to bother her much at all, and since she was an inside dog, she was safe. The main thing I worried about was that the grandchildren might step on her or drop something on her because she didn't hear them coming and move out of the way.

I hope your cat does well. It'll probably take a period of adjustment, for him and for the other cat.

newmod
07-17-2006, 11:16 AM
Hi Oarsmen,

Im sorry to hear about your cat too. Im sure you have lots of information already from your own questions/research but I looked on the web and found this which I thought may be of interest. Its from this website: http://www.catsplay.com

Hearing loss shouldn't affect your cat's quality of life, though. Here are tips to improve communication, protect your cat, and preserve your loving bond.

If a deaf cat can't hear the truck or the dog, he can't avoid the danger. Keep deaf cats inside.
The Cat Locator (www.uniquedistributors.com) pendant attaches to the collar (http://www.catsplay.com/pet_jewelry.php3) and emits a tone when the handheld applicator is activated, to help you find your deaf cat. You can also use the collar (http://www.catsplay.com/pet_jewelry.php3)'s vibration (much the way a pager or cell phone vibrates) as a training signal to curb desirable behaviors.
A deaf cat sleeps very soundly, is easily startled, and may bite or hiss more as a result. He can still feel vibrations, though. Stomp your foot or slam the door to warn him of your presence, and head off a startle or bite reflex.
Deaf cats rely on sight, so use visual signals to communicate. Instead of the can opener whirr, toss a toy into his line of sight to call him to dinner.
Cats can be "clicker trained" using a flashlight instead of the clicker sound to identify a desirable behavior. (See www.clickertraining.com for more information.)
Older kitties often become clingy and cry for you to "rescue" them. Try wearing very strong, distinctive cologne on your ankles to help kitty find you more easily with his nose.
Cats may lose hearing only in certain ranges. A high-pitched "silent" dog whistle might get your cat's attention.
Hope it helps.

Good luck,
newmod

oarsman
07-17-2006, 03:47 PM
When our dog went deaf, we had to be careful not to startle her when she was sleeping. Since she couldn't hear us, it really rattled her when we touched her, even lightly. To get her attention when she wasn't looking at us, we'd toss a soft toy (or a treat) in her direction.


We have to be more careful not to startle him when he sleeps. He's starting to sleep behind our television. I think I am going to create him some "hiding" places where he can sleep in peace (without people or the other cat disturbing him). I've been waving at him to get his attention. It seems to work some of the time. I didn't think about tossing a soft toy or treat. That's a good idea. Thanks Anne!

oarsman
07-17-2006, 03:52 PM
If a deaf cat can't hear the truck or the dog, he can't avoid the danger. Keep deaf cats inside.
The Cat Locator (www.uniquedistributors.com (http://www.uniquedistributors.com)) pendant attaches to the collar (http://www.catsplay.com/pet_jewelry.php3) and emits a tone when the handheld applicator is activated, to help you find your deaf cat. You can also use the collar (http://www.catsplay.com/pet_jewelry.php3)'s vibration (much the way a pager or cell phone vibrates) as a training signal to curb desirable behaviors.
A deaf cat sleeps very soundly, is easily startled, and may bite or hiss more as a result. He can still feel vibrations, though. Stomp your foot or slam the door to warn him of your presence, and head off a startle or bite reflex.
Deaf cats rely on sight, so use visual signals to communicate. Instead of the can opener whirr, toss a toy into his line of sight to call him to dinner.
Cats can be "clicker trained" using a flashlight instead of the clicker sound to identify a desirable behavior. (See www.clickertraining.com (http://www.clickertraining.com) for more information.)
Older kitties often become clingy and cry for you to "rescue" them. Try wearing very strong, distinctive cologne on your ankles to help kitty find you more easily with his nose.
Cats may lose hearing only in certain ranges. A high-pitched "silent" dog whistle might get your cat's attention.

Wow...those are great tips! Our cat feels the vibrations of us walking towards him most of the time. I noticed he has been crying more, especially in the early morning and wants to be held more frequently. We've been thinking his crying was because of frustration, but maybe he is looking for us? We've been wondering about the hearing range too. It appears that sometimes he turns his head towards a sound. I am not sure if it is the vibration or if he can hear certain pitches. I know he can't hear us calling him or even the vacumn cleaner (he used to run from it), but a dog whistle might work. I'll give it a try.

Thank you newmod!

newmod
07-17-2006, 09:40 PM
No problem oarsmen. I hope some of those things work. As someone who loves cats I know how hard it can be to see them having a difficult time. If you get a chance in future Id be interested to know how you and your cat are getting along. Maybe you could use your experience to write an article for cat owners.

All the best

oarsman
07-17-2006, 10:15 PM
No problem oarsmen. I hope some of those things work. As someone who loves cats I know how hard it can be to see them having a difficult time. If you get a chance in future Id be interested to know how you and your cat are getting along. Maybe you could use your experience to write an article for cat owners.

All the best


Thanks again newmod,
I'll let you know how the cat is getting along and what works for him.
I agree this experience could be used in an article for other cat owners.

country-writer
08-29-2006, 11:22 AM
You will find that as he adjusts to his deafness, he will be fearless. My deaf kitty sundance rides on my vacumn when I am doing the floors. I think he likes the vibration! I always stamp my feet three times before going into the room where Sun is asleep. He feels my vibrations and wakes up for me. He also knows hand signals

Marlys
08-29-2006, 03:50 PM
My 17-year-old cat is now both deaf and blind, and it doesn't seem to faze her a bit. She navigates by walking the perimeter of the house, brushing her whiskers against the walls.

To avoid startling her, I either reach down and brush her whiskers before touching her, or blow a breath in her direction. If I think she's looking for me, I also blow a breath at her when she's close enough, and she perks up and follows the smell to me.

It's amazing how adaptable cats are.

oarsman
08-29-2006, 05:06 PM
You will find that as he adjusts to his deafness, he will be fearless. My deaf kitty sundance rides on my vacumn when I am doing the floors. I think he likes the vibration! I always stamp my feet three times before going into the room where Sun is asleep. He feels my vibrations and wakes up for me. He also knows hand signals

We are teaching our cat one hand signal to let him know we are putting food in his bowl. It is working well.

I like the suggestion of stamping feet three times. He still gets startled. A few weeks ago, I came up with an idea to create a "cave" in one room to give him a hiding place. Basically, it was a small table with a long table cloth. I thought the hiding place would give him his own space and make him feel more secure, but it didn't work like I planned. I found that he spent almost all his time in there and when he came out he was more afraid than ever. So, I took his "cave" away and now he is much more relaxed.

I can't imagine a kitty riding a vacumn. That's amazing! All my cats fear the vacumn. My deaf cat no longer runs out of the room when we vacumn, but he is still afraid of it (probably because the vacumn has a light on the front of it).

oarsman
08-29-2006, 05:17 PM
My 17-year-old cat is now both deaf and blind, and it doesn't seem to faze her a bit. She navigates by walking the perimeter of the house, brushing her whiskers against the walls.
To avoid startling her, I either reach down and brush her whiskers before touching her, or blow a breath in her direction. If I think she's looking for me, I also blow a breath at her when she's close enough, and she perks up and follows the smell to me.

It's amazing how adaptable cats are.

Deaf and blind...wow, that is amazing how she adjusted so well.

My deaf cat had some balance problems initially after his inner ear problems. The vet told us he had fluid in his inner ear. I noticed he followed the walls of the house to get around (like your blind cat). His balance is much better now, but he still occasionally stumbles. Our vet thinks his balance will get back to normal over time.

DeborahM
08-29-2006, 05:57 PM
Sorry to hear your cat has lost his hearing! Poor baby!

That was some great tips, New Mod.

Great stories Marlys, love the blowing of your breath and Country Singer, riding the vacumn!

It is inspiring to hear how we humans take good care of our animals, who give us their unconditional love.