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Is Your Cat Going Deaf?

October 15, 2020

Did you know that cats can be afflicted with hearing issues, just as people can? Our feline pals aren’t always easy to read, so it can be hard to tell if Fluffy is having hearing problems. A Burlington, ON vet discusses deafness in cats below. 

Signs

Fluffy can’t tell you if she can’t hear well, so you’ll need to watch—and listen—for red flags. One giveaway is if your pet doesn’t respond to auditory stimuli, such as doors opening. Your kitty may also meow more loudly than she once did, as she won’t be able to really tell what her volume level is. She may sleep even more than before. Some cats also become more sensitive to smells. Contact your vet if you notice any of these signs.

Reasons

Cats can become deaf for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, kitties lose their hearing simply due to old age. Others develop issues after injuries, illness, or infections. It’s worth noting that white cats are more likely to have hearing issues than furballs of other colors. This is due to genetics, and occurs in both cats and dogs. (In a nutshell, the gene that is responsible for white fur is also associated with hearing problems.) Some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, Ragdoll, Persian, Scottish Fold, and Cornish Rex, are also at higher risk. Last but not least, certain medications can also cause hearing loss. 

Testing

If you suspect your cat is losing her hearing, you’ll want to contact your vet for an official diagnosis. However, there is a quick test you can do at home: try banging two pots together. Most kitties will hightail it for their favorite hiding spots at the sound of pots and pans clanging. If Fluffy doesn’t react, she may have hearing issues. 

Caring For Your Kitty

What if it turns out that your feline friend does have hearing issues? Don’t worry. Fluffy can still lead a happy and comfortable life. She may just ignore you even more than usual! The main thing we would stress—aside from giving your kitty lots of regular TLC—is to keep her indoors. Going outside is perilous for any cat, but it’s especially dangerous for those who can’t hear things like brakes, horns, or barking dogs. 

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Call us, your Burlington, ON vet clinic, today!

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