Sudden cat deafness can cause serious changes in a cat’s behavior. You may even wonder if your cat is deaf or ignoring you. In such a case, it is important to learn how to communicate with a deaf cat and learn some basic tips on deaf cat behavior.
We will also look at how to tell if your kitten or cat is deaf bellow. Deafness in cats can cause depression, sudden weight and hair loss in some cats.
Cats are pets that most people around will always want to keep as their pet. This is because cats are intelligent and very clean in most cases they teach themselves in performing daily activities on their own.
Furthermore, newborn kittens will always adapt the same characteristics from their mothers and therefore it is not taught anything as it grows. This action makes it be admired more often and that’s why most people keep them as pets in their compound.
Cat’s ears are divided into three parts inner, middle and outer part and this is the same way as human beings. Cats will always turn its outer part in different directions this action will enable your cat to get an exact place where sounds are coming from i.e. from dogs or hooting vehicles.
As a result, it can be able to detect the presence of a prey’s sound even if the prey is quite far from its location when it keeps on rotating ears. Cats are known to have a high sensitivity when it comes to hearing research says that cats can hear five times than a normal human being.
Causes of Cat deafness
Cat deafness is caused by various circumstances. The cause is as mentioned below.
1. Can old age cause cat deafness?
As a cat grows older its eardrum thickens hence leading to deafness in the aged cat. There is also a condition known as presbycusis which affects cats that are of old age. There are those types of breed where this kind of infection will affect it at any age.
This disorder affects the inner structure of your cat’s ear making its vibration to become very loose. In most cases, it becomes quite difficult to detect if your cat is suffering from presbycusis disorder since it’s a process that occurs gradually.
Another common cause of cat deafness is trauma. This is whereby your cat temporary bones that surround its inner ear is destructed.
Therefore, your cat will not be in a position to detect any sound vibration. This can happen when the cat hits its head on the ground or when it is knocked by something like a vehicle or bike.
3. Medical treatment
There are some medical treatments that lead to cat deafness. If you keep on ingesting your cat with substances such as an antibiotic, chemotherapy drugs and heavy metal this leads deafness to your cat. It is always advisable to seek a vets advice before using random injections.
If you expose your cat more often on antibiotics it will lead to the destruction of hair which is found in the cochlea. If this hair is destructed no sound will be transmitted to your cat’s brain.
In addition, antiseptics which are used in cleaning your cat’s ear discharge might contain additives which cause deafness to your cat.
6. Loud noise can cause cat deafness
Avoid exposing your cat to loud noise for a long period of time because its eardrum and inner ear will get destructed leading to deafness.
7. Can Ear Mites cause Cat Deafness?
Infestations such as ear mites can cause inflammation to your cat’s ear and other serious ear damage that causes deafness. Constant irritation from the bites and scratching can cause swelling on the ear linings and path causing difficulty in hearing.
8. Ear blockage
If your cat’s ear is experiencing inflammation that causing swelling of your outer, middle and inner ear this leads to ear blockage hence causing cat deafness. This is a major cause of sudden deafness in cats.
9. Genetic disorder
Some cats have a dominant white gene that causes them to develop deafness. In about five weeks this gene destructs your cat’s inner part of its ear, therefore, special cells that stimulate hearing to get destroyed.
It affects cats that are white-haired and have blue eyes and most affected ones are long-haired cats. This is a trait that falls under genetics that causes cat deafness.
Symptoms of Cat deafness
Excessive ear scratching since cats can be able to sense that something is blocking its ears.
- Redness of its ear
- If you call your cat it will not be in a position to respond
- During playtime, your cat will play roughly since it is unable to hear the other cat growling.
- Frequent rubbing of your cats one side of its face
- Too much sleep since it cannot be woken up with any loud noise that usually wakes normal cats up.
- It will meow loudly since it is unable to hear itself
- If your cat has experienced an accident a discharge will come out of its ear that contains pus
- Your cat will not be in a position to move its ear in 180 degrees to be able to hear sounds that come from different directions.
- Damage of the vestibular system will make your cat have a poor balance
- Frequent loose of concentration and focus
- A white-haired cat will have pink pinna that is inflamed since they are prone to deafness disorder.
- Increase in sensitivity to smell and temperature
How to Diagnose Cat deafness?
As a pet owner, you will have to consult your veteran. Your vet will be able to determine what might be causing your cat’s current deafness. Physical examinations will be carried out on your cat to see if it can respond by either lifting or turning its head.
Full ear examination will be carried out on your pet by your veteran. He /she will be able to determine if there is any foreign particle present in your cat’s ear that might be causing deafness.
During the examination process, your veteran will use an otoscope. This will help to determine if your cat is suffering from any infection or if it is a result of wax accumulation in your cat’s important parts hence hindering the hearing process.
Cats are very sensitive especially when it comes to hearing. A higher frequency will enable it to determine a pray from a far distance. In a situation whereby you hiss and your cat does not respond to it, this will defiantly indicate that your cat is suffering from ear deafness.
You can try clapping if your cat is facing away since they are always alert to any sudden movement around them. If your cat is unable to respond to this gesture then that indicates that your cat is having a problem.
If your cat is old aged and has lost hearing your veteran will conduct Brainstem Auditory Evoked Test this is helpful in detecting electrical activities in your cat’s cochlea.
How to Communicate with a Deaf Cat
There are different ways in which you can use to communicate to you cat depending on how deaf it might be. It won’t be same especially if you are communicating to a completely deaf cat and a cat that is in a position to detect some certain sounds.
Use a flashlight to a cat that is completely deaf followed by different gestures to attract its attention. Below are various methods you can use in order to communicate with your deaf cat.
Hand Signal use hand signals to help in easy communication, you can stand facing your cat and wave to attract its attention.
In a position whereby you cat is unable to hear you can communicate to it using scent to communicate to it. Try using different scents each and every day to help in passing a message in each of them.
Since you cat is unable to hear, you can create a specific place especially when it comes to eating time use a signal such as that of a flashlight on a daily basis when providing your cat with food. This will make your cat remember very quickly each and every time it experiences such light.
Make your cat feel secure within its environment since it cannot hear and it will keep on staring within its surrounding with an impression that there is something hostile around. Use eye contact and facial expressions that are friendly to make it feel free with you.
In a situation whereby you are unable to tell where cats present you can actually use pianos that vibrate. This is because they remain sensitive to airwaves and sound vibration. Therefore, if you make sounds with collar bells you will be in a position to locate your cat’s position.
You can also communicate to your cat by making a firm stamp on the floor this uses vibration and therefore you cat will be in a position to turn around due to sense your presence.
Play with your cat since it is considered to be a great source of communication especially to your deaf cat. Make different toys such as feathers that are attached to strings this makes a good hunting game to your cat.
Most cats are not that friendly especially when it comes to water. You can use squirt water bottles in places whereby you don’t want your cat to go there. This will defiantly pass certain information to your cat.
Use a dog whistle at a higher frequency you cat will be able to detect certain sound waves from whistling.
If your cat is completely deaf it is always advisable to keep them indoors. This is because it won’t be able to detect any sound if it from a dog or hooting vehicle, therefore it becomes quite easy for your cat to be injured.
Cat Deafness Susceptible Breeds
It is always a natural process for cats to be born deaf, this is helpful in keeping its developing inner ear parts from being exerted on with environmental pressure that might cause damage.
This process of your cat to gain its normal sense of hearing takes about three weeks for it to be complete.
However, there are those breeds that are born deaf and its sense of hearing do not take place hence causing complete deafness to your cat.
This disorder is most common in cats that have white hair and blue eyes. Example of this type of breeds include Maine coon, Devon Rex, European White, British shorthair, Turkish Angora and Ragdoll
Prevention and Treatment of Cat deafness
During the cleaning process ensure that you perform that activity gently to avoid destroying your cat’s eardrum.
If you vet has described certain antibiotics to be used by your cat. Always ensure that you use them sparingly since excessive use of them will defiantly cause ear damage to your cat.
If your cat is aged reversing its deafness will not be possible and therefore you cat will have to cope with its hearing lose.
If you notice that drugs that were subscribed are the main reason why your cat is deaf. It is always advisable to replace them with other medications.
A cat that is suffusing from tumor infection a surgical process can be carried out to get rid of the tumor and recover your cat’s earing that was lost.
In an instance where deafness has been caused as a result of inner ear damage, this condition is irreversible and therefore cat hearing aids will be used to help your cat in the hearing process.
Cats such as white-haired cats use sunscreen on the pinna to prevent them from radicals that cause cancer.
Sudden loose of Hearing in Cats
Infections such as otitis can cause sudden deafness in your cat’s ear, it affects your cat’s inner ear. This can either cause temporary or complete deafness to your cat.
This type of infection leaves behind a fluid that causes blockage to certain parts that help in the transmission of sound in your cat’s inner ear. Treatment should be carried out immediately since complete deafness can be experienced.
Your cat can also experience sudden deafness due to noise trauma. In this case, a loud noise will be produced suddenly such as a gunshot, earwax or other explosives that disrupts your cat’s hair cells this will actually cause a hearing problem.
General anesthesia refers to a state whereby your cat’s body is induced in a state of being unconscious with an absence of any form of pain sensation.
Your cat is administered anesthetic drugs; it is administered when you want to clean your cat’s ears or when a surgical process is being carried out. In most cases, it is always rare for your cat to awaken from anesthesia deafness after cleaning or surgical process has taken place.
Can Ear Mites Cause Cat deafness
It is rare for most cats to suffer from ear infections, however, if ear mites get into your cat’s ear and start to breed. This causes a problem to your cat’s ears and can eventually lead to deafness if it is not well taken care of immediately.
If your cat has been affected with ear mite it will tend to shake its head more frequently. In addition, your cat will tend to scratch its ear more often without stopping.
The ear mite is very dangerous because it causes your cat’s ears to release a bad odor due to the accumulation of wax and mite debris. If your cat has been affected with ear mite consult your veteran for treatment since it is contagious and can spread from one cat to the other.
Anatomy of the Ear
The ear is a sense of organ which helps in hearing. Hearing is defined as a perception of sound energy via the brain to the central nervous system.
During movement of air wave’s pinna which is located externally, lit helps in collecting sound waves and directs them into internal ear known as the eardrum. Pinna is structured in a way that when your cat moves ears it can be able to detect if a sound is coming from the back or front.
Eardrum acts as a separation between the ear canal and middle ear. This part of the ear will always vibrate when it detects the presence of sound waves. It is more inverted and therefore this part is very sensitive to pain.
Vibrations that have been detected by eardrum will be passed through ossicles. Ossicles refer to three smaller bones found in ears and they are helpful in transmitting sound from air to the fluid-filled part which is known as the cochlea.
It is made up of three types of bones namely stirrup, anvil, and hammer. When vibration is transmitted to the cochlea. This organ helps to balance sound and hearing accordingly.
In addition, the cochlea is a membrane which is helpful in transforming vibrations to electrical impulses which are then sent into your cat’s brain for interpretation by the nerves.
For the hearing process to be complete outer, middle, inner, nerve and brain are all needed for a complete healing process to take place. In a case whereby any of these parts mentioned fails to perform its function deafness will be experienced.
A cat is the only mammal which gives birth to a lot of kittens. These kittens are born with their ears folded in a downward position.
This is helpful since it helps its ear structure to develop hence preventing excessive pressure from being exposed to them.
This process will actually take place for about three weeks and eventually, the sense of hearing will have developed. In some situation, your cat will experience deafness if this process of hearing organs fail to take place completely.
What is Cat Deafness?
This refers to an inability of not hearing it can either be partial or complete. If it is part this means that it has affected only one side of your cat’s ear. In a situation whereby both your cat’s ears have been affected this is referred to us complete deafness, it is also known as bilateral deafness.
Cat deafness is normally experienced in two ways namely
- Conduction deafness
- Nerve deafness
This is a type of deafness that occurs when sound waves are not conducted properly in between the external and middle portion of your cat’s ears.
Therefore, as a result, the fluid that is present in your cat’s inner ear is not set in motion. Since the fluid is not set in motion sound waves will be unable to reach nerves that are connected to your cat’s brain.
A cat always bears kitten when deaf, however, the kitten will be deaf in three weeks’ time. During its third week, its ears will open up to allow the hearing process to take place.
In some cases, ear-opening of your cat will fail as a result of the canal being narrowed during wave transmission process hence leading to deafness.
Sound waves transmission can be hindered with if your cat’s outer and middle ear parts have tumor infection or as a result of eardrum rupture.
In some cases, it can be as a result of middle ear infection which is accompanied by fluid infection. It can also be as a result of a physical blockage of your cat’s ear canal with earwax.
Furthermore, if ossicles have been restricted to move as a result of bony adhesion between stapes and oval windows.
Deafness is irreversible especially conduction deafness which has been caused as a result of the tumor. An early diagnosis can be carried out and therefore treatment can be performed.
Nerves are very useful in your cat’s ear since it helps in transferring information from auditory of your cat’s inner ear to its brain, it is located in its inner ear. When there is lack of communication this means that nerves have been damaged or they are experiencing a problem.
This type of deafness is caused as a result of poor development of the inner part of your cat’s ears that contain nerve receptors which are useful for hearing.
As a result, fluid is build up in a specific area of your cat’s brain hence causing brain damage and other parts which are useful for hearing process causing deafness to your cat.
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