Ice's deaf needs
Ice is a white domestic short hair kitten who some of you may have met during her short stay here at the clinic. She was a rescue kitten looking for her forever home. Ice is hearing impaired so she needed to go to a home that understood her needs. People loved to watch her jumping and somersaulting, living life to the fullest despite her limitations - and she was soon off to the perfect home.
Deaf cats need to be kept predominantly indoors (and supervised or enclosed when outside) for their own safety as they cannot hear traffic or any other possible threats that could cause them harm. Just in case they should get out, it's best that a deaf cat wears an "I am Deaf" tag on his or her collar, so that people know how to handle him or her.
Guests at a deaf cat's home need to be alerted to the fact that the cat should always see (and smell!) them before they approach him or her and should always move towards the cat from the front. Lights can be used to signal that the owner has arrived home or that it's dinner time and wood floors can also be tapped to send vibration commands as well.
Deaf cats respond well to being touched, stroked and handled so owners can use this to reinforce signals and commands as well as giving scratches and pats.
To ensure the best relationship between an owner and a hearing impaired cat, it is important to remember to be persistent and consistent - everyone in the household needs to use the same commands, hand signals and routine.
If you are worried that your cat or dog is developing hearing problems, you can conduct a home test by calling his/her name or by using a hissing sound. But we would also suggest that you make an appointment with us at the clinic - sometimes hearing issues can mean an underlying problem such as kidney disease or diabetes - it's always better to be safe than sorry!