Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking After a Deaf Kitten or Cat

Partially deaf kittens will often not have stereo hearing,so will not naturally learn to associate sound with people,other cats or objects which make a noise.Talk to them a lot and let them associate your voice with having cuddles or getting food.They just need this little extra bit of teaching.

With deaf kittens or cats,the prime means of communication is your hands and for that reason you should never hit cats and therefore to avoid humans and hands.

You can teach cats and kittens not to jump on tables,ect,by using a water pistol or any squiter which is "action at a distance;.With hearing cats,you reinforce this by saying "off",but your body language will usually work jsut as well with deaf kittens.

Deaf cats are more visually active to readjust to their deafness.They are also very sensitve to movement and vibrations.If you come into a room when one is sleep,i would advise tapping the furniture or the floor to let them know you have come in,so they dont get a fright when they wake up.

Touch is a very important  sense to a deaf cat,and they will usually respond wel to stroking and handling.Some dont but most will approach you in their own time and you should welcome them with a tickle under the chin or whatever they like.

Vibration is important,and when cuddling a cat close,they can feel your voice when you speak or hum.You could also see if they respond to "purring" as cat purring is a vibration rather than a noise.Very young kittens are deaf as their ears are closed for 2 or 3 weeks,but they can feel mum's purr and can purr back.This probably why they like to sit on a vacuum cleaner when all the others flee under the furniture.

Deaf kittens compensate well but are of course not aware of some dangers like machinery,cars or hostile animals.For that reason they are best kept indoors.The normal warning noise for a cat is a hiss.With deaf kittens,you have to use a different warning system and one is something large flapping above them.A towel or newspaper often works or even just waving your arms.

Hopefully deaf kittens and cats are cuddly at least when the mood takes them,If they dont like being picked up,welcome them when they come to you.Many cats like being groomed as long as you dont pull tangles,so it is worth getting them used to a comb even if they dont need any grooming.Short strokes of the comb is like a big mum cats lick.Young kittens will have a play fight with the comb,and that is also good contact with them.

Play with them a lot and give them toys.The simplest ones are often the best,like balss and furry things and foam scrubbers and string with a screw of paper tied at both ends so they dont swallow the string and cardboard boxes with holes cut in them.They have a lot of senses to use - touch,vibration,smell,taste (let them lick you), and vision which are all enhanced to compensate for their deafness.

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