Spirit, 9 months old female white cat is deaf since birth. Though not all odd-eyed white cats are deaf, Spirit is one of them.
Spirit was adopted by us (Alan Thomas and Kathleen Hutton) three weeks ago.
We use our American Sign Language as the prime means of communication. By using body language, Spirit knows right away if we call her to come over.
Spirit has much sharper vision than hearing cats. Because of her deafness, she has adjusted herself to the environment. She is very sensitive to vibrations. When we enter the room where Spirit is asleep, we often tap the floor or pet her back to let her know that we are near her.
Spirit loves to be petted. She often walks up to us love and attention. A sense of touch provides smoothingness to many deaf cats.
Even though Spirit cannot hear, she knows when you are signing. She enjoys anything that creates vibration such as a vacuum cleaner and she’d sit on it when it’s on while many other cats would run away from it.
Spirit is strictly an indoor cat but she does not miss the great outdoors by sitting by the window, watching her daily bird.
Spirit is just like any other cats when it comes to play. She loves her toys, cardboard boxes, and bottle caps. Even though she cannot hear, she never feels any different and is perhaps more affectionate because of her love of being petted.
Spirit’s world may be quiet, but it is full of colors, vibrance, touch and smell. To us, there is nothing cuter than seeing Spirit lazing on her bed, snoozing away.
We want Spirit to feel independence and can able to do anything expect hear.
Tips for deaf cat owner…
How to Help Deaf Cats Adapt.
Most cats will learn to adapt to their deafness over time but there a few things as an owner you can do to make things a little easier for them.
- Always approach your cat from the front
- If severely deaf and living in a busy urban area you may want to confine your cat to a penned area while outside for their safety.
- It is possible to teach some ASL for the cat to recognize from afar, these are similar to distance dog hand signals.
- If out at night time a flash light can be used to call your cat in. It may take some time for the cat to recognize this but cats are curious creatures, so flashing a light would grab there attention.
- Make sure your cat is wearing a collar whilst outside which indicates that they are deaf in case they get lost.
In summary, owning a deaf cat need not be any different from owning a hearing cat. In most cases the cat will compensate for its disability and be able to live a normal happy life.