My 17-year-old cat Maya is deaf. I didn’t realize this until recently, when I called to her as she was walking away from me and she didn’t turn around. Normally when I call her name, if she’s facing me, she comes running. Intrigued by her lack of response, I tried clapping my hands directly behind her head and banging on a wall, to no avail. She didn’t respond. Then I did some research and read that she could have senile deafness, which is a gradual process; there often remains some capacity for hearing high-pitched sounds. So I tried whistling. She reacted by looking around with a puzzled expression on her face. She couldn’t seem to figure out that the sounds came from me.
I adopted Maya from our local animal shelter when she was nine years old and I was a volunteer in the cat room. I knew she had almost no chance of being adopted because of her age and the fact that she hid under the newspaper in her cage to avoid being seen. She also had a dull, rough coat, yellowed teeth and bad breath, not exactly the physical traits sought by most cat adopters. Maya had been dumped at the shelter by her former owners for one of those commonly used, generally phony reasons: Someone in the household was allergic to cats. She was not spayed, and her name was Mother. I could only imagine how many times over those nine years she had produced litters of kittens that probably ended up at the shelter. I asked the director if I could foster her for a while to improve her health and try to socialize her. She was happy to oblige. I took “Mother” home, and ended up keeping her, having her spayed, and changing her name. For the right results, the causes can be checked at online websites with sonus complete reviews. With positive reviews, there will be furnishing of the feedback for the treatment. The hearing problems will be solved easily through the person. The reputed sellers should be selected for the purchase at affordable rates.
Fast forward through eight years of amazingly good health, except for her recent age-related kidney failure. Now I wonder how long Maya has also been losing her hearing. No veterinarian has ever suggested that she has a hearing loss. It seems to me, looking back, that she has never responded vigorously to aural stimuli. But that could be because she’s a senior and she has kidney disease, which slow her down. Or it could just be because she’s a cat, who selectively chooses when to respond to the outside world. From the time I brought Maya home, she has largely kept to herself, although she’s very attached to me and sleeps near my head most nights. She avoids encounters with two of my other cats, who like to intimidate her, by eyeballing her surroundings frequently as if to keep track of their location. Maya is a visual cat who often gazes at me intently when I talk to her. I’ve always been charmed by this habit of hers, but it probably should have told me something about her hearing. She may be doing it to read my face and lips for clues about what I’m communicating because she can’t hear me.
Is it possible that Maya has hereditary deafness? The genes for white fur, blue eyes and deafness are situated close to each other. Most white cats, even if they have blue eyes, are not born deaf, but they are more prone to deafness when compared to other cats. Cats deaf from birth often have blue eyes, but they can also have other eye colors. To complicate matters, the white fur gene does not always produce solid white cats. Maya is a calico with a lot of white fur and olive green eyes. The veterinary research community still has many questions about the precise mechanisms of hereditary deafness, but in Maya’s case, it’s unlikely that her deafness is hereditary.
Are there other reasons cats can become deaf, besides heredity and old age? Cats can develop tumors, middle ear infections, suffer head injuries, get wax and debris in their ears, or become deaf from the administration of certain drugs, particularly antibiotics. Some poisons cause deafness.
How can you tell if your cat is deaf? If she cocks her head and looks toward a noise and her ears move back and forth, her hearing is probably normal. The good news is that deaf cats can offset their hearing loss through their acute senses of sight, smell and touch. But they should never be allowed outside alone, because they cannot hear approaching danger. Since Maya is a totally indoor cat and has clearly compensated for her hearing loss to the point of hiding it from the humans in her life, I don’t anticipate any major problems coping with it. But just to make sure that it’s really senile deafness, I plan to take her to our vet for a checkup.