How To Tell If A Cat Is Deaf

James Glover
by James Glover
View Biography

QuestionWe have just got an 8 week old persian kitten which seems to be deaf. We make various noises just to get its attention with no success. Is it possible that he could truly be deaf? (Van - Georgia)

Answer

It is definitely possible to have a deaf cat, although this is usually more common in white cats. Almost the only way to tell that a cat is deaf is the "vacuum cleaner test". Normally kittens are afraid of the vacuum cleaner, but a deaf kitten likes to play with it. Another way to find out if your cat is deaf, is when you come home. Normally, your cats come to the door to meet you, but a deaf cat just continues to sleep on contentedly.

A cat deals with its deafness very well and compensates for the lack of hearing with other senses. So well, in fact, that it is almost impossible to distinguish deaf cat from cats with normal hearing. Naturally you can't command your deaf cat by yelling, but do even hearing cats obey every time? If only one ear is deaf, only the way the cat moves its head shows any deafness.

Deaf cats are more people-loving cats than those who can hear. These cats have louder voices, presumably they can't hear how loudly they meow!

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
Add Your Comment
Readers' Comments (Newest to Oldest)
Tennessee
JesusSaves
Message Me!
Add to Friends
Junior Member
Added on Feb 26th, 2012
Just wanted to thank you for posting this. I have a white kitty. I thought maybe she was deaf and found it odd that she actually likes to play with the vacuum cleaner while I'm cleaning. Now I know why; she is indeed deaf. This info was very helpful!
Texas
ScottishJohn
Message Me!
Add to Friends
Junior Member
Added on Sept 2nd, 2010
The easiest way I've found to tell is wait till he is sleeping then make a loud noise from across the room, clapping works. If he can hear it wakes him up if he doesn't wake up after a few tries hes deaf.
United Kingdom
Driftways170
Message Me!
Add to Friends
Junior Member
Added on Oct 24th, 2009
Interesting to learn and confirms our suspicions. She does not notice the vacuuum cleaner but just follows it about the room with her eyes. I have started a course of ear drops - will this help (or harm?)