How to Recognize Deafness in Cats


Cats can lose their hearing for many reasons, just like humans do. Deafness can be caused by inflammation or infection, degenerative nerve changes, traumatic injury or certain drugs. Some cats are born deaf. It appears that white cats with blue eyes are particularly prone to congenital deafness. There is also a breed connection; some of the breeds that are at higher risk are white Persians, Ragdolls, Cornish and Devon Rex, Oriental Shorthairs, Manx and Turkish Angora.

Deafness that occurs as a result of old age will be a gradual process. The eardrums become less flexible, and sound is not transmitted as effectively.

In a recent article for, I explained how you can recognize whether your cat is deaf, and how to communicate with a deaf cat and make her life easier. Click here to read the full article.

12 Comments on How to Recognize Deafness in Cats

  1. Patsy
    August 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm (12 months ago)

    I have a deaf cat. He was found as a kitten wandering in the middle of the street. We finally figured out he was deaf when he would walk in front of the lawn mower, wasn’t scared of the blow dryer, would not come when we called him, etc. He can’t jump like normal cats & he acts like he thinks he’s a dog. He is the most loving cat we own. He knows a bit of sign language & uses lights to know where we are & vibrations. Best cat ever!!

    • Ingrid
      August 2, 2016 at 5:46 am (12 months ago)

      I love that he knows sign language, Patsy!

  2. Sue Brandes
    July 10, 2015 at 9:58 am (2 years ago)

    I have had two kitties that went deaf when they got towards the end of their lives. Thanks for the post.

  3. Marie
    July 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm (2 years ago)

    An article on blind cats would be very helpful. Especially with other cats in the household. One of my cats likes to try to play with my blind rescue, and it scares the poor thing so bad! Any advice?

    • Ingrid
      July 10, 2015 at 6:10 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you for the suggestion, Marie – I’ll put something together soon. In the meantime, your best solution is to put a bell on the cat’s collar who scares your blind cat, that way, he/she can hear the other cat approaching.

  4. Gail
    July 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm (2 years ago)

    Big Boy Bob came to me as unneutered tom about 8 years ago – absolutely not wanting affection , nor inside shelter. After fixing him and feeding him over the years, this now senior cat (12+) is almost totally deaf. Since he can’t hear predators headed toward him, I force him inside the heated/cooled garage every night. Its a nightly struggle to get him inside, but he’s protected at that’s what matters.

  5. Ellen Pilch
    July 9, 2015 at 12:29 pm (2 years ago)

    Excellent post. I have a deaf kitty, he is white, but has yellow eyes.

  6. Random Felines
    July 9, 2015 at 9:56 am (2 years ago)

    we fostered a deaf white kitten a while back. everyone asked – how do you know he is deaf? let’s see….he liked the dyson, slept through the pop top of the can for dinner…many different ways. 🙂

    • Ingrid
      July 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm (2 years ago)

      I’d say the Dyson definitely sealed the deal! Those things are LOUD!

  7. Marg
    July 9, 2015 at 8:35 am (2 years ago)

    We have a deaf cat here. He is a stray that wandered in here and I have been thinking for a long time that he is deaf. He seems to do all right and hangs our in two places. When he first came here he was very anemic. I don’t have any idea how old he is. He stays very much to himself and doesn’t bother anyone. The biggest problem with him is that when he is inside he sprays everything. Got any answers for that Ingrid. Take care.

  8. Janine
    July 9, 2015 at 7:40 am (2 years ago)

    We had a white kitten one time and wondered if she was deaf. Someone said to turn on the vacuum. She walked right past it and wasn’t even scared. That was just one of several ways we tested her.


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