How Often Do You Feed Kittens At 2 Weeks Old Communicating With Your Deaf Cat

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Communicating With Your Deaf Cat

By understanding and responding to your deaf cat’s unique needs, the two of you will develop a closer relationship and better communication skills. A sensitive pet owner can learn from watching how their pet reacts and adapts to its surroundings. It takes time, persistence and patience for owner and pet to get to know each other and learn to “speak” their language.

Since there is no sense of hearing to rely on, a deaf cat’s remaining senses are usually heightened. For example, a deaf pet may rely on vibrations (touch), odors (smell), or lights (sight) for stimulation. My cat Beau, a beautiful and very rambunctious white Turkish Angora, is profoundly deaf. He was a shelter rescue and came to me at two years old, depressed and withdrawn due to his inability to connect with others. This beautiful cat sat under my coffee table for a month, abandoned and in her own little world, only going to eat or use her litter box. In the following weeks, I watched his behavior and noticed that he reacted when someone walked on the wooden floor around him. He felt the vibrations in the floor and woke up whenever he felt movement.

To use the knowledge that he responds to vibrations, I taught Beau to respond to my knocking on the floor, come to dinner. He learned it quickly, along with quick, simple signs (like wagging a finger to say “come here”). This was stimulating for him and his mood improved with each new connection with his new family. He wanted to connect, and being allowed to do so lifted his spirits. Over time, I used this combination of simple visual cues and tapping the floor to teach him other basic commands (like “no”, “good kitty”, etc.).

I’ve also noticed while watching him that Beau is a very sound sleeper but jumps through the roof at a sudden petting. Touch stimulation that is too sudden is startling for him. To fix this, I gently touch or tap whatever he’s laying on to let him know I’m there and about to approach. This reduced the startle response tremendously.

I also noticed while watching Beau in his daily life that he likes fast moving lights and shadows. He will sit for hours, amused by any sudden movement on the walls. To play around with it a bit, using this knowledge I bought a faceted crystal ball sun catcher and hung it in the window. When the sun hits it, rainbows fly everywhere. Being in Florida, there are always rainbows from this ball in my living room. Beau spends all day chasing rainbows and sits next to me if there aren’t any. He looks to the window as if to ask if I will bring the rainbows back. This sun catcher is his only toy because Beau doesn’t find normal cat toys even remotely entertaining. It is a great achievement for him to have something that really makes him happy and excited.

Seeing Beau’s happy response to the touch, I decided to pet him often. As I walk past him, I reach out to pet him as I walk by. Every time you touch it, it melts like a fluffy white blob of mush and happily wags its tail. When he sees me pull out the brush for him, he knows it’s meant to be used on him, and he sits and waits. Something as small as a brush is a comfort to him, as if the brushing is like the grooming of his fur that his mother did long ago.

Another way to bond with Beau is to hold him and talk into his fur so he can feel the vibrations of my voice box. He purrs when I do, pleased to know I’m “talking” to him. When he was in college years ago, there was a school for the deaf next door. I remember how hard of hearing or deaf people still enjoyed going to rock concerts. When I asked my friend (who is partially deaf) why she liked concerts, she told me it was because she felt the vibrations of the music. Her experience with music was different than mine, but still just as powerful. So I use this thought when I talk into Beau’s fur when I hold him. He can feel me talking, and even though it’s not the same as speaking with a word, he sees the experience as positive in a way.

One mysterious behavior that Beau regularly baffles me with is his midnight operatic singing. This is my latest puzzle to solve. Being deaf, he doesn’t realize that singing at the top of his lungs wakes up everyone in the house. Sometimes she will sit in the large windows overlooking the lake and sing loudly to the neighbors walking by. It’s cute to see him trying to interact with others, but I’m working on teaching him ways to channel his singing talent without scaring anyone. By keeping him awake and stimulated throughout the day, I’ve found that Beau sleeps through the night and that cuts down on the monthly serenades. It’s all about adapting to each other. We are still learning on this one.

Living with a deaf pet is a challenging but very rewarding experience. Beau has added variety, love and many songs to our lives. He is happy, loving and very good at letting me know what he needs right now. We have developed a communication system that works, so he is by my side when I work in my home office, every day. He taught me to be more sensitive and I taught him to come out of hiding and enjoy life. With a little teamwork, we both grew. I highly recommend adopting a deaf pet to anyone who is patient, caring, and willing to put in the effort to understand their new family member. Every animal is different, read about other deaf animals and learn. The result is a happy, well-adjusted cat who will give you endless love and devotion and peace of mind knowing you’ve saved a pet from a life of utter loneliness. It’s worth the effort in the end.

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