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Are All White Cats Deaf? Are They Blind? The Surprising Answer!

All cats have their own charm and attractiveness, but white cats are undeniably the most attractive. If one or both of their eyes are blue, it just enhances their attractiveness.

In addition to being uncommon in the general cat population, white cats have a reputation for being sensitive to deafness, blindness, sunburn, and certain malignancies.

Is it true that white cats are more likely to be blind and deaf, and if so, what is the cause? Many owners shy away from this distinctively patterned feline.

Continue reading "Are All White Cats Deaf? Are They Blind? The Surprising Answer!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to find the answer.

The White Cat Gene

The cochlea of a cat’s ear turns sound waves into a signal that is delivered to the brain. The cochlea employs melanin to conduct this conversion, which is the same gene that determines the color of a cat’s coat.

White cats carry the dominant W gene, which is responsible for their white fur and blue eyes. This dominating hue conceals all other marks and hues.

In addition to hindering the formation of melanin, the W gene causes deafness in one or both ears.

Are White Cats With Blue Eyes Deaf?

In reality, research indicate:

  • 17% – 22% of white cats with eyes other than blue are deaf.
  • If they have one blue eye, this percentage jumps to 40%.
  • 65% – 85% of white cats with two blue eyes are deaf.

Therefore, the idea that white cats are more likely to be deaf than cats of other colors has more than a ring of truth to it.

This number includes both cats that are deaf in one ear and those who are deaf in both ears.

If a cat has one blue eye and one deaf ear, the deaf ear is typically on the same side as the blue eye.

How To Determine If Your Cat Is Deaf

It is rather simple to identify if a cat has become deaf. They will be less receptive than they previously were and will no longer respond to the same aural cues.

If your cat is born deaf, it is more difficult to distinguish between a deaf cat and one that is unresponsive.

Brainstem auditory stimulation Response testing is a non-invasive test that may be performed on your cat at audiologist’s offices.

Certain breed registries mandate that breeders test their cats in this manner. If the test is not performed or it reveals that a cat is deaf, it cannot be bred.

You may also arrange to have this test performed on your own pet. Consult your vet. If they deem it essential, you will be referred for a BAER test after performing a series of simple hearing tests.

Living With A Deaf Cat

Deafness in white cats is hereditary, or congenital, meaning it is present at birth. If your cat with blue eyes and a white coat is not deaf at birth, it is unlikely to acquire deafness as it matures.

Unfortunately, there is no therapy or cure for congenital deafness in cats since it is inherited.

We often use sound to communicate with cats. To catch their attention, we call their names, correct them when they do something wrong, and imitate cat sounds.

A hungry cat will react to the sound of a food bag or can being opened. A deaf cat cannot respond to auditory cues; thus, owners must modify their own behavior for the cat’s benefit.

Deaf cats rely on visual queues. This involves drawing their attention with your hands.

  • If your cat is clawing furniture as you approach it, wave your arms.
  • Place your hand at ground level and stare at them if you like to invite them over. Initially, you may need to reinforce the command with a treat, but they should quickly catch on.
  • A water-filled squirt cannon or spray bottle can be used to halt a cat’s inappropriate behavior. Use the stream setting as opposed to the mist option to spray your cat when it is acting improperly. Because you are not physically executing the deed, at least in the cat’s eyes, they are more likely to link being wet with scratching the furniture; hence, this is an excellent strategy for avoiding a cat’s undesirable behavior in all circumstances.
  • Try to adhere to a feeding schedule. Cats thrive on regularity, so rather than trying to call your deaf cat, it will be ready for supper as soon as the food is placed on the table.
  • A laser point may be a very powerful tool for attracting your cat’s attention, but it should never be directed directly into its eyes. Shine it on the ground in front of them, then use it to spin the cat around and allow it to see you.
  • Do not allow a deaf cat to leave the house. They will be unable to hear oncoming automobiles. They will not hear a dog’s warning bark or its approach if it is violent. You may offer your cat with a run or enclosed outdoor space that allows them to breathe fresh air without placing them in danger.

Other Conditions

With the exception of albino cats, white cats are no more susceptible to blindness than other colors. Albinism is characterized by a lack of pigments, or melanin, as opposed to a white coat, and it is typically accompanied by red eyes.

White fur provides less protection from the sun, making white cats more susceptible to sunburn, even through windows. Apply sunscreen, especially to the ears and nose, if your cat enjoys the sun, but they may avoid direct sunlight.

White cats are more susceptible to some forms of cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma, due to their vulnerability to sunburn.

This is prone to form around and around the ears, where there is even less sun protection, and may necessitate the removal of a cat’s ears.

Deafness And Blindness In White Cats

White cats are gorgeous and distinctive. However, they are more susceptible to deafness, particularly if they have blue eyes and a white coat.

This hereditary deafness cannot be corrected, but white cats may live perfectly healthy and happy lives with some adaption and effort from their owners.

There are tests to identify feline deafness; however, you must also look for sunburn on the ears and nose of a white cat.

We hope the article “Are All White Cats Deaf? Are They Blind? The Surprising Answer!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has given you with important information if you’ve been considering getting a white cat with blue eyes. We appreciate your reading!

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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