It is quite easy to accommodate the needs of cats with congenital deafness, as they will automatically use their other senses to take in information and communicate. However, if your cat has only recently become deaf or is suffering gradual and partial hearing loss, it can take a little longer for both you and them to adjust to their condition.
Keep your cat inside
If your cat has become profoundly deaf, the outside world can be very dangerous. He or she won’t be able to hear noises such as other pets including dogs, motor vehicles and other moving objects and will be at greater risk of injury. The safest option is to train your cat to stay indoors. This may require some adjustment to routine, such as retraining your cat to use kitty litter (if he or she usually goes outside). You might also consider creating a contained cat run in your yard, so your cat still gets to go outside.
Use visual cues
For deaf cats, you will need to replace aural cues (such as using your voice to call them) with visual cues. For example, if you would like your cat to come to you, crouch down and motion with your hand. Or, if it is time for dinner, create a signal the cat will learn to understand, like flicking the porch light a few times quickly. Cats are quick learners and will readily respond to hand signals, laser pointers or household lights.
Deaf cats startle easily. To avoid them becoming frightened, always approach your cat from the front where he or she can see you coming.
Use touch and vibration
Deaf cats will rely heavily on their other senses to take in information. To get your cat’s attention, try stomping firmly on the floor, as this will be felt as a vibration. You can then try a variety of visual cues to communicate.
Deaf cats, like all cats, love to play. Continue to play hunting and chasing games as you would with a hearing cat. It will keep him or her active and also strengthen the bond between you both.