It’s true what they say. White cats are deaf, especially if their eyes are blue.
It is an ear disease that is inherited via a dominant gene.
Why are white cats deaf?
Deafness is related to the W (White) gene found in feline DNA. The task of this gene is to give the white color to the cat’s coat. In addition to this, however, it can also cause severe deafness. This makes the cat unable to pick up sound vibrations.
The W gene causes a degeneration of the cochlea which is located inside the ear. The cochlea is essential for hearing because it is where all the acoustic receptors are located.
Even cats that have only small areas of white in their coat can suffer from this deficiency. Deafness is even more probable when blue eyes are associated with the white coat. Furthermore, the deafness that affects these pets may not even be present from birth. It can actually start in the first few days of life.
However, it is not said that both ears are deaf.
Are all white cats deaf?
Not all white cats are deaf. Those who are born with white fur but with eyes of a color other than blue, in fact, have a good chance of not being deaf.
The deafness gene also depends on the breeds. The American, British Shortair, Devon Rex, Persian, Ragdoll, Siberian, Norwegian, Main Coon and Scottish Fold breeds are the ones most affected by deafness, especially when there are also small white spots in their coat.
In any case, in order to limit the spread of the disease, it is always best to avoid breeding albino cats with blue-eyed cats.
How to deal with white and deaf cats
Deaf cats have a greater need for care from their pet-parent. It is important to communicate with your cat through repeated gestures, which he will be able to recognize over time.
Facial expression also plays a key role. Make sure you keep the same expression when you want to communicate the same thing. This way the pet will know exactly what you are saying to him at that moment.
In conclusion, cats with white coats and blue eyes have a higher risk of being deaf than cats of other colors. Unfortunately there is no cure for this type of deafness, which is irreversible, therefore it is important to have the right precautions to let your pet live peacefully.