My Oscar is part of the large family of white cats, and I am often asked if he is deaf. In fact, white cats with blue eyes are often deaf cats, but this is not an automatic occurrence. Among other things, my cat does not have blue eyes, but yellow ones, and this can exclude its deafness.
But it is not said that all white cats with blue eyes are deaf, I have known more than one cat with these characteristics, completely white, but not deaf. But then how does this particular anomaly occur? And what are the characteristics of white cats?
White cats: characteristics
We have also spoken in this article, together with the cats, blacks, reds and brindles, of the characteristics and character of the white cats, which more often than not are of the tenons, of the slightly clumsy cats, which require so many cuddles and spend the most part of his time to sleep.
It is precisely the case of my cat Oscar, who stumbles when he gets off the chair and does not prove very agile. The white cat is considered a good fortune for many cultures, a symbol of prosperity and riches, and it is certainly a quiet and peaceful cat.
There are white long-haired cats and white short-haired cats, and certainly among the breeds the white cats par excellence are the Angora Turco cats, cats of very fine breed, long-haired, which however exist in all colors. Read also: White cat, special features and breeds
White cats are particularly sensitive to sunlight: they are much more prone to skin cancer than cats of other colors, so it is always better to protect them from exposure to the sun. Tumors caused by the sun, such as squamous cell carcinoma, often affect the cat’s nose or ears and can easily spread quickly.
White cats with blue eyes: are they always deaf?
When you see a white cat with blue eyes it is almost automatic to think that it can be deaf, but as we have already said, it is not automatic. It’s all about genetics.
The possible combinations are many, it also happens that there are deaf white cats with eyes different from blue, such as green eyes, yellows, etc. Furthermore, deafness can also be caused by bacterial infections or old age, so it is not automatic that a white cat with blue eyes is necessarily deaf.
More often cats that have only one blue eye, the other of any color and are white, may be deaf: statistics tell us.
White deaf cats, why does it happen?
But why are white cats often deaf? It happens because the gene that determines this type of deafness, the W gene, is much more often present in white cats, and much more often present in cats with blue eyes. This combination of factors is the cause of the prevalence of deafness in white cats with blue eyes, which may be deaf in one ear or both.
The deafness due to the W gene is present from birth, mother cat does not immediately notice that there are deaf kittens in her litter, so these cats require more attention if we have the possibility to monitor the litter.
Deaf cat: how to educate and protect it
The deafness of a cat could be total or partial and affect one or both ears. In all cases, we soon realize if our cat is deaf, because it does not react to sounds, it does not turn if it hears a noise or if we call it.
To communicate with him, we should rely on his other senses, such as sight, and then call him back through gestures and movement. Deaf cats will therefore rely more on sight to capture changes in their environment, and will easily rely on us or another cat, if it is at home, to catch noises they cannot hear.
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A deaf cat will also have difficulty vocalizing: it could be that his meows are of an exaggerated volume, and that he does not realize how he modulates the sounds. For this reason they may have difficulty especially in communicating with other cats, especially in case of strained situations. It is therefore better to protect a deaf cat by keeping it at home or in a fenced garden, where it cannot be attacked by other cats.
It is absolutely not advisable to let a deaf cat leave the house: it will not be able to notice the dangers of the environment, especially of the arrival of a car if it is near a road.
We could, however, be deceived and not realize that our cat is deaf because it perceives very well the vibrations of air and of the floor, for example when closing the door of the house. It could be that a deaf cat turns around to look at it because it has felt the vibration in the floor, even though it didn’t hear the noise.
If we have to get close to a deaf cat it is always advisable to let us first see it, in fact if we approach it and touch it it could suddenly be frightened and even hurt us in surprise.
Albini cats: are they always deaf?
A type of cat that is always white is the albino cat, but let’s not fall into error: albino cats are not always deaf!
Albinism also in felines is a genetic alteration that causes a lack of melanin, so a pigmentation of the whole hair that will be white, while the mucous membranes and skin will be pink. Often the mucous membrane of the eyes is also pink, which will always be blue or one blue and the other of another color.
If your cat is all white, it is not necessarily albino: try to look good at its nose or the pads: if they are darker and if you notice any stain that is not white or pink on its coat or skin, it is not albino.
Being albino cats mainly white cats, they can often be deaf, but even in this case it is not automatic.
The albino cat has a particularly delicate skin, being all white it must be protected from the sun’s rays because it could easily develop burns or skin tumors such as squamous cell carcinoma. In addition albino cats are annoyed by the very intense light, even if they see better than other cats.