Hearsay about deaf white cats

Things people say about deaf cats

There's a lot of myths and confusion around deaf (white) cats. Here's some rumors I've stumbled upon:

  • All white cats are deaf (nope)
  • Only white cats with blue eyes are deaf (not true)
  • Odd-eyed white cats are always deaf (wrong again)
  • Only purebreds are born deaf (nonsense)

These statements are all wrong, but most of them build on something true.

The white gene (w)

There's definitely a correlation between the white coat, blue eyes and lack of hearing. This is because the gene for these 3 things are the same! The gene (w) is always penetrating in the color of the coat (making it all white), while it may be more or less effective coloring the eyes blue or causing deafness.

This means that white cats with different colored eyes than blue, can be deaf too. It also means that some white cats with blue eyes can hear perfectly fine, cause the gene only effected their visual appearance. Lucky bastards



Not all deaf cats are white

Since there can be other reasons to deafness than this gene, not all deaf cats are white. We don't know why our Ronja is deaf. But we know it's not for the same reason as with Victor, cause, as we just learned, if she carried the gene for deafness (w), she would definitely be 100% white (w is for white you see).



All deaf cats...

...Can't hear. And that's about as final a statement as you get about that. Cause deaf cats have different appearances and different personalities. What I wanted you to take from this is simply that there is no ultimates, when it comes to deafness in cats. There is definitely a correlation between white cats and deafness, but other than that, there really are no final guidelines on the matter.

How to tell a cat is deaf

You are going to have to find out by yourself by interacting with the cat. If you suspect that your cat might be deaf, you can do simple hearing tests like in this video.

I got the information about the deaf gene in cats from this article.

Thanks for hearing meowt!

More blogposts about deaf cats:

Click here to read why it can be difficult to tell that a cat is deaf right away.

Do deaf cats meow?

10 situations where it’s good to have or be a deaf cat

2 Responses

  1. hi, i have a partly deaf cat! we assume she has about 25-50% of a normal cats hearing. she is not white with blue eyes, or has any of those attributes. she is mostly black (she has some white on her) with green-yellow ish eyes. we have had her as an indoor cat for about a year now(i am planning to harness train her soon so she can be taken on walks and be less bored and have more phsyical activity) and she is doing great! but we’ve noticed something with her. when we first got her, her hearing wasnt as good as it is now, and we think it has gotten better since when we got her. any ideas about this? can deaf cats hearing get better? (the vets think she was born deaf, but we dont have any confirmation about this since she was found on the streets). she is not old at all, the vets have estimated she is about 2-4 years old. thanks :)
    • Humom
      Hi there, Thank you for your question. Not all deaf or hearing impaired cats are white with blue eyes. My Ronja is a tabby with white and she is completly deaf. Please note I'm not a vet or expert in any way - I'm just a cat owner with two deaf cats. But I would <em>think</em> that the only way a hearing impaired cat can regain hearing, is if the hearing loss is due to some sort of illness that passes. But it doesn't seem likely here if she hasn't been sick. Maybe she has simply adapted to her home and is less dependent on her hearing when she is on her home turf? Or perhaps you adapted to her ways and sees her as more "normal" functioning now? I'm just guessing here :) Either way, it's a good thing. I wish you good luck with your walks. I hope she will enjoy them as much as my Ronja does. Sincerely Sanne

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