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Gorgeous White Coated Cats – But Are They Prone To Deafness?

25 15:11:15

Gorgeous White Coated Cats – But Are They Prone To Deafness?

Although many white cats with gorgeous blue eyes are deaf, a lot of others are not. There are breeds of cats with pure white coats that even have odd coloured eyes. However, if a cat with odd eyes is found to be deaf, it is usually on the same side as their blue eye happens to be.

Studies have shown that although white cats with blue eyes are more likely to be deaf, this is not always the case with around 31% of them having normal hearing. The research shows that 7% of white cats with yellow eyes were also found to be deaf and about 37% of white cats with blue eyes were indeed deaf – which is a lot less than was first thought. The research was carried on 185  white cats and the results showed that it is not a foregone conclusion that all white cats are born deaf even if they do have blue eyes.

As mentioned, there are lots of white cat breeds around and over the years they have become very popular family pets – even if they are deaf. One breed that's been made famous for partnering up with the baddy Blofeld in the James Bond film, is the Persian – the breed also features in many adverts and is one of the most popular breeds on the planet!

Below is a list and short description of 6 cat breeds that can have white coats and blue eyes which means they could be born deaf because of their colouring but which is not always the case.

1.  Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora is renowned for being one of the most affectionate and outgoing breeds around. However, they are quite rare and are considered to be a national treasure in their homeland,Turkey. They have a fascinating history and today Turkish Angoras are regarded as one of the most intelligent felines around. They are also very adaptable, playful and loyal to their owners.

The breed is extremely good with young children which makes them a great choice for families with toddlers. However, they are strong characters and will become the “alpha” pet in the home but with this said they do get on very well with other animals including dogs – they just like being the “boss”.

Turkish Angora cats can be deaf even if they only have one blue eye – and normally this means they are only deaf in the one ear which is on the same side as their blue eye!

2.  American Shorthair

If you're looking for a gorgeous, gentle and good natured feline friend, an American Shorthair pussy cat would fit the bill perfectly. They are great companions, wonderful with children and become valued members of the household. The breed is known to be robust and boast long lifespans making them one of the most popular family pets around.

American Shorthair cats come in many different colours and markings, however, if they boast a white coats and blue eyes – these lovely felines might suffer from deafness but this does not mean they don't live long and happy lives!

3.  The Exotic

Many people choose to own an Exotic Cat because although they look very similar to Persians. However, these lovely moggies are a lot easier to look after when it comes to grooming them and keeping their coats looking gorgeous. Exotics were bred to have a lovely, thick, dense but short coats which makes them look just like little teddy bears.

They can boast gorgeous white coats with blue eyes which means they can be born deaf but can lead wonderfully happy lives with the right careful and caring owners.

4.  Cornish Rex

The lovely curvy Cornish Rex is far from being an aloof feline but rather an affectionate creature that loves to play whenever they can. The are renowned for being kitten-like even when they are mature adult cats, loving to play games like “fetch” and they have a great ability at catching things too! The Cornish Rex is the perfect choice of cat if you want an energetic playful feline to share your home with.

However, because of their colouring, some Cornish Rex cats are born deaf – but this does not detract from their gorgeous personalities nor does it affect their lives in any way.

5.  Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is an amusing feline both to look at and to own. They have adorably large ears and very elfin faces but it's their wonderfully expressive eyes that make them such a popular choice of pet. They are quite solitary creatures but very inquisitive, always wanting to know what their owners are up to.

Again, because they can be white with blue eyes, it means a Devon Rex can be born deaf but as long as owners are aware they are – their pets lead great fun filled lives.

6.  The Main Coon

There's a lot of legends and myths about the Maine Coon Cat with many of them being highly amusing – but some could actually be true. Native to the USA, this extraordinary and lovely looking cat is renowned for the mousing abilities and are held in very high regard by many owners this side of the Atlantic and in America.

Some of them are born white with blue eyes and as such can be deaf – however, if they are well looked after, there is no reason on earth why they can't lead long and happy lives!

Can You Test for Deafness in Cats?

Cats can be tested for deafness in both ears or just the one. The test is known as a BAER which is short for brainstem auditory evoked response. Vets carry it out to see how much electrical activity there is in the cochlear as well as hearing pathways. If you own a white cat, whether they have blue eyes or not and think they have a problem with their hearing, you can ask the vet to carry out this test to find out if indeed your pet is deaf or not.

How to Care for a White Cat

Taking care of white cats is slightly different than taking care of other cats because they are at much greater risk of being sunburnt and as such they can develop skin cancer. During the hotter summer months, owners have to keep an eye on their pets and if needs be, keep them in during the day and only let them out when the sun is less aggressive in the cooler evenings.

If you own a white cat that's deaf, they are greater risk to all sorts of dangers which includes predators and cars simply because they cannot hear either of them when they are too close. If you live in town and own a deaf white cat, you need to make sure they go out where it is safe for them to do so. The other alternative is to keep your cat on a lead – that is if they will let as some cats hate leads!