White cats with blue eyes and deafness

White cat with blue eyes

The white cats. Some stuffed animals the color of snow that, just looking at each other, awakens the instinct of protection. They have very soft fur; so much so that there are those who claim that it is as if you touch cotton. However, it is often thought that all these precious furries are deaf, but What is true in that?

Actually, only white cats with blue eyes or of a different color are. We will find the answer by studying their genes.

The W gene, the deafness gene

Cat with eyes of every color

Cats that inherit this gene will be deaf in most cases. The W gene (which comes from White), is one of the so-called pleiotropic, which means that it is responsible for enhancing multiple effects. In this case, this is the gene that takes care that the color of his coat is white, his eyes are blue and unfortunately also that he has hearing problems. So much so that as soon as the inner ear is born it is already quite degenerated.

It is important to say that deafness can affect all cats, regardless of their coat color, but it is much more frequent in those who present the aforementioned characteristics.

Does it affect all cats equally?

The reality is that it does not, because it acts differently in each animal. The only thing that is certain is that all those cats that inherit this gene will be white, all. This is due to the fact that it presents a complete penetrance for the color of the coat, but not for eye color or deafness.

Thus, it has been determined that a white cat with blue eyes is 3 times more likely to be deaf than a white one but with different colored eyes. And if the white feline has different colored eyes, will have twice the chance of being deaf than one with two blue eyes.

White cat with blue eyes

Are there deaf white cats in nature?

Cats are animals designed to hunt, and for this they need to have their 5 senses, including hearing. If one of them was born with malformations or deafness, what the mother usually does in these cases is not to take care of him. It is very hard for us, but these are the laws of nature, natural selection. In the middle 'wild' one who was deaf I would have a hard time surviving.

On the other hand, white cats attract us. Many of us want to live (or we already do) with one of them, so in the hatcheries those healthiest and most beautiful are selected, and they are crossed with others. One of the consequences of this practice is the deafness with which many of them are born.

How to know if my cat is deaf

As we have seen, the W gene does not affect all cats equally, so sometimes we realize that our friend is deaf when he has grown up. However, we can tell he's hearing impaired if we make loud noises near him and he's unfazed. A cat that is not deaf would run away to hide, but if it is, since it will not be able to hear you, it will remain calm where it is.

In addition, you can tell that he has problems with his inner ear if he meows very loudly because he cannot control the volume of his voice or if he has a tendency to sway when walking. But the almost definitive test will be clapping hard while sleeping. These furry ones love to sleep peacefully, but if we make loud noises near him, like a slap, he will get scared and hide ... unless he is deaf, which in this case he will continue to sleep peacefully and we will have no choice but to take him to the vet to to examine it.

And what care does a deaf cat require?

White cat with disparate eyes

A deaf cat is a cat that will need love and attention, like any other. But it is true that it will be necessary to prevent him from going outside, otherwise his life could be in danger by not being able to hear the sound of cars, for example. It is very important that you are always inside the home so that you can live happily for many years.

Another issue that must be taken into account is the way we approach it. Cats, in general, address other felines or us from the front making a kind of curve, they never approach from behind (unless they are playing of course 🙂). Well, when we have a deaf cat we must do the sameThus coexistence will be much more pleasant for everyone.

Remember that while he cannot hear you, he has his other 4 senses intact (5, if you think he has a 'sixth sense'). Take care of him and respect him as if he has no hearing problem: he deserves it. Take time to play with him every day, let him spend time with you, and both of you are sure to be very happy for many, many years.

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  1.   gsd said

    I have only known deaf brown-eyed cats and the ones I have had blue-eyed cats were not deaf.

  2.   gsd said

    Deafness is related to the W gene and also the s gene (partially white cats) and in albinos, with respect to the color of the coat. That is why the statement they make "In reality, only white cats with blue eyes or different colors are." it is not correct, because it also occurs in brown-eyed cats. The source, apart from being a veterinary assistant, is that I have had white cats with non-deaf blue eyes, one whole white and another with a small spot and whose descendants there have been no deaf puppies of which we have information. And another is that I have adopted a completely white kitten with brown eyes and suddenly when we grew up we realized that she was completely deaf.

    It must be taken into account that the process in which the eyes take color can give rise to eyes of different colors, not only blue, but also disparate eyes, but all this is influenced by polygents that influence the W gene.

    So you have to start banishing certain myths.


    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Thank you very much for the clarification, gsd 🙂

  3.   Judely Andrea Guarin said

    I have a beautiful completely White cat with orange eyes (a strong tone) and he is deaf, I see that he is very aggressive, he does not allow himself to be caressed and meows exaggeratedly hard, he only purrs when he comes to eat, at night he is very active and knocks everything down.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Judely.
      In a sense, it's normal for him to behave like this. Having lost their hearing, or being born without the ability to hear, they must 'make themselves known'. That is why he meows louder than would be normal.

      My advice is that if he is not neutered, take him to be neutered. This will make you feel more relaxed as you will no longer need to go looking for a partner.
      If he does not allow himself to be caressed, well, you have to respect him. Give him cat treats from time to time, watch him slowly opening and closing his eyes, stay close to him keeping him company.

      Cheer up!