Deaf cat has destructive behavior!!

sjmiller

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So my cat Milo is deaf and he is terribly destructive. He is only about a year old so I'm not sure if its his age that makes him like this or the fact that he can't hear anything. He is constantly knocking things over and breaking things. I usually just put the breakable things up high and in cupboards, but now he has figured out how to get into all of my cupboards and how to jump ontp high surfaces. Its not even that he is clumsy and bumps into things either; he purposely pushes things over and them watches them fall. And of course because he is deaf, he is never frightened by the loud noises he makes when he breaks those items. He keeps me up at night because of this behavior. He completely spazzes out sometimes and just runs back and forth throughout my apartment, knocking over lamps in the process. In the past week and a half I have gone through 2 boxes of light bulbs. I'm not sure what to do with him. I could never get rid of him, but he is causing me so much stress, and I just don't know what my next step should be. I've tried tin foil on the counter tops and spray bottles with water, neither have worked. Please help!!!
 

ldg

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It is partly his age, though in a fairly recent discussion of deaf cat behavior, we found out by accident that pushing things off of tables and shelves seems to be a common practice of deaf cats! They don't hear it falling - but WE react to it.
Deaf cats seem to universally be fascinated with gravity. !!!!

The only answer we've figured out is to keep clear surfaces (though we generally wake up in the morning, and put our pens and pads of paper back up on our work tables
), and keep stuff you don't want broken put away. In fact, thankfully our curio cabinet has a glass door - it was probably the only way we could put out breakable stuff and not have it broken.

And yeah, the spray bottles won't work. In fact, if any water gets in your cat's ear, it can cause problems. Best to toss it, quite frankly.

The problem with the crashing lamps is a function of his energy and age. Do you have much vertical space for him? Do you have any way to create it? Having "appropriate" places where he can romp and run around and jump may help save your lamps.

Do you have ANY wall space? There are a couple of options. If you can afford them, several cat trees pushed together make a GREAT place for kitty to leap and run around. If you can't afford them, can you put up shelves? Because something like this works GREAT for cats: Kitty Wall

A quick and inexpensive alternative is stacking into a pyramid a number of those cheap sterlite storage boxes you can buy at places like Walmart. Stack them, cut holes so he can go up through some of them, , so he can go through them, and so there's a few windows looking out.


OR you can use sturdy cardboard boxes. We used to make huge 3D mazes - and of course running around across the tops and different levels of the boxes was good fun. they do have to be replaced though.


Otherwise, for the lamps.... would it be possible to use that "industrial" kind of velcro to help anchor them?
 

erinroro

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Wow! My deaf cat Extra shoves things off of counters, desks, etc. I never realized that he was part of a 'crowd'!!! I used to have PVC vertical blinds and Extra would sit on the window sill and rattle the blinds to wake me up in the mornings to feed him!!! I will have to look back and see if I can find the discussion on deaf cats!!!
 

yayi

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My senior cat Joji is deaf and she does not knock down things. But when my orphans got to be your Milo's age, the house would often look like a tornado passed by in the morning.
I agree with LDG that you need to set up some kind of kitty playground for Milo to reduce the "destructive" incidents.
 

my4llma

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I don't have experience with deaf cats. But is it possible your cat is hungry?
Lynxx
would always knock things down as a way of telling us he needed food.
 

cats08

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I recently got a whitedeaf cat from a coworker she was at  wits end. I had to  do alot of work around my home that I never had to do with my other felines. Cleo is 1 year old. I had to put magnet latches on ALL my cupboards as she loved to get in them. I bought another 6 ft. cat pole with different levels. Still she is being a pain. Getting into my knick knacks and going behind the entertainment center into my stereo cables and wires. We had it blocked off as my black cat chews wires. STILL she found a way to get behind there. She likes harrassing my black cat who I have had for 11 years. I can't take her to the shelter as they will dispose of her. I keep thinking it could be her age but I may end up putting her in a sealed off part of the house while I am at work to keep her out of my stuff and away from my other cats so they can have peace and quiet.

We bought a squirt bottle, but that does not phase her. I use the laser light or catnip to distact her when she is doing something wrong. She gets aggressive when I try to correct her when she has her mind set on doing something bad. I have had plenty of cats in my life and by far she is the most challenging and headstrong one I have ever had.

Any suggestions?
 

patriciacooper

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Your deaf cat is still a baby at one year old.  He will get better at behaving.  

Remember because he is deaf his other senses are heightened.

He will take visual cues from you.  When he knocks things over and watches them fall, it is like a two year old who throws everything off the high chair to watch it hit the ground.

As he ages he will get better.

Begin teaching him with visual cues.

He will understand your facial expressions and read your lips when you say no.

Blow kisses, and send smiles to him when he behaves correctly.

He will understand your expressions when you are happy with him.

He will learn hand signals.  Come,  down,  pointing.

I have had several deaf cats and they learn to communicate just fine.

They even come when I call them,  they do not hear me but appear when I am looking for them most of the time. They greet me at the door when I come home.

They respond more to light,  facial expressions, gestures, ane vibrations, more than the other cats.

The plus in all this is noise does not scare them.

So enjoy his unique qualities and begin teaching him what makes you happy with him and what creates disapproval.  He will get it.  None of your other cats will study your face or look into your eyes the way he does.  

Enjoy the process.
 

patriciacooper

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Squirt bottles with plain water do not work.

Add a small amount of white vinegar to it and spray it near her not on her.

The smell is more offensive than the wetness.

See my other response in regards to deaf cats.

#8

You will learn to enjoy her unique qualities.

She needs a different way to communicate with you.
 

patriciacooper

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By the way,  I reserve the squirt bottle for dangerous situations only.

So it is rarely used,  but when it is, it is after all other measures have been exhausted.

The sight of it will work after he smells the offensive vinegar once or twice.

I pair it with saying no with a displeased facial expression.

He will associate no with it.

The goal is to use it once or twice for danger and replace its use, with no and a disapproving expression.

My one year old gets it now when he tries to climb the cage and catch the parrot.

It took 3 times and now he leaves the birds area when he sees a disapproving facial expression from me.

I also use a pointing outstretched arm, hand, and finger when I want him to leave an area.

Try teaching the cues.  You will be surprised how much he learns from just watching you.
 

meg1973

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I have a white blue eyed deaf cat. She is 5 years old. I still have chunks of missing wall paper from when she was 1.  Really you just have to bunker down and try to get through this faze.  It will get better.  It is a kitten thing not a deaf thing. Mine no longer destroys.  Also I have trained her on the leash and every morning we go out for an hour long walk in the park and then again in the evening around the neighbourhood.  CATS GET BORED.  She LOVES her walks.  How would you like to be cooped up inside all day.  But if you don't keep them  in side they WILL get run over.  Ive heard to many awful stories!!!!

Good Luck  Megan Jones
 
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