How to introduce Deaf & half blind kitten to my cats

Alexalex

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Hi beautiful people! I’m in so much trouble pls any advices or at least positive experiences so I can feel there is a hope !
I rescued little kitten (now 5 month ) he was dying outside my building. He spend 1 month at the vet , was released and I left him back where I found him outdoors. His mom and other kittens where still around , I live in Istanbul, we have thousands of stray cats living all around so they have food and cat houses on every corner .However I was checking up on him that day to see him in the middle of the busy road with cars and bikes coming towards him, I saved him from being killed and put him in my home. This is when I went to vet and we realized he is completely deaf and half blind 😕 he had middle ear infection that left him deaf and cataract on both eyes so he can see some shades and maybe less than one meter distance 😕 I kept him in the separate room until vaccination was done and now I’m trying to put him together with my other 3 adult cats that I have for 4 years and it’s a hell of a nightmare. I’m introducing him slowly to 1 cat only , my boy who is not agressive at all but the kitten goes ballistic when he notice him . I let the kitten roam around living room alone to feel confident and he is happy , playing , jumping on the chairs , sleeping .. but the moment he notices other cat he gets so agressive 🙁🙁 it’s been 2 weeks now , I’m trying every day and I’m afraid to leave them to fight I swear I feel like little kitten will kill my other cat . I keep kitten on leash when I let them be near each other. Kitten is so sweet with me , he thinks I’m his mom , always grooming my hands and face , but sometimes he has like blackout , his eyes go black and he start howling and jumps on me , never with claws though. Anyone had experience with deaf and almost blind cat ?? What should I do ? I’m trying to adopt him to no cats household but nobody wants cat with issues 😣 and there is no way I abound him , he is my responsibility now . Thank you all !! Xx
 
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Alexalex

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I have no advice to give, but I want to say thank you for taking on this little soul.
Thank you ! 🙏 I swear I’m like crying in desperation this days but there is no way I’ll leave him to his own destiny. He wants to live his life as any other cat . I’m dreaming of a day when he will get along with my other cat babies and we can all live happily ever after 🐈🐈🐈🐈
 

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Hi-welcome to TCS- it's really nice to meet you and it's wonderful that you have opened your heart & home to this special little baby.Dont cry,it's going to be okay-I assure you- we just have to back up a bit and start anew....

Yes,I've worked with many a deaf,blind and deaf and blind cats/,kittens and many species with various disabilities & the wonderful news is they have an incredible sense of smell and unlike humans cats primary get to know one another through "scent" FIRST,then sight and " hearing" - well being able to hear is very much an advantage to survive in the wild but not much of a disadvantage in the safety of a loving home with a loving pet parent..... so cheer up,do not be discouraged we will help you through this,okay?

Firstly,what's kittens name? And I'd love to see a photo!Is this kitten in his forever home now? I surely hope so!

We will have to go back to the beginning with kitty in his " safe room " separated from your resident cats and begin with scent swapping and until baby is very comfortable & confident in his new territory ( the ONE room) we do not move onto the next step-sound doable so far?

It's GREAT you have One very chill ,easy going resident to start with and usually cats are VERY aware there is something different about a blind & deaf kitty ,often times they will take on the role of seeing eye cat for their disabled friend once they are a well integrated " family"

I hope you feel encouraged now,that's what we do here - we are here to support you and be here for you- your not alone
 
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Alexalex

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Hi-welcome to TCS- it's really nice to meet you and it's wonderful that you have opened your heart & home to this special little baby.Dont cry,it's going to be okay-I assure you- we just have to back up a bit and start anew....

Yes,I've worked with many a deaf,blind and deaf and blind cats/,kittens and many species with various disabilities & the wonderful news is they have an incredible sense of smell and unlike humans cats primary get to know one another through "scent" FIRST,then sight and " hearing" - well being able to hear is very much an advantage to survive in the wild but not much of a disadvantage in the safety of a loving home with a loving pet parent..... so cheer up,do not be discouraged we will help you through this,okay?

Firstly,what's kittens name? And I'd love to see a photo!Is this kitten in his forever home now? I surely hope so!

We will have to go back to the beginning with kitty in his " safe room " separated from your resident cats and begin with scent swapping and until baby is very comfortable & confident in his new territory ( the ONE room) we do not move onto the next step-sound doable so far?

It's GREAT you have One very chill ,easy going resident to start with and usually cats are VERY aware there is something different about a blind & deaf kitty ,often times they will take on the role of seeing eye cat for their disabled friend once they are a well integrated " family"

I hope you feel encouraged now,that's what we do here - we are here to support you and be here for you- your not alone
Hello there! And thank you so much for beautiful and encouraging words ! I'm so ready to take all the time needed to make this work, this little guy is so special.

His name is Jeronimo :) and this will be his forever home :)

So the long story is, after I saved him, he spend a month at the vet than I brought him home, at the beginning I put him directly in the living room with other 3 cats and I had no problems, they didn't mind because he was tiny, and they were curious. He was very calm and didn't have hollow meows at all but unfortunately, he wasn't completely healed so one of my cats got infected and very sick ending with one week of injections and antibiotics.

I made the decision to put kitten separated in the room to avoid any other of my cats getting sick. Little kitten than got sick again and we treated him at home with antibiotics for another 2 weeks. Then we waited to get him vaccinated as well, so it was like more than 1 month he has been in his own room. After I tried to put him back into the living room again, but I noticed he started to have hollow meowing that my other cats didn't like at all which ended up with 3 of them attacking Jeronimo, we ended up badly scratched while separating them.
Since than he is staying in his room but every single day I swap places with my other cats, I open his room so they can come in and I put him all day in our bedroom where usually other cats sleep with us, I let him around living room, he eats from other cats' bowls, he uses their litter. I'm sure he has sense of them living in the house.

At some point month ago, he had like aggressive moments, where he starts howling and jump on my hand or leg. I don't know if he gets freak out in the moment or something? Now happened few times only so I grab him for the neck, and he calms. I guess he gets scared from something that only he understands?

He awaits the surgery because he has polyp infection and liquid in his middle ear area that affects his balance, he sneezes all the time and on the moments he can't really breathe :(

Anyways I'm at the stage with trying to introduce him to the family. I choosed my older cat, Richie, he is so sweet and calm and not even thinking about attacking first. But the moment Jeronimo sees him the hollow meowing is starting, and he is trying to jump on poor Richie like super aggressive. I keep Jeronimo on the leash, I really try to avoid cat fighting ball. I do this every day, for a few hours - I pull Jeronimo when he wants to attack, and I play with him and then again, I put him close to Richie. But so far, he is not showing friendly behaviour :( I got a cage I put Jeronimo there and try to feed them next to each other as well.

I feel unfair to keep him separated and as well I want him to be part of our family, he is the sweetest teddy bear kitten and I'm in
LOVE!

Also, the other 2 cats that I have are mother and son ( Senora and Tonto) , son ( Tonto) is autistic cat, and he was beaten by previous owners, so he is so attached to his mom. And the mom (Senora) is going to be a piece of work, she is so territorial that I'm afraid even to think how to make her get along with Jeronimo.

Thats my life as cat mom now :) pls help :)
 

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Kwik

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Jeronimo is adorable- they all are,,thank you for sharing

This is going to take time and you must be very patient but once all is said and done there'll be no falling back and bad behavior episides- you put in the time and effort now and it's well worth the sacrifice when the result is a peaceful environment and well balanced dynamic....

You introduced baby Jeronlmo too quickly but that's okay,the great thing about cats it thst at any time you can hit the reset button to start over- isn't thst terrific!Unlike us they don't like & dislike,hold grudges or resentments or make up their mind not to give someone another chance----- they are a social creature that knows very well how to co-exist with others even if they are not the best of friends!

So ,to begin with I'd suggest waiting for Jeronomo to be in good health- being " under the weather:" certainly effects behavior and attitude so the wise thing to do is to start with scent swapping only at this point until he is the best version of himself physically- make sense.
 
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Alexalex

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Jeronimo is adorable- they all are,,thank you for sharing

This is going to take time and you must be very patient but once all is said and done there'll be no falling back and bad behavior episides- you put in the time and effort now and it's well worth the sacrifice when the result is a peaceful environment and well balanced dynamic....

You introduced baby Jeronlmo too quickly but that's okay,the great thing about cats it thst at any time you can hit the reset button to start over- isn't thst terrific!Unlike us they don't like & dislike,hold grudges or resentments or make up their mind not to give someone another chance----- they are a social creature that knows very well how to co-exist with others even if they are not the best of friends!

So ,to begin with I'd suggest waiting for Jeronomo to be in good health- being " under the weather:" certainly effects behavior and attitude so the wise thing to do is to start with scent swapping only at this point until he is the best version of himself physically- make sense.
Makes totally sense :) we will do his surgery soon and later we also need to sterilize him . I have time and patience it’s only breaks my heart sometimes when I’m outside at work to know he is alone in the room while other cats are playing and enjoying the house.
And I’m like afraid if I keep him too long separated he won’t be friendly bcz he is getting used on being alone all the time , not socializing (my stupid thoughts probably doesn’t work like that 😂)
 

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Makes totally sense :) we will do his surgery soon and later we also need to sterilize him . I have time and patience it’s only breaks my heart sometimes when I’m outside at work to know he is alone in the room while other cats are playing and enjoying the house.
And I’m like afraid if I keep him too long separated he won’t be friendly bcz he is getting used on being alone all the time , not socializing (my stupid thoughts probably doesn’t work like that 😂)
It doesn't but I love thst you are soooooo concerned for Jeronimos well being-Im very happy to know he is in very good( loving) hands
He will be just fine- he will familiarize himself with his territory and his confidence and comfortability will just increase - making him feel very safe and secure

At this stage swapping beds and things that have your resident cats scent on them(& visa versa) is proper introduction- even more so for Jeronimo who is going to learn to navigate through life depending mainly on his sense of smell- you may even begin to see him opening his mouth and panting soon as cats also take in scent ( smell) through their mouths- so don't be alarmed

Of course articles of your clothing in his safe room are important to ( security) even rub toys on your body so he can investigate those little objects he can't see very well

Let's get him healthy right now - stick to scent swapping and you mentioned litter box sharing ( that's good,so you can take a small piece of resuddnt feces & put it in Jeronimos box (& visa versa)- at this time this is all you want to do and of course spend time with him- loving on him,touch is going to be very important so always start where he can " see:"( your outline)& smell you'' as he cannot hear you coming
 
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It doesn't but I love thst you are soooooo concerned for Jeronimos well being-Im very happy to know he is in very good( loving) hands
He will be just fine- he will familiarize himself with his territory and his confidence and comfortability will just increase - making him feel very safe and secure

At this stage swapping beds and things that have your resident cats scent on them(& visa versa) is proper introduction- even more so for Jeronimo who is going to learn to navigate through life depending mainly on his sense of smell- you may even begin to see him opening his mouth and panting soon as cats also take in scent ( smell) through their mouths- so don't be alarmed

Of course articles of your clothing in his safe room are important to ( security) even rub toys on your body so he can investigate those little objects he can't see very well

Let's get him healthy right now - stick to scent swapping and you mentioned litter box sharing ( that's good,so you can take a small piece of resuddnt feces & put it in Jeronimos box (& visa versa)- at this time this is all you want to do and of course spend time with him- loving on him,touch is going to be very important so always start where he can " see:"( your outline)& smell you'' as he cannot hear you coming
Thank youuu !!! ❤❤❤
I will keep on going than as you are saying ,with swapping smells and things until he passes all the surgeries.
Im giving my best for him to get comfortable around the house and he is getting confident ,exploring and jumping even on the high table and chairs ( he has a balance issue so he was very insecure at the beginning, he couldn’t climb even low sofa in his room)
I give him so much love everyday , basically Im kissing his little fur face like crazy and he loves it , I play with him (also before he was scared from being touched on his back or tail and now he is not anymore) .. baby steps I know but I see progress..
One of the challenges I think of with other cats is about the touch , obviously I do know not to scare him and grab him suddenly but the cats will not know and they may jump on him to play , I’m sure he will get freaked out.Will he ever get confident enough not to get scared by unexpected touches ?
 
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Alexalex

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I don’t have any advice sadly, but your cats and kitten are all cute and I’m grateful you were able to care for them. Hope he does well and everything works out.
Thank you 🙏
It’s a true challenge but I’m not giving up ! 😊 Cats are family , like our children , and we don’t give up when it’s tough 😊 Thank you for your kind words !
 

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Thank youuu !!! ❤❤❤
I will keep on going than as you are saying ,with swapping smells and things until he passes all the surgeries.
Im giving my best for him to get comfortable around the house and he is getting confident ,exploring and jumping even on the high table and chairs ( he has a balance issue so he was very insecure at the beginning, he couldn’t climb even low sofa in his room)
I give him so much love everyday , basically Im kissing his little fur face like crazy and he loves it , I play with him (also before he was scared from being touched on his back or tail and now he is not anymore) .. baby steps I know but I see progress..
One of the challenges I think of with other cats is about the touch , obviously I do know not to scare him and grab him suddenly but the cats will not know and they may jump on him to play , I’m sure he will get freaked out.Will he ever get confident enough not to get scared by unexpected touches ?
Yes,I am very hopeful thst he will becsuse he is so young- if an older cat lost there hearing & much of their sight it would be quite a different story but Jeronimo is just a baby,he doesn't really know anything but what it is - if you know what I mean. He will rely,depend & trust his sense of smell and it will be heightened more than the others plus he will get very sensitive to " vibration" and FEEL movement around him ( like the floor or carpet under his paws and body)- Yes,his other senses will heighten to make up for the ones he does not have

Believe me,after a while,after they are all used to one another you will definitely witness nature at its finest-your other cats will know that Jeronimo is different and he'll get to know what to expect- with your help and supervision at first and for a time.I would not leave them unsupervised until Jeronimo is used to their playing with him and is no longer frightened & spooked by someone suddenly upon him..... it's going to take time and alot of intervention in the beginning but I've seen many a deaf,blind cat thst are very aware of their housemate kitties-

The good thing is he does have some vision,do work closely with your Vet to keep it thst way in every possible way you can - its hard enough with the hearing loss ahd visual impairment so hopefully he doesn't face conplete blindness

I'm praying for this little fellow- I believe it will be well- stay encouraged and just take one step at a time
 
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Yes,I am very hopeful thst he will becsuse he is so young- if an older cat lost there hearing & much of their sight it would be quite a different story but Jeronimo is just a baby,he doesn't really know anything but what it is - if you know what I mean. He will rely,depend & trust his sense of smell and it will be heightened more than the others plus he will get very sensitive to " vibration" and FEEL movement around him ( like the floor or carpet under his paws and body)- Yes,his other senses will heighten to make up for the ones he does not have

Believe me,after a while,after they are all used to one another you will definitely witness nature at its finest-your other cats will know that Jeronimo is different and he'll get to know what to expect- with your help and supervision at first and for a time.I would not leave them unsupervised until Jeronimo is used to their playing with him and is no longer frightened & spooked by someone suddenly upon him..... it's going to take time and alot of intervention in the beginning but I've seen many a deaf,blind cat thst are very aware of their housemate kitties-

The good thing is he does have some vision,do work closely with your Vet to keep it thst way in every possible way you can - its hard enough with the hearing loss ahd visual impairment so hopefully he doesn't face conplete blindness

I'm praying for this little fellow- I believe it will be well- stay encouraged and just take one step at a time
Oookk Im totally ready for this battle !

Fist his health than super slow introduction to his family :)

I will definitely keep you updated and hopefully next time I have a picture of all 4 cats together :)

Please only one question more - how do you suggest I do the first contact again? As I said I tried to hold him on a leash and let my oldest cat Richie approach him, but he gets scared and start howl meowing immediately while trying to jump on Riche .. Shall I firstly continue with the feeding- I put Jeronimo in the cage and put bowls of wet food across each other so they can create positive experience while being one Infront of the other ?
 

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Oookk Im totally ready for this battle !

Fist his health than super slow introduction to his family :)

I will definitely keep you updated and hopefully next time I have a picture of all 4 cats together :)

Please only one question more - how do you suggest I do the first contact again? As I said I tried to hold him on a leash and let my oldest cat Richie approach him, but he gets scared and start howl meowing immediately while trying to jump on Riche .. Shall I firstly continue with the feeding- I put Jeronimo in the cage and put bowls of wet food across each other so they can create positive experience while being one Infront of the other ?
I know you're anxious to get going but you have to slow it down- The leash idea is not good to consider right now,being in a harness and on a leash completely changes a cats behavior and at this point in time you shouldn't be worrying or overthinking " what's next" - Jeronimo is going to show you WHEN & what is next.... trust that. EACH cat moves at their own rate of comfortabilty,on a leash you are forcing interaction- this comes LATER and without forcing one cat upon another..

All my animals are leash trained,it's good to have control and it's good for many things- you're not even close to bodily interactions YET- I don't do the feeding together thing with sight at first- a door separating at first is a much better initial step rather thsn cage imo..... you've got to hone in on Jeronimos sense of smell & that the others are at the same stage as him( can't see him) ......it's not fair,he's unwell and his behavior is going to be different when he is feeling his oats ...

I'm not going anywhere any time you have a question or want to talk- you can even message me if you like so don't feel like you must ask everything right now-Ill be available to you as will everyone else--- we got you!❤
 

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Let little fellow eat in peace,rest in peace and relax without any stress until he is 100%- then he'll have slept in their beds,played with their toys etc and your next step would probably be a gate and room swapping ..... first,new kitties must be familiar and comfortable with Environment before they are introduced for interactions with others----he should know " safe places" he can retreat to throughout the house,this is especially important for a fellow like Jeronimo who will feel vulnerable and exposed to potential threats ( the others)-just put yourself in his position,"where do I run to "?
 
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I know you're anxious to get going but you have to slow it down- The leash idea is not good to consider right now,being in a harness and on a leash completely changes a cats behavior and at this point in time you shouldn't be worrying or overthinking " what's next" - Jeronimo is going to show you WHEN & what is next.... trust that. EACH cat moves at their own rate of comfortabilty,on a leash you are forcing interaction- this comes LATER and without forcing one cat upon another..

All my animals are leash trained,it's good to have control and it's good for many things- you're not even close to bodily interactions YET- I don't do the feeding together thing with sight at first- a door separating at first is a much better initial step rather thsn cage imo..... you've got to hone in on Jeronimos sense of smell & that the others are at the same stage as him( can't see him) ......it's not fair,he's unwell and his behavior is going to be different when he is feeling his oats ...

I'm not going anywhere any time you have a question or want to talk- you can even message me if you like so don't feel like you must ask everything right now-Ill be available to you as will everyone else--- we got you!❤
You are totally right, I'm feeling super anxious to make him part of the family and see them all together. With my first cats was so easy (first I had Richie and after a year Senora and Tonto, it was piece of cake to put them together, after 3 weeks they were together playing in the living room) I don't have any experience with cats with disabilities so I'm easy making mistakes, that's why I turned to this group looking for help :)

I did door feeding, I will continue so . my other cats are often Infront of his door smelling under the door and when I enter the room, he is at the other side of the door also checking out their smell.. So I'll keep that way and make them all feel & smell each other in a positive way with no stress.

I have no words to express my gratitude for your advice and definitely we are in touch!

I'm going to get this ''cat mom'' of the year award !! hehe

Lots of love from Istanbul to you and your furry family! <3
 

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And love from my house (& heart) in America to you and your furry family!

Just know it is my good pleasure to speak with you and to be there for you,no questions are silly or stupid and we've all been there,anxious to welcome a new kitty into our household- we weren't always full of knowledge & we all had a " first" cat & many " first" experiences..... one day you'll be giving someone hope and encouragement and freely given what was once given you❤

Only 6 months ago I had a " first" after 4 decades of experience as my own situations have changed and I cannot move around as I used to " physically" and instead of working in a controlled setting I was working with a feral for my own home( with 4 resident cats)- it's quite different when it's personal no matter how professional you are,lol-I reached out for support & encouragement myself- we all need one another❤
 
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