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Old Cat With Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Wonderfulcat, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    Hi everyone

    This may take quite a few lines to explain.

    My oldest cat started having problems with her hearing last year and now she is almost completely deaf. It has been going well so far with hand signals but there is one big problem. She has always been an outdoor cat. Luckily we hardly have any traffic out here and there are plenty of safe fields for her to hunt on. But we can't call her home if she doesn't see us. That hasnt's been a big issue until recently because we knew she would come sooner or later.

    A few months ago we had visitors and they stayed for three days. It was very chaotic! The house was a mess and the cat ran away. :( I honestly understand her. Appearently something happened to her. We found her about a month later with a bump in her face. She was acting like a wild cat that didn't know us at all. :'( We kept her inside the house and after a week she was almost her old self again but she didn't want to stay inside and she would run away all the time. Every chance she got she ran out. After two months she is now herself again. We have given up keeping her inside. She is too used to being an outdoor cat. She stays close to home now and comes when there's food. She sleeps inside. Everything is fine.

    Except...

    Saturday night she slept outside. Sunday morning she wasn't there for breakfast. The problem was that I couldn't feed her later since we were going away all day. Monday we weren't home much either so I guess she gave up and found someplace else to eat. Today I found her in the neighbor's carport and I discovered that another neighbor feeds her cat outside their house. So I guess that's where she survived back when she was injured and now comes back to when we aren't there. Like a second home.

    I had called her and whistled but of course she didn't hear that. When she realized I was outside the carport she came running towards me while meowing loudly and she seems very grateful to be home now.

    So the big problem is that she has a backup plan for whenever we're not there. A place to eat and a place to sleep and she probably also has a big area she can go hunting there, too. She got use to that back when she wasn't herself. And we have to find the exact place she is before we can call her. Only a little over a year ago I could always call her home but her hearing loss is a big problem!

    How do we deal with that? It's a little embarrassing to have to go get her in the neighbor's carport... I really hope it doesn't happen again!

    Meows from Wonderfulcat
     

  2. verna davies

    verna davies TCS Member Top Cat

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    Are you friendly with your neighbour, if so, go over and explain the problem
    They are obviously cat lovers as they have one of their own. I'm sure they wouldnt mind you going to get your cat. A little gift as a thank you or some cat food for theirs might help.
     

  3. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    Hi, that was quick.:thanks:

    Well, it's two neighbors, really. One neighbor has a cat and is friendly. She told me I could look for my cat but I only think my cat is there to eat their cat's food. Whoops! :oops: I will talk to the neighbor about this and replace the cat food.

    It is a different neighbor whose carport I found her in. I don't think he has any pets. I have never met him because even when his car is there he never answers the door? He lives in a very private place surrounded by trees. It is kind of creepy, actually. I tried knocking on the door but no answer. When I left my cat realized I was there and came running after me like "Weeee!!! You're here!!!" :bliss:
     
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  4. verna davies

    verna davies TCS Member Top Cat

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    Trust a cat to choose the difficult neighbour!! I dont suppose it is possible to block her way into his garden..that would be too easy. I would try putting boxes and hiding places on your property with your scent on them to tempt her to stay near home. Hopefully other members will give you more useful tips.
     
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  5. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    I know, it's just typical!
    It would be great if it was possible to block his garden but I'm afraid it is not. A good tip with the boxes but our cats already have plenty of napping places outside our house that smell like home. I think the lack of food is the thing that made her wonder off this time. She needs to be home at breakfast time but I guess she was out hunting.
     
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  6. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hi. Can you place a note/letter on his door (or, car) explaining the situation? Leave something in the note that infers you would like to talk to him, or ask an open ended question that he would need to respond to.

    If you get no response of any kind, either just continue to go get her from his carport - apparently he doesn't really care - or as said above, work to get some hiding places for her somewhere on your property near his.
     
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  7. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    Good idea, FeebysOwner. I will do that. :)
     

  8. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    On second thought... When she was missing for a month I put a "missing cat" note in his mailbox with a big picture of my cat, a list of details and my phone number. He never called. If the cat was living in his carport by then wouldn't he have seen her at least once? And wouldn't he have seen her now that she has been there a few times since then? Last night my husband let her out because she wanted to. She usually sleeps on the porch if not inside the house but she is just gone now. Why is she so busy going back to a cold carport after simply staying in that carport for about 4-5 days? And why did my bengal (I brought with me when I found her) sniff so intensely at his door? Why do her colllars all of a sudden dissappear? She never lost a collar before. Is my strange neighbor intentionally stealing my cat after having taken care of her when she was injured instead of calling me? Or am I being completely paranoid?

    Perhaps she's just out hunting... But she behaves as if she has another home. She had been home for about three weeks until she ran away perhaps saturday night. What would make her run away again today? There must be some reason...
     

  9. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Can you build a large catio on your property so your cat can be outside but unable to wander away?
     
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  10. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    A specific letter/note to him is not quite the same a general flyer put out to multiple people. So, it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and try to address him directly.

    Even if she is spending time in his carport, it doesn't mean that your other neighbor who is feeding her might not be a 'suspect' as well. The carport neighbor may even have a cat of his own that your cat likes. It could even be that there are more than just these two neighbors involved. There are so many possibilities...

    However, in light of your suspicions - whether accurate or not - I agree with @LTS3 about a catio. It would seem to me that she is going to continue to do what she is doing unless you do something to stop her. Maybe if she has a confined place outside, over time she will adapt and accept that she must come in every night. What about your other cat - the Bengal - do they get along? If they do maybe they both could spend time together in the catio and that might help your girl to adjust to being outdoors but in a confined area.
     

  11. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    Maybe I was just being paranoid. This time she was home again after a few hours. That's how long she usually goes hunting. And she's been home since then. It was going fine for weeks before we were away sunday and monday. We might be away for a day or two again some time and then it could happen again, I guess. I think I get suspicious because I don't know what happened to her and where she was for a month.

    It won't be easy to make a casio around our whole property. She is used to going hunting on our fields on the other side of our private road. But we could make a small catio for whenever we're planning on being gone for a whole day. If she wants to go outside the day before we're going we can let her into that instead of completely outside. Her and the bengal get along fine most of the time. I think it sounds like a good idea to have both of them in the catio together.

    I don't think other neighbors are involved since there are no other neighbors in that direction. At least not very close to these two.

    I put a collar on her yesterday with our phone number on it. I hope that helps.
     
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  12. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hi! Is it a breakaway collar?

    There are some gps types of things for pets but I don't know how large they are.

    I really really really would strongly suggest going with @LTS3 's thought - she can't hear, which means her risk of being caught off guard and unable to run from predators/dogs has just increased hugely. Not to go on about this, but there literally was a post by someone just a couple of days ago about this very thing. That deaf cat survived the attack, but is now on cage rest for weeks for a broken pelvis and a host of other issues.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  13. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

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    As much as your cat loves roaming and hunting, with her disability and age, it is becoming dangerous. I would build her an enclosure that allows her to be outside but also safe. It may not make her completely happy but she will be safe.
     
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  14. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Things change with age, for people and cats. You make arrangements to adjust for those changes. Cats and people complain and, in time, get used to it.

    It's entirely possible that your neighbor never saw her. no doubt when he drives into the carport she scoots away. He goes in his house and does his inside the house living. He doesn't watch his carport - he has no pets why should he look at his yard? People without pets or with inside only pets, who don't garden, don't spend a lot of time looking at their yards. Proably he saw your flyer, glanced at the picture and either tossed it or put it in the kitchen drawer because he hadn't seen the cat.

    I say this because, dispite having 8 cats at the time, they were all indoor cats. We didn't yard. But we kept every lost pet flyer we were given in the off chance that we'd see the pet as we came and went, or that ours would mention the stranger. We never saw any of them.

    My dog did tell me when the neighbor's cat got stuck in our cat engine, she was too cushy to climb out. Dog went ridge looking at the car, wouldn't move. I thumbed the hood. Nothing, Dog didn't move. I opened the hood. Cat slowly climbed out and ambled off home. Every time I think of it, I'm glad Dog alerted me before I started the car.
     
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  15. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Top Cat

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  16. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    The collar is elastic.

    I have looked into gps collars. The only ones I can find are very expensive or very big and clumsy. If I can somehow get her to stay home I would feel safer anyway.

    It is usually not a dangerous neighborhood but I guess it would be best to do something to limit her whereabouts. She has been injured once. How bad will it be next time? And how I hate not knowing what happened to her!

    I think I have an idea about the catio, actually. With a taller gate and some adjustments to the chicken fence she could have the whole garden, the porch and a big shed. Then I only need one thing... Does anyone have an idea how to make a hedge cat proof? They walk straight through it as it is.

    I know I might be paranoid about the neighbor. Our cat is usually very scared of strangers. And if he stays inside most day then he probably don't have a chance to see her. A line of suspicious thoughts just appeared in my worried mind.
     
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  17. Wonderfulcat

    Wonderfulcat Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 13, 2018
    Furballsmom, it sounds really awful what happened to that cat! :(

    A few years back a stray dog came out of nowhere and pushed open our gate (because we had just walked through it and not locked it yet) and we had chickens in the garden back then. I managed to save one that almost became the dog's snack.

    LTS3: I misread your first reply. I thought it said "around your property" and not simply "on your property." :lol:
     

  18. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Put a fence in front of the hedge on the inside of the garden. Plastic panels with a tilting to the inside top piece like the right stroke of a V. Cats can climb chain link. Hedges are made to be climbed.
     
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  19. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Like the LEFT hand stroke of the V. LEFT hand, nope, I don't want to talk about getting that wrong, but I hope you didn't already run out and follow the incorrect instructions. sigh.
     
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  20. Hellenww

    Hellenww TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    It's possible she went there because that neighbor is quiet and secluded making it feel safe.
     
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