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Mentally impaired, or deaf hard of sight, less motor control kitten? Help?

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  • Mentally impaired, or deaf hard of sight, less motor control kitten? Help?

    I have a pure white two blue eyed kitten that seems to be having issues. For the most part she is normal, but she does not have the normal reflexes of a kitten. If I push her off the couch she does not land on her feet. She will not get out of the way of us walking. She has accidents outside of the litter box, and if we are around 12 feet away from her, she seems to not be able to see us. Her hearing is definitely impaired.

    I'm wondering if I should bypass the regular vet and bring her to the university. I am wondering what, if anything they can do for my beautiful kitten? This seems like something that's going to get worse over time, and the regular small animal vet doesn't seem to believe me.

  • #2
    We had a kitten like that at the vet clinic I volunteered at. It was there for probably a month before we sent it to Valley Of The Kings and last I heard it did partially grow out of it.
    "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
    -fry & laurie


    • #3
      Most likely deaf - a rather too common thing with blue eyed white cats. There may also be inner ear issues associated. Take her to the university as they will have more experience with things like this.
      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

      Member: Incredible Invisbles


      • Original Poster

        Sk_pacer, I think you may be on to something. Inner ear/ deafness. I just asked my SO if he had to sum it up with a vet her issues, and he came up with the exact same issues. Let's hope from the other posters experience that she grows out of it.


        • #5
          Does she have problems with motor control while she's just walking around? The first thing that came to mind was cerebellar hypoplasia, but those kitties typically have a pretty distinct, ataxic gait (varying in severity)...either way I would probably try to get an appointment with a neurologist. They will be the most likely to a) have seen something like this before, b) be able to recommend/do appropriate diagnostics, and c) give a definitive diagnosis and treatment, if there is one.

          Jingles for your kitty!

          Adams Equine Wellness


          • #6
            Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
            Most likely deaf - a rather too common thing with blue eyed white cats. There may also be inner ear issues associated. Take her to the university as they will have more experience with things like this.
            VERY common. And very odd that your vet didn't mention something about it. It's a "well-known fact" when it comes to cats, right up alongside with there being no male torties, etc.


            • #7
              Female white cats with blue eyes are "almost always" deaf.

              I am VERY surprised that your vet didn't know that.
              Last edited by Janet; Oct. 8, 2010, 12:00 AM.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • #8
                Yes, deaf. I had a beautiful stray white blue-eyed cat wander up once and join my small herd of barn cats. I noticed almost immediately that she was deaf, and someone told me that is a known genetic link. Mine did not seem to have any other issues, and unfortunately she disappeared after a few years.
                Donerail Farm


                • #9
                  I have a white, blue-eyed female that's not deaf. She is a "selective listener," though!


                  • #10
                    As far as I know, they don't grow out of it. My sister had a deaf white cat, and it got along okay. When they wanted to get her attention they'd stomp on the floor. She'd feel the vibrations and come running. Indoor cat only, of course.



                    • #11
                      Found this at messybeast: http://www.messybeast.com/whitecat.htm
                      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                      Member: Incredible Invisbles


                      • Original Poster

                        Brought her to the vet today on short notice. The vet also thinks she may have genetic defects. Her eyes appear normal (thorough eye exam) hearing is defiantly questionable. She has a bacterial infection that he sent us home with medication for. She is not "thriving" as the vet put it, she doesn't clean her coat or do general maintenance on herself, which is weird for a cat. Mommy will clean her (me). I've had her for three weeks and she has not gained weight.

                        Were pretty ready to keep our "special needs kitty" with us. Something tells me to be ready to deal with stuff with her, but for now once we get the bacterial infection in her tummy under control I think she will be fine.



                        • #13
                          In dogs, the genetic defects are associated with "dominant white". I had an austrailan shepherd who was dominant white. Whe was deaf, and her eysight was reduced. She was otherwise healthy and her issued had no impact on her whatsoever.

                          I currently have my second blind cat (this one is not totally blind, though the other one was), and cats do very well with blindness, so I'd think deafness won't be a problem for her.

                          Now, the health issues are a little troubling. I do know that sickly kittens definitely *can* become healthy cats. I took in sme sickly feral kittlens that were abandoned by their mother, and they finally became perfectly healthy cats - knock on wood.

                          Good luck with your beautiful kitty - an interesting thing with my near-blind kitten (not white) is that I took her to an opthomogist whom I had used for my horse. He said to give her taurine and her eyesight could come back as much as 25 percent. My excellent vet was a little skeptical, but we both know that this opthomologist is good, too. It worked to restore some of her vision - and that was retina damage that my vet thought irreversable.

                          So when you go to the university, ask about giving taurine and ask about giving L-Lysine - both are somewhat miracle treatments for sickly cats in my opinion. They HATE the taurine, though. They don't notice the lysine in their food.

                          Good luck and let us know what you find out.


                          • #14
                            I didn't know about the white gene in cats. I did know that when you see an Aussie with more white than usual that it is probably deaf and the result of merle/merle breeding. From what I understand, it is similar to the "lethal white" gene in horses.


                            • #15
                              i'd say go to the university. could be anything from slightly impaired hearing, to cataracts, to a brain tumor (though not likely).
                              however, genetics says that's just how life goes, and the kitten may be like that forever. as long as she's not around anything dangerous, maybe just making her comfortable would do.