Hearing Loss in Pets/Animals

From Thomas, owner of Acoustix Hearing Technologies:

Please meet my cat Gandalf who en-route to his vet appointment briefly stopped over at Acoustix, checking out the premises.

Gandalf, together with his mother, arrived at our home when he was a very small kitten, literally weeks old, and we decided to adopt them both.

Gandalf is now about 15-16 years old and has unfortunately become hard of hearing, as I recently had to discover because he got startled several times when I approached him from behind wanting to give him a cuddle and some TLC. I don’t know to what degree his hearing has deteriorated but he certainly no longer responds to soft sounds like rubbing my fingers behind his ears, or the rattling of house keys which are primarily high frequency sounds. In the past he would hear the rattling of cat biscuits some distance away and would come racing up into the house for a feed. Because he no longer hears well, he cannot pick up on these sounds anymore from a distance and has to be up much closer to hear them. A while ago he has started meowing a lot and very loudly, and this maybe his means of communicating with us. We don’t know.

I am not sure whether there are any real means of testing the hearing in pets or animals objectively, let alone provide any means of amplification to improve that sensory ability and help them hear better again.

It raises another interesting question how well science knows and understands how animals communicate in general and what the behavior is with depleting sensory abilities, like hearing loss.

Meanwhile we keep providing the best care we can for Gandalf and hope that he sticks around for a few more years because he is great company.