How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Cher Your Own Question

Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18667
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
1470369
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I just got a cat from a shelter and suspect she is deaf. She

Resolved Question:

I just got a cat from a shelter and suspect she is deaf. She is white with yellow eyes and is not reacting normally. But I also notice she is twitching, shaking her head and ears, and licking. The muscles in her back also twitch. She seems to get very irritated from this and usually ends up jumping up and zipping across the room, like she is trying to get away from something. Any ideas?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.
Hello, and welcome back to Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you and KittyB today.

Congratulations on your new, furry addition!

From your description, it is possible that she is deaf, as many white cats are, but the symptoms you describe with her shaking her head and scratching frequently, may indicate ear mites or an inner ear infection. To check for ear mite debris, look for a brownish/black substance that resembles coffee grounds, in her ears. If you haven't already done so, stand behind her and clap your hands to see if she turns around or reacts. Sometimes the vibrations of hand-clapping or other tests may make her seem to hear the sound but she's just feeling the vibrations.

The other symptoms you describe sound like she may have developed feline hyperesthesia, a neurological condition which causes the skin on the back to 'crawl' (ripple), and the cat to take off running suddenly, as you described, plus, the skin rippling does make the back feel super-sensitive. Here is more information: Hyperesthesia

It would be advisable to have KittyB evaluated in person by a vet as soon as possible, so you can get a definite diagnosis for the symptoms you have observed. Treatment will be prescribed, if needed, and to help her feel more comfortable.

I hope all will be well with your furry girl!

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back without rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions. Please do not rate negatively if you still need information. Just click "Reply" instead. Thank you!

If you found my answer helpful, a Positive Rating and Positive feedback on the survey, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher Only" and I will respond as soon as possible.

Warmest regards,

Cher

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Her ears look clear and I have tried to startle her by making loud noises from behind with no response. The symptoms of hyperesthia seem right, but maybe not to that extreme. Are there mild cases of this syndrome? her back muscles do ripple when she is going through this, her ears twitch, she licks her back or front legs and then just takes off. Like she is very irritated. She also licks like she has something stuck to her tongue. I'm going to try to get her to the vets tomorrow to confirm the hearing and this syndrome if possible. Thanks.

Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.

Hi again, and you're most welcome.

It's my pleasure to be of help to you and KittyB!

I'm glad her ears look clear! If you've tried to startle her by making loud noises from behind and she doesn't react, it does sound like she may be deaf or perhaps partially deaf. The vet will conduct the same kind of tests in the office to check her hearing.

I'm glad you're planning a vet visit for tomorrow to check on her overall health and the suspected conditions. Some cases of hyperesthesia can be worse than others, but it does sound as if she has the classic symptoms. Most cats will try to lick or bite at their backs and/or tails also, but licking the back or front legs can be part of it too. Also, make sure she doesn't have any external parasites like fleas or mites, causing itching. If she licks like she has something stuck to her tongue, she may be licking very hard, but do mention this to the vet so he can check her tongue and total oral health of her teeth and gums, as well.

I hope all will be well and she will receive treatment to lessen her symptoms which are bothersome. I'll check back with you in a few days to see how she's doing and what the vet's findings were.

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back without rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions. Please do not rate negatively if you still need information. Just click "Reply" instead. Thank you!

If you found my answer helpful, a Positive Rating and Positive feedback on the survey, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher Only" and I will respond as soon as possible.

Warmest regards,

Cher

Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18667
Experience: Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
Cher and 7 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.
Hi again, I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going with KittyB. What did the vet tell you when she was seen?If you need any additional information or have further concerns, please don't hesitate to ask me by clicking on 'Reply to Expert', and I will answer as soon as possible.I appreciate the opportunity to be of help to you and your furry girl, and thank you for entrusting your question to Just Answer!Best wishes,Cher
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi thanks for checking up. KittyB is deaf, due to the genetic malformation associated with the gene connected to fur color. She also does have that hyperesthia, a mild case that presented itself during the time she was being introduced to a new environment (stress related). She has since calmed down, is playing and eating, but still seems very clingy and won't let me out of her sight. The incidences are showing themselves less frequently now, maybe once or twice a day and they are very mild. I am not too concerned about it. I did notice early on that she was attacking her tail, but hasn't presented with that particular symptom since then. So I think we are going to be ok. Thanks.

Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.
Hi again, Danielle, and you're most welcome.

Thanks so much for your update, on KittyB after seeing the vet.

Deaf cats can live long, fruitful lives, so as long as she's healthy in all other ways, that's fine. The hyperesthesia can present at times of stress, and what might help is a cat calming pheromone called Feliway. It comes both in a spray and a plug in diffuser, which resembles a plug in air freshener, but has no scent to humans. You can findi it in your pet supply stores or order online. Here is more information: Feliway

She's very young, she is adapting to her new home, and she might even grow out of it, as her stress lessens. She sounds like an affectionate cutie and she's lucky to have you for a cat-parent!

I hope all will continue along well for KittyB!

Warmest wishes to you both,
Cher

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician