Hearing Loss Average Cost

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What are Hearing Loss?

Deafness can be the result of illness, a neurological abnormality or a defect or abnormality in the physical makeup of the cat’s ear. If the cat is aging, its hearing loss may be actually a combination of nerve damage and the gradual fusing together of the tiny bones in the cat’s inner ear. The cat may lose hearing in only one ear or in both, depending upon the causes of the loss. White-haired cats with two blue eyes are much more likely to be deaf than cats with other fur and eye colors.

The cat who is experiencing hearing loss literally cannot hear sounds in its environment. Normally, cats have highly acute hearing and can detect sounds that the ordinary human ear isn’t capable of picking up. 

Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Cats

Hearing loss in a cat may be gradual, making it difficult for its owner to detect symptoms of the growing deafness. Once the cat’s owner can detect the signs that something is wrong with the cat, they may notice the following:

  • Cat’s meow is much louder than normal
  • Cat doesn’t respond to normal environmental sounds
  • Cat seems to ignore its name or being called
  • Cat responds to humans or stimuli only when they are in sight
  • Sleeps more than normal
  • Turns away from owner when it is called
  • Doesn’t wake in response to loud sounds or conversations
  • Startles easily

Symptoms of hearing loss from illness:

  • Bad odor from the cat’s ears
  • Pus coming from the cat’s ears
  • Appears dizzy or disoriented
  • Tips of the ears become scaly or pink
  • Pawing at the ears
  • Shaking the head

Causes of Hearing Loss in Cats

The causes of deafness in cats vary widely:


  • Illness, such as ear infection (otitis externa, which can travel to the inner ear)
  • Ear mites
  • Polyps
  • Cancerous growths in the ear canal
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Excessive ear wax in the cat’s ears


  • Cats born with two blue eyes and white fur are much more likely to be deaf
  • Atresia,a defect in the ear canal’s development


  • Exposure to household chemicals
  • Taking diuretic medications or some antibiotics


  • The cat’s eardrum thickens as a cat gets older
  • Fused bones in the inner ear
  • Nerve damage

Diagnosis of Hearing Loss in Cats

The vet discusses the cat’s symptoms of apparent hearing loss with the owner, then performs a full physical. The vet will test the cat’s responses to sound, noticing whether the cat turns or lifts its head.

The cat undergoes a complete otic exam (exam of the ears) and a full neurological workup. As the vet is on this part of the exam, they will look for any foreign bodies lodged in the cat’s ear, wax accumulation, inflammation, or signs of infection.

Depending on how the cat responds to other tests, the vet may decide to carry out other diagnostic testing.

If the cat is older and the vet suspects an age-related hearing loss, they will conduct the BAER test. This is the brainstem auditory evoked response test, which detects electrical activity in the cat’s cochlea and its auditory pathways. Small foam earphones are put into the cat’s ears and electrodes are placed between its shoulders, under the the fur on its scalp, one at the top of the head and the last two are placed in front of each ear. The cat’s ears are tested individually and the entire test takes up to fifteen minutes. 

Treatment of Hearing Loss in Cats

The treatment method used will depend on the cause of the cat’s hearing loss. If the cat has an ear infection, antibiotic treatment may help the cat to recover its hearing. If the cat has an over-accumulation of wax in its ears, this can be carefully and gently removed from the cat’s ears, although the cat may need to be sedated for this procedure.

If a tumor or growth is obstructing the cat’s ear, removing this tumor surgically may help the cat regain some of its lost hearing.

If the cause of the cat’s deafness is the result of damage to the inner ear (sensorineural), this cannot be treated or reversed. The cat can be fitted for hearing aids, but it may not tolerate having a foreign object placed into its ears.

Genetic and age-related hearing loss cannot be reversed. Instead, the cat will need to learn to cope with its hearing loss. 

Any medications the cat took that may have contributed to its hearing loss will need to be discontinued and replaced with another medication.

Recovery of Hearing Loss in Cats

A cat that has lost its hearing can still have a happy, fulfilling life. The cat may need to be limited to staying indoors, and its owners should make sure the cat sees them as they are approaching.

Cats can learn hand signals and how to translate vibration signals as well. If possible, remove carpeting from the house so vibrations can travel along the hard floors to the cat.  A tiny bell can be slipped onto the cat’s collar so its owners can easily locate it. A tag that says, “I am deaf” can also be added to the cat’s collar so that, if it gets outside the house, anyone who finds it can adjust how they communicate with the cat.

Signaling the cat silently with a light can be used to communicate that it is time for a meal. Because they are such sensual creatures, cats love gentle touch. Use touch to communicate to the cat and reinforce new signals.

Sleeping cats should be gently awoken with a soft touch. The cat can also compensate by “hearing” its owner’s voice through touch. If the owner places their hand on the cat’s back, the cat will feel the vibrations of the owner’s voice. 

Female cats suffering from genetic deafness should be spayed. They should not be allowed to become pregnant and pass the genetic condition onto their kittens, which they won’t be able to hear. Also, because the deaf cat can’t hear itself meow, she will be more easily heard by tom cats wanting to mate.

Hearing Loss Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

17 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

loud meow

My cat had mites at one point when we were living in Costa Rica. Drops were given, and I assumed he was ok. He then started having itchy ears, and now I think he is deaf, but I don't know if it was from the mites (he never had a smell or discharge) and I didn't treat him long enough or if it is age related (he's about 17). If I give him drops for mites at this stage, can they reverse deafness if that was the cause?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
It is difficult to say whether the deafness is related to mites or not, if there were mites you would notice clear symptoms other than deafness of their presence. In a cat Buddy’s age, there are many different causes of deafness which may include age related issues; whilst giving treatment for ear mites wouldn’t necessarily cause any harm I doubt it would restore hearing. You should visit a Veterinarian for an examination to see if they are able to determine a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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domestic short hair
14 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Can't hear well

Medication Used


I've noticed that my cat has become very deaf. Before this happened she was diagnosed with a thyroid problem and a heart problem. I've been given her Methimazole about 100 mg twice a day. Because she won't take a pill it is in a cream form and it put in the inside of the ear (not on the fur but hopefully on the skin). But now I've notice she barely hears me and I have to almost yell at her to get her to notice me only a few inches away. Does the meds cause this or the thyroid condition?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
There are a few causes of hearing loss in cats especially as they age, I have no specific information from a reputable source regarding hearing loss after the use of methimazole transdermal gel, however there are some report online about it. You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine whether the cause is due to the gel or another cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Turkish Angora
4 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


Hi I’ve just adopted a 3-4 months old white female Turkish angora with amber eyes. I’m convinced she was deaf as no reaction to any sound not even when sleeping. but then very strangely she woke up from a nap and was immediately hysterical as if she heard every sound and was reacting to it by hiding and acting on edge. Then a few hours later she calmed down and appears not to be able to hear again and very playful. Then the jumpiness started again all of a sudden and it appears she could hear all the sound around her and was frightened of them. She has been checked recently by the vet and said ears are all clear although there is quite a bit of wax on the outer ears. I’m not sure what is happening here and what to do about it?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
Without examining Snow I cannot say what the specific cause of the hearing loss is but intermittent hearing is uncommon; if there is a build up of wax you should ensure that the ears are kept clear regardless and you should also visit a Neurologist for another opinion. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you!

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American Shorthair
15 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hard of hearing
Head Shaking

Medication Used


My cat Spot has had an issue with his ears for the last 2 months. He was diagnosised at our vet with a yeast ear infection in late December. He was prescribed medicated ear drops to help clear the infection. However, I believe the infection may have come back so I am giving him his ear drops again as prescribed. But my concern is that he will shake his head & also isn’t hearing me as well as usual.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
It is not unusual for cats with ear infections to shake their heads to try and ‘empty’ the ear canals of any dirt or debris from within the ear; you should ensure that the ears are cleaned thoroughly and as much moisture is removed within reason. If Spot isn’t hearing you as well as before, you should make sure that there isn’t any debris backed up in the canal and may be worth having your Veterinarian make an examination with an otoscope to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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10 months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

better at hearing rattling sounds
not scared of loud sounds
not knowing the direction of sound
Intermittent hearing

My new cat has hearing loss in one or both ears. The vet has treated her for ear mites, infection and ear wax but the problem remains. She has been referred for a BAER test. The vet says that one of her ear drums looks opaque like it has scar tissue on it. Would this cause hearing loss and is it treatable? She is a rescue cat from Thailand and we know she had injury to her jaw at 8 weeks old - there may be longer term damage from this? She is white and tabby with yellow eyes so not the typical white cat with blue eyes that may be predisposed to deafness.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
An opaque eardrum would indicate thickening of the eardrum which would reduce its efficacy in its function as more energy would be required from sound waves to make it move; this is normal with aging in humans and why elderly people start having hearing problems. It is not treatable if this is the cause, but all other possibilities should be ruled out first. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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16 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat doesn’t listen I think is deaf. But he feel the vibration and purrr. He is 16 years old and also when he walk his body balance to the right side as his legs are weak (sorry my English is no good)

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
A loss of hearing isn’t uncommon in cats as they age and should be looked at by your Veterinarian to make sure there is nothing else going on there. There are various causes of hearing loss including age, trauma, tumours, medication, infections among other issues; without examining Tippy I cannot say what the cause is. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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British Shorthair
7 Years
Has Symptoms
Loud Meow
Startle Reflex At Small Clicking Or Banging Noises
Separation Anxiety
My cat is all white with green eyes