Deafness in white cats
The completely white cats are tremendously attractive because they have an elegant and majestic hair, as well as being very attractive, since they have a very characteristic glow.
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Must know that white cats are likely to suffer a genetic particularity: deafness. Even so, not all white cats are deaf although they have a greater genetic predisposition, that is, more possibilities than the rest of the felines of this species.
In this article of Animal Expert we give you all the information to understand the reasons for deafness in white cats , explaining why it happens.
Generic typology of white cats
Getting a cat to be born with the white coat is mainly due to genetic combinations , which we will detail in a brief and simple way:
- Albino cats (red eyes due to gene C or blue due to gene K)
- Cats wholly or partially white (due to gene S)
- Totally white cats (due to dominant W gene).
We found in the latter group those that are white due to the dominant W gene, and are also the most likely to suffer from deafness. It is curious to note that this cat in concrete could have a wide range of colors, however, only has the white color that camouflages the presence of others.
Details that indicate a relationship
White cats have another particularity to highlight since this gives you the possibility of having eyes of any color, something possible in felines:
- one of each color
The color of the cat’s eyes will be determined by the maternal cells found in the layer surrounding the eye called tapetum lucidum . The composition of these cells with those of the retina will determine the color of the cat’s eyes.
There is a relationship between deafness and blue eyes since normally cats with the dominant W gene (which may be the cause of deafness) are shared by those who have eyes of that color. However, we can not say that this rule is always fulfilled in all cases.
As a curiosity we can highlight that deaf white cats with different colored eyes (for example green and blue) usually develop deafness in the ear where the blue eye is. Is it by chance?
The relationship between hair and hearing loss
To explain correctly why this phenomenon happens in blue-eyed white cats we should enter into the genetic theories. Instead we will try to explain this relationship in a simple and dynamic way.
At the moment the cat is in the maternal womb begins to develop the cell division and it is then that appear the melanoblasts, responsible for determining the color of the future cat’s hair. The W gene is dominant, therefore melanoblasts do not expand, leaving the cat lacking in pigmentation.
On the other hand in the cellular division is when the genes act by determining the color of the eyes that by the same lack of melanoblasts, although only one two two eyes end up becoming blue.
Finally we notice the ear, which in the absence or deficiency of melanocytes suffers from deafness. It is for this reason that we can somehow relate genetic and external factors to health problems .
Detect deafness in the white cat
As we mentioned earlier not all white cats with blue eyes are prone to suffer from deafness, nor can we rely solely on these physical characteristics to affirm it.
detecting deafness in white cats is complicated since the cat is an animal that easily adapts to deafness, enhancing other senses (such as touch) to perceive sounds in a different way (vibrations for example).
In order to effectively determine deafness in the garo it will be essential to have the veterinarian perform a BAER test ( brainstem auditory evoked response ) with which we can confirm whether our cat is deaf or not, regardless of the color of your hair or eyes.