are white cats with blue eyes deaf

Researchers found that only 17 to 22 percent of white cats with non-blue eyes are born deaf. The percentage rises to 40 percent if the cat has one blue eye, while upwards of 65 to 85 percent of all-white cats with both eyes blue are deaf. Some of these cats are deaf in only one ear.

What is the risk of deafness in a white cat?

The following figure illustrates the relationship between coat and eye color and the risk of deafness. If deafness occurs, it may be either unilateral or bilateral.

Deaf cats with white coats and either one or both blue eyes comprise approximately 1-1 of all cats. 5% of the total cat population. Nonetheless, there are regional differences in the frequency of white cats.

A white cat is three to five times more likely to be deaf if it has two blue eyes than if it has two non-blue eyes. A cat that has one blue eye is roughly twice as likely to be deaf as a cat that has two non-blue eyes. Additionally, the likelihood of bilateral deafness in longhaired white cats is three times higher. Deaf white cats face significant negative pressure from natural selection when living in the wild, as follows:

  • They are deaf
  • Because of their blue eyes, they are photophobic, or intolerant of bright light.
  • They have reduced vision in low light conditions

But white cats are far more common in pet cats, most likely just as a result of selective breeding (human preference and intervention). Numerous cat breeds are known to carry the gene for white coats, which means they can result in deaf white people. Nowadays, a number of breeds mandate that white cats undergo hearing tests (e g. utilizing brainstem auditory evoked response testing, or BAER testing—a straightforward, non-invasive test that can be carried out at specialized facilities to precisely ascertain whether deafness is present. It is not permitted to breed deaf white cats from these breeds.

It is clear that much more research is required before the causes of deafness in cats are fully understood. If someone knows of any resources that I haven’t yet found, please let me know. Please contact me at strain@lsu if you are aware of any cat breeds that are not on this list and that have pigment-associated congenital deafness. edu. Thanks.

There is very little information on deafness in different breeds of cats. Effects of the dominant white (W) gene can include deafness. Several cat breeds also contain a dominant piebald or white-spotting gene (S) (Pedersen, 1991; Searle, 1968), however no reports of deafness have been linked to this gene’s presence. Cats with the W gene frequently have colored spots on their heads, which may eventually fade, rather than being completely white. In contrast to canines carrying the merle gene, homozygous white cats lack reproductive or visual defects; however, they are more likely to develop unilateral or bilateral deafness, and the likelihood of developing deafness rises with the number of blue eyes (Delack, 1984). Compared to short-haired cats, long-haired cats are more likely to have blue eyes and be deaf (Mair, 1973). Purebred white cats are less likely to be deaf than mixed-breed white cats, which may be explained by the underlying cs Siamese dilution pigment gene, which allows white cats to have blue eyes without being deaf (Pedersen, 1991). Data supporting this is not available.


Why are white cats with blue eyes usually deaf?

The pure white cat with luminous blue eyes is an attrac- tive image familiar to many. These animals are well-known to be commonly affected by a congenital hereditary deaf- ness that may affect one or both ears; the deafness is linked to the so-called W gene.

How rare are white cats with blue eyes?

Getting to know the history of your cat through your breeder will also help you assess the genes and any predispositions that your kitty might have. Going by the numbers, researchers have found that: 1-1.5% of population are white haired, with blue eyes and deaf. Some of these cats are deaf in only one ear.

What breed of cat is prone to deafness?

Cats with a white coat and blue eyes have a higher risk of being born deaf. This is particularly true of breeds such as Persians, Scottish Folds, Ragdolls, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Oriental shorthair, Turkish angora, Maine Coone and Manx.

Do all white cats have genetic defects?

Unlike dogs with the merle gene, homozygous white cats do not have visual or reproductive defects, but they are more prone to the occurrence of blue irises and deafness, either unilateral or bilateral, and deafness occurrence increases with the number of blue eyes (Delack, 1984).