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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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White Cats and health issues - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden

to health problems?

My friends recently adopted a white kitten. Before he arrived, she mentioned that many white cats are blind. Hers, as it turns out is not blind, but he is deaf. He's a sweet little thing and totally an indoor cat because of his being deaf.

This made me wonder if white cats are more prone to health issues...
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Old January 9th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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In 1976 our Beagle "found" a white kitten - maybe 6 months old while we were walking him on a cold Nov. Ottawa night. Turned out the kitten "Blanche" was deaf - dawned on us after a day or so - she lived to be 19 with absolutely no medical problems - just had her annual shots - that was it. She was small - maybe 10 - 12 lbs. - and extremely smart - much smarter than the Beagle who she enjoyed leading on a merry chase every day and night. I think she thought she was the dog.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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White coats in cats are definitely linked to deafness. It's pretty common. Other stuff, I'm not sure. I want to say eye problems too, but I might be thinking of dogs (a lot of white dogs have eye/ear issues).

ETA: Some stats about white cats and deafness (the eye thing I was thinking of is about the blue eye link) From: http://www.messybeast.com/whitecat.htm:

-95% of the general cat population is non-white cats (i.e. not pure white) and congenital deafness is extremely rare in non-white cats.
-5% of the general cat population is white cats (i.e. pure white). 15-40% of these pure white cats have one or two blue-eyes.
-Of those white cats with one or two blue eyes, 60-80% are deaf; 20-40% have normal hearing; 30-40% had one blue eye and were deaf while 60-70% had one blue eye and normal hearing.
-Of the 5% of white cats in the overall population, 60-80% had eyes of other colors (e.g. orange, green). Of those 10- 20% were deaf and 80-90% had normal hearing.
-Deaf white cats with one or two blue eyes account for 0.25 - 1.5 of total cat population
-Total number of cats with white coat and blue eyes account for 0.75 - 2.0% of total cat population

It is evident from those studies that blue eyed whites exhibit a higher incidence of deafness than do orange/green eyed whites or non-white cats! But not all blue eyed whites are deaf and here's why:-

There is a known link between white coat color, blue eyes and deafness - but since the coat and eye color can be caused by different genes it means that only some blue eyed whites are deaf. There is a gene/gene complex which causes white coat, blue eyes and deafness, but not all cats get their white coat and blue eyes from that particular gene, so not all white cats will be deaf.
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Last edited by bendyfoot; January 9th, 2008 at 05:38 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 06:19 PM
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Very interesting information - thank you! My friends' white cat being deaf just made me wonder...

Thanks for the link, Bendyfoot - again, interesting!

Once again the wisdom of this Board has answered my questions
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Old January 9th, 2008, 06:51 PM
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I've always just heard that they were prone to deafness, nothing else.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 07:06 PM
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I've heard the same but I have to say my all white cat, Smitty has no health problems such as deafness, impaired sight, etc.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 09:30 AM
cathytracy cathytracy is offline
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Talking White cats

We have the good forturne to have a deaf white cat, She is very healthy. Keeping her inside is a good idea. Our cat likes to be vacummed and likes to get in all sorts of bags. She is 14.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Here's a better pic of baby and his baby blues..




I have found it harder to teach a deaf kitten.Of course because he couldn't hear.I tried the signing,we sucked at it.LOL.He was quite the biter and attacker.Still is but not that bad.He does do things that none of my other cats have ever done.He will sit there and swat in the air.There is nothing there.He will lay on the table,lean over and start swatting at nothing.

He is my special boy....
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Old January 11th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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"He is my special boy...."

... and a beautiful boy too!
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Old January 11th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Awwww thank you....

The one thing with a deaf kitten is you loose them in the house.LOL
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Old January 11th, 2008, 10:45 AM
SnowDancer SnowDancer is offline
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Mona - gorgeous kitty - looks very much like our Blanche did. In her own way, Blanche managed to "hear" everything that went on in the house - open the fridge she was there etc. No doubt felt the vibrations. And of course being deaf she though it was great fun to knock things from the counters etc. - and to try and blame the poor Beagle. My Eskimo has very dark black eyes - the one thing I knew for sure when we adopted him was NOT to get an American Eskimo with Blue eyes or we would be in serious possible trouble - probably about now. Nothing wrong with his hearing though - he is a Barking Fool.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Deafness mostly exists in white cats. They shouldn't go outside since they can't hear approaching cars or danger. I haven't heard that they could be prone to certain diseases.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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I better add my,I had a white cat before Vinnie,his name was Peppi,he was pefectly healthy,until he became diabetic and later cancer,but that could have happened to any cat.
Vinnie,my odd-eyed wonder has been tested for any hearing-problems and there isn't any,he can hear a pin drop in another room
Mona,your special boy is sooo beautiful,I remember when you got him
Everybody has seen my boy often,but here he is anyway
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Old January 12th, 2008, 04:30 PM
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Thank you Thank you...

He is still a handfull chico.Still gets in his attack mode...

Vinnie is quite the handsome boy.So unique looking with those eyes.

Even though white cats with blue eyes are prone to deafness,not all are.

I know of a Persian breeder in my area.Actually she shows more than breeds.None of her white/blue eyed persians have been deaf.

Guess it just depends...
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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Thats it Chico!! PM me your addy so I can start my car and take a little road trip at which time I am cat napping Vinnie, he reminds me too much of Blue menu... I miss him so much:sad:

SO, plan is as follows, Pm me address, I'll drive over, knock at the door selling your something, you invite me in as I am so sweet, then I will non shalauntly reach down pick Vinnie up and RUN like a mad half sweede out the door into my car with him, then heading back up to the north ... K?

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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:50 AM
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Erykahyou don't whisk him away that easy,he's almost 18lb's
Little Karma would have competion
For some reason I thought you were in Quebec,or maybe you just never told us where you were.
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