Totally white cats are often deaf. Harrison Weir, the founder of the cat fancy in the late 1800s says that if a short haired or long haired white cat has blue eyes, "these are nearly always deaf" (you can read about the percentages in 2012 on this page). He bought a gorgeous white long haired cat at one of the early cat shows that he set up.
He was surprised at the price: 2 guineas. A guinea was always made of gold and the value fixed at 21 shillings (one pound and one shilling). We are talking about old English money of course as this is in the 1870s. That was very cheap, Mr Weir thought. He could not believe the price. The cat was in a cage.."it was a beauty - so comely, so loving, so gentle - so very gentle".
He checked the price was correct. He bought the cat. He had no idea that this beautiful pure white long haired cat was stone deaf. When he got home (to what seems like a palatial residence!) he kept the cat out of the dinning room for some reason. He then discovered why his new cat companion was so cheap to purchase.
The cat's voice was so loud in calling to be let out that it drove him crazy. When he went outside with this cat (he had several) and the cat lost sight of him he called out. Mr Weir says, "I feel confident that it might have been heard miles off".
Luckily, a friend took a fancy to the cat. He allowed the friend to take the cat home. Note: the friend was told that the cat was stone deaf but not that he had a voice that made you deaf!
His friend's home was miles and miles away! A few days later his friend had written to him asking if he would like to take the cat back.....No!
His friend found a solution. He gave this handsome yet very loud white cat to a deaf women.
The question that I have in May 2012, is, "have you had any experiences of deaf cats having very loud voices?" We know that if a person can't hear their voice because they are deaf it affects the quality of their voice. Do deaf cats have loud voices because they can't hear their voices?
I think it is certainly something to think about if you want to adopt a white cat and you live in an apartment. My personal view is that perhaps some deaf cats might have louder than usual voices. Mr Weir says that "in buying a white cat...ascertain for a certainty that it is not deaf".
Associated: read why a lot of white cats are deaf.
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