Video: Deaf Cats
Many white blue-eyed cats are born deaf, however, not all of them are deaf from birth. This does not apply to the Burmese and Siamese breeds, which are fair in color and blue eyes. Many cats with different colored eyes - blue and yellow - are also prone to deafness.
Deafness is caused by a genetic defect. Each animal has two genes for each trait, one from the mother and one from the father. With regard to hearing, if the mother transmits the gene for deafness, but the father does not, then the gene for deafness is dominant, and the kitten is born deaf.
A cat has an organ in the ear that converts sound waves into electrical impulses that travel to the brain as sound. With this genetic defect, the organ responsible for the transformation of sound waves begins to degrade at about 5 days of age. Since the ear canal in a normal kitten does not open earlier than 6-14 days of age, a kitten with a similar genetic defect will not hear a single sound in its life.
The same gene affects the cat's eyes, reducing their ability to see at night, which adversely affects the cat's hunting qualities.
As with other deaf animals, deaf cats are accident prone, more vociferous and can be more aggressive. Deaf cats need special care. They must remain indoors and must not be allowed to walk freely. Also, in order to prevent the transmission of this gene to future generations, it is strongly recommended not to use deaf cats and cats in breeding.