This lady wants to modify her cat’s behaviour. He is a 7-month-old Turkish Angora (TA). She didn’t realise it until recently that he is deaf. Turkish Angoras are not uncommonly born deaf and sometimes have odd-eye color (blue and yellow) both for the same reason: the presence of the while spotting (piebald gene) or dominant white gene which gives her cat such a glorious bicolour or white coat. I have not seen her cat but he is either all-white or bicolor.
She wants to stop her cat jumping on the kitchen counter and bookshelves when he sometimes knocks over items. She calls these “awful habits”. She complains that she can’t use auditory training – I think she means shouting! Just joking, I hope.
The simple point is this (and I don’t want to be rude): her cat is behaving normally. Domestic cats like to move vertically and travel to high points — totally normal and expected behaviour. The fact that he is deaf is neither here nor there.
The answer is not to try and train out of her cat’s behaviour the desire to jump up to counters and so on. Her response should be to accept the behavior and work around it by providing other high points where her cat can jump to and enjoy. She might also try and find time to play with him more and/or adopt another cat provided he is the right sort of of cat and fits in well. This is called making an enriched environment. It is as simple as that.
The problem in this instance is not the cat’s behaviour but the lady’s perceptions and attitude towards domestic cat behavioural traits. The solution is to be found in training-out some of the lady’s misconceptions about domestic cat ownership.
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