19 Feb Essex boy Suggs seeks cash for his dodgy lugs
Near-deaf Suggs has become a star with his Chelmsford carers, but this chatty Essex boy is appealing for help with soaring medical bills.
Cuddly Suggs faces total deafness after having his right ear canal surgically removed and now needs an operation on his left ear due to recurrent infections and discomfort.
Cats Protection’s Chelmsford Adoption Centre has launched a JustGiving campaign to raise £1,700 for the essential operations and medical care to give this black and white rescue cat a more comfortable life.
Eight-year-old Suggs was handed to Cats Protection early this year, when his owners moved home and their children developed an allergy to him. He had been with the family since he was a kitten, so the transition was distressing for Suggs and his family.
Charlotte Boddy, Deputy Manager of Cats Protection’s Chelmsford Adoption Centre, said: “When Suggs came into care our vets realised the extent of infection and damage to his ears. It was obvious that he needed immediate surgery to relieve the discomfort and give him a chance at a pain free life.
“Suggs is such a trooper, especially given the poor state of his ears. He is a sweet boy who loves a cuddle and to be scratched under his chin. It gives us great hope for a swift recovery after what has been a pretty upsetting time for poor Suggs.”
Deafness shouldn’t stop Suggs from enjoying a long life with a caring new owner. He will need to be an indoor cat as he will be unable to hear dangers such as cars and other animals, but most cats compensate for a lack of hearing by using their other senses. For Suggs, that means he can be quite loud, possibly a result of using sound detection to adapt to hearing loss.
Charlotte said: “Cats adapt to all sorts of disabilities, so we are hopeful that Suggs will enjoy a full life with a caring family who understand the needs of his new life.”
Rehoming a special needs cat requires only a little extra consideration of their condition and there are ways to help a deaf cat adapt to their environment. Deaf cats can even learn to recognise hand signals or recognise a flashing torch sequence if they can’t hear you calling.
A deaf cat can be easily startled, so approach with heavy footsteps to make sure they are aware of you. To wake a sleeping deaf cat, it is best to tap the area around them and, if you are close to the cat, a hand clap or stamp on the floor might be enough to get their attention.
Each cat has individual needs, so speak to a vet to learn how best to cater for deafness. Further advice is here: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/disabled-cats/deaf-cats
Some cats are born deaf, while others lose hearing as they age as a result of injury or illness, such as polyps, tumours, outer and middle-ear infections or ear mites. Deafness is usually permanent when nerves linked to the ear do not function properly, due to genetic issues, inner ear infections, drug toxicity, trauma or age-related degeneration.
In many cases, it can be difficult to tell if a cat is deaf. As well as a failure to respond when called, symptoms can include being easily alarmed, dizziness or disorientation, and shaking their head or clawing at their ears. As always, if in any doubt, consult a vet for advice.
To donate to Suggs’ appeal for medical care, visit his JustGiving campaign: