Hearing impaired woman teaches her cats sign language

Life With Cats is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Hearing impaired woman teaches her cats sign language

A hearing impaired woman has taught her cats sign language and has trained them using it.

Cat lover Kim Silva taught at the American School for the Deaf, and that experience prepared her to teach sign language to her cats after her retirement, when she and her husband decided to adopt a deaf cat.

Kim and her husband, John are both deaf. In 2009, after losing a beloved cat, the couple decided to adopt a deaf Siamese cat and they fell in love with a cat named Bambi they found at Petfinder. The Silvas live in Connecticut and Bambi was at a rescue in Spring, Texas. Bambi couldn’t be transported to her new home right away, so Kim had time to teach her other cats sign language before she arrived. She then taught Bambi, for whom learning was easier since the other cats already understood and she could learn from them, and now all three cats understand and respond to Kim’s signals.

The cats are more active, interactive and engaged than they would have been without their language training.

All of the cats understand the sign for ‘dance,’ but only one will actually dance with their petmom.

Kim’s son-in-law Tim O’Donnell made the video with Kim and her cats seen below.


For more on Kim Silva and her cats, see Arin Greenwood’s article Woman With A Hearing Loss Taught Her Deaf Cat Sign Language, Including The Word ‘Dance in the Huffington Post.

The information in our post is derived from that article and the video.

1 thought on “Hearing impaired woman teaches her cats sign language”

Leave a Comment