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10 Reasons to Adopt a Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cat

November 6, 2011
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Photo courtesy alatri

The other day I wrote a post titled Should You Adopt a Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cat? and I’m happy to fill you in on two comments I received.

The first was from a thoughtful woman who was considering adopting a CH cat, but became hesitant for a few reasons. While I certainly would never want to prevent the adoption of a CH cat to a good home, I did appreciate her honesty and how she was taking the adoption seriously.

The next comment from a reader was exactly what I was hoping for — another woman shared her story about her CH cat adoptions and how they’ve been incredible additions to her family. It’s stories like hers and dozens of others that have inspired me to write this post.

So why would anyone want to adopt a special needs cat?

The reasons vary for everyone, but here are a few. If you’ve adopted a CH cat (or any special needs cat) and think I’ve missed a reason, please share in the comments!

  • Cerebellar hypoplasia is a non-progressive, non-painful condition (meaning it’ll never get worse or develop into anything more), and your cat (unless she has other health complications) will live as healthy and as full a life as a normal cat. In fact, many CH cat parents say that their cat’s CH has improved with age. I know this is the case with CG!
  • They (most likely) won’t jump on your countertops. This isn’t true for every CH cat, but many folks I’ve spoken with say their CH cats won’t jump (jump up, at least). I realize this may be a shallow reason for some folks, but for others it may be a serious and practical one.

  • It’s so fun to watch these cats progress. As mentioned above, some cats’ CH improves with age (most likely because of muscle development and improved coordination from playtime, etc) — but they also learn how to do things their own way on a daily basis.
  • You can feel good about not only giving a needy cat a home, but giving a home to one that is considered less adoptable. Less adoptable pets, whether they’re elderly, a black cat, a pit bull dog or special needs, are often overlooked for silly reasons. Once people look past these cats’ “imperfections,” I think they learn that they’re some of the most perfect pets after all.
  • Since these cats have some special needs and limitations, you’re mostly likely going to spend extra time with them than you would a “normal” cat. This extra time and energy helps develop a tight bond between you and your cat — and it’s this bond that will get you both through any obstacle.
  • By adopting a CH cat, you’re becoming a spokesperson for the condition. From sharing your cat’s condition with your friends to making your vet more familiar with the condition (many aren’t familiar with it or have had CH cats as patients), you’re spreading the word that CH cats make great pets. This is essential because there’s still a stigma against special needs cats, and many are still euthanized daily because their condition is simply not understood.
  • These cats are an inspiration. Living with them will give you a new appreciation for overcoming life’s obstacles. Every day their condition makes their lives a little more complicated — but they never seem to give up or mind. Their will and determination may inspire you to overcome your own obstacles.
  • If you have lots of love to give, why not give it to a cat that needs it the most? This is the philosophy I had when I adopted my first CH cat. I didn’t know a thing about the condition, but I figured I may as well give all of my love, time and energy to a pet that would really need it.
  • There’s just something about them. Call it jeux de vie or simply sweetness — but most CH cats you’ll meet are some of the sweetest you’ll ever encounter. Perhaps it’s because they have great bonds with their owners, or maybe it’s another result of their brain damage (a joke, but who knows??). Either way, there’s something about these cats that’s definitely worth the extra work.

So what do you think? Did I miss anything?

21 Comments leave one →
  1. JacquieB permalink
    November 6, 2011 8:58 pm

    Excellent article, I have to agree with every thing you wrote! especially the one regarding overcoming life’s obstacles.

  2. November 10, 2011 5:19 am

    PERFECT!!! I wouldn’t add a thing.

  3. November 11, 2011 8:12 am

    PURRRFECTly written! Thank you Tardy for this article.

  4. January 7, 2012 1:51 am

    What a lovely article. As the proud momma of 4 CH kitties, I agree wholeheartedly with every point you’ve made. I am so proud of their accomplishments because I know how hard they have worked to be just ordinary cats. They are aware of their limitations, but it’s beautiful to watch how they work within them with no self pity.

    For people who are afraid to incorporate them into a household with other animals because they seem frail: Don’t worry! I have 4 dogs (plus one foster) and 11 cats and mine do just fine. In fact, the CH kitties aren’t even at the bottom of the pecking order.

    These are inspirational little guys!

    • Anna permalink
      October 29, 2012 2:40 pm

      I adopted a kitten with CH 2yrs ago. He is very sweet and I’m so proud of the accomplishments he’s made in the time he’s been with us. The problem is more often than not he chooses not to use the litter box and I’m starting to feel like it’s got to be him or my home. Do you have any advice?

    • October 29, 2012 3:57 pm

      Hi Anna,
      I’m sorry to hear about that. It can be very difficult. Check out these links, there are a number of posts that may help:

      http://lifewithchcats.com/ch-topics-tips/litter-box/

      http://lifewithchcats.com/tag/litter-box/

      Good luck!

  5. Laura permalink
    January 28, 2012 4:31 pm

    I would add one more plus: Non-cat people. My parents and my brothers HATE cats – they are dog people in the extreme. But when they come visit me and see Pumpkin wobbling around…how could they not love her! I see them just watching her and smiling. And they get so proud of her when she spends a whole minute looking up at the chair…planning her jump…and them jumping!

  6. Lisa O'Connor permalink
    May 25, 2012 8:03 am

    Adopting our CH kitty Little Man is the very best thing we’ve ever done. He is by far the sweetest, most snuggly wonderful cat I’ve ever met – to the point where several of my friends are saying they want to investigate adopting CH kitties. He’s a clown, he’s a jester, he’s just simply wonderful – and he doesn’t seem to care about what’s going on with him, he’s just fine & happy as can be!

  7. Debra permalink
    November 26, 2012 6:49 pm

    Not true, our little one started out walking and now at three she can not stand or walk. Our vet told us that this is progressive but usually stops earlier. Our cat has the worse case she has ever seen. I would not give her up for anything but she can do nothing will out our help, But the one thing she can do is meow loudly when she wants something and we come running.

  8. January 18, 2013 1:57 pm

    I would definitely adopt another CH cat. Sadly Smartie was pts aged 3 following an ear infection from which he didn’t recover. He was the most loving cat & I would add to your comments -amazing with children. He also loved going out in the snow – I think it gave him great support!

    • January 21, 2013 8:03 am

      That’s another great point! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kelly permalink
    April 26, 2013 1:00 pm

    I have a one year old old CH kitten who is a trip! Her mother and father both died of panlukopenia (feline distemper) when she and her litter mates were 4 weeks old. Two died and the other two were “special needs kitties!” A good woman adopted one and I kept the other. Hannah doesn’t know she walks like a drunk and plays with my two “normal” cats as well as my three dogs. She occasionally runs into walls, shakes her head, and goes on! She won’t jump or climb so is content in the house and the backyard. I see her progressing as she gets older. These are wonderful pets and I would encourage anyone to adopt one. They are euthanized routinely because no one wants a CH cat. Please help if you can!

  10. crystal Stevens permalink
    May 26, 2013 2:23 am

    Thank you for all this information. My daughter and I have thought about what to do with a 2 week old kitten with this issue. The vet recommend putting it to sleep. But at 3 weeks old and this Web site, he will be a partof our family. He plays and our Senior dog acts like his mother. So again I, we thank you and this site for helping us make the right choice

    • mylifeback@thatcooper.com permalink
      August 29, 2014 8:21 pm

      I think I’d get another vet

  11. Sydney permalink
    January 3, 2014 2:52 am

    Hello Amanda!Excellent article as,always.I am thinking about adopting a CH cat.what are you thoughts?others feel free to reply as well.I am a little bit worried.

  12. Brian permalink
    February 22, 2014 9:08 pm

    In my experience, your last reason is the best one. My Artemis was a roadside rescue back when I worked part-time at an emergency Veterinary hospital. Everyone thought she must be injured, so I was volunteered to take her in and get her checked out. That was 10 years ago.

    There is something about her that makes her so appreciative and loving. She loves to climb up into my lap when I’m at the computer, and will curl up, purring and kneading while I pet her. There’s none of the “stand-offishness” that some cats can give off. While she’s skittish around new people and easily startled by loud noises or sudden movements, if you approach her in the right way she’s very, very friendly and loving.

    Thanks for putting together a site that informs people of a condition that shouldn’t scare people away from adopting wonderful companion cats. Cheers!

  13. alison permalink
    September 16, 2014 9:49 am

    Hello, this site is great. I am looking at re homing a kitten with CH, she has it very mildly and I am getting conflicting views…does anyone have any experience of this condition being mild? She is a little wobbly, she can jump though but seems a bit drowsy and i am also worried she is not hearing well. We want to give her a fantastic new life out of the rescue home, she is so sweet. What is the insurance like for CH cats? TIA

Trackbacks

  1. Meet Princess « Life with Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats
  2. 10 reasons to adopt a cat with CH « Cats from Bulgaria in a need of a home
  3. Happy Valentine’s Day! « Life with Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats

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