Skip to content

10 Reasons to Adopt a Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cat

November 6, 2011

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?

34 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:
      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

    • 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

  14. Gerri permalink
    September 3, 2015 11:45 am

    We have 3 cats and one is a precious CH kitty named Graceful. Our male cat Pudge will be rough at times with our girl Twiggy, but never with Grace. He just seems to know she’s a bit different😀

  15. Marla OBrien permalink
    September 23, 2015 11:42 am

    Need Advice! I am going to adopt a CH kitten

  16. Pat permalink
    December 28, 2015 6:19 am

    i just this past week brought home a kitten from the shelter I volunteer at. She will see the vet this week, but we believe she is in the moderate stage of CH. I worked with special needs children for 30 years. I totally understand the “gift” this little lady has to offer! I feel very blessed to have her in my life! She’s a bit of a “project” as we are trying to help her adapt to eating/drinking water and cleaning her up after a litter box mishap. My husband is going to modify her litter box with higher sides to help her be more successful at pottying. her stool is very loose right now. Like I said, she will see the vet this week. I am enjoying reading your website!

  17. Marisa permalink
    April 19, 2016 3:20 pm

    This is so great! I just took my cat in for a checkup today and the vet staff kept commenting on how sweet and easy to work with she is. Also, I can’t count the number of times friends have told me “I’d get a cat in a heartbeat if they were all like yours.” My cat has so much personality, loves being around people, and (for the most part) knows her own limitations, making adjustments on her own. If her toys happen to get knocked off the area rug and onto the hardwood, she will gently walk over to them, pick them up in her mouth, carry them back to the rug, and continue to play! She really knows how far/high she can jump, how fast to run on the hardwood vs. carpet, to stay away from the edges of the furniture she’s laying on (just in case!). Long story short, she is such an amazing addition to my home and it actually wouldn’t even be a home without her. I cannot say enough about CH cats. She is amazing in every way. I’m not perfect, and she puts up with me!:)

  18. Pat permalink
    May 25, 2016 7:58 pm

    It was the best day of my life when I found Angelica, my CH kittie at the shelter I volunteer at…I only wish I could find her a peer group kitty!

  19. lulubee permalink
    February 19, 2017 5:10 pm

    Joie de vivre

  20. Sonya permalink
    November 5, 2017 10:03 pm

    Thank you so much for your site and all the information. I just adopted a 3 month old kitten from a shelter. They tried to put me off, telling me she had problems with her hips, would need a lot of surgeries and would be very expensive.
    I just fell in love with her so I said I would take her to my vet and get a second opinion. I really didn’t them to put her down if I could help her.
    It turns out that she has CH (quite a mild case).
    I’m so glad I didn’t let them dissuade me from adopting her. She’s adorable. Very friendly, loves to climb and play. Just a little bit wobbly. Like me on a Saturday night after a glass or two of wine.
    Your site has so much valuable information to help people like me understand CH and help cats like Wibbly find a great home. Thank you!!!

  21. patty permalink
    November 26, 2017 2:10 am

    I have a cat, and her sister who I adopted with this. She was older and considered “unadoptable” Had to be an indoor cat, as she walks like a drunk and sometimes walking or just sitting and will fall over. When she is stressed does it more frequently. So if she saw a car or big dog, what would happen??? She just gets up and keeps going. She doesnt like heights, but will be sitting on the edge of the couch cleaning herself and fall over. She is the most loveable, gentle, playful cat I have ever owned. She cleans the little dog every morning and every night before bed. We dont even notice he falling over any more. We have adjusted out house to her. Beds against the wall, on the floor. Furniture low and so she can walk around the room on furniture, not have to jump from thing to thing, furniture against windows, so she can sit in windows, etc. Funniest thing is if someone comes over they will see her fall over and we will say NOOOOO! They are like YES THAT CAT JUST FELL OVER!! NOOOOO! Until it happens again!! Would not give her or her sister up for anything!!!!!!

  22. Shelley Ruspoli permalink
    March 3, 2018 1:21 pm

    I adopted a CH kitty in December 2017. He is the sweetest, most lovable cat!! He’s super attached to me and my roommate. He’s fearless and has bounds of energy. We have had to cover our concrete floors (house is being remodeled) with so many rugs! This is to prevent him falling off the couch/recliners and hurting himself. But he is so much fun and a true joy to have. Hopefully I can find another wonderful CH kitty to keep him company soon and we are having a 1 year birthday party for him in late April.

  23. Sonya Parks permalink
    July 9, 2018 8:07 pm

    I have one of these kittens took to vet over and over they don’t know so got on here and saw this it describes him perfect he is sweeter then the other kittens and purrs so much I have to be careful letting him sleep with me cause he will fall off the bed lol

  24. Myranda permalink
    December 29, 2018 9:17 am

    I have a CH kitten, 16 weeks.. my older cats who are not always welcoming .. adore him. He is a special boy & the older cats make sure he isn’t picked on. Even my GSD loves him. There is yet to be a person who has met Mortdecai who hasn’t fallen in love with him.
    He does have trouble getting around but he has his own way of moving. And of course his grandma spoils him and carries him everywhere. The only weird aspect that we are adjusting to is his odd way of using the litter box.
    He is also the only male in a litter of 4, the only kitten to inherit his moms Manx tail and the only kitten affect with his CH.

  25. Zuza permalink
    January 27, 2019 8:18 pm

    I hope that You know how incredibly helpful this blog is for me! Thank You so much!
    For some time now I am looking for a pair of new companions in life 🙂 and I came across 2 beautiful boys, they’ve just stolen my heart when I saw them, but the description said that they are CH kittens and I started to worry because I’ve seen some cats with CH.
    Chico mild CH and Kenzo moderate CH, boys are full of life crazy playful kittens (I can’t stop watching a video with them). This site showed me that they are no different from other cats, I still have to consider many things, if I can really prevent them time and safe space and I really worry about that, but more I read I think that I didn’t found them they found me. That’s pretty funny, I wanted to adopt a pair of girls maybe a boy and a girl never 2 boys, now I can’t stop thinking about them.
    I think that they’re no different and it’s sad how people may think the other way.
    Each animal needs to be care of, to be loved and attention from people so they can know that they have a loving safe home.
    If you have some more advice, please write to me I’ll be more then happy to listen 🙂
    Again Thank You so much for writing this blog about this funny loving cats.

  26. Claire permalink
    February 21, 2023 7:31 am

    My 6 month kitten is CH and I got him when he was 4 weeks old. He was found abandoned on the side of a road. He was so tiny, couldn’t take a step without falling. The person fostering him put him on a local Facebook group and explained a bit about the condition (never heard about it before) everyone was saying how gorgeous he was or cute or funny. But no offers of adopting him.

    At the time I picked him up also had an dog who I adopted as a puppy, was coming up to 14 years. She was pretty good with the kitten considering she was a grumpy old lady.

    However, 3 weeks after Groot (my CH cat) came home my dog got very sick very quickly. Sadly there was only one thing I could do and said goodbye to her 2 days later.

    I came home from the vets that day in absolutely devastated. I was crying on the sofa, and Groot Jo was still not much bigger than when I first got him jumped up and snuggled into my chest and stayed their for several hours and that is when I knew this little tiny kitten who already had a rough start had the biggest heart going.

    Groot is now 6 months and due to the time we have spent together, he is so gentle. Loves his cuddles and is so stubborn and doesn’t let hanything CH causes stop him from doing something he wants.

    I’m so grateful that day I saw him on Fb.


  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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: