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How to Prepare For A Cerebellar Hypoplasia Foster Cat

June 2, 2012

Any time you welcome a pet into your home you’ll want to make sure that you bring it into a safe environment. If that pet is a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia, you’ll need to take additional factors into account. Fortunately, that’s what we’re all about at this blog.

Photo courtesy kcxd

First and foremost, make sure your fosters have their own space, separate from your pets. This is essential, especially at the beginning, because they’ll each need their own safe domain.

Similarly, your foster cat may have behavioral issues or some sort of medical problem like worms or parasites, which you won’t want your pets to catch.

While bedrooms may seem like the most comfortable option for this new family member, you may want to think again. Scared cats can hide under the bed and may be difficult to get out. Some even climb into box springs and mattresses.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure that the room is easy to clean. Carpet, while cozy, can be hard to clean and disinfect between rounds of fosters.

Instead, consider a room with tile, hardwood or other similar surfaces for your foster cat. Purchase a few rag rags to cover the floor — they’re super easy to throw into the wash when needed.

So, if you’re ready to bring a foster CH cat into your home, here are some resources to help:

How To Prepare Your Foster’s Room

In addition to cat-proofing the room your fosters will stay in (removing electrical cords, blinds cords, etc), you may also want to consider making the following changes:

Litter Box

  • Use whichever litter your shelter recommends. While some prefer clumping since it’s easy to clean, it can be dangerous if your foster (specifically a kitten) swallows it. Your shelter will likely have a good idea of your cat’s litter pan abilities. If you need more assistance, check out these general litter box tips for CH cats.
  • How to keep the litter box mess contained
  • Sooner or later you may have to give your CH cat a bath. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.
  • If the litter box isn’t working, consider using diapers

Health Considerations

Photo courtesy mikeatqazam

  • Use whichever food your shelter suggests for the cat; you may need to feed the cat wet only, dry only or a combination of both, depending on the cat’s nutritional and health needs. Check out these eating tips so you can cut back on the mess.
  • CH cats (especially kittens) can easily tip over water bowls. Check out this drinking overview for some tips. Also remember that kittens can drown in deep water bowls, so you may want to take that into account when choosing the right bowl for your foster.
  • More on-topic posts, including feeding stalls and more.

Photo courtesy plizzba

Playtime, Toys & Exercise

  • Your cat’s CH may improve over time, so check out these readers’ suggestions for the best toys for CH cats. Some help work on eye-paw coordination, and others will get the cat up and running around. Also consider a scratching post
  • Remember, some of the best toys are free: Paper bags with their handles cut off, empty toilet paper rolls, empty cardboard soda boxes, rings from milk jugs, and more.
  • If you plan on reusing toys from foster cat to foster cat, make sure you can wash or sanitize them — especially if your foster cat has any illness.
  • If you’re having trouble containing one or several crazy kittens, consider a playpen.
  • Are CH cats more nervous than “normal” cats? Check out reader responses.
  • Like any cat, you want to make sure your CH foster feels confident and loved. Here are some tips on how you can encourage your CH cat.

General Supplies 

  • Carrier designated for the foster pet: Use one carrier specifically for the foster cat, just in case you need to take him in for a check-up or emergency. You certainly don’t want to have to clean it constantly for use between your cats and the foster.
  • A comfortable space: Consider giving your foster pet a box with a blanket or bed in it — you want to give them a calm, dark place that they can go to when they want to rest.
  • Heating pad: Have one handy in case your foster’s room tends to get a bit chilly at times. This will comfort your foster, specifically kittens. Make sure that the animal can always get off the heating pad if desired, and always put it on its lowest setting.
  • A camera: Since you’ll be around your foster the most, take advantage of precious moments and capture them on your camera. Share them on your shelter’s blog, update their Petfinder profile photo or share them on a social networking site.


And of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or to reach out to the Yahoo CH Kitty Club. Good luck!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2012 5:55 am

    Some great tips! I know several fosters besides myself who use the bathroom as an isolation room, easy to clean, no wires etc. so long as the lid of the toilet is kept closed! And a bath makes a convenient playpen for kitties too small to leap/climb out [the fun of collecting 6 kitties into a comfy box in order to USE the bath is just one of those parts of life’s rich pattern]

  2. June 3, 2012 4:42 pm

    so how many rescues actually take in CH cats? Do you know?

    • June 3, 2012 4:46 pm

      That’s a good question. I would hope any shelter would; I think it just depends on if they come across any.

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