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Available to Foster? Consider Fostering Your Shelter’s Adoptable CH Cats

July 24, 2012

Living in a shelter can be stressful for any cat. Fortunately, shelter staff are highly trained in recognizing the best options for all of their adoptees.

Photo courtesy cseeman

They’re wise enough to know that some cats may need their own space. Others may be wall flowers around active cats, but may blossom around shy cats. Some cats need time outs, and others may thrive in a foster home.

While some cerebellar hypoplasia cats can certainly live at a shelter without a problem, anecdotal evidence shows that a foster home, if an option, may be best.

A foster home is a great option for several types of cats. Often kittens are fostered to a certain age because they require so much care. Cats facing or recovering from surgery may also temporarily go into a foster home until they’re ready for the adoption floor. Then there are special needs pets, like CH cats. Technically there’s nothing wrong with them, but some of them do need a bit more assistance than others.

Here are some reasons why a shelter may want to consider placing their CH cats in foster homes:

The most obvious reason is because most CH cats have special needs. This can range from using a specific type of litter pan to needing to walk on carpet for traction. While some of those needs can be met in a shelter environment, it’s much more likely that a foster home can accommodate all of them.

On a related note, it’s essential to know what those needs are. A foster parent is in the perfect position to learn daily about the cat’s habits, needs, abilities and limitations. If the CH cat is rather capable, the foster parent and shelter staff could discuss transferring him from the foster home to the shelter’s adoption floor. If the CH cat does better in a home environment, then the foster will learn how to help this particular CH cat in the home. That knowledge is invaluable and can later be passed on to the cat’s adopters.

Like with any cat, exercise and the ability to roam freely can do wonders for a CH cat. Not only may it help your CH cat become more capable over time, but it’ll also give the cat the opportunity to learn how to do things his own way and become confident.

Depending on the type of shelter, the cat may be confined in a cage most of the day, which can limit his activity and consequently improvement. Even if the cat is allowed to roam freely, he may not be able to defend himself against other cats or quickly move out of a person’s way.

Photo courtesy marky_narc

That said, some believe that the little stressors of living in a shelter may impact CH cats just as much, if not more than a normal cat. Anecdotal evidence shows that when a CH cat becomes scared or upset, he may become especially wobbly or uncoordinated. This may cause the cat to become even more afraid, insecure and increasingly uncoordinated.

And yet, all of this considered, I have read about CH cats who do marvelously at shelters. Some folks mention in CH cat Petfinder profiles that the cat has a special place in not only the shelter staff’s hearts, but the shelter’s cats, too. There’s something so wonderful about these cats that I swear other animals can recognize that CH cats are special.

In the end, the decision to place a cat in a foster home should be made on a cat-by-cat basis. Some shelters certainly don’t have the luxury to accommodate all of their special needs pets like this, but in the end, every little bit helps.

Click here to learn more about fostering.

Does your shelter place CH cats or other special needs pets in foster homes? How have CH cats done if they’ve lived in the shelter? Please share in the comments!

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