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Are Hardwood Floors OK For Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats?

September 14, 2013

I absolutely love it when cerebellar hypoplasia cat parents take their cats’ needs into account. In this case, Kathy and her family were considering a CHer’s needs before they even adopted her. Way to go!

Kathy said that when she previously had a CH cat, she lived in a place that was carpeted. She said their new home has mainly hardwood flooring, and asked the Facebook CH Cats and Kittens group if the members thought that would be an issue for the kitten.

Photo courtesy hynkle.

This is a great question, because some CH cats really can really struggle with certain flooring. That said, each CH cat’s abilities are different, so it’s hard to answer this definitively. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can help: You can lay area rugs in key locations (under your bed, in front of furniture, down hallways), pad a room with special foam tiles, or even create your own area rug from memory foam mats like Dianne did!

A number of group members responded to Kathy’s question, and I wanted to share some of their responses with you. I think sometimes it helps to hear others’ stories and life lessons, so here we go!

Lisa: I have hardwood floors in my home and JillyBean does quite well. She is mild to moderate but closer to the mild side. We had carpeting, but changed it which I worried about. But she has learned to get around very well on the hardwood.

Brittney: I have a mild CH cat, and we have no carpet on our floors. We did put carpet the stairs for him to make it easier for him though. I guess it depends on the kitty!

Kathleen: Carpet really helps, because when they lose their balance (and this will happen a lot), they grab ahold of it to steady themselves. I would say you need to have a nice, thick, well-secured runner on the stairs if you anticipated the kitty will go up and down on them.

Photo courtesy Jess Gambacurta.

Jona: Celly does OK on bare floors — although in our last house I put down numerous throw rugs! But in our new place (all one floor, all with medium-deep carpet everywhere but kitchen and baths) she runs around! It’s wonderful to see. CellyBean is mod to severe.

Tina: I have tile floors with a moderate CH boy. He had a hard time at first but he got better. Just as long as they have somewhere nice to lay.

And I think this response was my favorite:

Mary: You can always put down throw rugs with “hold it to the floor” backing. Don’t miss out on a fabulous CH kitty, she will adapt and spend lots of time purring in your lap if she doesn’t like the floor.

When we first adopted Ellie, I too wondered if hardwood would be too much for her. She was fostered in a lovely home that was carpeted, so when we let her lose on our hardwood, she was like Bambi on ice! For days she struggled — but you know what — little by little she made progress. Today she does quite well. It just took some time, practice and patience.

Good luck, Kathy! I hope this helps in your decision!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren T. permalink
    September 15, 2013 4:36 pm

    Definitely always something to keep in mind. When we moved last year out of a our one-bedroom apartment to a bigger place, we could only find places that had stairs. I was ok with stairs, but only if they were carpeted. Mimosa had done hard-wood floors before so we weren’t concerned about that but I knew she would struggle with hardwood stairs, so we made sure the place we chose had carpet on the stairs at least. We had to veto a few places because of it, but she is definitely worth it!

  2. nionvox permalink
    September 23, 2013 6:46 pm

    Chairman actually got stronger because of the effort needed to stay stable on the wooden floors. He’s built up more strength in his back legs this way. (We do have mats around for him)

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