Skip to main content
Organe tabby, special needs cat

Open your home to a special needs pet

Q: Honey, a 1-year-old shelter cat I’ve fallen in love with, has cerebellar hypoplasia, which makes it hard to her to walk and jump, though she can use the litter box without difficulty. Is it wise to adopt a cat with special needs?

A: This week is Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week. If you’ve already given your heart to Honey, then open your home to her, too. You’ll be glad you did.

Special-needs pets return the favor by giving you unconditional love throughout their lives.

Honey’s clumsiness is due to cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), abnormal development of the part of the brain that controls balance and movement. CH results from exposure to the panleukopenia virus before birth or within two weeks after birth.

Clinical signs may include poor coordination, exaggerated movements, head tremors and a broad-based stance. The condition remains stable, neither worsening nor improving through life.

Given their ungainly coordination, cats with CH must live indoors throughout their lives.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by Reviews.com since 2017.

Man sitting on bench with his dog

We believe that seeking out the best...

Small dog being examined by veterinarian

At Figo, we hear this question often...

What do the Cockapoo, the Puggle, the...

Dog receiving treat from woman

August 8th is #NationalCBD day! At Figo...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Woman with dog looking at tablet

Since 2017 Americans have spent between $17...

Small dog sits in front of steps of house

Moving from a 2 bedroom condo in the city to...