Follow Us
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

More From Figo Blog
Pet Professionals: Interview With Larry Kay Of Positively Woof | Figo Pet Insurance

Author, dog trick trainer, movie maker,...

Arthritis In Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Options | Figo Pet Insurance

We all strive to be responsible dog owners who...

Pet Food Trends | Figo Pet Insurance

If you thought that pet food is just about...

Getting To Know The Great Dane | Figo Pet Insurance

Looking for a faithful and loving dog with an...

Woman managing puppy behavior

Some behaviors with dogs work best with...

Older calico cat sitting on couch

Walk into any animal shelter and you’re likely...

Patriotic pooch: presidential candidates and their doggy doppelgangers

Election season has been in full swing for...

High-maintenance cat breeds require grooming

Generally, cats have the reputation of being...

HELP